If you enjoy hiking near Atlanta then this list of 125 hikes under 2-miles is a great resource. You’ll enjoy Georgia waterfalls, Atlanta parks, local hiking trails, nature trails and the best hiking in Georgia for kids and beginners. Hiking with kids is both challenging and rewarding. I’ve been hiking with my guys since they were born, and it is one of our favorite ways to spend the day. Until their little legs can carry them farther, our hiking adventures tend to be shorter than the average outdoorsman- but no less fun.
Just as always, please leave a comment below if you know of a hike in your area that is great for kids and 2 miles or under. I continue to update this list when we find new places, and I want to add your discoveries, too. New to hiking with kids? Check out these tips.
Manning Mill - Take the 1.5 mile hike around Manning Mill Lake. The park includes a playground.
Wills Park - 1.8-mile trail around the park. Start the loop at the playground, and you can use it as a teaser to get your little one to the finish line!
Atlanta Beltline – This new Atlanta attraction is full of trails, playgrounds, graffiti art, and so much more! With so many trails, see the website for more information.
Atlanta Memorial Park – A great hike in the city that starts and stops at a popular playground. 1.5 miles, with great trees.
Blue Heron Nature Preserve – .25-mile hike through the woods, play at a sandbar, and past the community garden.
Cascade Springs – A secret haven in the city. Waterfall, forest hike, and history. Just under 2 miles.
Elwyn John Wildlife Sanctuary – Take a 1.4-mile loop in the woods.
Lullwater Park - I have had a lot of trouble finding distances for the trails at this park. From my recommended parking location (see link) to the suspension bridge and mill ruins was probably a bit over 1 mile, but that is a guess. I walked it with my two young sons, so it was definitely under 2 miles.
Morningside Nature Preserve – A great hike on a boardwalk, a path, and over a great suspension bridge. The entire hike is just under 3 miles, but I put it here because it’s only 2 miles to the bridge (round trip,) and if your kids are like mine, there is no pulling them farther. The sand and water are too much fun!
Murphey Candler Park - A 1.6 mile loop around the lake and through the woods.
Oakland Cemetery – Oakland Cemetery is a can’t miss landmark in Atlanta. See gorgeous gardens and learn about Georgia’s history. There are even Smithsonian sculptures in the garden. Bring a camera and visit in spring. Be sure to download one of two free apps for your self guided tour. Depending on the paths you take, walks can range from .5 miles to 2 miles.
Piedmont Park - Several paved pedestrian roads in this wooded park make up loops from 0.7 miles to 1.68 miles. There are playgrounds, a pond, and plenty of space to run and play. Playgrounds.
Brasstown Bald Trail - 1.2 miles round trip, from the parking lot to the summit tower. Paved.
Desoto Falls - The entire trail is 2.4 miles, but you can enjoy both waterfalls on this trail by hiking to the second fall at 0.75 miles and then turning back, making is a 1.5 mile hike.
Helton Creek Falls – Two waterfalls with a viewing platform. Short and easy at .4 miles, but there are stairs.
Lake Trahlyta – This is a beautiful scenic 1-mile trail around the lake. If you’re up for it, there is a short spur on the backside of the lake leading down to the base of Trahlyta Falls. Also in Vogel State Park is .8 mile partial loop, Byron Reece Nature Trail. In the spring the park offers peddle-boats and bike rentals.
Eyes on Wildlife - 1.2 mile trail on Cooper’s Creek. Wonderful waterfalls here.
Fall Branch Falls – Hike up hill an easy .6 miles to the lower falls. Take a short side fork off the right side to the lower falls and an observation deck. Go a short hike longer to the upper falls if you are up for it.
Long Creek Falls – a 2-mile easy/moderate trail with gorgeous falls and creek play as the reward.
Sosebee Cove – This is a short and easy trail near Vogel State Park, coming in at under 1/3 of a mile (although a few sites read it as .5 miles.) It is a great one for young toddlers who want to begin walking on their own. For the best photos, visit this trail at the beginning of April when wildflowers are at their peak. The unique ecosystem in the area ensures that almost every Georgia native flower, including orchids and trilliums, are in abundance.
Buford Dam - 2 miles round trip will take you past the dam that creates Lake Lanier.
Allatoona Pass - This peaceful trail through the pines has a rich war and rail history. Take the 1-mile main trail, or any offshoots from this.
Coopers Furnace - Take this 1.5 mile balloon loop past the iron works.
