Top 10 Dog-Friendly Hiking Areas in Atlanta

Dog on a Bridge in Georgia

Feel like going for an adventure with your dog but don’t know how to find any good slices of nature inside the Atlanta perimeter?

Here are 10 great destinations within 20 miles of the heart of Atlanta.

1. Piedmont Park—Midtown

We’ll use Piedmont Park as our starting place, since it’s smack dab in the middle of the city. All the other places I’ll list will be relative to this park.

Piedmont Park is large for a downtown park. It’s kind of like Atlanta’s central park, if it had one.

Piedmont Park in Atlanta Midtown

Located in Buckhead, the park sports about ten acres of natural land. It’s a daily routine for many a Midtown native who need to go for walks or runs with their dogs—they even have a sectioned off dog park for socializing!

In addition to this, there are beautiful pavilions, stone steps, bridges and lakes. No matter where you go in Piedmont Park, there always seems to be a change of scenery.

2. Morningside Nature Preserve–3 miles

Morningside Nature Preserve is three miles away from Piedmont Park, located in a part of town called Morningside-Lenox Park. Though it’s right in the middle of a bustling shopping center, it’s as peaceful as it can be.

Morningside Nature Preserve where Dogs Play in Water

Built over and around South Fork Peachtree Creek, the nature preserve is prone to flooding, making it a sort of wetland. Luckily, someone built boardwalks all across the trails, so you don’t have to go washing your dog’s feet after a stroll.

In addition, they also have some impressively-built wire-suspended bridges that make for some amazing trail architecture.

3. Fernbank Forest—5 miles

One of the smaller hiking destinations, Fernbank Forest is located right behind the Fernbank Science Center just outside of Decatur. It’s a modest park, without too many flairs or frills. Still, the foliage is incredible and relaxing.

Fernbank Forest in Georiga

The upside to this park is its accessibility. From Midtown, it’s just a short drive down East Ponce de Leon Ave. It’s a great destination if you want to check out the science center as well.

4. Blue Heron Nature Preserve—6 miles

This is a pretty standard nature preserve. Located between Chastain Park and Brookhaven, the Blue Heron Nature Preserve sits in the middle of a suburban area.

Blue Heron Trail in Georgia

It features a little creek with small waterfalls, small bridges and picnic areas. Its multiple trails give you freedom to choose which way you and your pup want to go and for how long you want to hike.

5. Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve—8 miles

One of my personal favorite parks in the metro area, Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is a labyrinthine escape off of the suburb of Medlock in Decatur.

Clyde Shepherd Park Entrance

Like Morningside, it’s prone to become muddy, and someone has built extensive boardwalks to keep you from getting your boots wet. This park has great lookout spots and observatories, as well as a truly confusing layout.

6. East Palisades Park—10 miles

If you’re looking for a trail by a river, this is it—though I don’t recommend your dog go swimming here.

Dogs on East Palisades Trail in Georgia

Located up in Vinings, this trail begins the ones you really have to plan ahead of time, because they’re somewhat far away. The following will all be trails to make a day trip out of.

East Palisades in Georgia

This roundabout trail is a commitment. There is no short version of this trail, so you either have to go the whole way around or stop and turn around. Either way, you get an excellent view of the Chattahoochee River.

7. Cascade Springs Nature Preserve–10 miles

If I could describe this trail in one word, it would be “magical.” This place is what you would imagine if Walt Disney designed a nature preserve. There are opulent little structures, beautiful small waterfalls and hanging plants.

Cascade Spring Trail

I don’t mean to make it sound like it might have featured in “Fantasia,” but it’s certainly one of the more pretty nature walks around Atlanta. Located near Cascade Heights, this trail borders the South Utoy Creek.

8. Sope Creek Trail—15 miles

Located near the Chattahoochee river, north of East Palisades Park, this trail is interesting because of its history. The trail has been drawn around a group of paper mill ruins which were created when the mill was destroyed by the Union armies during the Civil War.

Sope Creek in Georgia

The park is also provides a great vantage point to the Chattahoochee river, and features as one of the Chattahoochee River Hiking Trails.

9. Johnson Ferry Trail—17 miles

Another metropolitan hiking area, this small trail sits at the trough of two hills and runs right beside the Chattahoochee river again.

Johnson Ferry Trail

Because it’s so close to river level, this trail can sometimes get flooded and become impossible to walk in because of all the water and mud. Also, this trail is precarious. There are slippery rocks that you need to be able to walk over to get to the other side of some creeks, and there are thin trails at the tops of a few of the hills.

