Which National Parks are close to Atlanta?
In this post you’ll find a complete list of National Parks in Georgia, as well as Georgia’s National Heritage Areas, with a spotlight on those within an easy drive from Atlanta.
For info on the current status of the parks nearest to Atlanta, see the links below.
Some national parks are ALWAYS FREE, while others charge an average of $5 for entrance/parking.
Note: Every year there are 5 National Parks free entrance days, when the fees are waived everywhere.
Most of the 11 National Parks in Georgia are near the North Georgia Mountains and Coastal Georgia, but there are 4 national parks near Atlanta.
The closest National Parks & National Heritage Sites to Atlanta are:
- Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Sandy Springs — $5 parking fee — details here
- Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park — $5 parking fee — details here
- Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area — $5 parking fee — details here
- Martin Luther King National Historic Site — indoor buildings still closed, outdoor campus open and FREE to the public
The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is a popular recreation and hiking spot close to Atlanta.
Arabia Mountain is just 30 miles from Perimeter Mall, 29 miles from Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport, and 25 miles from Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta.
FREE ranger-led hikes at Kennesaw Mountain park
All park programming is FREE and open to the public. No registration required. Remember — if you don’t have an annual parking pass, you’ll pay $5 to park.
These programs are outdoors and weather dependent. Please bring water and wear sturdy shoes for hikes.
Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to meet the ranger at the Visitor Center.
For more details, visit the Kennesaw Mountain park calendar page and click on the date you’re interested in.
July 18, 2021
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Guided Mountain Top Hike
This is a 2-mile, ranger-led hike to the top of Big Kennesaw Mountain. The hike will focus on local and Civil War history, as well some of the ecology of the area.
11 a.m. to noon
Memorial Field Walk
This is a short, ranger-led history walk in the Memorial Field in front of the Visitor Center. It will take an in-depth look at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.
11 to 11:30 a.m.
Animals of Kennesaw Mountain Talk
This ranger-led talk will focus on the different animal species found at Kennesaw Mountain. The ranger will show you pelts from different animals and talk about the diverse habitats at the park.
Annual FREE admission days at National Parks
Come experience the national parks! On five days in 2020, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone.
This includes all the National Parks near Atlanta and in Georgia.
Mark your calendar for these free-entrance days in 2021:
- January 20: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- April 18: First day of National Park Week
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 26: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Note that only the entrance fee is waived.
Depending on what you plan to do at the park, you’ll still need to pay for things like campsites, boat launches, walking tours, etc.
Complete list of the National Parks in Georgia
There are 11 National Parks in the state of Georgia, plus three National Heritage Areas.
The National Parks in bold text are those that are closest to the Atlanta metro area. The links will click through to the corresponding National Park Service web page.
- Andersonville National Historic Site
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail
- Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Sandy Springs (Daily park pass is $5)
- Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
- Cumberland Island National Seashore
- Fort Frederica National Monument
- Fort Pulaski National Monument
- Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains
- Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (Daily park pass is $5)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site — ALWAYS FREE!
- Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
National Heritage Areas include:
- Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area — ALWAYS FREE
- Augusta Canal National Heritage Area
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