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A Georgia Hiking Bucket List

Guest blogger Adrian M. of @mygeorgiaphotography on Instagram shares some of her favorite getaway spots in rural Georgia. All photos appear courtesy of Adrian and are copyrighted.

After moving to Georgia three years ago, I soon created a hiking bucket list specific to the state.  I had never really hiked before, but thought it would be a great way to get out of the house, get some exercise, and meet new people. I started off by hiking with two different groups I found on Facebook called Girls Who Hike GA and Iron Braid Adventures. If you are a female and would rather not hike alone, I highly suggest joining these groups. There are always group hike events to choose from and opportunities to make new friends! While I haven’t checked all of the destinations on my bucket list off yet, I’d like to share my top three favorites so far. 

The town of High Falls, which formerly sat on the park’s current land, was once a booming industrial community with several stores, a grist mill, cotton gin, blacksmith shop, hotel and shoe factory. The once prosperous town later became a ghost town when it was bypassed by a major railroad in the 1880s. Trails now lead to the foundation of the old grist mill and ruins of the old powerhouse. Below the dam of a 650 acre lake, the largest waterfall in middle Georgia can be seen up close from the trail. The 135 feet of beautiful cascading waters crashing down over boulders to the Towaliga River below, make this one of my favorite hikes in central Georgia. 

Arabia Mountain

Arabia Mountain, located just south of Lithonia, was quarried for decades before the property was turned over to the Dekalb park system. The stone has been used in the construction of buildings for the U.S. Naval Academy, the Brooklyn Bridge, and many other prominent structures across the country. The somewhat barren landscape on the mountain makes this one of the most interesting hikes on my list so far. Plant life specifically adapted to live in the mountain’s harsh environment can be spotted sparingly on the mountain’s “moon like” surface. A moderate half mile hike to the top, which rises 955 feet above sea level, offers some beautiful sunrise and sunset views. 

Cochran Mill Park

Cochran Mill Park is located 20 miles southwest of Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport near the small town of Chatahoochee Hills. The park includes 800 acres of forests, fields, and streams. Ruins of 3 historic mills, cascading waterfalls, huge boulders, beautiful wildflowers and a pedestrian bridge are just a few of the features you will encounter along the 18 miles of hiking trails the park offers. 

After hiking at Cochran Mill, I highly recommend taking a drive 5 miles southwest to the Serenbe community for a celebratory meal and a stroll around the neighborhood which includes restaurants, shops, an inn, horse stables and short walking trails. I fell in love with Serenbe on my first visit, and I can’t wait to revisit this unique community in the near future.

Now it's your turn! What are some of your favorite trails in Georgia? What is on your list that you haven’t checked off yet? 

You can see more of Adrian’s adventures and explorations of rural Georgia by following her on Instagram @mygeorgiaphotography.


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