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    Best Hiking Trail

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    Creative Loafing has been presenting Atlanta's Best People, Places and Events since 1972. These are some of the past winners for this category:

    Best Hiking Spot BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2019
    Picked By » Readers
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Sweetwater Creek State Park (Featured)

    Best Hiking Spot BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2019
    Picked By » Critics
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Palisades West Trail

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2019
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Cascade Springs Nature Preserve (Featured)

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2019
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Sweetwater Creek State Park (Featured)

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2018
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Sweetwater Creek State Park (Featured)
    With 15 miles of trails of varying difficulties, as well as a lake view and a historic cotton mill ruin, SweetWater Creek State Park is a prime destination for a natural getaway. The George Sparks Reservoir is great for fishing and kayaking in the summer, and the protected trails are full of wild treemore...
    With 15 miles of trails of varying difficulties, as well as a lake view and a historic cotton mill ruin, SweetWater Creek State Park is a prime destination for a natural getaway. The George Sparks Reservoir is great for fishing and kayaking in the summer, and the protected trails are full of wild tree and fern species. It's just a short drive west of the city, so it makes a good day trip, or you can rent camping supplies from the visitor center and stay the night on the camping grounds. less...

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2018
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Amicolola Falls

    Best hiking trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2017
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Chattahoochee River Park (Featured)

    Best (freaky) free outdoor art gallery BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2017
    Picked By » Guest Critic
    Type of Award » Poets, Artists & Madmen
    Doll's Head Trail (Featured)
    Out past the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, heading south on Moreland Avenue is an Atlanta cultural gem: the mythical DOLL’S HEAD TRAIL. Created by ATL’s Joel Slaton, the trail is an outsider art exhibit with enough weirdness and compelling art made from refuse to leave you contemplating its existencemore...

    Out past the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, heading south on Moreland Avenue is an Atlanta cultural gem: the mythical DOLL’S HEAD TRAIL. Created by ATL’s Joel Slaton, the trail is an outsider art exhibit with enough weirdness and compelling art made from refuse to leave you contemplating its existence for days. The trail is part of a bigger path at Constitution Lakes, a DeKalb County park that includes some wonderful boardwalks across swampy terrain and hiking trails. Among bird songs and occasional train whistles, discombobulated dolls, broken TVs and rusted car parts have been repurposed into ingenious monuments to modern follies. Found objects, which otherwise might litter the trail, are reconstructed into thought-provoking moments. Freaky and provocative, cheesy and authentic, the Doll’s Head Trail is completely original and strangely beautiful. Constitution Lakes Park, 1305 S. River Industrial Boulevard.

    photo by: Joeff Davis

    less...

    Best hiking spot BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2016
    Picked By » Readers
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Sweetwater Creek State Park (Featured)

    Best hiking spot BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2015
    Picked By » Readers
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Stone Mountain Park (Featured)

    Best hiking spot BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2014
    Picked By » Readers
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Sweetwater Creek State Park (Featured)

    Best hiking spot BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2013
    Picked By » Readers
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (Featured)

    Best urban hike BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2013
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Atlanta Beltline Inc (Featured)
    The Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail is a great place to visit if you want to get lost in a real-life artist's rendering of a smart-growth Nirvana. If you're in the mood for more rustic splendor, head south to Adair Park. There, the Beltline's Southwest Trail weaves through lush grass, between old warehouses,more...
    The Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail is a great place to visit if you want to get lost in a real-life artist's rendering of a smart-growth Nirvana. If you're in the mood for more rustic splendor, head south to Adair Park. There, the Beltline's Southwest Trail weaves through lush grass, between old warehouses, and under beautiful bridges. (Wear galoshes after rainy days, as the makeshift path is below grade and prone to flooding.) In late August, Beltline officials won an $18 million federal grant that will help fund construction of the trail segment to match the Eastside's design. While that's great news, it will be bittersweet for those who love the southwest's rustic authenticity and meandering feel. Enjoy it while you can. www.beltline.org. less...

