The metro Atlanta area is home to many varied trails, including some that are perfect for a longer hike.
They'll take you out of the city's hustle and bustle as you traverse varied terrains, taking in amazing views and often bit of history along the way.
The following are five of the best longer hikes in the area recommended by Eric Champlin, editor and founder of AtlantaTrails.com:
Kennesaw Mountain Trail - Battlefield and Mountain Loop
Distance: 11 miles
Where it goes: This trail starts from the visitors' center and goes to the top of Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw Mountain, crossing Dallas Highway and Noses Creek before following the New Salem Church Trail.
Terrain/Difficulty: You'll hike through some open fields, but you'll also encounter some rocky terrain. The hike is rated as moderate/difficult.
What you'll see: On a clear day, you can see a beautiful view of Atlanta's skyline in the distance. The area is rich in Civil War-era history, and you'll pass the foundation of a church from that period and also hike through the Pigeon Hill and Cheatham Hill battlefields.
Cochran Shoals to Sope Creek on the Chattahoochee River
Distance: 8.5 miles
Where it goes: This trail will take you through Cochran Shoals and Sope Creek parks, including the banks of the Chattahoochee River and Sope Creek.
Terrain/Difficulty: You'll hike over varied terrain, with some level areas as well as some that are rugged. The hike is moderate in difficulty.
What you'll see: In addition to the banks of the Chattahoochee and Sope Creek, you'll wind your way around Sibley Pond, marshland, and other diverse landscapes.
Distance: 6.8 miles
Where it goes: This hike takes you over two of the most popular trails at Stone Mountain Park. You'll start at the base of the mountain and work your way to its summit before descending the mountain to take the Cherokee Trail.
Terrain/Difficulty: You'll encounter some smooth granite and some rockier surfaces, with elevations rising as you go up the mountain. The hike is considered to be moderate/difficult.
What you'll see: You'll pass Howell Lake, a dam and a small waterfall. Along the way, you'll also see the Stone Mountain Covered Bridge, a historic grist mill and a spring house. The view from the top of the mountain is amazing from any direction, and you can see Atlanta's skyline in the distance.
Cheatham Hill/Kolb Farm Loop at Kennesaw Mountain
Distance: 5.8 miles
Where it goes: The hike starts at the Cheatham Hill parking area trailhead, meeting the Kolb Farm Trail loop in three-tenths of a mile. It also crosses Cheatham Hill Road and then returns to the trailhead.
Terrain/Difficulty: The terrain is moderately rolling, and the hike is considered to be moderate in difficulty.
What you'll see: You'll see reminders of the Civil War, including signs that detail troop movements, a monument and cannons. You'll travel through forested areas, past a creek and cross over a metal bridge.
Distance: 4.1 miles
Where it goes: The trail forms a loop starting at the visitors' center, passes the ruins New Manchester Mill and works its way toward the shores of Sweetwater Creek. It follows along the creek before heading along a tributary steam and through a cleared meadow.
Terrain/Difficulty: You'll hike through the banks of Sweetwater Creek and its tributaries, as well as forests and meadows. One area experiences a 200-foot rise in elevation over a half mile with a steady decline on the way back. The hike is considered to be moderate/difficult.
What you'll see: You'll pass through diverse landscapes, including creek and tributary banks, as well as forested areas and meadows. You'll also pass the ruins of a Civil War-era brick factory.
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