10 Kid Friendly Hiking Trails in North Georgia

The weather is perfect for hiking in North Georgia this time of year and there are so many trails that are within driving distance of where we live in Atlanta. As an outdoor lover, I have taken my family to a lot of them over the past year. Hiking is really therapeutic to me. It was also one of the few things that we could do safely when we were on lockdown last year. We discovered some beautiful trails that you may not know are within driving distance if you live in the Atlanta area. In my opinion, these are ten of the best kid friendly hiking trails in North Georgia.

pinterest 10 kid friendly hiking trails in north Georgia

1. Vickery Creek

If you live in the Atlanta area, the Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill is right in your backyard. It’s not only a great place to catch the sunset, but you can also see this amazing waterfall from multiple viewing spots.

Vickery Creek Falls

Did you know that the reason waterfalls are so relaxing is that the splashing of the water creates negative ions that balance out all of the toxins we take in? Once the negative ions we inhale at waterfalls reach our bloodstream, they release serotonin- the feel good chemical that reduces stress and depression.

There are a few different places to start this hike, but the one I prefer is behind the Old Roswell Mill near the Roswell Square. If you park at this location you can walk to the old historic mill and learn about it’s role in Southern history. You can also catch a bite to eat after your hike at one of the nearby restaurants such as Souper Jenny or Moxie Burger.

The total distance of this trail system is 5 miles, but it’s easily broken down into shorter hikes depending on how much time you have.

Mom Tip:

This trail doesn’t go all the way around like it looks on the map. So make sure to factor in your walk back to wherever you started when you’re planning your hike.

2. Sawnee Mountain Indian Seats Trail

At the rock formation on top of the Indian Seats trail

We hiked Indian Seats right after a thunderstorm had knocked down trees blocking the road to get to the shorter trail. I was pleasantly surprised that my six and nine year old both made it the whole four miles without much complaining. There’s a beautiful view at the top of the natural rock formation that makes it worth the steep hike.

The entire Sawnee Mountain Park is 821 acres with 11 miles of trails. There are many different routes you can take and the park rangers at the visitor center are super helpful with tips about which one will be best for your family.

Mom Tip:

The shorter hike which starts at the parking lot on Bettis Tribble Gap Road is ideal for families with younger children. You can even see a treehouse and fairy houses on this trail.

If you do the longer trail that starts on Spot Road, there are picnic tables about halfway up where you can stop for a snack or water break.

3. Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls is part of the Georgia State park system. It’s located between Ellijay and Dahlonega. There are several cabins, campsites, and even a lodge if you want to stay over night.

This is one of the prettiest waterfalls I’ve seen! It’s 729 feet high and the hike is 604 steps up to the top. So if you have really small children, you may want to drive up to the top where you can still get a great view of the falls without the strenuous hike. My boys are 6 and 9 and they hiked it without any problem.

Mom Tips:

I recommend parking at the bottom and walking up the stairs, stopping for a snack at the top, and then walking down the Westridge Falls Trail and Spring Trail. This way you can see something different from when you hiked up and it’s less scary to me than walking straight down all the stairs.

Amicalola Falls

4. Eagles Rest

Eagle’s Rest is a little known secret on the top of Mt Oglethorpe just outside of Jasper, Georgia. It has some really breathtaking views, an observation deck, and a carved wooden eagle statue that took me by surprise.

scenic view at Eagle's Rest hiking trail in Jasper, Georgia
Scenic view from Eagle’s Rest

Mom Tip:

The Eagle’s Rest Trail is a short .5 mile hike where you might even see some fairy houses if you look hard enough.

5. Falls Branch Falls

Falls Branch Falls is another hidden gem just outside Blue Ridge, Georgia. This is a short hike to a waterfall and it’s perfect if you have younger kids who can’t walk too far.

Falls Branch Falls

If you’re looking for something else to do after your hike, there’s plenty to do in the area. Blue Ridge has tons of other hiking trails including the Toccoa River Bridge. After our hike, we went gem mining at Lilly Pad Village which also has fishing, mini-golf, and hot cocoa in the winter.

6. Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center

I recently found this trail that runs along the Chattahoochee River and it’s right down the street from my house. If you’re looking for a good kid friendly hike in North Fulton County, I highly recommend checking this one out.