This trail is not recommended for uncoordinated people or people hiking alone. So be careful when taking your pooch on this trail

10. Stone Mountain Trail—20 miles

There are two options with Stone Mountain: up or around. Up is rather grueling, as it involves climbing a steep granite rock uphill for a little over a mile.

Stone Mountain Trail Overlook Maine

If you choose to go around, you will see a lot of historical buildings like plantations, mills, and meeting houses. The around trail is mostly level as well, so you don’t have to sweat as hard as you would if you were traveling to the observation deck on the top of the mountain.

That’s a list of just 10 of the trails inside the Atlanta perimeter I think are worthwhile. If you’re interested in taking your dog for a hike, but none of these trails interest you, don’t worry! There are more.

If you want a broader list, here are 10 Dog-Friendly Hikes around the United States


Dog Shedding and Sitting on a Red Rug

How to Control Dog Shedding

Does your dog shed? Learn how to control their shedding!

10 Adoption Stories Guaranteed to Put a Smile on Your Face

If you love dogs, chances are you love a good dog adoption story! These ten stories are ones that I experienced first hand while working at animal rescues and shelters over the last eight years. They may make you laugh, cry, smile or a little of each, but they are guaranteed to warm your heart!…

Long Haired Beauties, What’s the Best Long Haired Cat Breed?

Are you looking to add a long-haired cat to your family, but aren’t sure which breed is right for you? Look no further because I’ve got you covered, from the Brachycephalic Persian to the dainty Turkish Angora there is a long haired cat out there for every personality type. Persian: One of the oldest cat…

Pug Smiling at Dog Park

Here’s How to Find a “Good” Dog Park!

Learn the insider secrets of finding the best dog park possible!

Dogs Walking on Path

How to Spot the Signs of Discomfort and Stress in Dogs

Do you know when your dog is stressed out or in discomfort?

Two Turtles Sunbathing on a Rock

How to Choose the Turtle for You

Turtles come in all shapes and sizes, with different living environments and dietary needs that you will need to be prepared to accommodate.

Pitbull Laying Out on the Beach

How to Rent a Dog for a Day

Want a furry friend, but don’t know if you can make the commitment just yet ?

Dog From a Painting Chewing on a Page from a Book

BO-ZING! 8 Most Popular Dogs in Literary Fiction

Even though Spot was used in the early 1930s to teach kids the fundamentals of reading, he certainly isn’t the only canine to find his way into a good book.

Dog Drinking Water out of Fountain

How Much Water Should Your Dog Really Drink?

It’s important for us to know what is and what isn’t normal for our pets.

Neapolitan Mastiff Outside in the Yard Protective Dog Breed

The 10 Most Protective Dog Breeds

These 10 breeds are all known for their dedication to their owners and their willingness to protect them.

Dog Playing with Pink Toy on Bed

Is Your Dog Possessive Over their Toys?

It’s normal for young pups to be a bit possessive over their toys…

Pug with Wrinkles on Face by Seaside

How to Clean Your Dog’s Skin Folds

The wrinkly faces of the Pug, Bulldog, Shar Pei and other brachycephalic breeds are adorable, but they also require regular cleaning.

Cat Profile in Plane Looking out Window

How to Fly with Your Cat

You have to give yourself plenty of preparation before you and your cat are ready to go jet set off on a plane somewhere.

Pug with Flowers in His Face

10 Dangerous Things in Your Yard for Your Dog

Have you taken a good look at your yard to be sure that everything is safe for your furry friends?

Chow Chow Least Obedient Dog Cover

Watch Out! The 10 Least Obedient Dog Breeds

Every dog can be trained, but some are simply a little less motivated than others.

Two Greyhounds Laying in the Backyard

How Long Should You Leave Your Dog Alone?

There is no short answer to this question as many factors can affect it.

Black Cat in Litter Box Newspaper on Wall

Why Should You Clean the Litter Box so Frequently?

Keeping your cat’s litter box clean is extremely important to her psyche as well as her health.

Millennials Spoil their Pets Jack Russell Sleeping

How Millennials are Changing Pet Parenthood

Millennials are putting off big life events like getting married and having children.
Instead, they’re having fur babies.

What Size Dog Should You Choose Dog Reading Self Help Book

What Size Dog is Best for You?

One thing that you definitely need to consider is size.

Puppy in Training to be a Guide DogPuppy in Training to be a Guide Dog

How to Train Your Dog to Become a Guide Dog

Dogs have been helping humans for hundreds of years, so it’s no surprise that one common job for dogs is guiding the blind.

