Thursday, May 24, 2018

Finding the Perfect Day Out

               While it’s not officially summer yet, warm weather has finally settled in and Georgia is gorgeously lush and green. 
               Each season provides its own unique opportunities and reasons to get outside.  I’ve enjoyed some beautiful fall hikes, spring bike rides, and walked on the Beltline while it was snowing, but I’m a summer girl for sure.  In a perfect world, I’d dedicate one day each weekend to a hike or a bike ride during these great warm weather months.  We’re lucky here in Georgia because:  1) At least half the year is dependably warm.  2) From the mountains to the coast, we have tremendous variety in our landscape and places to explore. 
So with weather and an abundance of options in our favor, the only questions are:  How much time do you have? Where to go? 
While once many of us eagerly awaited the postman to bring our latest monthly Brown’s Guide to plan our next hiking or camping excursion, we now have a fantastic web-based resource in AtlantaTrails.com. This is definitely Peach Passion’s go-to source whether we have just a few hours or a weekend to get away.  
The guys behind AtlantaTrails.com have done a terrific job of making it easy to find whatever kind of hike or outdoor experience you’re interested in. They’ve covered Georgia, as well as portions of North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.  They’ve got entire sections devoted to hikes with waterfalls, our excellent state parks, the Appalachian Trail, the Chattahoochee River (one of our favorites), and more.  Whether you’re seeking someplace near or far, a walk that’s easy or challenging, short or long, you can easily find a great destination on the site. 
Chattahoochee River, from Jones River Bridge Trail
A team of Ambassadors helps keep the info up to date.  Recently, with the help of AtlantaTrails.com, we found a portion of the Chattahoochee Trail system we hadn’t yet hiked. We read about the Jones Bridge Park Trail, which included the 2018 update that the remaining remnants of this historic bridge apparently collapsed into the river earlier this year.  It was still a great day hike, sans bridge – but at least we knew what to expect.
If you’re not sure where to start, click on their Top Destinations page or click on the Map Search feature. And if you want inspiration and temptation to land in your email box during the week, you’ll definitely want to sign up for their e-newsletter. 
You can still find copies of the Brown’s Guide book at used bookstores or online, along with other excellent guides. Explorers Guide 50 Hikes in the North Georgia Mountains (Johnny Molloy) is a good one. And The New Georgia Guide, at 20 years old, is no longer “new” but is still an excellent overall guidebook of the entire state offering suggested day trips and tours of all types and plenty of history for destinations.  I’m sure a visit to your local bookstore (if you can find one anymore) would offer other resources.
But for fast and updated info to help you plan the perfect afternoon hike or weekend adventure, AtlantaTrails.com has got you covered.

Peach Passion blog is written by Fran Putney, writer, editor, storyteller and Principal at Intown Communications.

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