There are several different routes you can take to make this hike as short or as long as you want. You can also make it more difficult by choosing one of the steeper sections. And if you want your kids to have space to run around freely, there are several clearings where they can do just that!

view of Chatahoochee River from kid friendly hike at Chatahoochee Environmental Education Center

Mom Tip:

If you park at the Environmental Education Center, there is no restroom so make sure to go before you leave the house. But if you hike a few miles in there is another parking lot with a public restroom. You could park here if needed, but this section is often more crowded. Also there is a $3 parking fee to park in the lot with a bathroom, which you can pay using your phone.

7. Autrey Mill

We spent many summer days here last summer during the pandemic. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and hike a short walk down to the river. Then you can let your kids play in the water and cool off while you relax.

Autrey Mill also has a small indoor exhibit with a few animals including Pebbles the African Spurred Tortoise, fish, snakes, and frogs. And there are rabbits, goats, ducks, and chicken that you can feed outside.

Mom Tip:

Make sure to check out the teepee and the monkey statues that are on the Forest Trail.

8. Brasstown Bald

family photo at observation deck on top of Brasstown Bald hiking trail in North Georgia
Family photo at top of observation deck on Brasstown Bald.

Brasstown Bald is about 2 hours North of Atlanta just outside Blairsville, Georgia. Let me warn you now, the road is mostly curvy. If you get car sick easily, this may not be the best hike for you. But if you can stick it out, the view at the top of this short but steep trail is well worth the drive! There are several longer trails surrounding the .6 mile paved foot trail to the observation deck, but so far we haven’t tried them.

There is a really neat museum at the top with more friendly park rangers who can tell you all about the surrounding trails and waterfalls nearby. One told us that if you can make this hike in October, you can even see the skyline of Atlanta from the top.

Mom Tips:

There’s a shuttle service that will take you to the top if you and your little ones choose not to walk up the steep trail. It only runs 10-4:30 with a break from 12:30-1:10. Also, the park is closed seasonally during the winter months. You can still hike the trails and pay with cash using the honor system, but the bathrooms and trail are not maintained during that time.

9. Stone Mountain

If you live in Georgia, you’re probably aware of Stone Mountain. It’s kind of hard to miss actually if you live anywhere east of 285. But for those who have never made the trek to this giant quartz monzonite landmark, I highly recommend checking it out. There is enough to do at the park to make it a full day trip, including restaurants and a laser show at night. Certain times of year there are super fun family friendly festivals such as The Yellow Daisy Festival.

Fun Facts: Stone Mountain is 1,683 feet tall with a base circumference of 3.8 miles. It was created by a pocket of magma trapped underground 300 million years ago and came to the surface15 million years ago through uplift and erosion. In the1800s, it was excavated for granite used in cities across the country.

Mom Tips:

There is 5 mile trail around the mountain that you can run, walk, bike, or drive. The hike up the mountain is only 1 mile long, but some parts are very steep. There’s also a cable car that will take you to the top if you’d rather skip the hike.

10. Arabia Mountain

Arabia Mountain is in Lithonia, Georgia just east of Atlanta. There are over 30 miles of trails here, but I recommend parking at the Atlanta Wildlife Animal Rescue Effort (AWARE) at 4158 Klondike Road. The trail from this spot will take you to a short hike over a monadnock rock formation formed by erosion with giant flower filled craters. It kind of has an illusion of walking on the moon.

diamorpha in solution pit on Arabia Mountain hiking trail
Beautiful diamorpha in solution pit on Arabia Mountain.

We hiked this trail with some friends and brought a picnic lunch. The kids had a blast making wooden forts and running around together. We even saw some tadpoles in a pool of water.

child sitting on tree limb on Arabia Mountain hiking trail
Using wood to build a fort on Arabia Mountain.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of ten of the best kid friendly hiking trails in North Georgia. Do you have any more to add to the list?

10 Tips For Surviving Road Trips With Kids

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From Surviving To Thriving

Being a mom during the pandemic has brought its challenges for all of us. But if we can stop to take a minute to think about what we have learned before we go back to the busyness of life we may realize that it hasn’t all been for nothing.

