Paddleboarding at High Falls State Park in Jackson, Georgia

Paddleboarding at High Falls State Park in Jackson, Georgia

50 Ways to Get Outside

From paddling Georgia's lakes to soaring high above the pines on zip lines, there are so many ways to explore Georgia's great outdoors. Start your outdoor adventures with these ideas.

When it comes to outdoor adventures, few places can rival Georgia's diversity. Want to hike majestic mountains? Explore urban trails? Fish in secluded lakes? You can do all that and more in Georgia, which is always adding to its already impressive lineup of outdoor attractions. This list will help get you started.

Okefenokee Swamp. Photo by Taylor Coleman, @ooooogurl
Okefenokee Swamp. Photo by Taylor Coleman, @ooooogurl

1. Hop aboard a flat-bottomed boat and keep your eyes peeled for alligators, egrets and hawks during a tour of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Folkston.

2. Catch a wave on the state’s only double Flow-Rider at Splash in the Boro, a Statesboro water park.

3.Tee up at Georgia state parks, such as Little Ocmulgee State Park in Helena and Rutledge's Hard Labor Creek State Park.

4. Paddle the Altamaha River, aka Georgia's Little Amazon. It forms east of Lumber City and flows more than 130 miles before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Head to Lakeland to fish for largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish at Banks Lake, a 4,000-acre blackwater lake.

6. Soar to new heights at Whitesburg's Historic Banning Mills, home to the world’s largest and longest zip line canopy tour.

Atlanta BeltLine and Ponce City Market
Atlanta BeltLine and Ponce City Market

7. Toss rings and play other carnival games on the roof of Atlanta’s Ponce City Market, a mixed-used development that has a world-class food hall.

8. Watch dolphins jump in the waves created by the “Dolphin Surfing Machine,” the boat at the heart of Captain Derek’s Dolphin Adventure on Tybee Island.

9. Let go of life’s little stresses at White Hills Farm, a boutique lavender and herb farm in Dearing.

10. Pack a lunch and enjoy one of the picnic pavilions at Savannah Rapids Park in Martinez.

11. Rent a stand-up paddleboard on St. Simons Island for a sunset tour of the famous marshes of Glynn.

12. Tangle with rainbow and brown trout when you sign up with Blackhawk Fly Fishing in Clarkesville.

13. Skate or bike along the Silver Comet Trail, which winds westward from Atlanta to the Georgia-Alabama border near Cedartown.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens
State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens

14. See what’s in bloom at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens.

15. Spot blue-winged teals, green herons, and red-eyed vireos at the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Townsend.

16. Discover the world’s largest natural concentration of trout lilies at Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve in Cairo.

17. Take the cable car or climb to the top of Stone Mountain. On a clear day, you can see all of Atlanta.

18. Hunt for quail at Arlington’s Quail Country Plantation. It’s in southwest Georgia, known as the quail-hunting capital of the world.

19. Camp in style at one of the lakeside yurts available at High Falls State Park in Jackson.

Whitewater rafting in Columbus, Georgia
Whitewater rafting in Columbus, Georgia

20. Get your thrills on the world’s longest urban whitewater course with Whitewater Express in Columbus.

21. Practice yoga or meditate on the grounds of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, home to a community of Trappist monks.

22. See more than 3,000 species of plants at Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw.

23. Float along the Yellow River Water Trail, which flows between the suburbs of Atlanta and Lake Jackson. It’s mostly flatwater.

24. Get your pulse racing on the bike trails at Woodstock’s Olde Rope Mill Park. Beginners and advanced riders are welcome.

25. Feel like a professional angler at southwest Georgia’s Lake Seminole, named the 40th best bass lake in the nation by the Bass Angler Sportsman Society.

International Disc Golf Center in Appling, Georgia
International Disc Golf Center in Appling, Georgia

26. Get out on the green at Appling’s International Disc Golf Center, a must-see stop for both fans and players of disc golf.

27. Take a tour with Mill Pond Kayak of the 412-acre pond at George L. Smith State Park in Twin City. The calm waters are perfect for kids.

28. Explore 33 miles of trails along the Atlanta BeltLine, a developing loop connecting 45 in-town neighborhoods.

29. Bring your camera to capture the beauty at the Columbus Botanical Garden, home to more than 700 varieties of camellias. 

Terminus Wake Park in Cartersville, Georgia
Terminus Wake Park in Cartersville, Georgia

30. Unleash your inner child on the inflatable water playground at Terminus Wake Park in Cartersville.

31. Experience miles of thrilling whitewater rafting in northeast Georgia on the free-flowing Chattooga River. Southeastern Expeditions offers day and overnight trips.

32. Walk among the more than 1,000 butterflies in the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Resort & Gardens in Pine Mountain.

33. Watch our beloved Braves dominate the baseball diamond at SunTrust Park in metro Atlanta.

Cumberland Island. Photo by @mattneedstacos
Cumberland Island. Photo by @mattneedstacos

34. Be a Carnegie for a day at Cumberland Island National Seashore. The picturesque island, which is only accessible by ferry, was the family’s winter home.

35. Experience total darkness as you twist and turn on the Blackout, one of the featured slides at Buford's Margaritaville at Lanier Islands.

36. Take a relaxing boat ride on one or both of the lakes that make up Georgia’s Lake Country: Lake Sinclair and Lake Oconee.

37. Lace up your boots and hit the 160-mile-long Pinhoti Trail, one of the premier long-distance hiking trails in the Southern Appalachians.

38. Head to The Sandbar in Bowman to kayak the Broad River or fly over the forest on a rip-roaring zip line adventure.

39. Walk the boardwalk and climb to the top of the rebuilt fire tower at Valdosta’s Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area.

Boat Tour on the Augusta Canal
Boat Tour on the Augusta Canal

40. See 18th-century houses and 19th-century textile mills as you cruise the Augusta Canal aboard an open-air Petersburg Boat.

41. Tell your horse to giddy up on more than 20 miles of trails at A.H. Stephens State Park, a 1,177-acre park in Crawfordville. 

42. Cast a line to catch bass, crappie, walleye, and catfish on Carters Lake, Georgia’s deepest reservoir lake, located in the North Georgia.

43. Unwind at Guido Gardens, a serene spot in Metter that features fountains, streams, flowers, and more.

44. Learn about sustainable farming and responsible cattle ranching during an overnight stay in a barn loft at the Hunter Cattle Company in Brooklet.

Brasstown Bald. Photo by Luke Theodorou
Brasstown Bald. Photo by Luke Theodorou

45. Take the shuttle or hike to the highest point in Georgia at Brasstown Bald, situated 4,784 feet above sea level, overlooking Young Harris.

46. Partake in a true Southern tradition when you go clay shooting at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville. barnsleyresort.com

47. Shoot through downtown Albany in a kayak on the Flint River, one of only 40 rivers in the country to flow more than 200 miles unimpeded by dams.

48. Stroll through demonstration gardens at Griffin's UGA Research and Education Garden to select plants and designs for your own backyard.

49. Strap on a pair of skis at Lake Blackshear, one of southwest Georgia's best spots for water sports enthusiasts.

Historic Baptismal Trail in Riceboro, Georgia
Historic Baptismal Trail in Riceboro, Georgia

50. Step back in time to explore the history of the Gullah-Geechee people at Riceboro's Historic Baptismal Trail.

Published: June 2019