Georgia

10 Short & Easy Hikes Near Savannah, Georgia

by Katie Owens
Updated October 23, 2021

Beautiful Hikes Near Savannah, Georgia
Photo: Adonis Page / Shutterstock

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and its trails perfectly blend nature and history. Wildlife sightings are frequent on island trails and water is abundant, from rivers to creeks to ocean.

If hiking in hot weather, make sure you remember to carry water and bug repellant. Have a hat or something to keep the sun off your head, and consider picking a hike where you can take a swim in a river or lake along the way. It can easily be over 100 degrees F here in the summer with extremely high humidity.

Truly, fall and winter are the best times for exploring easy hikes near Savannah, though abundant blooms and evergreens create breathtaking scenery year-round. While hiking, make sure to stay on the trail — they call it sawgrass for a reason — and the reason is it’ll cut your legs if you stumble though a patch!)

Below, you’ll find some of the best easy hikes near Savannah. Each of these trails feature great views and a touch of history, too.

1. Oatland Island Wildlife Center Trails

Oatland Island Wildlife Center Trails
Photo: Vadim Fedotov / Shutterstock

Why you should go: Family-friendly trail through a “zoo” and animal wellness preserve.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 2.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 26 feet

This 500-acre wildlife center has been serving the community for over 45 years and the main trailhead is easily reached from Savannah or Tybee Beach. The 2-mile nature trails meanders pat most of the main areas of the preserve.

As you follow the trail toward Richardson Creek, you’ll pass through bird, alligator, and cougar habitats. The trail then turns back and goes past some armadillo and flying squirrel habitats before passing the wolf and bison areas.

2. Cockspur Lighthouse Trail

easy hikes near savannah
Photo: Bruce Ellis / Shutterstock

Why you should go: Take a stroll in the wetlands past a historic fort and lighthouse.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: None

This out-and-back trail starts at the Fort Pulaski National Monument Visitors Center and winds closely around an old brick fort and its iconic moat. As you see cargo ships slowly moving in the distance, it’s easy to imagine what the area was like during the Civil Way, especially as there are cannonball scars on the side of the confederate fort.

After crossing through some marshland, you’ll reach the little lighthouse, which was built in the late 1830s and deactivated in 1909. It’s not open to the public, but you can still wander around the outside. Pelicans like to roost around the lighthouse, so bring your camera (and expect to have some feathered friends nearby if you take a snack break on the beach).

3. Wormsloe State Historic Site

Wormsloe State Historic Site
Photo: Serge Skiba / Shutterstock

Why you should go: Walk underneath an iconic avenue of oaks and see the oldest ruins in town.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 20 feet

Head to Isle of Hope for a hike through Georgia’s oldest tidewater estate. Your first view of Wormsloe State Historic Park will be through a graceful stone arch framing a pristine avenue of oaks. The draw of the park is the historic estate, called Wormsloe, built in the 1730s and ’40s. It’s the oldest standing building in Savannah and has a few history exhibits about the plantation’s slaves, owners, and trade.

If you cover all the paths in the park, it totals around 3 miles and has very little elevation gain (maybe 20 feet? Maybe?) You can walk in various ways or cut out sections to make it shorter, so it’s best to pick up a map when you walk in to plan your route. Check out the events calendar to find out when colonial reenactors will be on hand, and if you’re planning on visiting a few historic sites like this, you may want to buy a state historic pass in advance.

4. Forsyth Park Loop

easy hikes near savannah
Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: Stroll past a historic fountain and fragrant garden in a large, landscaped park.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Elevation gain: none

Forsyth Park is in center of the Savannah historic district and it’s the splendor is apparent after you take the 1-mile walk around the perimeter. On the weekends, you’ll see couples with books and picnics relaxing in the shade of live oak trees and azaleas.

The park’s central fountain has been a Savannah landmark for more than a century (and is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day). While in the park, don’t forget to stop by the Fragrant Garden, a gated sensory experienced designed for blind guests. If you visit in the morning, stop at the Sentient Bean Coffee Shop at the edge of the park to grab a coffee for your walk.