When looking back over the past year about what I’ve learned, I can see that I’ve grown so much. The pandemic has been a life-changing experience for me. If it weren’t for us being on lockdown last year I may have never gotten to the point of depression where I finally admitted that I needed to take medication. I don’t know if it was the potential for losing someone or if it was the anxiety about whether or not we would get Covid every time we left the house. But I do know that the pandemic triggered something in me that made me feel helpless and hopeless at times.

As hard as it is for me to share this I think people need to know. if you’re in a dark depression, more than likely you may not be aware of it. You may not be aware of the potential for happiness. You may not be aware of what you’ve been missing.

That’s why I think my story is worth sharing.

It’s worth the risk of people looking at me differently. It’s worth the risk of hearing people say “Why were you depressed? But you’re beautiful and you have two beautiful children!”

Because somewhere out there may be someone that isn’t aware of the life they could be living if they accept that they need help. I recently discovered that when you’re in survival mode your brain cannot scientifically process emotion in a healthy way. When you’re responding with a fight or flight response you’re not thinking the way you would if you were calm and balanced. That’s what medication can do for you. It can give you the strength and mental clarity that you need to get back on the right track. So that you can then work through your problems or the traumas that you’ve experienced in your past.

You could spend hundreds of dollars going to see a therapist learning all kinds of coping skills, but if your brain isn’t able to process that information it won’t do you that much good. If the part of your brain that controls your behavior can’t connect with the part that controls your thoughts then you’ll never be able to take the steps that you need to actually live a happier life. Luckily for me I’ve found a good combination of medication and therapy that has enabled me to do the work that I need to do. Now I can focus on learning the coping skills that I need to move through and enjoy life happily.

I asked a few of my mom blogger friends what they learned about themselves over the past year and this is what they had to say.

6 Mom Bloggers Share What They Learned During The Pandemic

Jasmyn of Just Jass

What 2020 taught me was that we shouldn’t keep waiting to pursue something that we have been wanting to do! So many people had told me to start a blog and it took me 6 months and a pandemic to finally hit the launch button!

I’m so glad that I did because my blog has already presented me with so many opportunities and I’m getting to do something I love which is writing! As a SAHM, it has given me something to do other than being a mom. This has ultimately made me a much happier person to be around!

Check out Jasmyn’s blog Just Jass for more about her journey as a stay at home mom as well as tips and tricks on pregnancy and newborns.

Kelly at Mini Mischief Managed

After lock down, I was just as disappointed as my kids that the summer would not include the events, play dates, and scheduled activities we had grown used to. I was ready for a break from being the main entertainment for a three year old and twin one year olds. I was ready to have some of my activities back where I would recharge from the time with them all day. 

When it was clear summer would look nothing like what we hoped, I did two things: 

First, I let go of having a schedule and planning to do certain things each day. We went with the flow of how we were feeling, what the weather was like, and what sounded like fun. It was hard not to have the social interaction I was used to, but also nice to take each hour and day at the pace we wanted, without always considering timelines.

Second, I knew I needed something that wasn’t 100% kid focused to spend time on. Many of my hobbies before kids did not translate well to having kids around due to materials involved, set up, and time required. I needed to find something new that could be done at home. As an avid reader, an unofficial bucket list item has always been to write a book someday. Writing a book fit all my above criteria.

In November 2020 I published my book, “15 Ways For New Moms To Manage Stress & Stay Sane”. This book became a way to document and remember many of the things I did every day as I parented three kids under age three for over a year. It was also a way to connect new moms navigating the parenting world with the help and social support we were used to getting at a time they didn’t have access to it.

The journey wasn’t easy, but I loved having a finished project to show for the time frame when the pandemic affected so much in our lives. As humans, we are resilient; and as moms, we are some of the best at adapting. The best way to start is mentally re-framing your situation to what you can accomplish, and go from there!

Thanks Kelly for sharing your insight. You can follow her and join her online community over at Mini Mischief Managed.

Natasha from Mamahood Mindset

My little boy was just 10 months old when the pandemic hit and we were thrown into our first lockdown. Little did we know it would be a year of repetitive lockdowns and restrictions. As a stay at home mum whose partner continued to go to work, it has been a tough time with lots of challenges.