Pine Mtn Rec Area – To access the shorter trail here, park at the trailhead off Main Street. The trailhead path plus the West Loop trail are just under 2 miles long with great views along the way.
Red Top Mountain - Six trails. White Tail Trail is 1 mile in and back. The Visitor Center Trail Loop and the Lakeside Trail Loop are ¾ miles each. Playground.
John Tanner Park (from Miranda) – 3/4 mile nature trail, 1 mile paved trail on the lake, playground, swimming beach, picnic shelters!
Big Rock Nature Trail – This is one of several fun hikes at Fort Mountain State Park. It is a .8 mile loop, but careful, as the climb near the falls is more ‘moderate’ than ‘easy.’ The West Overlook and Stone Wall Trail are great historical trails with amazing views that together are 1.6 miles.
Songbird Trail – 1.7 mile loop. It is peaceful and easy. I remember my son falling asleep in his stroller every time we walked it…until he was old enough to walk it with me.
Watson Mill State Park – This is the most picturesque of the State Parks, some say. Three trails offer hikes under 2 miles, including great views of the dam and covered bridge.
Big Haynes Creek Nature Center (from Denzil) – There are mountain bike trails and horse trails – walkers are not able to use these. But within the nature center are more trails, perfect for hikers. The main trail is .5 miles, and additional trails run off that one, with docks, a canoe launch, and more.
Johnson Park* (from Denzil) – 1.0 mile paved trail around the playground.
Chimney Park (from Denzil) – I want to go here now! It has Fairy Houses and a Maypole, with an incredible mission! I can see that there is at least a .6 mile trail here, with much more to do. I put in a call about other hiking and will update when I get the 411.
Newton Trails (from Denzil) – Two trails in Newton. Oxford is 1.2 miles with benches and interpretive signs. It’s not a loop, so you’ll want to cut back at half-way through your desired length. Porterdale is a .2 mile loop, which will eventually connect to the train depot (cool!)
Sawnee Mountain Preserve* – This preserve is known primarily for the Indian Seats trail, which is a strenuous trail to the peak of the mountain. For young kids, park at the Visitor Center and hike the 1/3 mile round trip trail from the center to the tree house. There is a short (1/10 mile is my guess) Fairy Houses trail beside the treehouse, as well. Kids can play at the play area outside the visitor center once you are done hiking. Enter through the main entrance for a more traditional playground area and access to the ¼ mile Eaglet Trail. Another ¼ mile will take you to the old mine shaft. This is also a shorter way to reach the Observation Deck and Indian Seats, although the climb is steep.
Little Mulberry Park* (from Melissa) – This looks like a 2.2 mile hike around a gorgeous pond. I’ll keep it here until I get the 2-4 mile hike post up. It also appears that there are several other shorter trails, but that they shoot off the main trail. The photos of this park look amazing…I think we’ll head up here soon! Thanks Melissa!
Cane Creek Falls – Only about a 100-yard walk, but still worth mentioning because of the falls. A fun stop if you are in the area.
Springer Mountain – An easy 2 mile trail that ends at the Appalachian Trail.
Pickett’s Mill (from Douglas) – Four of the five trails are 2 miles or under. I walked the blue trail once with my kids and 75 year old mother-in-law! It’s a pretty site along the creek; the large boulders make a soothing sound.
Amicalola River Trail – One of my favorite secret places in the mountains. The entire trail is 2.9 miles, but you’ll want to stop at about 1 mile in (or a little less) and play on the rocks and in the water.
Boundary Waters Park (from Miranda) – 3 trails; the blue is 1.1 miles. There is a playground and lake, as well.
Dunwoody Nature Center – The Woodland Trail loop is an easy 1.5 miles. Playground, tree house, boardwalk…this is a fun park that is free.
Tumbling Waters – 1.5 mile loop to a cove of Carter’s Lake and Trails Creek. For tips to the two observations decks and how to make this a loop, follow the link.
Indian Spring State Park – Wade Middle Georgia’s in Sandy Creek or swim in McIntosh Lake….the spring water here is said to hold healing powers and can be sampled at the Spring House. After walking the ¾-mile nature trail, play at the playground or on the beach, take in a round of mini-golf, or visit the museum.
Elachee Nature Center – Six trails. Four trails under ¾ of a mile each.
Don Carter State Park – One paved trail (1.5 miles) and one wooded trail (2 miles.) Playgrounds.
