Sawnee Mountain Logo

About the Preserve

Located just 40 miles north of Atlanta in Cumming, Georgia, Sawnee Mountain Preserve provides visitors with 963 acres of scenic passive space that includes 11 miles of hiking trails, picnic areas and an interactive Visitor Center.

Sawnee Mountain Preserve visibly links to the summit of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range, as well as the rich history of the woodland culture of North Georgia’s Native American inhabitants. The mountain is named after a local Cherokee Native American, Sawnee. Now, after having survived the passage of time, natural disasters, searches for gold, timber clearing, and urban development, the land has been preserved.

There is much to see and do at Sawnee Mountain Preserve. A popular destination is the Indian Seats, a natural rock formation at the top of the trail system, offering a beautiful setting to enjoy views of the North Georgia Mountains.


Sawnee Mountain Preserve offers 11 miles of wooded trails for walkers, runners and hikers to explore the mountain. Trail options range from easy to difficult. Visitors can wander past abandoned gold mines and venture up the mountain on the Indian Seats Trail to enjoy long range views of the of Blue Ridge Mountains. Interpretive signs are located along the trail for visitors to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area.

Important Trail Information:
Dogs are not permitted at the preserve.

Trail Access Points:
4075 Spot Road
2500 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road
2505 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road

Trail Hours:
November to February - 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.
March to October - 6 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Sawnee Mountain Preserve Trail System Map

Thumbnail image of the map for the mountainside trail at sawnee mountain preserve. Click to download the map

The Sawnee Mountain Preserve Visitor Center


The Center features interactive exhibits on the natural and cultural histories of Sawnee Mountain and a resource library/lounge for visitors to relax and read.


Monday - Saturday
Free Admission
(770) 781-2217


4075 Spot Road
Cumming GA 30040
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Facility Rentals


The amphitheater located at 2500 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road provides a unique woodland backdrop for a larger outdoor gathering or ceremony. The cost is $100 for 4 hours and $25 for each additional hour, with a minimum reservation of 4 hours. This includes electricity and room for 120 guests with bench seating. No grilling or fires are allowed. Restrooms are available on site. Please call (770) 781-2217 for reservation information.


The Classroom is located inside the Visitor Center at 4075 Spot Road and is great for family gatherings, birthday parties, meetings, and groups. The cost is $50 per hour plus a $300 security deposit. This includes 25 tables, 50 folding chairs and kitchen access. Please call (770) 781-2217 for reservation information. The maximum capacity is 50 seated. The room is handicap accessible.

Picnic Pavilions

Reserve one of the four picnic pavilions at Sawnee Mountain Preserve. Each pavilion is available for $75 per day. Two of the pavilions are located at 2500 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road and seat 12 people each. Two additional pavilions are located at 2505 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road and seat 24 people each, these two pavilions are located next to the playground and restrooms. No grilling or fires are allowed.

  • Pavilion

    Seats 12
  • Pavilion

    Seats 24
  • Classroom

    50 People
  • Amphitheater

    Seats 120

Programs and Activities

The Natural Resources Management Division of Forsyth County Park and Recreation offers various types of nature and adventure programming throughout the year.

 Saturday Activities

Come visit Sawnee Mountain Preserve for these fun programs! Activities are first come, first serve. For more information, please call (770) 781-2217.

Tree Climbing

$15 per climber Drop-in from 12 to 4 pm!
2017 Dates: Aug 5, 12, 19, 26, Sept 2, 16, Oct 7, 21, Nov 4, 18

Crafts & Workshops

FREE Drop-in starting at 11 am 
2017 Dates: August 12, 26, Sept 9, 23, Oct 14, 28

Guided Hikes

FREE Starts at 11 am; Call to register!
2017 Dates: Aug 26, Sept 23, Oct 28

Climbing Tower

$15 per climber Drop-in from 12 to 4 pm!
2017 Dates: Aug 5, 12, 19, 26, Sept 2, 16, Oct 7, 21, Nov 4, 18

 Adventure and Nature Camps Register

The camps at Sawnee Mountain Preserve combine outdoor adventure experiences with environmental education in an effort to give campers an opportunity to grow the confidence needed to be productive and satisfied members of their communities. We want campers to discover their best self and we believe the great outdoors is just the place to make it happen.