5. Savannah Riverfront

easy hikes near savannah
Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Why you should go: Wide, lovely walk along the water on River Street.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 1.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 30 feet

Since the city’s founding in 1733, the Savannah Riverfront has been key to the city’s culture and commerce. In fact, cargo and tug boats are still active in the river today.

To take this easy hike in Savannah (more of a walk, really), take the steps down from Bay Street, though there’s an elevator near city hall, too. The easy walk passes the Florence Martus statue (known as the “waiving girl”) and the Factors Walk, an older stone street with cool shops and restaurants. If you walk it in the evening, you’ll probably see a few travelers on ghost tours as many of the area buildings are reportedly haunted. Treat yourself with a praline from River Street Sweets or beignets at Huey’s on your way.

6. Bonaventure Cemetery Walking Tour

Bonaventure Cemetery Walking Tour
Photo: Dana J Lewis / Shutterstock

Why you should go: Self-guided history walk that includes an impressive panorama of the Wilmington River.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 10 feet

A walk through a cemetery may sound a bit macabre, but the picturesque Bonaventure Cemetery is one of Savannah’s most popular attractions. Historically used as a park space, Sunday picnics and sporting events were once common on the grounds. With stunning views of the Wilmington River and some trees more than 200 years old, every part of this are is beautiful – and also full of myth and legend. You might recognize it from the cover of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

However, don’t go looking for the Bird Girl statue; it was recently relocated to the Jepson Center for the Arts. And be sure to respect the cemetery – don’t pick flowers or touch the tombstones while taking this easy hike in Savannah.

7. Big Ferry Trail

Big Ferry Trail – Skidaway State Park
Photo: Youi Shih / Shutterstock

Why you should go: Follow this old road into a diverse forest complete with observation deck.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 3.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 40 feet

Allow yourself around two hours to walk this pleasant easy hike in Savannah in Skidaway Island State Park, and make sure to include the earthworks loop to get the full experience. The walk starts on the old ferry road, passing Skidaway Meadow on the right. Pass the alligator ponds and you’ll see the remnants of a native coastal settlement: a huge pile of oyster shells called a midden. Loop back around and climb the observation tower for a bird’s eye view of Skidaway Narrows.

8. Sandpiper Trail and Avian Loop

easy hikes near savanna
Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: ADA-accessible trail with lovely Southern scenery and birding opportunities.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 20 feet

A trail popular with locals and tourists alike, the Sandpiper Trail (also in a Skidaway Island State Park) is an easy walk through wetlands. It’s a mix of well-maintained boardwalk and a level, sandy trail, so it’s accessible for people with limited mobility. Children will love the fiddler crabs and parents will love the picnic tables and shaded paths. Birding is a popular activity at Skidaway State Park, too, as ducks, ospreys, songbirds, and bald eagles all make their home here.

9. Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Trail

Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Trail
Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: Easy inland walk along a lush canal, ending at the picturesque Ogeechee River.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: none

Head to Richmond Hill to visit the canal museum and nature center. Constructed between 1820 and 1830, the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal runs for more than 16 miles to the river. The 2.2-mile trail on the property is relatively quiet and runs along the Ogeechee River and through swamplands. And because it’s through swampland, you’ll see all kinds of bird species, alligators, and even the occasional giant tortoise.

10. Ebenezer Creek Paddling Trail

Ebenezer Creek Paddling Trail
Photo: Joanne Dale / Shutterstock

Why you should go: Skip the hiking and follow a paddle trail through the Georgia backwater.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 12 miles
  • Elevation gain: none

Grab your canoe and follow Ebenezer Creek as it flows to the Savannah River. If you’re not up for the full 12 miles, start at Tommy Long Landing instead.

Ebenezer Creek is known as Georgia’s best example of a backwater swamp environment, which basically means any body of water that isn’t impacted by a current (usually a bit inland). As you paddle, you’ll pass cypress and tupelo trees. You can do it in a full day if you want to haul your own gear, or go with an outfitter who will provide the gear and lead the way.

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