Anna Ruby Falls – The hike from the parking lot is paved and less than a mile round trip. Gorgeous twin falls are your reward.
Whitley Gap Trail – The entire length of this trail is 2.8 miles (1.4 each way,) but luckily you don’t have to follow it the entire way to enjoy the best part. At about .5 miles in you will reach the top of Wildcat Mountain with great views and fairyland growth on the trees, making it a special place for kids. Go in spring when the rhododendrons are blooming en masse.
Dukes Creek Falls – A gorgeous and easy/moderate 1 mile hike to the bottom of the 250-ft falls. There are observation decks as well. The moss covered boulders and wildflowers in this area are magical.
High Falls State Park – There are multiple trails at High Falls State Park. We enjoyed the Falls Trail most of all. No indication of the length on the map, but it has to be under 2 miles because it is shorter in length on the map than the Tranquil Trail, which is marked as 2 miles. The Historic Trail is .75 miles, and goes to the ruins.
Burnt Mountain Preserve – There are three loop trails here, each under 2 miles. Don’t let this fool you though, the white blazed trail is a “ladder chute” and very steep. If you’re up for it (maybe with older kids) the reward is a wonderful swimming hole at the bottom! Enjoy the other trails (easy and moderate) in the preserve with wonderful wildflowers.
Autrey Mill (from Kathy) – I can’t believe I left this off, especially when it was Day 43 this year. There are over 2 miles of trails (best I can tell, there are 2, overlapping 1.25 mile loops.) It’s been several years since we visited – have to get there again.
Kennesaw Mountain Trail – We love the climb to the top of the mountain from the visitor center. It is 1 mile up and 1 mile back down. A stroller will not make its way up this rugged terrain, but my just-turned-three-year-old had no problems navigating.
Smith Gilbert Gardens – I am not able to find definitive lengths on the trails here, but having visited over a dozen times, I can tell you they are not over 2 miles. We love it here; it’s a gem in the suburbs with over 3,000 species of plants, a waterfall, children’s garden, picnic area, and more.
Bethesda Park – 1.5 mile hike around the lake. Playgrounds.
Collins Hill Park (from Leslie) – 1.5 mile trail. Per Leslie: wooded trail that is maintained and never muddy. Park in the parking lot next to the basketball courts. On the same side of the drive as the courts. Then go to the far end of that parking lot and you will see the beginning of the trail. You will be walking along a creek on your left. After five minutes of walking you will see a very small cement bridge that allows you to cross the creek. Take that bridge and just follow the trail and it will bring you through 1 1/2 miles of woods. It will drop you right back to your car. Kid and dog friendly. Some hills.
Rhodes Jordan – 1.9-mile paved path with two playgrounds.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – 4 Trails. The red trail is 1 mile in and 1 mile back. This trail takes you past the mill ruins and to the falls.
Arabia Mountain – 8 trails, each of them are under 1 mile, but notice that many of them are only accessible via another trail (which extends the trail length.) With little kiddos you’ll want to stick to Trails A, D, E (if you stop at the water,) F, G, and H.
Cheatam Hill Loop – This loop is 1 mile long, and one trail of over 16 miles worth of hiking opportunities in Kennesaw Mountain Park.
Reynolds Nature Preserve – This nature preserve is gorgeous in spring when the wildflowers are blooming along one of the five ponds. There are three trails, each under 1.5 miles.
Chattahoochee Bend State Park (from Steve) – The website doesn’t give a breakdown of the trails, so we are glad Steve dropped a note about the opportunities here: Our Flat Rock Trail is a one mile “lollipop loop” that goes through two globally imperiled environments, featuring granite outcrops with diamorpha pools, ponds where frogs lay bunches of egg clusters, Montane long leaf pines and moss-covered boulders. Our Riverside Trail starts at the Day Use Area’s playground and it’s a flat two-mile round-trip hike to the 30′ observation tower; along the way you’ll enjoy great views of the Chattahoochee River. We even have bald eagles with an active nest!! (Um, Steve, this is way cool!)
Noah’s Ark – This is a wonderful animal rehabilitation refuge (and orphanage) with paved walk ways great for walking with the kids. Donations are appreciated, but entrance is free.
Lucille Creek – A 1-mile route along the creek in the shade.
Arrowhead Wildlife Trails – 2.2 miles of nature trails with a beaver dam and aquatic center. Perfect for children.
Marshall Forest Preserve – Enjoy this preserve with 55 different tree species and two trails. One is a fun ADA certified braille trail, Big Pine Braille Trail. This and Flower Glen Trail are each under 2 miles.
