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Best OTP Parks

Our list of the best Parks outside of the Perimeter

Chattahoochee Nature Center
Photo credit: Courtesy Roswell CVB
Chattahoochee Nature Center


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Below are our recommendations for OTP Parks in Atlanta. These selections came from our past winners of Best of Atlanta, recommendations from readers who voted in the past 2 years of Best of and from our critic's personal choices. Please leave comments below about your ideas to add to this list.

Best OTP Parks

Park

CL: Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is a must-see destination come springtime if you are inclined to visit only one OTP spot. The mountain’s stunning geologic formations are home to five species of plant life that are listed on the state and federal endangered lists, including the bright red diamorpha plant, which lives and thrives in small pools of water. It’s an extremely rare, colorful, and very fragile ecosystem that at times feels like visiting another planet. Spiderwebbed with trails, this former quarry vividly demarcates the collision of nature and industry. Only 20 minutes away from the city, Arabia Mountain offers both a beautiful hike and over 400 years of history. The area is home to more than 12 miles of nature trails and 30 miles of paved bike paths along wooded areas and wetlands. The rich plant life, including the vibrant diamorpha bloom and at least five endangered plants, gives the rock an outerspace feel.
Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is a must-see destination come springtime if you are inclined to visit only one OTP spot. The mountain’s stunning geologic formations are home to five species of plant life that are listed on the state and federal endangered lists, including the bright red diam... | more...

Park

The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a private non-profit, 127-acre, award-winning, interpretive center dedicated to environmental education. Visitors particularly enjoy the new Gold level LEED-certified Discovery Center Museum and Nature Exchange with hands-on/minds-on exhibits that tell the Chattaho... | more...

Trail

East Palisades Trail occupies an expanse of land in the region of Sandy Springs — well within the Perimeter — and the sheer diversity of the landscape is overwhelming. The park features trails of various difficulty levels through diverse terrain, but one should not miss the stunning bamboo forest fo... | more...

Trail

From Atlanta Trails: Beautiful, wide river views in a blooming forest, with rocky bluffs and sandy shorelines on the banks of the Chattahoochee River: the West Palisades Trail is easily one of the most scenic in-town hikes in Atlanta. And this four-mile loop covers this park’s highlights on a serie... | more...

Tourist Attractions

The world's largest mass of exposed granite is the centerpiece of this park, which features golf courses, hiking trails, camping, swimming, dining, and attractions including the Geyser Towers, Summit Skyride, and much more. The park also hosts a spectacular 3-D laser light show nightly during the su... | more...

Park

Sweetwater Creek State Park is a peaceful tract of wilderness only minutes from downtown Atlanta. A wooded trail follows the stream to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War. Beyond the mill, the trail climbs rocky bluffs to provide views o... | more...



More OTP Parks

Park

The 46-acre preserve is a favorite for families and hiking day trips. The Heritage Village maintains the charming rural heritage of a General Store, chapel, and farmhouses. Nature enthusiasts can explore 2 miles of walking trails through the forest or dip their toes in Sal's Creek. | more...

Park

A small lake located in the heart of Avondale Estates with a lovely landscaped walking path around its perimeter. | more...

Park

Boundary Waters Park is a quick drive from Atlanta to Douglasville, Georgia. Just beyond the Boundary Waters Aquatic Center and frisbee golf course lies a 12-mile network of hiking, running, biking, and horseback riding trails nestled along the Chattahoochee River. The hilly terrain offers great opp... | more...

Park

Dunwoody's largest park is comprised of more than 100 acres, featuring a dog park, skate park, community garden, children's playground, walking trails, and picnic areas. | more...

Park

It's hard to go wrong with any of the 'Hooch's national recreation areas. For sheer versatility — and convenience — Columns Drive and Johnson Ferry Road is one of our favorite spots. Located just OTP at the bottom of the long-and-winding Riverside Drive, you'll find a flat, wide 2.5-mile paved thoro... | more...

Park

Island Ford Park hosts three miles of hiking trails following the grand, wide-flowing Chattahoochee River in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area north of Atlanta.

Visit Island Ford Park on atlantatrails.com to learn more.

| more...

Park

The Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is a privately owned and maintained 28-acre park that connects with Hahn Woods near Lullwater Preserve. The park boasts an extensive network of boardwalks and trails that lead past features such as a pollinator garden, Raccoon Rock, and Beaver Pond, which is freque... | more...

Trail

Cochran Shoals Trail at the Chattahoochee River is great for running, hiking, and mountain biking. Stroll along the wide riverside path, or explore the vast network of paths comprising the adjoining Sope Creek Trail that lead to an old family cemetery, Sibley Pond, and the Marietta Paper Mill. Wheth... | more...

Trail

A series of trails within the Kennesaw National Park. From 11 mile to


Battlefield Trail 11 Mile Loop
Cheatham Hill and Kolb Farm Loop Trail 5.8 Mile Loop
Environmental Trail 1.35 Miles
Kennesaw Mountain Trail 2.1 Miles

24 Gun Trail 3.5 Miles | more...

Park

Website: The Oakhurst Dog Park is one of three dog parks in the city of Decatur and is 100% community-maintained. The city provides resources, but it’s the park-goers who keep the grounds clean and welcoming. We are proud to be first dog park to be named a wildlife sanctuary by the Atlanta Audubon S... | more...

Park

Just 15 minutes from Atlanta is a recreational haven for all ages and interests. Visitors can picnic while children work off energy on the playground. The park offers archery, geocaching, orienteering, birding and tree-climbing programs. A paved trail is open for biking, roller blading, jogging and ... | more...

Trail

Powers Island Trail is a part of Powers Island is one of the most serene sections of the recreation area and less traffic than its popular neighbor, Interstate North, just across the Chattahoochee River. A narrow trail makes a 2.5-mile loop as it follows the riverbank, offers broad views of the Chat... | more...

Park

The Indian Seats Trail is located within the Sawnee Mountain Preserve in Cumming. The preserve is rich with hiking trails and has a visitor center. The Indian Seats are a natural rock formation with expansive views of the Blue Ridge mountains. | more...

Trail

The Sope Creek Trails at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area are some of the most popular trails in Metro Atlanta for mountain biking, trail running and hiking. These trails were built and maintained by volunteers. | more...

Trail

The Vickery Creek trail at Roswell Mill has some of the most picturesque views you can find on an intown hike. Nice waterfall, a covered bridge and access to other trails and hikes in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. | more...

Park

The Yellow River Park is tucked between Stone Mountain and Snellville in Gwinnett County. The park features a 3.2 mile hike next to Yellow River in a beautiful escape just outside of Atlanta. | more...



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