Mountain Biking at Boundary Waters Park

BOUNDARY WATERS PARK: PERFECT PLACE TO BEGIN MOUNTAIN BIKING

Set alongside the Chattahoochee River, Boundary Waters Park is dedicated to active recreation like swimming, sports, fishing, and mountain biking. This Douglas County park is home to the paved Chattahoochee Hill Country Greenway, as well as natural surface trails. Beginning behind the park’s Aquatic Center, the Greenway cuts a 3/4-mile out-and-back path through the woods.Boundary Waters Park

The mountain biking fun begins when bikers leave the pavement and hit the dirt. About 12 miles of natural trails are broken up into three off-shoots from the Chattahoochee Hill Country Greenway. Originally designed for equestrian use, these shaded trails are characterized by mostly flat terrain perfect for beginner mountain biking practice. The multi-use natural trails are marked with red, yellow, and blue blazes. Bikers encounter some gear-changing hilly sections on the red trail and learn to cross simple root systems on the blue and yellow trails. Boundary Waters Park

Experienced mountain bikers might enjoy the speed of this easy ride. But, the real benefit to new mountain bikers is the combination of paved and natural trails. This gives beginners the opportunity to move between the paved greenway and natural trails as often as they need. The entire trail system is open to pedestrians and bikers, with the natural surface trails also being used by horseback riders. Mountain bikers, please remember to yield to equestrians.

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.

Georgia Outdoor Blast

OUTDOORSMEN’S WEEKEND FEATURES VENDORS, PRIZES AND KIDS ZONE

Steve Scruggs, Snake Master at Outdoor Blast

Steve Scruggs, Snake Master | Photo courtesy of Georgia Outdoor News

Presented by Georgia Outdoor News and Georgia’s Best Chevy Dealers, Outdoor Blast returns July 24-26 at Gwinnett Center. One of the best shows of the season, this weekend for sportsmen features hundreds of hunting and fishing vendors, prizes, and a kids zone. A strict policy of allowing only outdoor-related products and services prevents the crowd of vacation marketing or flea market booths found at other shows. This is a great opportunity to check out the latest gear for the upcoming season, and book trips with professional outfitters.

This year’s highlights include a massive collection of Georgia’s biggest bucks from 2014, deer scoring for the GON All-Time County-by-County Records, and gun giveaways every hour. Outdoorsmen also compete for a truck in the annual Truck Buck Shootout, and learn to identify venomous snakes with Snakes Alive star Steve Scruggs.

Don’t leave the kids at home! The Blast Kids Zone features a Wipeout sweeper obstacle, kiddie mechanical bull, gun safety and more. Kids can take aim at the BB shooting range and complete a free DNR-certified hunter education course. Best of all, kids under 12 are free!

Location: Gwinnett Center, free parking
Admission: $8/adult, kids 12 and under are free.
Dates: July 24-26, 2015

Outdoor Blast Kids Zone

Outdoor Blast Kids Zone | Photo courtesy of Georgia Outdoor News

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.

Hiking Tallulah Gorge for Canyon Climbers Club

Canyon Climbers Club, set forth by Georgia State Parks, challenges hikers to conquer four scenic trails in a quest to earn a commemorative t-shirt. Tallulah Gorge State Park is a great starting point for beginning the quest. The Canyon Climbers hike at Tallulah follows along the North rim, before descending into the gorge on plunging staircases. Hikers begin the journey with a short walk from the Interpretive Center to a couple overlooks that offer amazing views of L’Eau d’Or Waterfall. This is the perfect opportunity to snap some before hike photos, because what comes next is the descent into the gorge.Canyon Climbers Club

The trail keeps hikers in a cool, damp shade for most of the hike. It’s made up entirely of stairs and platforms until visitors reach the slightly bouncy suspension bridge. The bridge spans the gorge and hikers have the options to either turn back, continue down 200 more stairs to view Hurricane Falls, or climb the 300+ steps to hike the south rim. Before heading back up to check out the interpretive center, we munched a picnic on a bench we found hidden beneath the north side of the bridge. Climbing the 300 steps out of the gorge is the most strenuous part of this adventure. But, there are plenty of benches to stop and take breaks if needed.Tallulah Gorge

The interpretive center at Tallulah Gorge is a must see and a great place to cool down after the hike. A self-guided tour of the building is designed to resemble the gorge, with ramps that lead visitors to different floors of the building and a rocky model of the gorge floor on the lower level. You will need to visit the interpretive center after your hike to either purchase a Canyon Climbers membership card or have your current card marked for completion of the hike.Tallulah Interpretive Center

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.

4 Fun Disc Golf Courses

Oregon Park

Oregon Park

Disc Golf is a fun, fast growing sport among outdoor enthusiasts and athletes, which explains why disc golf courses are popping up all over Georgia. The game is played much like traditional golf, using flying discs instead of golf balls and specially designed baskets instead of holes. Disc Golf is a fun way to get outside and enjoy nature while playing, because the courses are often an interesting mix between wooded and open field. The object is to complete 18 baskets with the fewest number of throws. The game adds a lot of playful excitement to a relaxing walk in the woods.

McCurry Park

McCurry Park

Marietta’s Oregon Park is where we first discovered disc golf. This course is a great blend of playing among trees and across wide open fields, even taking players across a creek.

Deer Lick Park in Douglasville, makes a great setting for a round of disc golf. The course winds near a duck pond as it leads players on an interesting walk through the woods.

Fayetteville’s McCurry Park is home to an exciting course planted amidst the tall pines. The rec center provides players with a map of the course.

At White Oak Park in Dallas, disc golfers enjoy beautiful wide open views of a rolling landscape while they make their way around the course.

Deer Lick Park

Deer Lick Park

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.

Three Georgia Swimming Holes

In search of relief from summer’s high temperatures and humid air, we searched out some places to get wet and cool down!

Tallulah River Campground

Tallulah River Campground

 

Tallulah River Campground – This secluded spot in Chattahoochee National Forest offers peaceful wading in the Tallulah River. The crystal clear water is refreshingly cold on hot summer days. The river is mostly very shallow, in this area making it a perfect worry-free wading spot to explore. Bring water shoes or sandals because it’s very rocky. Anyone can play for the day, even if camping for the night isn’t in the cards. The gravel road runs right alongside the river giving easy access to the water from several parking areas.

Edge of the World – A short hike leads to this excellent swimming hole on Amicalola Creek. Visitors will find shallow places to wade, as well as deeper waters. The scenery is gorgeous and I recommend packing a picnic for the day. Edge of the World is located in Dawson Forest WMA which requires a parking permit.

Edge of the World

Edge of the World

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Far from North Georgia’s mountains, this one is just west of Atlanta. An easy one-mile hike takes visitors on a walk along Sweetwater Creek before reaching historic ruins of an old mill. Play and wade in the shallow rocky waters for a relaxing cool down on a hot summer day.

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.