Rolater Park – Enjoy an easy .75 mile walking tour around historical Cave Springs – bring a camera!
Morgan Falls Overlook Park – This is a gorgeous park with unique playground structures, a view of the Chattahoochee, picnic pavilions, large swings, and a ¾ mile hiking trail along the water.
Silver Comet Trail – Like Roswell River Walk, Silver Comet is one long paved trail with several access points.
Panola Mountain State Park – Two trails. Watershed Trail is 1.25 miles and Rock Outcrop Trail is ¾ mile trail.
Stone Mountain Park – There are 6 trails within Stone Mountain Park, 5 of which are under 2 miles. Don’t miss the covered bridge and the grist mill.
Lake Winfield Scott Trail – This trail circles the lake in an easy loop at only a bit over half a mile.
Jarrard Gap Trail - In the same recreation area, which is an easy 2-mile in and out (1 mile each way) that connects to the Appalachian Trail.
Lower Lake Trail at Floyd State Park – An easy 1.8 mile trail around the lake featuring a number of wild flowers and plants.
Marble Mine Trail – There are several versions of this trail that can take you on a 1.6 – 2.2 mile hike to the entrance of an old marble mine. The boardwalk in front allows you to peek inside. This is a fun warm-weather walk, as the air feels cool around the mine entrance.
Settle’s Bridge Park (from Adam) – 1.6 mile paved trail with an awesome looking playground.
Big Creek Greenway Trail – This paved trail is eight miles long with five access points. See the link for mileage chart between points in order to find your ideal length. Just remember you’ll need to head out and back.
Big Trees Forest Preserve – Another of our favorites, with wonderful trees, bridges, and water. There are 7 trails here of varying difficulty. The Power’s Branch trail is the most scenic and is only 1.2 miles long.
Chattahoochee Nature Center – Six trails, all under ½ mile each.
Island Ford – This is one of our favorite hikes because of the large boulders along the path that are perfect for climbing explorers. Add to this the view of the Chattahoochee on the opposite side, and you have the perfect hike! The entire blazed trail is 3.0 miles, but we never walk that far. If you follow the trail from the visitor center, it will closely follow the river. Within less than mile it will veer from the river to the left. Rather than continue on the trail, just turn around and follow the trail back to the visitor center to keep your hike under 2 miles. Of course, you could return at any point to make it a shorter walk.
Leita Thompson Park – Three trails. The yellow trail is 1.12 miles and the blue one is 2 miles. A little more than ½ way through the yellow trail is a stream off to the left that my sons love to play in. Watch out for snakes, though.
Old Roswell Mill – This 2-mile trail includes the covered bridge, which makes great photos!
Oxbo Trail – From the same parking lot as Oxbo, this 1.8 mile adventure is in the shade and run along a stream. It is all fun on a hot summer day.
Powers Island Loop – The bridge here is fun for taking pictures, and the walk is very easy and shaded.
Roswell River Walk – This trail is actually 18 miles of paved path and pea gravel. I recommend parking at one of the parks along Riverside, then playing on the playground…..walking less than a mile to the next playground….then returning back to your parking area. Great views of the Chattahoochee.
Clinton Nature Preserve (from Miranda) – There are three trails here, two are under 2 miles and both are loops. There are pavilions, a playground, and water! Thanks for the tips Miranda!
McIntosh Reserve (from Miranda) – This looks like the trails are less than 2 miles each, but I have a call into the park to get more info and will update soon. Just putting this here so I don’t forget!
Blanket’s Creek (from Steph) – This is a large mountain bike trail. Mosquito Flats is a wonderful, easy 1.35 mile trail along the creek (can’t wait to visit in warmer weather and play in the water.) There is a .7 extension if you want to walk longer. Bikes have the right-of-way.
Lewis Park (from Wind) – Don’t confuse this with the dog park in Marietta. This one is in Woodstock. 1/2 mile nature trail with a playground.
Rope Mill Park – We live near here so this is “home” during the hottest summer months. The creek is fun to play in, and it makes great mud play. The paved hiking area is 1 mile (1/2 mile each direction) and perfect for the kids’ scooters. There is a nature trail across the bridge for which there is no mileage indicator, but I would guess the loop is close to two miles, maybe a little more. It is tricky for young kids, with some “close call” areas near the water and mill ruins. I’m OK bringing my 5 yo, but not my younger son.
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After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.