5 Outdoor Adventures at Lake Allatoona

Located only 30 miles north of Atlanta, Lake Allatoona is a popular destination for campers, anglers, boaters and families seeking outdoor adventure. Here are just five ways to spend summer days exploring Lake Allatoona.

McCaskey Creek Campground


Camp at the McCaskey Creek Campground. This peaceful, full-service campground offers 32 campsites with water and electric hookups, and 19 primitive sites, including premium sites near the lake. A camp playground and swimming area offer fun and relaxation just 45 minutes from Atlanta. Campers appreciate the well-maintained park atmosphere with showers, laundry facilities and boat dock.


Swim at Bartow Beach. This secluded sandy beach in Bartow County’s Gatewood Park was closed during years of drought and reopened last year. The park offers everything from camping and swimming to fishing areas and picnic tables. Admission is $4 per car, and the beach is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Hike at Red Top Mountain State Park. The scenic Iron Hill Trail doubles as a Muddy Spokes Mountain Biking Trail, and three trails are under 3/4 of a mile for easy hikes. At 5.5 miles. the Homestead Trall is the longest loop, winding near the lake for half its length.

Spend a day on the water. Paradise Boat Rental at Park Marina offers anything from exciting waverunners to party barges and yachts! A boating safety course is offered free with rental.

Bartow Beach

Fishing Allatoona. There are many fishing opportunities on Lake Allatoona. Local anglers recommend fishing the Stamp Creek area for large and small mouth bass. Early June is also a great time for crappie at the Wilderness Camp area.

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.

Where to Learn About Fishing in Georgia

Aqauarium at the Go Fish Education Center

There’s something fishy deep in Georgia’s Historic Heartland region, and I got to the bottom of it on my latest visit to Perry. You might recognize the quiet Southern town of Perry as home to the Georgia National Fairgrounds. It’s also home of the Go Fish Education Center, where summer kicks off with Free Fishing Days.

The Go Fish Education Center is the perfect place for beginners or experts looking for some “reel” good fishing tips. The journey begins on an educational walk to meet fish from mountain streams and blackwater swamps to the coastal rivers. Aquariums at the Go Fish Center are modeled after natural habitats to give a good look at Georgia’s variety of aquatic wildlife like catfish, bass, eels and alligator snapping turtles. Modern, interactive exhibits offer information about where to fish, what to keep in a tackle box, and even game simulations before heading out to the stocked pond where a rod and reel are waiting.

Fishing simulator at the Go Fish Education Center

Georgia’s Go Fish Education Center is extending hours for summer fun, releasing a new short film, and inviting everyone to reel in a great catch during June’s Free Fishing Days. For two days, June 6 and 13, Georgia celebrates recreational fishing, and no one needs a fishing license to go fish!

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.

Kids to Parks Day in Georgia

Sweetwater Creek State Park. Photo courtesy of Lauren Cleland.

Sweetwater Creek State Park. Photo courtesy of Lauren Cleland.

Come on out to Georgia State Parks on Kids To Parks Day and explore the great outdoors! Our state parks are introducing kids to fishing, archery, and target shooting while guides lead hikes, bikes and paddles. Join in the fun by visiting one of these parks on May 16.

Stephen C Foster State Park hosts games, crafts, intepretive programs, and free Okefenokee boat tours for kids under 11. 8AM-5PM

Sweetwater Creek State Park celebrates with the 14th annual Family Fun Day Catfish Rodeo. The park’s lake is stocked with catfish for elementary and middle school children. 9AM-3PM

Don Carter State Park invites kids to paddle a tranquil section of Lake Lanier and look for wildlife. Space is limited and registration is required: 678-450-7726.

General Coffee State Park is introducing kids to archery, recreational target shooting, fishing and more. 10AM-2PM

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Cloudland Canyon offers fishing lessons, as well as self-guided geocaching and scavenger hunts. 10AM-3PM

Fort King George Historic Site encourages kids to come discover science, history, nature, and adventure along with offering the ever-popular Imagination Playground. 10AM-4PM

Tallulah Gorge State Park leads families on a 1.5 mile hike or a 3 mile bike! 11AM-2:30PM

Skidaway Island State Park celebrates Kids To Parks Day with classic yard games like sack races and water balloons starting at 1PM.

