We’re so happy to see that the longest, coldest, wettest winter ever is finally wrapping up, and like everyone else, we’re ready to lace up our walking shoes and get outdoors. We get lots of questions from our visitors about what’s new and different to do while visiting. Here are a few of my favorites.
If you think that you have done it all at Stone Mountain Park – hiked, skylifted, duck boated or watched the skies light up from the meadow – think again. In partnership with REI Outdoors, Stone Mountain is now a cool destination to canoe, paddle board or kayak. With everything from one hour to weekend rentals, it’s one of the more adventurous ways to explore the park from a new vantage point. And for the curious paddler, even the bottom of the lake holds surprises – the sunken remains of the park’s first riverboat, the Robert E. Lee, can be seen at the bottom of Stone Mountain Lake. It took nearly three truckloads of granite to make the riverboat sink. Rentals are available (May-September) Wednesdays-Mondays from 9 am-7 pm. Visit stonemountainpark.com for rental details.
If you prefer to feel the land under your feet, explore the park by taking a guided Segway PT tour. Led by a guide well-versed in park history and interesting anecdotes, the tour will take you on a five-mile journey around the mountain. You’ll zip past the park’s covered bridge, historic quarry and other hidden gems, and have time to snap stunning imagery of the park’s natural habitats. Tours start at $49 per person, and take a couple of hours.
If your visiting friends and family include a posse of energetic kids, or if operating on a strict budget, then look no further than our award-winning Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation facilities. There are hundreds of reasons why they are consistently named the number one parks and recreation facilities in the state (and even the nation), including hiking, biking, disc golf, equestrian trails, sports fields, tennis facilities, pickleball, bocce ball and more. One of our favorites for an affordable day: spending the day at one of GCPR’s extraordinary aquatic centers.
So much more than just a pool, residents and visitors can enjoy giant water slides, leisure pools, bubble benches, exhilarating water play structures, ceiling pool sprays and more. Admission prices range from $3.60 to $10, and it’s an affordable way to spend a busy and sun-soaked afternoon. Check out the Bogan Park, Best Friend Park, Bethesda Park, Collins Hill, Rhodes Jordan and West Gwinnett aquatic centers at GwinnettParks.com for hours and admission.
There’s no better way to spend a summer day than zipping through the trees at Treetop Quest in Buford. Whether you are an apprehensive or experienced zipliner, they have an adventure for both the novice and the bold, the young and the old. Their newest activity, Spider Quest, is the first of its kind in the U.S. – a harness-free course above a giant safety net! Both kids and adults will enjoy exploring two treetop obstacles, treehouses and a huge exit slide. Visit TreetopQuest.com for hours, admission and details.
There’s a budget, and well, then there’s being on a budget. For the latter, plan to spend your day whiling your way down the Chattahoochee on a tube or kayak. With single tube pricing starting at $10, there’s hardly a more budget-friendly and adventurous way to spend the day. River tubing, located on Abbotts Bridge Road in Duluth, will take single tubers, group tubers, kayakers and paddleboarders down the busy Chattahoochee. Visit RiverTubing.com for schedules and reservations.