Atlanta: Keys Branch (kids' hike) - Backpacker

Atlanta: Keys Branch (kids' hike)

Go ahead, kids: Skip over creeks. Play in the mud. Catch bugs. This easy hike crams lots of wild fun into 3.4 miles.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 2.9



Location: 34.9506683349609, -83.8418273925781

Goal: The kid with the most points at end of hike wins. Pack paper and pen to keep score. From the car, find the trailhead (10 pts.) and lead the way


Location: 34.9512138366699, -83.8398895263672

Trail passes under archway onto Miller Trek Trail. Count the orange blazes (1 pt. each) from here to WPT 3


Location: 34.9514770507812, -83.8380584716797

L onto Keys Branch Loop, a path with blue blazes (2 pts. each). Cross paved road into woods; L @ next road, crossing bridge


Location: 34.9536361694336, -83.8364791870117

Keep counting blue blazes until you enter woods after crossing parking lot. Next challenge: See how many bugs (5 pts. each) you can fi nd in 60 seconds. Look under rocks, leaves, and logs


Location: 34.9547538757324, -83.8398132324219

How old is this longleaf pine log? Count the rings, then add to your score


Location: 34.9573287963867, -83.8361206054688

Cross road and ascend a hill into hardwoods. Ahead, look for trout (15 pts. each) in Keys Branch


Location: 34.9563217163086, -83.8333587646484

At sign, learn about poisonous snakes (5 pts.). Head straight @ next intersection (lose 10 pts. for any wrong turns)


Location: 34.9549179077148, -83.8350067138672

Step off trail and sit 30 seconds. How many birds do you hear? Earn a point for each. L @ Y in 50 yds. to begin .3-mi. loop


Location: 34.9545783996582, -83.8340454101562

Fine views of surrounding ridges. Guess the elevation. The kid closest earns 10 pts. Answer: 2,215 ft.


Location: 34.9538116455078, -83.8340072631836

Continue .1 mi. to close loop. Earn 5 pts. for any wildlife spotted on trail back to car. Game winner picks where to eat dinner