Hiking At Its Best: The Top North Georgia Hiking Trails To Visit!
There is no challenge in finding worthwhile hiking trails in the Blue Ridge area. Rather, the challenge may be in choosing which trails to tackle. In some cases the real challenge may be the trail itself, but if strenuous endurance hikes are bit more than you wish to take on, there are plenty of milder options to consider. From a relaxing stroll over grassy meadows to the demands of steep mountainous terrain, Blue Ridge’s top trails offer a pathway to natural exploration for every age, skill level, and interest.
Long Creek Falls via Appalachian Trail
EASY - OUT & BACK - 1.9 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
Photo Credit: Matt Malone via Flickr CC2.0
If you’re looking for a waterfall trail that is good for all skill levels, Long Creek Falls is an excellent choice. Being relatively short and only moderately trafficked, this trail is ideal for a day out with the kids, or you can even bring your dog along - just keep your four legged friend on a leash.
Flat Creek Loop
MODERATE - LOOP - 6 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
For a great chance to see wildlife up close and personal, Flat Creek Loop should be on your list. While rated as moderate, the trail does offer plenty of options for activities and is still relatively short. Bring your dog along for the hike but be sure to keep him leashed.
Appalachian Trail: Springer Mountain to North Carolina Border
HARD - POINT TO POINT - 73.2 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
Photo Credit: Ken Lund via Flickr CC2.0
For the more seasoned hiker, this 73 mile stretch of the famous Appalachian Trail is a must do! While rated as difficult, this moderately trafficked trail features a waterfall as well as a number of activities and is well worth the journey. Dogs are more than welcome to join you, but this is a difficult hike - be sure you and your best friend are prepared.
Long Branch Loop Trail
EASY - LOOP - 2.3 MILES - BEST FROM MARCH UNTIL OCTOBER
Another trail that is great for everyone and is perfect for all skill levels, Long Branch Loop Trail features some of the most beautiful wild flowers in the area and a variety of activities to keep everyone engaged. Don’t forget your four legged friend as leashed dogs are more than welcome on this trail.
Panther Creek Falls
HARD - OUT AND BACK - 7.9 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
Photo Credit: J. Griffin Stewart via Flickr CC2.0
While relatively short, this trail is rated as difficult, but is well worth the journey. If you love waterfalls you will not be disappointed with Panther Creek Falls. Primarily, the trail is used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and backpacking. Don’t leave your dog at home because leashed dogs are more than welcome to enjoy the sights.
Green Mountain via Whissenhunt Loop to Toccoa River
MODERATE - OUR AND BACK - 5.3 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
Photo Credit: www.alltrails.com
If you want some peace and serenity, this lightly trafficked trail is perfect. Rated at moderate difficulty this relatively short trail offers a variety of activities and a wonderful river view. Dogs are more than welcome to join you, but please keep them on a leash.
Benton MacKaye Trail
MODERATE - POINT TO POINT - 49 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
Photo Credit: TranceMist via Flickr CC2.0
Perfect for the adventurous types, this moderate rated trail offers some of the finest views in the area. Featuring a number of activities and a waterfall, there is no shortage of things to see and do along the way. Your leashed dog is more than welcome to join you, but be aware this is a long hike, so bring any supplies you or your companion may require.
Jack River Loop with Spur to Falls
MODERATE - LOOP - 15.9 MILES - BEST FROM MARCH UNTIL OCTOBER
Another great choice for waterfall enthusiasts, the Jack River Loop is ready and waiting. This is a moderately difficult trail but the payoff is well worth the nearly 16 mile hike. There are more than a few activities to keep everyone happy. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you on this excursion.
MODERATE - LOOP - 9.5 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
This lightly trafficked trail has a difficulty rating of moderate, but while coming in at just under 10 miles, it should be accessible to just about anyone. Featuring an array of wild flowers and a wonderful assortment of activities, everyone can find something they love. Your leashed dog is welcome on the trail, so make sure you bring your best friend along.
Stanley Creek Loop Trail
EASY - LOOP - 2.5 MILES - BEST FROM MARCH UNTIL OCTOBER
Photo Credit: www.alltrails.com
Ideal for the whole family, the Stanley Creek Loop Trail is rated as easy. Even though this is a relatively short trail, it features a wide variety of activities and is highlighted by numerous opportunities to view wild flowers along the path. Leashed dogs are more than welcome to join you.