F.D. Roosevelt State Park leads kids along a woodland stream to discover cool critters and impressive plants. 1:30PM-3PM.

Fort Mountain State Park

Fort Mountain State Park

Fort Mountain State Park invites families to enjoy Kids To Parks Day with face painting, crafts and water balloons. 1:30PM-3:30PM.

Crooked River State Park welcomes Kids To Parks with a paddle through the saltwater marsh to spot birds and explore the sandbar. Space is limited, registration required: 912-882-5256. 1:30PM-4:30PM

High Falls State Park takes kids on an expedition learning to track wildlife and singing campfire songs. 2PM-3PM


Fort Yargo State Park invites families to explore the Birdberry Nature Trail to meet the birds, trees, and animals that call the park home. 3PM-4:30PM

Hard Labor Creek State Park gets kids outside after dark for a fantastic look at the night sky on a guided paddle of the lake. Space is limited, please register: 706-557-3001. 8:30PM-10PM

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.


Go for a Ride on These Georgia Bike Trails


Georgia’s bicycle-friendly trails and sightseeing routes offer unique ways to discover the Peach State.

Atlanta Beltline Bicycle

Located on Atlanta’s 22-mile paved trail, Atlanta Beltline Bicycle is home to hundreds of vintage and modern bikes. It was a pleasure to browse the collection and chat with the friendly staff as my son searched for his perfect ride. He fell in love with a blue mountain bike, and a great deal was sealed with a fun test drive on the Atlanta Beltline.  Open every day of the week, Atlanta Beltline Bicycle offers new and used bikes, as well as rentals and repairs.

Muddy Spokes Club

Earlier this year, we picked up our membership cards for this self-guided biking challenge at Georgia State Parks. Mountain bikers visit eleven parks and ride 68 miles of trail to earn a commemorative t-shirt. The designated trails range in difficulty from easy to strenuous, offering visitors an exciting way to explore Georgia.

Silver Comet Bridge. Photo courtesy of Candy Cook.

Silver Comet Bridge. Photo courtesy of Candy Cook.

Bicycle Tours

Bicycle Tours of Atlanta and Savannah Bike Tours – Home give sightseers a new way to view the historic and cultural attractions of the iconic south. Bike tours are fun and interactive! Each tour includes bike rental, helmets, and friendly guides to lead the way!

Bike Ride Across Georgia

The most fun you can have on two-wheels, these social biking events attract riders from all over the world. Each season features another great bike ride! While it is a challenge, June’s week-long ride is not a race. Participants set their own pace, meeting new friends, and camping at local venues along the selected route. Join in the fun by signing up for a ride!

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.

5 Ways to Explore the Chattahoochee River

Beginning in North Georgia’s mountains and flowing hundreds of miles to Georgia’s southern border, the Chattahoochee River offers adventure and recreation all along the way. Here are five ways to enjoy our beautiful Chattahoochee River.


Thousands of acres along the Chattahoochee River are preserved by the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Hikers enjoy miles of scenic trails winding through the northern suburbs of Metro Atlanta. Come explore the historic significance and natural beauty of the Chattahoochee at 15 unique locations.


Fishing for bass and catfish is a great year-round experience on the Chattahoochee River. It’s also a great place to find trout! For 48 miles, from Buford Dam to Peachtree Creek, Chattahoochee River is a designated trout stream giving anglers some of the best trout fishing in North Georgia! Click here to plan a fishing trip.



A classic summertime tradition, families and friends have a splashing good time floating down the river on inner tubes. Mere minutes from Downtown Atlanta, Shoot The Hooch rents tubes, paddleboards, and canoes as well as offering a shuttle service! River trips range from 1.5 to 8 miles of relaxing recreation.


Explore the Chattahoochee on guided hikes and canoe paddles with the friendly folks at Chattahoochee Nature Center. In addition to hikes and activities, explorers learn about native plants and animals through the Discovery Center’s interactive exhibits, gardens, and nature exchange.



Did you know the Chattahoochee River is home to some of the biggest rapids east of the Colorado? There’s no rush like whitewater rafting! Whitewater Express, in Columbus, takes thrill-seekers and families on exciting rafting adventures, “as wild as Colorado and warm as Costa Rica!”

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.