By Alli Hill
Mother Nature is the queen of bringing you back to your senses. Georgia boasts some truly immaculate natural scenery—among the very best in the country. To absorb the beauty of the state’s natural wonders, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. Given the state’s location in the foothills of the mountains, there is plenty of opportunity in Georgia for a more heart-pumping trek. For a step up in a difficulty, give these five energizing hiking trails a go!
As one of the state’s most popular hiking destinations, Tallulah Gorge is a spectacle to behold. The hiking trail here is full of challenges to keep your heart rate hopping, with the two-mile loop packing in all the best sights from the area. If you need to take a break, there are plenty of scenic overlooks that give you beautiful views from every angle. Part of the trail consists of metal steps that keep you on your toes for a wondrous workout while you enjoy the scenery. The view of the falls and gorge alone make this hike worthwhile.
Situated near the Georgia/Tennessee border, Lookout Mountain is a premium destination for hikers, especially those who like a bit of a challenge. The Lula Lake Land Trust trail system is a favorite among area hikers, leading the way to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state. Starting at the first parking lot once you enter the trust, hop on the middle trail that eventually ends at the Bluff Trail, which will lead directly to the shorter High Adventure and Lula Lake trails for a good view of the falls. The trails also feature plenty of spectacular natural views of the area, along with its share of challenges that make it the perfect trail system for those looking for an enjoyable pick-me-up.
As part of the famed Appalachian Trail, this two-mile down-and-back route takes you through the Chattahoochee National Forest to show you some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful sights in the state. Along the way, you’ll see the Long Creek Falls, one of the few waterfalls in the southern portion of the Appalachian Trail. It’s certainly one of the most scenic stretches of hiking trails, and one that shouldn’t be missed if you love the great outdoors.
At just two miles-long, Hemlock Falls may seem more like a walk in the woods than a hike… until you begin your journey. This amazing trail leads you to beautiful waterfalls surrounded by rich natural greenery in a rocky, boulder-filled terrain. The creek continues along the trail encouraging you to make it to the end (just a mile to the falls), at which point you’ll head back the way you came. The trail features slight elevation gains throughout, making it a good choice for those looking for a health boost while they enjoy the scenery.
As part of the Appalachian Trail, this vigorous yet stunning hike offers plenty of views to make the climb worthwhile. It’s also one of the most popular trails in the area, and once you hike it yourself you’ll see why. The five-mile up-and-back trail takes you to the summit of Tray Mountain, where you’ll find beautiful vistas as far as the eye can see, along with challenging yet pleasurable elevation gains and stunning rhododendron.