Hiking is a great way to explore nature, get some exercise, and have fun with the whole family. And luckily you live in the Alpharetta area, because this part of Georgia is known for amazing hiking spots across various local, state, and national parks. Plus, the area has hiking excursions for all levels, so you can bring little adventurers of all ages with you. Choose one of these five hiking areas around Alpharetta, Georgia.
Big Creek Greenway
“Amelia in the woods” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by donnierayjones
Here in Alpharetta, you get access to one of Northern Georgia’s best outdoor spaces, Big Creek Greenway. This trail system follows nearby Big Creek to the Roswell Greenway to the south and Marconi Drive in the north. Other portions of the trail are located in Roswell and Cumming, too, so you can explore each portion of the 26-mile trail system at different times.
Big Creek Greenway in Alpharetta begins at Marconi Drive and ends at Mansell Road at the border of Alpharetta and Roswell. This concrete trail is 9 miles long, so it’s good for all hiking levels. Plus, you can access the trail from Haynes Bridge Road, at North Point Mall, at Rock Mill Park near Kimball Bridge Road, and Marconi Drive just off of Windward Parkway. Along your hike, you’ll pass wetlands and grasslands, both of which are home to wildlife like blue heron, ducks, Canada geese, wild turkey, and deer. You also get stunning views of Big Creek, too.
Jones Bridge Park Trail
Enjoy scenic views of the Chattahoochee River, the stunning backdrop of lush forest, and historic site of Jones Bridge when you hike along this trail, located in Peachtree Corners/Johns Creek. This easy trail is about 4.6 miles round trip and is a good, kid-friendly rated hike as well as an awesome spot for a trail run. The whole trail takes about 1 to 2 hours to cover, so it’s a great spot for a quick hike. Plus, the trail is dog-friendly, so you can bring the kids and the dogs.
Even though the Jones Bridge Park Trail is easy, the terrain offers plenty of small challenges that make the experience interesting. There are a few narrow sections, parts that increase in elevation requiring a little bit of a climb, and a few unofficial, interconnecting trails. One even takes you to a secret playground, a fun surprise for the kids. And while most of the trail system is marked, these side trails might not be, so make sure to follow the river upstream to find your way back.
Milton Book Trail
Take a storybook hike at the Milton Book Trail behind the Milton Branch of the Fulton County Library in nearby Milton. This unique hiking trail was created in 2016 during the Milton Literary Festival. Local volunteers cleared the trail and installed the story posts so parents and kids could enjoy a good tale while getting some exercise and some fresh air. Every year, the trail gets a new story written by a local author, so you can plan a visit during or after the festival to meet the new characters and follow their adventure.
The path is forest ground with some tree roots and other small, natural obstacles to look out for during your stroll. But, overall, it’s a very kid-friendly hiking location with stops every so often to hear the next quick chapter of the trail’s story. However, it may turn into a bit of a jog to keep up with the kids as they hurry to the next story post.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is split up into a few different regions across northern Atlanta and up into nearby Roswell, so there are plenty of fantastic local hiking spots for beginner and experienced hikers. There are more than a dozen official trails on the park’s property, many of which overlap, connect, and loop around, so you can customize your hike and have a different experience every time. Plus, the online maps and those located in the park mark the difficulty of each trail so you know which ones are best for your little hikers.
Over the more than 9,200 acres, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area has trails that range from just over a mile (30 minutes to an hour) to one that’s almost 12 miles long (4+ hours). That means you have a lot of choice when it comes to how long you want to hike and which amazing natural sites you want to see. Get great views of the lakes, creeks, and ponds on the property as well as different trees, plants, and wildlife, like native and migratory birds, deer, and snakes (so watch out!).
Vickery Creek Trail
The Vickery Creek Trail, located at Roswell Mill, is actually part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. However, it gets a standout mention in our list because it’s one of the park’s absolutely best hikes you can take, and it’s super close to home! This trail is also near Oxbo Trail and Roswell Park Trail at the north side of the park area as well as Roswell Riverwalk Trail to the south of the park, so you’re close to locally maintained trails, too.
The whole Vickery Creek Trail system is about 5 miles long and takes you through lush forests and past rushing waterfalls, historic sites like Roswell Mill and the Allenbrook House, and Big Creek, which curves around the north and western sides of this part of the park. This moderate trail is good for hiking, walking, running, and strolling with the dog.
Kids are sure to enjoy the choose-your-own-adventure aspect of the multi-path trail, seeing the waterfalls, and overcoming the small, natural obstacles along the path. And depending on which paths you take, your hike may take anywhere from an hour to more than 3 hours.So there you have it, five of the best trails and parks for awesome hiking experiences in and around Alpharetta, Georgia. Did we miss your favorite hiking destination in this part of Northern Georgia? Let Crème de la Crème of Alpharetta on Nesbit Ferry Road know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!