    Best hiking spot BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2012
    Picked By » Readers
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (Featured)

    Best leisurely stroll BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2012
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Olmsted Linear Park
    If you're looking to escape cell phone reception, there are plenty of options. But consider a soothing walk along a street you normally experience at 55 mph. Near Briarcliff Road and Ponce de Leon Avenue, a path begins in the Olmsted Linear Park and winds its way nearly two miles through gently rollingmore...
    If you're looking to escape cell phone reception, there are plenty of options. But consider a soothing walk along a street you normally experience at 55 mph. Near Briarcliff Road and Ponce de Leon Avenue, a path begins in the Olmsted Linear Park and winds its way nearly two miles through gently rolling meadows and under trees toward Decatur. It's nothing fancy - just a basic concrete trailway that's been around for years - but it helps better connect people to one of Atlanta's often-overlooked greenspace gems. Snaking through the middle of the award-winning park planned by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect behind Central Park, the path provides safe refuge for walkers wanting to enjoy the knolls and avoid the hectic traffic along the busy street that leads into DeKalb County (clearly visible by the difference in grass lengths on both sides of the border). The stroll ends with a descent into Deepdene Park, the recently restored deep forest that has already earned a spot among the best parks in the metro region. Bonus: It includes what a nearby sign labels as the tallest tree in metro Atlanta. less...

    Hiking spot BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2011
    Picked By » Readers
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Stone Mountain Park (Featured)

    Best hiking spot BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2010
    Picked By » Readers
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Stone Mountain Park (Featured)

    Runner-up: Kennesaw Mountain


    900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw, 770-427-4686, www.kennesawmountain.areaparks.com

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2003
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2002
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2002
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
    Break a sweat as you take in the history at KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK. The Civil War hotspot has more than 17 miles of hiking trails, and the varied terrain is downright steep in spots. The vistas are especially impressive along the Kennesaw Mountain leg, the fall colors only intensifyingmore...
    Break a sweat as you take in the history at KENNESAW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK. The Civil War hotspot has more than 17 miles of hiking trails, and the varied terrain is downright steep in spots. The vistas are especially impressive along the Kennesaw Mountain leg, the fall colors only intensifying the experience. But leave the metal detector behind; possession of one on park grounds could land you in jail for up to a year. "Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw. 770-427-4686, ext. 0. "www.nps.gov/kemo/ less...

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Raven Cliff Falls
    Northwest of Helen, Ga. If we were going just by ruggedness and potential for bodily harm, we would have picked the dirt path that runs along sections of Buford Highway. But that would be indulging our cynical side, which we've been taking medication to curb. Thus, we'd like to put in a plug for Ravenmore...
    Northwest of Helen, Ga. If we were going just by ruggedness and potential for bodily harm, we would have picked the dirt path that runs along sections of Buford Highway. But that would be indulging our cynical side, which we've been taking medication to curb. Thus, we'd like to put in a plug for Raven Cliff Falls, two hours north of downtown Atlanta near Dahlonega. Just northwest of the too-cute village of Helen, the path meanders for 2-1/2 miles along lazy Dodd Creek. Ask one of the fellow hikers to take a picture of you and your squeeze in front of one of the several waterfalls, the highlight of which is a 90-foot high falls. Take the trail up to the top of the falls, but watch your footing; we assume no responsibility for plummeting hikers. less...

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2000
    Type of Award » Consumer Culture
    Picked By » Critics
    Stone Mountain Park (Featured)
    Stone Mountain Park has 3,200 acres of flora on which to tramp, with the stroll up the side of the granite knob the best place to get your hike on. What makes it even better is that the slope is the perfect balance between easy-enough-for-beginners and challenging-enough-for-pros. And on a clear day,more...
    Stone Mountain Park has 3,200 acres of flora on which to tramp, with the stroll up the side of the granite knob the best place to get your hike on. What makes it even better is that the slope is the perfect balance between easy-enough-for-beginners and challenging-enough-for-pros. And on a clear day, you can see the city from the top. less...

    Best Hiking Trail BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2000
    Type of Award » Consumer Culture
    Picked By » Readers
    Appalachian Trail
    The Appalachian Trail runs from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia, a distance of 2,160 miles. If you're looking to totally transform your fitness level and lifestyle, give it a shot. Afterward, you can always try navigating Mt. Everest or Kilimanjaro.

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