Hiking In Georgia – The Jewel Of The Appalachian Trail

Updated: March 19, 2023

Georgia’s landscape spans from sandy coastal beaches to the southern reaches of the Appalachian Mountains, with all sorts of wonderful places to see in-between.

Whether you want to hike up tall peaks and bask in the views from way up high, or wander along shady forest trails, Georgia has a variety of different hiking trails to explore. To help you decide where you want to have your American hiking adventure, here’s our list of some of the best places to go for a hike in Georgia.

You may also like our guide to the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail.

Top 5 Trails To Explore In Georgia, USA

Here are favorite hiking treks in Georgia. Have a look at them in more detail to pick the best for your adventure!

1. Bartram Trail to Rabun Bald

Photo by Bob Zumwalt

The Bartram Trail from Beegum Gap is a short hike, at only 3 miles long, and takes you up to the Rabun Bald Mountain summit.

The Rabun Bald mountain summit is Georgia’s second highest summit and allows you to see a spectacular, full 360 degree view of the Georgian landscape leading far off into endless horizons.

There is an observation deck on the top of the peak so that people can comfortably stand and enjoy the tranquil, breathtaking view.

The full Bartram Trail spans a distance of about 35 miles and is a multi-day trek if you want something more than a day hike. It’ll take you through green forests full of flowing streams, to the Rabun Bald Summit, then back into more forested land with lush undergrowth cascading waterfalls to admire, and finally ending at Russell Bridge.

2. Tallulah Gorge

Photo by Geroyche

If you’re looking for something more thrilling and adrenaline pumping then hiking to the suspension bridge over the Tallulah Gorge is the perfect trail for you.

You can see the gorge from dizzying heights as you cross the suspension bridge, which sways at 80ft over the flowing river below.

The gorge itself is about 2 miles long and plummets almost 1000 feet downward. You can climb, hike or bike along its scenic trails and enjoy the fresh air in a natural paradise.

With multiple magnificent waterfalls, sharp canyons, lush green vegetation and relaxing river banks, Tallulah Gorge is a wonderful place to experience and a perfect spot for hiking.

The park’s popular trails range from about 2 to 3.4 miles long, but they’re not all a walk in the park.

The Sliding Rock Trail is quite difficult and requires a permit, but if you’re an avid hiker, the trail is well worth the challenge as you travel deep into the gorge and see it from its floor. If you’re looking for a more causal hike, the other trails would be perfect for you.

3. Tennessee Rock Trail In Black Rock Mountain State Park

Photo by Lloyd Blackwell

The Black Rock Mountain Tennessee Rock Trail is a short, moderate hike that takes you up to the Tennessee Rock Overlook and through beautiful, forested mountain slopes.

The views from the overlook are breathtaking, and the elevated mountain forest is quite something itself. Full of wildlife, big boulders and beautiful wildflowers, the forest trail is easily one of the prettiest hiking trails in Georgia.

The best time to explore this trail is in the springtime when the flowers are in full bloom. The trail is only about 2.2 miles long and after trekking through the lush, green forest, you will find yourself on the Black Rock Mountain Summit.

From the top of the mountain you will see beautiful views of dense forest blanketing the land until meeting the clear blue sky.

4. James E Edmond Trail In Black Rock Mountain State Park

Photo by Loebick.com

If you were thinking about doing, or have already done, the Tennessee Rock Trail but want to try something a little more challenging – then the James E Edmond Trail is perfect for you.

This trail is also in Black Mountain State Park, which is Georgia’s highest elevation park, and takes you on a strenuous 6 mile journey through the mountainous land which rises and falls frequently.

While the steep inclines and declines will give you quite a workout, the natural beauty of the trail’s surroundings will be well worth the effort.

The trail leads you to the Lookoff Mountain summit, from which you can see stunning views of the park. The descent from the summit offers a bit of a break from the tough uphill climb and takes you back into the dense, shady forest where you will find Taylor Creek.

At this tranquil spot you will find a beautiful waterfall cascading down a big slab of rock into a crystal clear pool. The way back from this serene spot gets a bit challenging again but overall the James E Edmund Trail is well worth the effort.

As this trail is all hills, it’s a good idea to wear in your boots and other bits of hiking gear before embarking on this adventure.

5. Amicalola Falls Trail

Photo by ntho25

The Amicalola Falls is the tallest waterfall in Georgia is a truly a sight worth seeing. The beautiful falls spill down the rocks in delicate tiers for over 730 feet.

The misty falls look like something out of a fairytale, and it is very likely that the sight will leave you breathless.

The hike itself is short and will lead you right to the top of the waterfall before taking you down the bridges and stairs built alongside the flowing falls.

The best time to do this hike is early in the morning, as it’s a popular trail and can get quite crowded during the day.

The view from the overlook at the top of the falls is impressive as well as you stare far out into the distant Appalachian Mountains.

The stairways take you down the waterfall where you can see it close up and capture some beautiful photographs. Seeing it is simply magical as the water splits and cascades down in multiple streams and tiers until they flow into a serene pool surrounding by forest.

6. The Appalachian Trail

Photo by Victoria Leland

Of course this list wouldn’t be complete without mention of the Appalachian Trail. The Blood Mountain Loop is the perfect route to introduce you to the famous mountain trail as it takes you up to the Blood Mountain Summit from Neels Gap.

The views from the summit are absolutely exquisite and the journey there has a lot to offer as well.

The hike is about 4.3 miles long and is fairly difficult, especially around the summit, so be prepared for a challenge. The trail is most popular in fall as all the tree leaves turn into stunning shades of red and orange and transform the landscape with vibrant colour.

After trekking through the forested land, passing tranquil creeks and mossy boulders, you’ll reach the summit and be awestruck by the view.

The summit looks out over the forest-covered mountain land as it rises and falls until fading into the horizon.

The Blood Mountain Loop is a must for any passionate mountaineers and hikers who find themselves exploring Georgia.

Looking for more popular hikes in America? See…

About the author 

Mila Whitman

Mila has been to 5 continents, visited over 40 countries and hiked across some of the most famous mountain ranges including the Andes and the Atlas Mountains. As an AMS sufferer she learned a few techniques to reduce the symptoms and the effects on her hiking adventures.

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