A nature walk or hike can be a great way to get outdoors while still avoiding large crowds of people. Pack your water bottles and your hand sanitizer and enjoy one of Atlanta’s many beautiful trails. Be sure to check ahead to make sure the park is open to the public; also keep in mind that some areas may be busier at certain times of the day, so plan your outing accordingly.

For more ideas for family fun, check out 250 Fun Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids.

Sweetwater Creek State Park

About 20 minutes east of downtown Atlanta, this park offers a wooded trail along a stream leading to ruins of the Manchester Textile Mill. Other trails wind through forests, ferns and wild azaleas. Try the red trail for the easiest route. Lithia Springs.

Fernbank Forest

Walk 1.5 miles of paved paths underneath a mixed hardwood forest at Fernbank Museum. This is a great trail for beginning hikers. Atlanta.

Dunwoody Nature Center

Hike around Wildcat Creek, the wetlands boardwalk or make your way through two miles of Piedmont forest. The awesome playground is an added treat with two climbing towers, a giant rope swing, tall slides and more. Dunwoody.

Island Ford Park Trail

Three miles of hiking trails following the Chattahoochee River with terrain along the path that is perfect for climbing with cave-like overhangs, scenic views of the water and loads of wildlife and wildflowers. Sandy Springs.

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve

An easy, less than 2-mile part paved, part dirt trail round trip takes you by the remnants of a stone springhouse (with moat) and Civil War-era trenches on this former battlefield site. Plus, there’s a small waterfall. Atlanta.

Constitution Lake and Doll’s Head Trail

An easy round trip half-mile hike has a fascinating surprise. The highlight of the park’s trail system is the quirky Doll’s Head Trail, filled with folk art created by local Atlanta artists and park volunteers. Atlanta.

Red Top Mountain State Park

This park boasts more than 15 miles of wooded trails. Even explore a reconstructed 1860s homestead. In the hot months, pack a bathing suit for the swimming hole at Lake Allatoona. Acworth.

Roswell River Walk

Go playground to playground, from Riverside Park to Azalea Park, and then on to boardwalks adjacent to the Chattahoochee Nature Center. This flat trail runs alongside the Chattahoochee River, giving up close views of the water and its wildlife. Roswell.

Sawnee Mountain Preserve

Mostly known for the Indian Seats natural rock formation at the peak of the mountain, Sawnee has an easy short hike best for younger children. The brief round trip leads to a tree house and a fairy houses trail. Another short, but steep, climb, leads to an observation deck. Cumming.

Stone Mountain Park

Explore 15 miles of walking and hiking trails including the one-mile trail to the top of the mountain. The Nature Garden trail is an easy walk around large oak trees. The hike to the top is more challenging, but includes great views of downtown Atlanta. Stone Mountain.

Big Trees Forest Preserve

This urban forest has three hiking routes, including a one-mile loop trail beneath white oak trees. Be sure to grab the nature trail guide at the entrance of the forest and try to clasp hands around one of the giant oaks. Sandy Springs.

Big Creek Greenway

Stroll your choice of flat, easy trails in Alpharetta or Forsyth with paved and boardwalk areas. Observe wildlife in the wooded and wetland settings. Alpharetta and Forsyth.

Atlanta BeltLine

Take the paved trails headed east or west and check out ever-changing outdoor artwork, exciting playgrounds and even tiny doors. A fascinating blend of nature and art makes a BeltLine walk a must-do to see the city from a new perspective. Multiple access points.

Atlanta BeltLine

Arabia Mountain Path

Amazing views await at the summit of the crater-filled Arabia Mountain. The trail is short, but along the way, plenty of unique land forms and plants entertain. Lithonia.

Cochran Shoals

More than three miles of gravel trails runs beside the Chattahoochee River. Check out both woodlands and marshes, and all the animals that inhabit them. Marietta.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

The Mountain Trail is steep with some level terrain that leads to the peak, where a panoramic view of Atlanta is the reward. Rocky sections make this best for more advanced hikers. There are also many easier trails and activities at this historic battlefield site. Kennesaw.

Reynolds Nature Preserve

Three choices of looped trails, all under two miles, make this a great spot for beginning hikers. There’s a wide variety of sights to see, too. Ponds, a butterfly garden, antique farm equipment and resident critters are all part of the landscape. Morrow.

Murphey Candler Trail

A pond is at the center of this moderate two-mile flat loop. Adjacent to a playground, this tranquil spot is a great place to see ducks, turtles, geese and other water fowl. Brookhaven.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve

This land in north Atlanta flourishes with nature and wildlife. Families can regularly spot a box turtle, a midland water snake or the carnivorous lady slipper orchid while walking on the easy two miles of trails. Kids especially love a replica of a teepee. Johns Creek.

Lost Corner Nature Preserve

Lesser known than other Atlanta nature centers,  the passive nature trails of Lost Corner have a lot to offer! Go in search of a host of native trees, plants and animals including (regularly sighted) birds of prey, deer, turtles, wild turkey, rabbits, foxes and more. Sandy Springs.

Morningside Nature Preserve

More than 30 woodland acres in Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood surrounds South Fork Peachtree Creek. A cool suspension bridge over the creek connects the trails. Wade in the shallow water under the bridge along with visitors who bring their furry friends to “dog beach.” Atlanta.

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

Walk through several different ecosystems on a 1.5 mile easy trail. This 28-acre sanctuary includes wetlands, upland forests and pine forests along a floodplain. This walk is ideal for kids learning about Georgia’s climate and native living things. Decatur.

Beyond Atlanta

In the mood for a day or overnight trip? These hikes are worth the drive!

Providence Canyon State Park

Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon” is an amazing man-made geological formation, caused by water erosion in the 1800s. The stunning canyons, some as deep as 150 feet, can be viewed from the rim trail, or hike down for a closer view of the red, pink, orange, and purple formations. Lumpkin County.

Toccoa River Bridge

A 270-foot swinging suspension bridge is a highlight of the Benton McKaye Trail near Blue Ridge. The kid-friendly one-mile hike offers great views of the wide-flowing Toccoa River; stop at the cascades area for a mid-hike picnic. Blue Ridge.

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park

This prehistoric American Indian site is loaded with history. From the Visitor Center, trails lead to the Earth Lodge, Trading Post Site, and the Great and Lesser Temple Mounds. The River Trail is handicap accessible. Other highlights include Civil War earthworks and a wetlands trail. Macon.

Brasstown Bald

It’s hard to beat the views from Brasstown Bald, the state’s highest point. A half-mile paved trail through the forest takes visitors to the 360-degree observation deck, with views that stretch to North and South Carolina and Tennessee. Explore the area’s other hiking trails, picnic areas, and visit the center’s museum. Hiawassee.

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