Things 2 Do

SPRING BREAK 2024: 5 quick escapes right in the metro that take you to beautiful places

ATLANTA — If you want a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the work week or just want a peaceful place to get out of the house, there are several places throughout the Atlanta metro area where you can go to help you relax.

Sawnee Mountain Preserve

On the outskirts of Cumming, is a great, easy hike that brings you to spectacular views of the north Georgia mountains.

“Sawnee Mountain Preserve visibly links to the summit of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range, as well as the rich history of the woodland culture of North Georgia’s Native American inhabitants. The mountain is named after a local Cherokee Native American, Sawnee. Now, after having survived the passage of time, natural disasters, searches for gold, timber clearing, and urban development, the land has been preserved,” the preserve’s website said.

The preserve includes 11 miles of hiking trials, picnic areas and an interactive visitor’s center.

There are three trailheads with ample parking at each, at 4075 Spot Road, 2500 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road and 2505 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Sawnee Mountain Preserve.

Morningside Nature Preserve

Tucked away in Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood is this beautiful 33-acre escape from the city. The nature preserve was created after the community rallied to save the area from development and more than 600 households in the area raised $150,000 to create the preserve. Following that, the city and organizations like the Arthur Blank Foundation helped fund the project as well.

The preserve includes about 2 miles of walking trails and even a suspension bridge. There are two entrances to the nature preserve. There is one off of Lenox road, which has a small parking lot for cars. The other is off of Wellbourne Road.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Morningside Nature Preserve.

Arabia Mountain

Not far off of I-20 in DeKalb County is one of the area’s most unique places to hike, bike or just enjoy the beauty of nature – Arabia Mountain.

The mountain itself is a 2,550-acre greenspace that includes large formations of exposed granite, wetlands, pine and oak forests, multiple streams and two lakes.

Arabia Mountain is also home to rare native plants like the red diamorpha, which is a type of succulent that blossoms in patches across the mountain in the spring.

“The area is also very much influenced by human hands. The evidence of quarrying activities are apparent in the industrial debris left on the mountain and of the abandoned structures once used by workers for storage, offices and shelter. The ruins of quarry buildings are found interspersed throughout the park and metal spikes that were used to split the granite are still embedded in the rock,” the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area website said.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Arabia Mountain and all that it offers.

Constitution Lakes Park

Tucked away on the edge of Atlanta and DeKalb County is a scenic wetlands park that will provide the perfect quick getaway.

Constitution Lakes Park “was once the site of a brickyard, the lakes were created when water filled the clay excavation pits. The brick operation was shut down nearly 50years ago, and now the property has been restored by nature to a wetland habitat capable of sustaining birds, fish, wildlife, and a wide range of plant species,” the Friends of Constitution Lakes Facebook page says.

DeKalb County bought the property in 2003 and “added a parking lot, a paved walkway down to the lakes and a boardwalk around one end of the lakes. It’s a good spot for birding, with water and shore birds as well as forest birds in the woods around the lakes.”

The park is also home to one of the weirdest, and some may say creepiest, trails in the metro Atlanta area, the Dolls Head Trail.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Constitution Lakes Park or the Dolls Head Trail.

Atlanta Beltline Northside Trail

Arguably the most picturesque park of the Atlanta Beltline, the Northside Trail moves along Tanyard Creek through part of Buckhead.

The trail is about one mile long and runs through the neighborhoods behind Piedmont Atlanta Hospital and loops around the Bobby Jones Golf Course.

The trail connects to several parks, playgrounds and the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center.

“Offering a secluded feel that lets city life fade away, it serves as a connector for two previously existing trails,” the Atlanta Beltline website says.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Atlanta Beltline Northside Trail.