The adventure and the excitement under the canopy of trees, pine, hickory, oak, chestnut forests and plant communities in a natural environment for pleasure, for fitness, for stress relief. There are benches to find a spot to rest and enjoy the fresh air atmosphere. In Georgia there are mountain-like views and overlooks requiring more effort and valley-like hills that toggle the heart muscle while you enjoy the biodiversity of Mother Nature.
Your quality of shoe determines your ability to move farther, faster, and more safely
Hiking boots or shoes are not needed but make the hike more enjoyable since they are specifically designed to protect and support your feet, ankles and footing. A good supportive gym shoe may also do the trick depending on your trail, this is not a time to wear non-supportive Keds or Converse, as they will not keep your ankle from twisting and don’t have the needed thicker-stiffer sole required to redirect shock and provide cushion for the feet, and soles that to absorb friction against blisters during your hike. Tongues that keep debris and dirt will not enter. The padded collars protect the Achilles tendon and ankle.
- Hiking shoes, are made for hiking in a dry environment, paths that are established and less rugged and rocky, and carrying a light backpack or daypack or just an hour or two of hiking.
- Trail hikers, are designed for steeper terrain, inclines, muddy paths, and days of hiking.
- Hiking or mountaineering boots, are designed for mountain climbing activities, extremely durable-stiff, to give feet and ankles support and protection of difficult trails.
Hiking with your dog
Make sure the dog is used to walking for any length or time other than just around the yard or just to be let outside to go do their duty. Take extra water and make time for water breaks in the shade. Dog-friendly park trails in Georgia, Tallulah Gorge and Panola Mountain State parks. Sweetwater Creek State park near Atlanta and FDR State park in Pine Mountain are known for their ranger-led dog walks. “Prescription for a healthy dog walk” Georgia state parks partnered with Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and with a healthy “prescription” you can redeem it for a $5 parking pass.
Kids and hiking
Think like a child or don’t bring one.
- Bring plenty of snacks and water-hiking uses lots of energy,
- commit to traveling at a child’s pace, let them invite a friend,
- make it fun-treasure hunt and play games-sing songs,
- let them get dirty, and play in shallow creeks,
- cool kid-friendly gear binoculars or magnifying glass or camera.
- Toddlers wander rather than hike, start off with short hikes 15-20 minutes and increase the duration of the walk with each walk.
Georgia area hikes and other outdoor goings-on
Kolomoki Mounds State Park near Blakely or Laura State park in Waycross for the less active hiker, and for long distance hikes Black Rock Mountain State Park near Clayton or Victoria State park near Lavonia are good ones to try.
- Siege Yargo Trailblazer Race at Fort Yargo State park,
- Wild Cave Tour at Cloudland Canyon State Park,
- Atlanta REI-National Trails Day Workday at Sweetwater Creek State park 8:30-1 pm,
- Conductor’s Favorite Train Ride at SAM Shortline Excursion Train-Georgia Vets State Park 9:45 am-1:45pm,
- 149th Commemoration of Battle of Pickett’s Mill at Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site 10am-5 pm,
- Artifact ID and Day of Discovery at Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site 10am-4 pm,
- Family Nature Quest at Crooked River State Park 10am-12 pm,
- High Historic Walk at High Falls State Park 10am-11:15am,
- National Trails Day Hike at FDR State Park 10am-1pm,
- Overlook Hike at Cloudland Canyon at Cloudland State Park 10am-11am,
- Frogs of Georgia at Cloudland Canyon State Park 11am-12 pm,
- Historic New Manchester History Hike at Sweetwater Creek State park 11am- 12:30 pm,
- Dendrology Tree Hike at Panola Mountain State park 2pm-4 pm,
- Going on a Bug Hunt at Tugaloo State Park 2pm-3 pm,
- Fox Trot at Tugaloo State Park 7pm-8pm, Twilight Paddle at Sweetwater Creek State park 7pm-8:30 pm,
- Twilight paddle at Hard Harbor Creek State Park 7pm-9pm,
- Sunset Boat Tour at Stephen C. Foster State Park 7:30pm-9:30pm,
- Bluegrass “Mountain Music” Concert Series at red Top Mountain State Park 8pm-9pm,
- Saturday Evening Concert Series at Unicoi State park and Lodge 8pm-9pm.
For more information about National Trail Events in your area.