Georgia offers some of the most diverse hiking experiences in the Southeast. North Georgia is a haven for hikers chasing waterfalls, while South Georgia has beautiful marshland trails. The state's different regions offer diverse terrain, scenic routes, and various levels of difficulty.
If exploring Georgia is on your bucket list, there's no better way than doing it on foot. Set out for an adventure during the fall season when Georgia shines the most. The leaves change, the humidity disappears, and outdoor trails are at their prime.
We're breaking down the 20+ Best Fall Hikes in Georgia to celebrate changing seasons. Tumbling waterfalls, beautiful views, and crisp weather are the perfect excuses to lace up your hiking shoes.
21 Best Fall Hikes in Georgia by Region
Since Georgia is such a diverse state, I'm dividing this list according to regions in the state. Hikes within the same region will be a similar experience. The great thing about hiking in Georgia is you can easily hike 3-4 trails while staying in the same city – they're all within easy driving distance of each other.
If you explore the state and venture out for hikes, you'll be amazed at how diverse Georgia's topography is – making it a dream destination for avid hikers.
North Georgia Fall Hikes
North Georgia hiking is famous for good reason – it's gorgeous! That's even more true during the fall. The deciduous trees in the North Georgia mountains turn brilliant red, orange, and gold shades.
Even though the North Georgia mountain terrain is more challenging with mountain tops to explore, there are also beginner-friendly trails. These North Georgia fall hikes vary in difficulty, offer different scenic views, and few are family-friendly.
Anna Ruby Falls
Located on the outskirts of Helen, Georgia, and near Unicoi State Park, Anna Ruby Falls is one of the most family-friendly hikes in North Georgia. It's a beautiful twin waterfall that's easily accessible. It's a paved .8-mile round trip to the falls and stroller-friendly. These twin waterfalls are stunning to see up close!
Brasstown Bald is the highest point in the state, which offers views at 4,784 feet above sea level. On a clear day, you can see four states at the Brasstown Bald visitors center (Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina) and the Atlanta skyline. The .6-mile hike to the top is very strenuous and dog-friendly.
Georgia's tallest waterfall is in Amicalola Falls State Park. Fall is the park's busy season as everyone clamors for a view at the top. Pick from 2 to 15-mile hiking options, which range from trails to stairsteps. The picture at the top is worth it!
Tallulah Gorge Trails
The towering top of Tallulah Gorge offers some of the best leaf-peeping views. Hike across a swaying suspension bridge or hike to Hurricane Falls waterfall.
Helton Creek Falls Trail
I highly recommend Helton Creek Falls for beginners. It's a short .25-mile hike to the falls and easy for kids to complete. The trail accesses the lower falls at both the bottom and top of the falls and ends at the bottom of the upper falls.
Rabun Bald on The Bartram Trail
Home to Georgia's second most prominent peak, the 3-mile Bartram Trail loops through the thick backwoods before opening up to the spectacular 360-degree panoramic views at the top. This hike is intermediate level.
Red Top Mountain State Park
Our pick for a North Georgia hike closest to Atlanta, Red Top Mountain State Park, offers over 15 miles of trails. The trails provide easy access to Lake Allatoona, and the state park makes an excellent weekend getaway with budget-friendly lodging options.
Central Georgia Fall Hikes
Fern-filled forests, rushing rivers, and stunning lakes comprise the middle Georgia hiking terrain. Central Georgia isn't home to many big cities, making it a great destination to connect with nature. Unlike the state's northern counterparts, hikers will appreciate the flatter hiking options.
Ocmulgee National Monument
Hike beautiful wetlands in this National Monument, dedicated to the state's Native American history. See scenic Ocmulgee River views and prehistoric Indian mounds.
High Falls State Park
Big boulders, cascading water, and trails lined with trees are on High Falls State Park hikes. This trail is just over a mile and dog-friendly.
Hikers of all levels can find a path they love at Dauset Trails, which has over 20 miles to explore. These trails are also open to mountain bikers and equestrian riders.
Panola Mountain is a 100-acre granite outcrop south of Atlanta. It's a haven that allows guests to see what the land was like when Native Americans saw it centuries ago. There are 25 miles of trails at Panola Mountain State Park.
Reed Bingham State Park
There are 7 miles of trails in Reed Bingham State Park, and they're known for their diverse habitat. Visitors frequently see gopher tortoises, spotted turtles, snakes, and nesting bald eagles. It's also conveniently located off of I-75.
Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area
Known as Georgia's “Little Grand Canyon,” visitors love Providence Canyon. Massive gullies as deep as 150 feet, with colorful soil, make this hiking destination beautiful for photographs.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park
This is Georgia's largest state park and offers over 40 miles of hiking trails. President Franklin D. Roosevelt pondered world affairs where the park sits today. He also swam in the park's warm springs to find relief from polio. Hike around the springs and take a dip!
South Georgia Fall Hikes
You won't step on crunching leaves when you're on a fall hike in South Georgia, but it's a trade for gorgeous coastal views and unique wildlife. Hikers may stumble upon gators sunbathing or even wild horses. Hiking trails in South Georgia are less busy in the fall months, making them an absolute treasure.
Cumberland Island National Seashore
Hike this 16-mile-long barrier island on Georgia's coast. Discover abandoned ruins, hike near marshland, and, if you're lucky, see the wild horses of Cumberland Island.
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
There's a whopping 353,981 acres of National Wilderness Area to explore at Okefenokee. Hike trails along swamps filled with gators and see the cypress trees and hanging Spanish moss. There are seven trails ranging from .25 miles to 1.5 miles long.
Crooked River State Park
This state park will give you fantastic beach views in St. Mary's, Georgia. Keep an eye out for herons, crabs, and tortoises. There are five different trails to pick from, perfect for sunrise hikes.
Chehaw Park is an animal sanctuary for rescued wildlife located just outside Albany, Georgia. The Wild Animal Park at Chehaw is a little zoo. The park trail is 10 miles long and offers glimpses of the zoo animals. The whole family will love this hiking spot.
Skidaway Island State Park
This park offers four popular trails for hiking enthusiasts and is just outside Savannah, Georgia. You'll hike near scenic views of the salt flats and enjoy the natural seclusion that's hard to find in bustling Savannah.
Fort McAllister State Park
The South is known for its towering oak trees, and you'll love the shade they offer at the Fort McAllister State Park Trails. Hike under the giant oaks, which have existed since the Civil War.
Grand Bay Wildlife Refuge
Hikers flock love this South Georgia refuge area for views of active wildlife. It's located just outside of Valdosta. See snakes, alligators, and birds on their hiking trails. The trails are flat and perfect for beginners.