But amongst the challenges of having nowhere to go, I have learnt so much about mindset and how it can have a huge impact on our day.

I have come to understand how an affirmation can change your beliefs on a subconscious level and therefore change how you feel about a situation. Affirmations have helped me deal with:

  • Dealing with feeling as though I never achieve anything in the day.
  • Helping with anxious thoughts.
  • Feeling as though I always need to be doing something
  • Fighting against mum guilt.

Gratitude has helped me to see the good that is in my life. To be thankful for where I am and what I have. It has helped to lift my mood and has left me feeling happy with where I am in life.

Lockdown has shown me so much about myself and has set me off on a mindset journey that I am still learning from and enjoying. It has changed the way I think and has made me stronger. It has also changed the direction of my blog, and following a re-brand all about mindset and self care.

Check out Natasha’s blog over at Mamahood Mindset to learn more!

Yasmin from Lovely_MommaLife

The pandemic has taught me that life shouldn’t have to revolve around work. I have come out of the past year as a stay at home mom. It gave me a lot of time to reflect on what I want from life. When I look back on my life, what will I be glad to have done?

For me, I don’t want to miss out on my daughter’s milestones and stages before she starts school. I feel like I would miss out on this by returning to work, because I was finishing as late as 6pm. By the time I would get back that would mean missing a whole day with my child. I’d have to settle her to bed and then do it all over again the next day.

I had a lot of time while furloughed and then on maternity leave to see how life would be. It helped me to come to the best decision for me. There is no right or wrong to whether anyone becomes a stay at home mom. I just know that there is the best decision for everyone. Only we can decide what that is. So many jobs require a lot of hours, then add the commute and it feels like your life has to revolve around work.

The pandemic allowed companies to have people working in a different way. To work from home and here in the UK, jobs are still having people work from home mostly. It shows that things could change. We don’t need to spend a lot of time working in a set place and having to commute each work day. Depending on the role, we can work from home. It is so nice that many people have been at home more with their families. I feel like this would be so beneficial if it could happen more, no matter how little the steps.

Being at home every step of the way so far with my daughter has been incredible. My daughter Birdie is 7 months old now and she loves getting plenty of interaction with those close to her. Nothing makes her happier more than just having me there, smiling and playing with her. The lockdown did impact her ability to adjust to others. Now that things have eased, it is valuable to bring Birdie to baby groups. To enjoy play dates with other babies and people. It’s such a special time.

Yasmin’s blog is Lovely_MommaLife. Make sure to head over there to read more about her life as a stay at home mom and for some tips on self love.

Robyn at A Dime Saved

I learned that so much of parenting is in the attitude. If you make it fun, then it is fun. Your kids don’t need camp or fun vacations- if you make something exciting, they will think it’s exciting.

Kids don’t care how stupid or silly an activity is. They care that you are trying to have fun with them. When our kids look back at this period, they will remember all the fun family activities we did with them. They will not forget that we were positive and focused on our family, even when there was so much that we couldn’t do. 

Creating positive memories for my kids- no matter the circumstances – is the most important thing to me. Not only is it fun, but it gives them a sense of security. No matter how crazy the world is- we can still have a good time as a family. 

Our kids can do without a lot of things if they need to. We think they need a lot of stuff and a lot of stimulation. But the fact is that if kids have a loving environment, then that is enough. 

Check out Robyns blog A Dime Saved for tons of fun activities that you can do with your family.

Subarna at The Mommys Corner

Indeed this pandemic has taught us a lot. Our lives have been changed. We all went through a tough situation but it has taught us many life lessons that we kept on ignoring earlier. By God’s grace, we are doing well and I am thankful for that.

In my life, there is a sunny side to this darkness. I launched my blog last summer and it is going to be 1 year old very soon. I was a web developer before being a stay-at-home mom and I always wished to have my little corner on this internet. So I fulfilled my dream and started my blog TheMommysCorner. We often give excuses that we don’t have much time to pursue our dreams but it’s not true. We have enough time, but we lack enough desire to pursue our dreams.

What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic? Have you stopped to think about it? If so, we’d love for you to share your experience in the comments.