White Albino Labrador

How to Train a Deaf Dog—It’s Easy!

Luckily, training a deaf dog isn’t so different from a fully-abled dog.

White Great Dane Laying on the Couch

Why are White Coated Dogs Deaf?

Deafness affects white coated dogs, but not all white coated dogs are deaf.

Sheep Dog with Matted Fur in his Eyes

How to Get Mats out of Your Animals’ Fur

Mats in fur are an issue that many dogs face, especially shaggy ones.

Pitbull out in the Summer Sun

How to Prevent Your Dog From Overheating

It’s up to us. Our dogs don’t know when they’re overheating.

Three Greyhounds Sleeping in Dog Beds in Family Room

April is Adopt a Greyhound Month! 50 Amazing Facts about Greyhounds

The Greyhound, the professional sleeper.

Black Cat on Window Sill

7 Myths about the Black Cat and Why You Should Have One

Black cats are famous for “bad luck.”

Small Brussells Griffons Eating in Kitchen in a Line

What is Food Aggression and How Do You Stop It?

A useful response in the wild, but not so much in the home.

Yellow and Black Snake

How to Help Your Snake Shed his Skin

Shedding skin is a natural process for all reptiles.

German Shepherd Dog with Green Backpack on Back

The Top 10 Dog Traveling Gear Must Haves

Luckily, you don’t need to bring a ton of things.

Two Dogs Hike in Los Angeles

Love Traveling? Countries to NOT Travel With Your Dog To

Watch out for Belarus.

Dog Eating a Treat

Yum. Yum. Yum. Can Dogs Eat Sugar?

We love sweets, but can our dogs eat them, too?

Pitbull Looking up at the Camera

Going Out of Town? Best Pet Sitters in Atlanta

Going out of town and need someone to watch your dog?

Maine Coon Backlit by the Sunset

Feline Monsters: Norwegian Forest Cat vs. Siberian Cat vs. Maine Coon

Not only are these cats’ big, their personalities are larger than life, too.

Boston Terrier by Water

French Bulldog vs. the Boston Terrier: What’s the Difference?

To the untrained eye, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers could be the same breed

Labradoodle Hybrid Dog with Tongue Out

Why Do People Want Hybrid Dogs?

They’re cute and they’re…healthier?

Two Cats on the Floor Bonding

5 Reasons Why You Should Adopt an Older Cat

Adopting an older cat is a great way to get an amazing cat without all the work of kittenhood.

Black Cat Outside on the Lawn

10 years? 15? How Old Do Cats Live?

Cat’s have nine lives, but how long are those lives?

Grey and White Cat with Green Eyes

How to Prevent Cat Bladder Infections

Bladder infections are the number one reason cats visit the vet.

Dog on Hillside in San Francisco, California

The Top Dog-Friendly Cities in the U.S.

How can you go wrong with a pub-crawl with your dog?

German Shepherd with Pointed Ears

What is Schutzhund and How Do You Train Your Dog for it?

This sport has withstood the test of time.

Dog International in England Shakespeare House

Your Introduction to Traveling Abroad with Your Dog

Going to a new country with your dog can be a great experience.

Brown Horse with Black Mane Trotting in Dirt

How to Manage Chronically Infected Wounds in Horses

This can be a scary thing, because infections can eventually lead to the horse’s death if left untreated for too long.

Alusky Hybrid Frozen in the Snow

The Alusky—the Hybrid of Two Great Arctic Breeds

One portmanteau that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves—the Alusky.

Two Dogs with Tongues out with Separation Anxiety

How to Beat Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a well-known problem for many pet parents.

Alaskan Malamute Standing in the Mud

65 Fun Facts About the Alaskan Malamute

They’ve lived alongside humans for thousands of years.

Egyptian Mau on Cat Tree

Where Do Different Cat Breeds Come From?

There are over 70 specific recognized breeds…that’s a lot of cats.

Alaskan Malamute Outside in the Snow

Your Go-To Guide to Snow Dog Breeds

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

Girl Waving at Computer

10 Ways to Build a Strong Relationship with Your Dog

Not sure how to help your pooch feel more appreciated?

Siberian Cat Profile Outdoors

How to Read Cat Body Language

There are many tell-tale signs to indicate Kitty’s mood.

White American Eskimo by the Lake

What are the Top 10 Dog Breeds that Shed the Most?

Did you know that a dog’s coat serves three distinct purposes?