It is easy to find huge swatches of green in the Hospitality Highway region. The heavily forested Big Creek Greenway runs through Roswell, Alpharetta and Cumming. In Sandy Springs and Roswell enjoy the Chattahoochee River by canoe, kayak, raft or stand up paddle board. Fish along the riverbanks. Roswell’s Old Mill Park interpretive trail allows visitors to explore the 1850 mill ruins and the covered pedestrian bridge links the trail to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation area. The Chattahoochee Nature Center serves as the interpretive center for the Chattahoochee River and is the oldest and largest in the Southeast. Walk, jog, inline skate and bike on the Greenway or go geocaching in Alpharetta. Fly fish in Sandy Springs and Buckhead. “Shoot the Hooch” or fish for trout on the Chattahoochee River. Slowly and wide-eyed, stroll Buckhead’s Blue Heron Nature Preserve, or plan an afternoon swim and picnic in our 320-acre Chastain Memorial Park, and then stay for the night’s event at Chastain’s Amphitheater.
Much of the 690-mile shoreline of Lake Sidney Lanier can be accessed from Cumming/Forsyth and Dawsonville: rent a houseboat and enjoy the ambience created by Lake Lanier’s 100 small islands; tour the trout hatcheries; fish for striper and bass; take a picnic, take a swim or take a hike. At Sawnee Mountain Preserve, explore trails, nature programs and the Interpretive Visitor Center featuring a native plant garden.
Approaching the mountains, find your fun canoeing, kayaking and tubing down the Amicalola, Chestatee, and Etowah Rivers in Dahlonega and Dawsonville, where you can also hike to the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi at Amicalola Falls State Park which is accessible by ADA compliant trails so those with limited mobility can view the falls. While in the area, spend an afternoon taking aim on the family friendly sporting clays course at Etowah Valley Sporting Clays.
Dahlonega is a certified Appalachian Trail Community, and is the closest town to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, a fact celebrated each fall when the community recognizes day hikers and thru-hikers with Trail Fest, a three-day festival focused on the outdoors. More than 15 waterfalls and 22 creeks and streams are within a short drive of downtown Dahlonega, many with easy access to fishable and swimmable waters.