As the weather cools down, it’s time to venture out of your air conditioning and back to the great outdoors—and maybe even the woods. These day hikes, all less than an hour from Atlanta, will give you a chance to check out the fall foliage and fresh air, even with your youngest littles in tow. 

Stone Mountain Park
Sure, Stone Mountain’s amusement park atmosphere may be a little touristy for your taste if you’re in the mood for the great outdoors, but its location—just 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta—means a trip here won’t cut into nap time. Skip the hike up the mountain and head instead to the 3/4 mile Nature Garden Trail for a stroll with your little one. Then, if your toddler is still up for adventure, ride the Summit Skyride up to see the view from the top of the mountain.

1000 Robert E. Lee Boulevard, Stone Mountain, Ga 30083

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Sweetwater Park
At only 18 miles from downtown Atlanta, this Georgia state park is one of the easiest places to head for a morning hike. The Red Trail gives you a pleasant half-mile walk alongside the creek, ending at the ruins of an old mill. The second half of the mile-long trail is more difficult, so your best bet is to stop there for a snack and then head back to the car.

1750 Mt. Vernon Road, Lithia Springs, Ga 30122

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Red Top Mountain State Park 
Red Top Mountain is best known not for its mountain but for Lake Allatoona, which features swimming, water skiing and fishing. You can also rent a boat and head out on the water. The park has over 15 miles of trails, and the easiest one, the Lakeside Trail, is less than a mile long. It’s also paved, so your toddler can relax in the stroller while you admire the lake.

50 Lodge Road SE, Cartersville, Ga 30121

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High Falls State Park
High Falls has two trails with a view of the falls, and one is only half a mile long. But both require climbing up for the view, so your toddler may be better suited for a stroll along the lakeside trail. Swimming in the lake is an option too, so bring bathing suits if it’s hot. And if the hour drive to get here is too long for a day trip, you can rent a yurt and make a weekend of it.

76 High Falls Park Drive, Jackson, Ga 30233

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Want to make it an overnight adventure? Click here for our suggestions on where to pitch your tent with tots. And don’t forget to read our guide to natural dangers in the Atlanta area.

Will you take your toddler hiking this fall? Tell us about it below!

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–Lisa Baker

Photos courtesy of Creative Commons via FlickrStone Mountain Park, High Falls State Park and Friends of Red Top Mountain State Park via Facebook