Depending on who you ask we may or may not have entered the fall season. Even though it’s still pretty hot outside and my kids had a water day in the backyard literally yesterday, when Starbucks drops the PSL it’s fall.
With fall weather comes fall activities, and we’re ALWAYS down for a family walk or hike. The fresh air is so therapeutic for everyone and thankfully we live in a state where the scenery isn’t so bad either. There are tons of beautiful hiking options in the North GA area as we know, but coincidentally there are also lots of hidden and not-so-hidden family-friendly options for fall hikes. I’m so excited to share some of the places that my family and I have enjoyed over the years!
5 Family Friendly Fall Hikes Close to Atlanta
This hidden gem in the North GA mountains is totally worth the drive up all those windy roads. The hike is pretty short to get to the first view of the gorgeous waterfalls and the foliage to die for! This would be a great hike to bring lunch and eat it in the car after spending some time enjoying creation. Can’t recommend this hike enough, especially for families with small kiddos! Just some cautionary notes, the last time we visited, parking was limited so you may have to wait for a spot (or bring the truck and get creative) and the rocks are VERY slippery so be careful while playing in the falls.
FUN FACT: The cover photo for this article is one that I took the first time we visited Tallulah Gorge in 2017! Is it not a rite of passage to visit Tallulah Gorge during the fall? Another hike that we’ve done with a toddler in tow (I wore him on my back for this one and would suggest at least bringing a carrier, just in case). This one is a little bit more lengthy and there are several routes you can take, so I would definitely check out their web page on the GA State Parks website to plan a little bit in advance. There are several spots to sit on the walk so if you do pack a lunch you could bring it with you and set up for a picnic on your hike. If you just want to hike for a little bit and then grab lunch the cute little town of Clayton is right up the road and there are a few restaurants located in their downtown area.
I feel like this is another staple when it comes to true “hikes” in the area. If you’re a fan of the “Hunger Games” series you’ve probably been here and visited the “spot” where there’s an abandoned old mill made famous by the movies. There are also some spots where the kids can play in the running creek so if you’re up for it you may want to bring some water shoes! This is another spot that just makes you melt when you’re able to see the trees changing colors, the whole family will enjoy this one. If you want to make a day trip out of this one Douglasville is a couple of exits up 20 and there are so many yummy places to grab lunch or dinner there.
This place is such a testament to living in Atlanta, Georgia. I mean it’s a breathtaking hike, it’s along the Chattahoochee, there are gorgeous trees everywhere (even some bamboo) and it’s all within city limits. This is another one where the kids could do a little water play if you’re up for it!
Even though the Big Creek Greenway is in the Cumming/Alpharetta area and Noonday Creek Trail is in the Woodstock/Kennesaw area I feel like these trails offer very similar things, so I’m roping them together. My family and I frequent the Big Creek Greenway pretty much weekly in the fall months and it is hands down my favorite easy, simple walking trail in the area. Depending on which trailhead you start at there are some hills but for the most part, it’s a flat walk with so many gorgeous trees and native plants, and if you look hard enough you may spy some snapping turtles in the marsh. From what I hear Noon Day Creek Trail is very similar. I like to think of it as a walk with views instead of a full-on hike. Both of these are great for when you want to feel like you went on a hike but don’t want all of the extra physical exertion that comes with taking the whole family up a mountain, haha!
There are TONS of places to go on fall hikes and family-friendly walks in the area. Be sure to share your favorites with us and check back periodically to see what we’ve added.
I have included some places we haven’t visited for fall hikes but have heard great things about from others. I also want to shoutout Sarah and Shawn who run Outside In Atlanta. Their website, as well as Instagram page, are super comprehensive and they provide so much information about different hiking spots (as well as playgrounds and so much more) all around the area. If you’re looking for more of a hidden gem or you want to know what to expect before you go on your family hike, I encourage you to check them out!
Happy hiking, and happy fall friends!