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What Self-Care Means To Moms

Moms know that self-care is crucial to survival. Without taking care of ourselves, we end up burnt out, exhausted and short-fused.

But self-care means something different for everyone. It’s whatever makes you feel better and how you find peace in the chaos.

I rounded up 10 different mommy bloggers and asked them what self-care means to them. Here’s what they had to say:


Rianna Lynn writes about how her anxiety spiked after spending a day kayaking on the lake. When she realized she had to go home to all the things she had to do and go get her kids, she felt overwhelmed and exhausted.

She states, “Postpartum Anxiety and Postpartum Depression can manifest as pure exhaustion some days. Oftentimes we overlook taking care of our basic needs when we are responsible for tiny humans, so remind yourself to stop and check-in with your body and see what you need.

  • Have I eaten a nutritious meal recently? 
  • Did I drink enough water today?
  • Am I trying to pile too many things into my day? 
  • Have I moved my body today?
  • Have I been outside today?

If you can check off each of these simple self-care steps, you will feel more like a human being when your PPA/PPD is weighing on you.

Read more about her take on self-care for PPA and PPD on her blog riannalynn.com.


Mama Bear Finance had this to say:

“I never knew that once I became a mom, my world would be turned upside down. Prior to motherhood, I was a very active, sporty person who loved to go skiing during the weekend. Needless to say, after I became a mom, this was no longer an option.

And this extends beyond ski trips. For example, if I want to go for a run or to the gym, I must find someone to look after my child. This is not always easy, especially when we don’t have family around where we live. The alternative? I opt for doing little things at home to ensure my wellness is looked after.

One of the things I love doing is yoga via Youtube. I can do this when my baby is taking her nap. Sometimes I’ll even stretch with her. She finds it amusing whenever I do a downward facing dog pose. Additionally, to care for my mental health, I started a blog! This helps me to unwind my thoughts about the many difficulties such as breastfeeding and maternity leave. I believe that self-care can be achieved as long as one puts it as a priority.”


Mikaela at The Messy Bun Mommy writes, “Self-care looks different on every mom. Some moms love working out, some like getting their hair and nails done, and some simply like to take long hot baths after the babies are in bed.

For me personally, self-care is just anything that I can fit into my day that is just for me. This can be a wide range of things from working out to just taking a couple extra minutes in the shower.

During self-care time it is important to remember that you cannot properly care for your children if you don’t take care of yourself. Self-care, to me, is investing in yourself so that you have the ability to share your wealth with your children.

Sometimes it is difficult to find the time, but just a few minutes a day to take a breath and bring your mind back to your body and self can help so much. Chasing babies is hard. Raising babies is hard. Don’t let your tires go flat, because then you can’t move forward.”


Linda at All About Baby shares what self-care means to her:

For me self care can be something as simple as eating your favorite candy after the baby is in bed and you can actually enjoy it without having to share with your little one. Or a really good face mask after a nice hot shower while your partner is watching the baby. It doesn’t have to be anything big really.

After all it is very important to recharge your own battery even if it is only five minutes a day. Like they always say “you can’t pour from an empty cup”.

One thing I really do enjoy a lot is getting out and for a pedicure once a month. That is self-care and well deserved alone time combined. A pedicure is a great thing to do with a friend too if you prefer that.


Hannah Denison is starting to get back into the self-care routine as a new mom. Here’s what she had to say about how:

“Self-care is so necessary. As a first time mum it took a step on the back burner for me. My daughter is now a little over 19 months and I’m getting back into finding out what self-care means to me. At 19 months, we finally have her routine down. I know she will take an afternoon nap, around an hour long, and go to bed at 6:30 pm. She usually gets a solid 12 hours.

Now in the evening, I find myself with time for self-care. For me self-care starts with my health and eating right. At night I meal prep to make sure I’m eating right everyday with how busy it can get running around after a toddler. One thing I make every night is over night oats which have many health benefits and even can help with milk production . This is very important to me as I continue to breastfeed.

My favorite part of self care though is making myself feel and look good. Just last week I painted my nails for the first time in months and I had forgotten how good it felt to feel more put together. I even had a mum friend compliment me on my nails the next day which felt great!

