One of the best things about living in Atlanta is the proximity to so many family-friendly hiking trails.
Hiking is something that is very new to me since moving to Georgia in 2021. Not only have I grown to love it, but my husband and two year old daughter enjoy it just as much as I do.
What is there to like about hiking you may ask?
It has been so fun to have an activity for us to all do together on the weekends that:
gets our bodies moving in a fun way
allows us to spend time in nature
is (oftentimes) free
and lets us try and experience something new!
Today I’ll be sharing my TOP THREE tried and true kid-friendly hikes to do north of Atlanta, Georgia. We have successfully completed all three of these with our two year old daughter and it’s safe to say they are doable for kids of all ages. I definitely would suggest wearing a toddler hiking backpack or front carrier for children two and under.
Let’s get into the trails!
#1 SAWNEE MOUNTAIN INDIAN SEATS TRAIL | Cumming, GA
KID FRIENDLY LEVEL: 9/10 The path for this hike is made of dirt and rocks. There are only a few steeper areas and switchbacks that help you to reach the top of the trail, but if my toddler can do it you can too! Definitely be aware of roots sticking out of the ground on the trail.
STRENUOUS LEVEL: 4/10 For the average active person the loop we did will get your heart rate up, but won’t get you short of breath.
VIEWS: YES!! Gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
LENGTH: It took us about 40 minutes total while walking, including stopping at the top to admire the view! In total it is just under 2 miles.
This is probably the most kid-friendly trail we have been on! Blakely, our two year old, can almost walk this whole loop by herself. While there are a few different routes to take, we opt for the almost 2 mile hike where it’s about a mile hiking up to the view at the top and a mile back down to the parking lot.
This is a popular spot on the weekends, but I find it comforting to have other people on the trail. You’ll see lots of runners, families, and even active seniors. Once you get the top of the mountain, climb over the few rocks to admire the breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Don’t miss the wooden lookout that provides an even higher overlook of the view! Overall, a great family-friendly trail to get your heart-pumping just enough, plus having an AWESOME view to look forward to is a bonus!
THINGS TO NOTE:
There are bathrooms and a water station in the parking area and no cost for parking.
I wouldn’t recommend going after it rains as the trail will be slippery.
Highly recommend going in the fall to admire the vast autumn trees at the overlook.
#2 EDGE OF THE WORLD TRAIL | Dawsonville, GA
KID FRIENDLY LEVEL: 8/10 (The only challenge is the steep rocks you have to maneuver down to get to the swimming hole after the .5 mile boardwalk trail.)
STRENUOUS LEVEL: 1/10 If you walk the flat boardwalk trail it is not strenuous, but I can’t speak for the 2.5 mile wooded loop.
VIEWS: The hike is beautifully nestled beside the Amicola River and enclosed by trees and nature.
LENGTH: The boardwalk trail is only .5 miles (one way) to a very fun area to get out and swim. There is also a 2.5 mile loop trail through the woods, but when we tried to walk this path two weeks ago (August 2023) there was a large tree down blocking the path.
From the parking area, take these stairs down and take a left to walk the .5 mile boardwalk to reach a fun swimming hole! The walk is peaceful alongside the Amicola River full of swimming areas, fly fishermen, birds chirping and secret spots to tuck away and enjoy a picnic beside the water. It will be easy to soak up a whole afternoon of summer fun along this family-friendly trail. A huge plus if you’re a dog lover is that the trail is dog-friendly!
THINGS TO NOTE:
To enter this area, everyone 16 or older must contain a fishing or hunting license, even if you’re not fishing or hunting. We bought ours at https://gooutdoorsgeorgia.com/ !
Pack a lunch and wear your swim suit!
There are no bathrooms on the site.
#3 AMICOLA FALLS | Dawsonville, GA
KID FRIENDLY LEVEL: 3-8/10 There are a a few different routes you can take to see the waterfall depending on how hard you want your hike to be. There are places to park at the bottom, middle and top of the waterfall.
STRENUOUS LEVEL: 7/10 If you opt for the path we took, it’s about a 7/10 strenuous level. You’re hiking up stairs so naturally, it gets your heart pumping. Luckily, there are lots of places to step aside and rest on the way up (which we definitely used!).
VIEWS: The tallest waterfall in Georgia! It is breathtaking!
LENGTH: We decided to challenge ourselves and start at the bottom. We put our two year old in a hiking backpack on my husband’s back and hiked up 600+ stairs to reach the top of the waterfall. We had to stop a few times, but overall we would do it again in a heartbeat! It surprisingly took us under 30 minutes too.
Out of these three hikes, this one was definitely the coolest in my opinion. Seeing a waterfall this TALL was incredible! I won’t lie, I was nervous about this hike because of the strenuous level. But it is so doable! 600 stairs sounds so intimidating, but you can take it at whatever pace you need and stop for breaks along the way up.
There are more trails to explore around this park and even picnic tables alongside the water. It would be fun to spend a whole afternoon here! We went in February of this year, so I’d love to go back in the fall when the leaves are starting to change colors.
THINGS TO NOTE:
To enter the park there is a $5/day fee.
There are bathrooms once you enter the park.
This is a popular spot so it may be crowded… the earlier you go in the day the better.
Out of these three trails, which one would you most like to do? In addition, what other kid-friendly trails in Georgia would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!!
As always, thanks so much for reading!