Family Weekender: Atlanta

Family Escapes within Hours of the Varsity
By Hiram Rogers

Getting a passel of kids launched on an outdoor adventure that doesn't involve captivity on a long drive may sound like Mission Impossible: 3, but not so in Atlanta. The city's backyard is blessed with nearby mountain getaways, fascinating historic sites, and an exciting river.

Sure, the thundering waterfalls and cloud-piercing mountains will delight even the smallest explorer. But don't neglect the small-scale goodies, because closer to eye level bloom dozens of fancy and colorful wildflowers. Also, a handy bribe for getting the little ones to pipe down is to tell them that quiet explorers stand a better chance of seeing elusive songbirds and shy deer hiding in the forests.

If a wild ride is what your gang craves, there are rambunctious rivers and single-track bike trails aplenty. We've even found a backcountry lodge so remote that it requires a five-mile hike just to reach it. So, still looking for a nearby, weekend-worthy outdoor adventure that's both fun and an eye opener? Here's the scoop on some of our favorite areas.

Hiram Rogers and Jean Gauger split their time between enjoying the outdoors and writing about hiking, travel and outdoor issues. They live beside a small mound of outdoor gear midway between the edge of the Cumberland Plateau and the crest of the Appalachians.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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