If Atlantans loves one thing, it's definitely there dogs. Walking down any street in the city, you will probably cross just as many dogs as you will people. While we love our outdoorsy days, so do the pups. They need the breeze, the greenery and the exercise just like the rest of us. If you're not up to journey outside of the city to take your furry best friend on a nature walk, there's a dog-friendly hike in Atlanta that's perfect for these warmer days.
Morningside Nature Preserve is located on the northeast side of Atlanta and is 33.1 square acres of forest. Within the park is the South Fork Nature Creek and a 2-mile nature trail that begins on both ends of the preserve. The highlight of this beautiful spot is the suspension bridge that overlooks the shallow waters underneath, AKA the "dog beach."
The preserve has a rich history of being kept and maintained with much funding from local Atlantans, conservation organizations, investors and the City of Atlanta itself. This goes without saying, this area is well loved, but even with all the funding, not many people know of this gem amongst our concrete streets. It's also a perfect spot to just relax since the growth of the lush forest blocks off the preserve from the business of the city.
The hike to this doggy paradise has two trailheads: Wellbourne Road and the Georgia Power Substation on Lenox Road. The entrance on Lenox Road has a wooden staircase that's a perfect path towards the creek and bridge. The trail descends down after this entrance and that's the most difficulty that you and your pup will have on this short 1.6-mile hike.
Following the carved out trail (you'll notice the dirt-paved road underneath) will lead you to the suspension bridge overlooking the sandy beach. The waters are clear and shallow enough for dogs to paddle and swim, hence the fitting name of "dog beach."
This park is best to visit in the morning (open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily) and on weekdays. There's plenty of wildlife as well (foxes, beavers, birds, turtles and raccoons) so while you may not see them, it's best to keep an eye out for your and your dog's safety. If you're looking for more dog-friendly hiking trails, definitely check out the 9 easy hikes across Georgia or this other emerald green pool of water for your pup to enjoy.
Morningside Nature Preserve
Address: 2020 Lenox Rd. NE Atlanta, GEorgia 30306
Why You Need To Go: This park is perfect for a day with your dog; it has lots of forest, which hides away from the city, but also houses a "doh beach" before for all size pups.