With 68 national parks, Georgia offers boundless opportunities for outdoor exploration. You can take a day long hike in the mountains or raft and camp along one of Georgia’s beautiful rivers, with many of these opportunities within a few hours drive of Atlanta, the capital city. It’s time to hit the trail – here are 4 outdoor activity options you can enjoy in Georgia.
The Historic Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain is a great day trip for families, offering both outdoor activity and educational opportunities. The site has fifteen miles of hiking trails, enough for the serious hiker but with shorter opportunities that are perfect for the kids.
One of these shorter trails, a nice one mile hike, leads to the famous carving of three Civil War generals and the associated educational center. Bring the family, wear the kids out on the hike, and learn about these Confederate leaders – it’s a good opportunity to discuss Civil War history with younger kids, while opening up conversations about racism and Confederate memorials with teenagers.
For those seeking a longer hike, Amicalola Falls State Park’s ten mile trail is a perennial favorite. Long enough to require you stock your survival pack but not so long as to leave you in the woods for days, Instead you can stay at the beautiful, rustic inn located at the top of the trail before hiking back the next day.
The most important reason to visit Amicalola Falls State Park is to see one of Georgia’s own “seven natural wonders” – Amicalola Falls, the highest waterfall in Georgia. Amicalola Falls is 729 feet high and a beautiful site accented against the Chattahoochee National Forest. If you’ve got time for an overnight adventure, this is one you shouldn’t miss.
For veteran climbers looking for a view, a trip to Georgia’s highest peak is called for. Black Rock Mountain State Park holds this designation, rising over 3600 feet and home to four major hiking trails. Make it to the top and you’ll be able to see the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the clearest days, you can see all the way to Tennessee. On your way up, choose among campsites and cabins for your resting place.
In The Dark
If your family likes an adventure, Cloudland Canyon State Park offers a fantastic cave tour perfect for kids who are strong walkers or hikers. The park includes a waterfall trail that clocks in at two miles as well as a creek and plenty of opportunities for guided cave exploration. You’ll probably get dirty crawling and stooping, but that’s part of enjoying the great outdoors. Once everyone is worn out, camp at one of the hemlock-shrouded campsites or cottages near the canyon edge.
Spring comes early in Georgia, so start preparing now for your early spring adventures. The beautiful mountains, caves, and rivers of Georgia are waiting for you!