Our outdoor camps for youth ages 4 to 15 help campers build the right skills for positive recreational adventure pursuits and future success. While campers are having the time of their life exploring, creating, discovering, paddling, climbing, hiking, riding, zipping and learning in North Georgia, much more is happening. Campers are developing everlasting interpersonal and intrapersonal skills as well as learning to love and respect their environment.

Home School Program
A 12 Week Science Course Designed Specifically for Home School Families

Image of homeschool program. Children collecting samples in stream

Students will learn elementary science skills through the exploration of our beautiful trail system, direct observation of forest ecosystems, live experiments, and individual attention from our experienced naturalists. Students will also develop language arts skills as they observe, describe, and communicate about the world around them.

  • Family Focused
  • Hands On Learning
  • Social Interactions
  • Unique Educational Experiences
  • Break From Usual Routine
  • Consistency

Ages 5+
Dates Offered Spring and Fall
Day Wednesdays
Time 1pm to 2:30pm
Fee $120.00/person (resident); $ 240.00/person (non-resident)

 Pre-school Program
A 12 Week Science Course Designed Specifically for Pre-school Children

Image of preschool program. Children playing with worms.

Join us for this 12 week science course designed specifically for Pre-K children! Participants will explore the amazing, diverse environment of Sawnee Mountain Preserve in a safe and stimulating setting. Through nature awareness games, hands-on field science, nature hikes, nature inspired art, storytelling, and experiments, participants learn to observe, appreciate, and ask questions about the world around them.  Each session offers a different theme!  
Sign up online

  • Hands On Learning
  • Social Interactions
  •  Gross Motor Skills

Ages 3-5
Dates Offered Spring and Fall 
Day Tuesdays or Thursdays 
Time 1 to 2:30 pm
Fee $100/person (resident); $ 200/person (non-resident)

Group Programs

Please call the Visitor Center at (770) 781-2217 to make a group program reservation.

Tree Climbing

Experience a bird’s eye view high in the trees of Sawnee Mountain Preserve!  Tree climbing programs use ropes and special tree climbing equipment to move climbers up into the tree tops. All equipment will be provided. $30 per participant - ages 8 and up only.

Rock Climbing and Tower Climbing

Give rock climbing a try with our trained and experienced climbing instructors. We offer group programs for recreational rock climbing at the Indian Seats on Sawnee Mountain and at the Climbing Tower. Climb with us and learn about equipment, knots, techniques and commands used by climbers and belayers. $30 per participant - ages 8 and up only.

Nature Hikes

Nature Hikes are now available! Great for Scout groups and birthday parties. Take a hike with one of our trained Naturalists and learn about the history and flora/fauna of Sawnee Mountain Preserve.

$80/naturalist for groups up to 12 people.

School Field Trips - Pre-K through 5th grade

SITE Hikes
Looking for an educational field trip using real science skills in the local environment? The SITE Hikes program is aligned directly to the Georgia Performance Standards and was created in response to teacher's request for educational field trips.  Sawnee Mountain Preserve offers grade-level specific SITE Hikes in an outdoor classroom setting with a "living laboratory" for a nearby nature experience. Students are presented with opportunities to practice science process skills, to think as scientists, and to use scientific tools and instruments. 

Location: Sawnee Mountain Preserve Visitor Center Cost: $7/Student Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm

The Bear Went Over the Mountain 
In response to targeted input from Sawnee Mountain Preserve's School Advisory Committee, THE BEAR WENT OVER THE MOUNTAIN program was designed as an educational opportunity for third grade students.  The program was offered as a initial pilot study for the 2014-2015 school year.  The success of the program has led it to become a continual offering for third grade field trips.

Location: Sawnee Mountain Preserve Visitor Center Cost: $10/Student Time: 9:30am - 12:00pm