I also do face masks a few times in the week. I love the feeling of my skin after a face mask and taking the time during them to relax. I definitely neglected these things whilst finding my footing as a new mum, but am glad to be practicing self care more regularly now as I find my rhythm as a mum.”

Read more of Hannah’s blog over at hannahmarieden.home.blog.


Monica at Just Being Monica juggles two jobs as well as her job as a mom. She shared these tips on how she makes it work:

Self-care means putting myself first so I can be around for a long time to watch my daughter grow up. 

With kids, work and everything else, life can get hectic very quickly. I’m aware of the time and take frequent breaks going for walks, taking a few deep breaths, stretching my body.

Taking care of myself is essential to ensure I can be a better mother to my little one, look after my furbabies and excel in my two jobs. 

I focus on my wellbeing, and these are a few things I try to do:

  1. Don’t take too much on. Learn to say NO.
  2. Sleep well. The body and brain need it.
  3. Eat healthy food.
  4. Don’t stress about what I can’t control.
  5. Concentrate on solutions, not problems.
  6. Exercise daily. It gives me more energy.
  7. Read a book. Reading is excellent for the mind and the soul.
  8. Meditate. It quiets the mind and reduces anxiety and stress.
  9. Spend quality time with my daughter and dogs.
  10. Get help when I need it.


My name is Karissa, a boy mama and blogger at FitMommyStrong, I help new & expecting moms prepare for postpartum/life after birth day!

Personally self-care to me means getting ANY kind of alone time for yourself that will allow you to refill your battery for the day. As a toddler mama, this usually comes in short spurts throughout the day such as 1-hr nap time = 30 mins nap for myself and then knocking out some chores.

I also try to schedule myself time throughout the month on days my husband is home where I can simply get out of the house alone. Whether it’s to run errands, get a haircut, etc…I truly think it’s individually based. I’m very introverted, so I tend to go for more introverted activities if that makes sense 🙂 Regardless, refill those cups mama – you deserve it!


Jody at Solid Parent knows how important self-care is. Here’s what she had to say:

“As a mother who works full time and raises three kids, I find that self-care is the most important part of my week. Too many times I have found myself trapped in what I call the rinse and repeat cycle. I cook, I clean, I help with homework, I read books, I play make-believe and I work. If I don’t take time for myself, I get down and out and depressed.

My go-to self-care routine is taking a nice hot bath, surrounded by scented candles and soft music in the background. After the bath, I like to put on a guided meditation. One that is rooted in gratitude and abundance. I enjoy just sitting quietly, without any interruptions.

My second favorite self-care trick is to make a plan with a couple of friends to go out and listen to live music. I love to dance and I love live music. This is not something I get to do weekly, but I do try for it every couple of weeks to once a month. It makes me feel like Jody for a moment, instead of wife or mother. 

When I don’t take time for myself, my whole family suffers. They need me to be at my best, so I can rise them up as well!”


Hi, I’m Jenn, and I write at healthyhappyimpactful.com! I’ve got three kids ages 8,5, and 1. After my second child, I realized that self-care was something I had to fight for if I wanted a happy life.

As a mom, we put everyone else first, but often put ourselves on the back burner. This was leading to a lot of stress and anxiety.

So, now I schedule, schedule, schedule. Time with friends. Morning exercise and meditation. Even the little things like taking a bath on Wednesday nights are in there. You have to make it a priority!


Renee is the voice behind This Anxious Mum.

She writes, “Self-care, to me is about allowing myself a bit of extra time in the morning before my toddler wakes up for the day. So that I can get in some breathing space, a hot coffee, and maybe a quick yoga practice.

 Self-care activities in my world are small but performed often. It’s breathing exercises in the car or mini foot massages while I read my daughter a story. It’s taking time to notice how my body feels and what I’m really needing to nourish it in that moment. 

The ultimate act of self-care to me is slowing down and accepting when you need that extra bit of time and giving yourself that breathing room.

I’d encourage every mother to reframe the way they think about self-care as a necessity instead of a luxury. The more we take care of ourselves, the better placed we are to take care of our children.” 

Even though they all have a different idea about what taking care of themselves means, these moms all know how important it is. Make sure to check out their blogs to read more about how they survive the challenges of motherhood!