There are tons of awesome hiking trails throughout the state of Georgia, but one of the most underrated ones that’s oh-so-accessible from Atlanta is the East Palisades Hiking Trail. Depending on which forks in the trail you take, you can make this hike into a 2.5-mile loop, a 4.5-mile loop, or a 6-mile loop. It has a moderate difficulty rating and is a wonderful way to experience the Chattahoochee River up close and personal…all within the Atlanta Perimeter!
Bring your pup along for the adventure because this trail is dog-friendly! Just keep your pup on a leash. It’s also a popular route for trail running.
You’ll travel across quite a few switchbacks to the top of the path, where it drops down to a few steps and opens up to an impressive view of the river. You may even see some kayaks down there! The river down below has Class 1 and Class 2 whitewater rapids that are fun for casual paddlers.
The hike passes through pine and hemlock forests, as well as a rocky outcropping where Native American settled many years ago. This entire natural area is known for its striking rock slabs and wide river flow. The trails around here can be a bit confusing, so grab a trail map or use a GPS app so you don’t lose your way.
Something that makes this trail really unique is the bamboo forest with thick bamboo trees along the river banks. It’s not something you’d expect to see in Georgia, but these trees provide the perfect place to take a hiking break and enjoy some shade! The east banks of the river also offer views of some historic mill ruins.
There are two parking lots that make it easy to access the trail: the Indian Trail parking lot near 1400 Indian Trail NW, Atlanta, GA 30339 and the Whitewater Creek parking lot at 4001 Whitewater Creek Rd NW Atlanta, GA 30327. Parking fees are $3.
But the small cost is totally worth it. So, make sure to check out this trail next time you’re in Atlanta and could use a little “nature escape” from your busy schedule and the hectic city traffic!
East Palisades Trail Information:
- GPS Coordinates: 33.884062, -84.436651 / N33 53.044 W84 26.199
- Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Phone Number: (770) 952-0370