When it comes to outdoor recreation, Atlanta doesn’t disappoint. While it would be impossible to list everything there is to see and do in the great outdoors around Atlanta, these eight outdoor adventures are a great place to start.
From Buford to Dunwoody, at Treetop Quest, adventure seekers can play in the trees at one of the park’s seven golf courses. In fact, with 2.5 hours of gameplay, you can try each course as many times as you like. If you want to ride without a seat belt, you can try Spider Quest, a unique course without a seat belt with a safety net underneath. Whichever you choose, you are sure to enjoy this aerial adventure.
Pools Mill Park
For a natural outdoor adventure, visit Poole’s Mill Park in Forsyth County. The park is home to a gradual natural waterfall that cascades over large rocks, turning it into a natural water slide. The park has picnic tables along the creek so you can make it a day-long adventure with family or friends. There’s also a historic covered bridge, playground, and picnic pavilion if you’re planning to bring a larger group.
Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
Stone Mountain fans will love the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area east of Atlanta. You can take the self-guided trail up the 400-million-year-old Monadnock where, once you reach the top, you can enjoy panoramic views of Atlanta. There are also opportunities for biking, fishing, and geocaching throughout the area, as well as paddling on the South River. In fact, there is so much to do that you can keep coming back.
Sweetwater Creek State Park
Many outdoor enthusiasts flock to Sweetwater Creek State Park to hike the trails to the ruins of the park’s Civil War textile mill. But there is much more to do here. If you love being on the water, rent a paddleboard and hit the 550-acre George Sparks Reservoir. If you prefer to stay firmly on dry land, you can also fish in the lake.
Historic Banning Mills
Located in Whitesburg, southwest of Atlanta, Historic Banning Mills offers many opportunities to indulge in all kinds of outdoor adventures. You can fly through the air on the world’s longest zip-line course (12,000m!), climb the world’s highest free-standing climbing wall (137.42ft), climb the Crazy Squirrel Aerial course with the kids, and horseback ride go kayaking. When you’re ready to rest, head to your very own treehouse room.
Terminus Wake Park
For a water adventure like no other you’ll find in downtown Atlanta, head northwest of Atlanta to Emerson and Terminus Wake Park. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned expert, this wake park includes two full-size cable lakes as well as a learn-to-ride cable area so you can hone your skills. Before you go, get online and reserve so you don’t have to wait your turn on the water.
Chattahoochee River tubing
You’ve been hearing about the awesomeness of “shooting in the air” for years, and now it’s time to do it. Make your way to Abbotts Bridge Road near the Johns Creek/Duluth border and the folks at Chattahoochee River Tubing will set you up for a relaxing ride down the Chattahoochee River. You can even bring your dog to join the ride. Also, you can bring your own cooler so you have your own drinks and snacks for the trip.
Atlanta Motor Speedway
If you’ve ever felt the need for speed, the Atlanta Motor Speedway is the place to be. Sign up for the NASCAR Racing Experience and get behind the wheel in no time at this 1.54-mile, 24-degree grade square track. You’ll start by meeting your own crew chief, then hit the course and receive one-to-one instruction from your own spotter. You’ll have pit stops throughout the event and keep practicing until you’re driving at speeds in excess of 150 mph.
For more adventures outside of Atlanta, check out Callaway Gardens’ TreeTop Adventure, which includes a mix of zipline and high ropes obstacles. Further south from Callaway Gardens in Columbus you’ll find the world’s longest urban whitewater rafting where you can hit the rapids of the Chattahoochee River.