Jacks River Day Hike
MODERATE - OUT AND BACK - 4.1 MILES - BEST FROM MARCH UNTIL OCTOBER
A bird watchers paradise is waiting for you on the Jacks River Day Hike. This trail is rated at a difficulty level of moderate and is a relatively short trail. Features include river views and some of the best bird watching opportunities in the area. Don’t leave your dog at home as leased dogs are invited to join you on this bird watching adventure.
Lake Blue Ridge Loop
EASY - LOOP - 0.8 MILES - YEAR ROUND
Photo Credit: myblueridgetravelguide.com
If you’re looking for a short hike that still offers plenty of activities and the opportunity to view wildlife, then the Lake Blue Ridge Loop should go right to the top of your list. This is a great experience for the whole family and is perfect for all skill levels.
Hemptop to Penitentiary Branch
MODERATE - OUT AND BACK - 7.2 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
If you are hoping to see some wildlife on your hike, the Hemptop to Penitentiary Branch trail is an ideal choice. The difficulty rating is moderate but the trail is relatively short. Leashed dogs are encouraged to join you on this wildlife adventure.
Benton Mackaye and Duncan Ridge Trail
MODERATE - POINT TO POINT - 18.7 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
This moderately trafficked trail offers some great opportunities to view wildlife. The trail is primarily used for trail running, backpacking and general hiking. While dogs are permitted on the trail, be sure to bring along any provisions necessary to ensure a safe and fun filled day.
Benton Mackaye Daly Gap Loop
MODERATE - LOOP - 5.9 MILES - BEST FROM MARCH UNTIL OCTOBER
Photo Credit: www.alltrails.com via Flickr CC2.0
Another great trail for bird watchers, this moderately trafficked, relatively short trail offers no shortage of scenic views and wonderful opportunities to view wildlife. Don’t leave your dog at home, but please make sure to keep them leashed.
Benton Mackaye Trail: Bushy Head Gap To Hatley Gap
MODERATE - OUT AND BACK - 8.6 MILES - BEST FROM MARCH UNTIL OCTOBER
Another stretch of the Benton Mackaye Trail not to me missed. The trek between Bushy Head Gap and Hatley Gap is a reasonably short trail with a moderate difficulty rating. This trail offers some of the best bird watching opportunities in the area. Dogs are free to join along, but please keep your four legged friend on a leash.
Cohutta to Big Frog Wilderness via Benton Mackaye Trailhead
MODERATE - POINT TO POINT - 16.9 MILES - BEST FROM APRIL UNTIL OCTOBER
Offering fantastic river views and plenty of things to see and do along the way, this somewhat lengthy trail has a difficulty rating of moderate. Leashed dogs can come along, but be sure to pack plenty of provisions to make for a safe and happy journey.
Benton Mackaye Trail Dally Gap To Big Frog Mountain
HARD - OUT AND BACK - 14.7 MILES - BEST FROM APRIL UNTIL OCTOBER
Photo Credit: www.alltrails.com
This is a long and hard trail but you will find a treasure trove of wild flowers and other wonders of nature along the way. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail, but please keep in mind the length and difficulty level, and pack for your best friend accordingly.
Benton Mackaye Trail Dally Gap To Double Hogpen Gap
MODERATE - OUT AND BACK - 19.9 MILES - BEST FROM MARCH UNTIL OCTOBER
Yet another length of the Benton Mackaye Trail, this stretch offers visitors some of the best views - featuring wild flowers and wildlife opportunities. Leashed dogs are welcome on this trail, but please note the distance and prepare for you and your hiking partner.
Lake Blue Ridge Campground Trail
EASY - LOOP - 1.1 MILES - YEAR-ROUND
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A great option for the whole family. This is an easy and short trail with a fantastic opportunity to view wildlife. The trail is primarily used for short nature trips and camping. Although just over a mile long, you will find no shortage of options for everyone in your group.
Regardless of your journey, please make sure you are always prepared before embarking on the trails, and packed with all the necessary provisions for your expedition. A little planning and research are your keys to an enchanting adventure in Blue Ridge!