- Marin Guta For the AJC
Completing a scenic two-mile hike and a solid workout all under one hour seems too good to be true. But it’s certainly possible. We’ve scouted out a couple of short, intense hiking trails that will get your heart rate rising. So, if you don’t mind breaking a sweat and pulling out those dusty hiking boots, check out these noteworthy trail excursions in less than an hour.
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Located north of Helen, this 2-mile trail allows passerby’s to catch glimpses of Yonah Mountain before reaching the valley in Raven Cliffs Wilderness. The hike offers views of tumbling waterfalls and scenic creeks lined with mossy boulders. The trail has several large wooden viewing platforms, which allow trail blazers to overlook a stunning 150-foot-tall drop of Dukes Creek Falls.
If you’re a fan of waterfalls, then this 2-mile trail in Clarkesville will be right up your alley. This relatively short trail offers outstanding views of Hemlock falls, which cascades over a cliff and lands into a serene pool below. It makes for a great spot to take a break and relax.
Although the expedition may only be a little under two miles, this hike steadily increases in elevation above Long Creek - making for a good workout. Throughout this hike journey, the Long Creek runs parallel to the path. One of the treasured sites on the trail is the waterfall at the end, which makes the hike well worth the wait.
Lookout Mountain is a historical treasure trove. The mountain was once was inhabited by Native Americans and was a site of a Cherokee battle and a significant Civil War battle. The mountain overlooks the Tennessee River and provides long-range views of Chattanooga. Although the mountain offers tons of different trail options, if you’re looking for a short yet strenuous trail, the mountain offers a unique 3-mile trail loop.
This hike in Tallulah Falls may only be a 2-mile loop, but don’t let the distance fool you - it’s a toughie. The path leads you to Hurriance Falls waterfall and overlooks Tallulah Gorge’s watery depths. The hike is full of sheer drops, beautiful scenery and large rock outcrops.