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With its shimmering waters and surrounding rolling hills, Lake Lanier in North Georgia is a nature lover’s paradise. After a day on the water or spent relaxing at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, hitting the trail is one of the best ways to stretch your legs and enjoy the area’s natural wonders from a different perspective. From serene lakeside paths to more challenging treks, there’s a trail for hikers of all levels. If you’re wondering where to start, here are five of our favorite hikes near Lake Lanier.

1. Laurel Ridge Trail

Located near Buford Dam, the Laurel Ridge Trail takes hikers through groves of birch trees and along Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River. This easy to moderate-level trail boasts stunning views of the lake, Buford Dam and the surrounding hills and has several stopping points along the way, making it perfect for families. With its well-marked paths and abundant wildlife, including deer and songbirds, Laurel Ridge Trail provides a peaceful retreat.

Laurel Ridge Trail is a 3.8 mile loop and is accessible at Lower Overlook Park. 

2. Little Ridge Park Walking Trail

Ideal for leisurely strolls and family outings, the Little Ridge Park Walking Trail is a charming path that winds its way through the park and along the shores of Lake Lanier. This easy trail offers stunning lake views and opportunities for birdwatching and picnicking, with several picnic sites throughout the park. Whether you're looking for a quick nature escape or a relaxing afternoon by the water, Little Ridge Park Walking Trail provides the perfect setting for outdoor enjoyment.

Little Ridge Park Walking Trail is 1 mile long. 

3. Woodland Loop

Situated within Don Carter State Park, the Woodland Loop trail offers hikers and bikers alike a paved route on the north side of Lake Lanier. Meandering through verdant wooded areas within reach of the lake, this easy-level trail offers gentle terrain ideal for hikers of all ages and abilities craving a scenic outdoor experience.

The Woodland Loop is 1 mile long and paved. 

4. Terrapin Cove Trail

For those seeking an adventurous hiking experience, Terrapin Cove Trail delivers stunning views and more challenging terrain. This moderate-to-difficult trail winds its way through Don Carter State Park, offering hikers stunning views of the water and the chance to get up close with nature. With its modern incline and opportunities for wildlife spotting, Terrapin Cove Trail provides an exhilarating hiking experience for seasoned hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Terrapin Cove Trail is an 1.6-mile out-and-back trail. 

5. Huckleberry Trail

For a longer hike on level terrain, the Huckleberry Trail is a perfect choice. The trail weaves through wooded areas and along creek beds. This relatively easy trail is partially paved and gives hikers the opportunity to explore the natural beauty and wildlife of Don Carter State Park

Huckleberry Trail at Don Carter State Park is a .75 mile trail. 

From tranquil lakeside paths to more challenging trails, Georgia offers a wealth of hiking opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're seeking a leisurely stroll or a challenging adventure, these five hikes provide an idyllic setting for time in nature. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your water bottle and embark on an unforgettable journey through Georgia's scenic wonders.

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