Sawnee Mountain Nature Preserve is located about 30 miles north of Atlanta and has over 900 acres of scenic passive space, hiking trails, and an interactive Visitor Center. In this preserve, there are 11 miles of trails that can be used for hiking and trail running, the most popular of which leads visitors up to Indian Seats, a rock out cropping shaped like three seat that over looks a 300 fort drop revealing, in clear weather, broadly grand views of the North Georgia mountains.
The mountain is named after a local Cherokee Native American, Sawnee, and the visitor center reflects the rich history of the woodland culture of North Georgia’s Native American inhabitants. Legend has it that “the seats” were used for tribal leaders to meet and discuss plans.
In the 1800s, North Georgia had its own gold rush and this park is still pock marked with pits dug to unearth gold, as well as an abandoned mine.
Kid friendly? Most definitely, kids love this park. Between the visitors, center, Indian Seats, the vistas, the abandoned mine shaft, and the playgrounds, Sawnee Mountain Preserve is almost always a hit. I give it a 10 out of 10 for kids.
Dog friendly? Um, no. No dogs allowed in the park due to some county ordinances. More information can be found at https://library.municode.com/ga/forsyth_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH54PARE_ARTIINGE_S54-11ANRE.
Visitors can access this part from three locations:
The Visitor’s Center is located at 4075 Spot Road, Cumming, GA, and is a great place for first-time visitors to try.
The trailhead to Indian Seats is located at 2500 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road, Cumming, GA. There is parking, restrooms and water at this trail head, as well as a playground for kids.
There is a trailhead to longer, more strenuous trails at 2505 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road, Cumming, GA. There is parking, restrooms and water at this trail head, as well as a playground for kids.
November to February - 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.
March to October - 6 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.