7 places for outdoor adventures near Atlanta

Stone Mountain Park has added three new yurts, bringing the total to 6, to help meet the demand for glamping. CONTRIBUTED
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Stone Mountain Park has added three new yurts, bringing the total to 6, to help meet the demand for glamping. CONTRIBUTED

Need a getaway? The AJC has a few ideas around town.

The past year has given many people a newfound appreciation for leaving the confines of their home to enjoy the great outdoors.

The metro Atlanta area has several places where residents can take a break from their everyday mundanity and get their blood pumping again. Here, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shares seven ideas for a memorable outdoor adventure.

Rent a yurt

While some enjoying sleeping beneath only the stars, fancier camping options have become trendy over the past few years.

Yurts, which are round-shaped, rustic abodes, are available to rent at Stone Mountain Park in DeKalb County. The form of “glamping,” or glamourous camping, includes electrical outlets along with heat and air conditioning. If you want to explore the outdoors without losing the comforts of your home, this is the option for you.

Stone Mountain Park. 1000 Robert E. L Blvd., Stone Mountain. 770-498-5690, stonemountainpark.com.

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Stone Mountain Park has added three new yurts, bringing the total to six, to help meet the demand for glamping.

Stone Mountain Park has added three new yurts, bringing the total to six, to help meet the demand for glamping.
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Stone Mountain Park has added three new yurts, bringing the total to six, to help meet the demand for glamping.

Try fly fishing

While folks love to fish across the North Georgia mountains, there are plenty of places to cast a line closer to the city.

Located in Roswell, River Through Atlanta provides several fly fishing classes for a variety of skill levels. The company’s six-hour course is its most popular and is offered year-round. It’s a whole new experience for those who have only ever fished with worms and a bobber.

River Through Atlanta. 710 Riverside Road, Roswell. 770-650-8630, riverthroughatlanta.com.

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Fishing is a popular activity along the Chattahoochee River. This 2006 photo shows Dennis Ficco of Alpharetta fly-fishing.

Credit: Bob Andres / AJC

Fishing is a popular activity along the Chattahoochee River. This 2006 photo shows Dennis Ficco of Alpharetta fly-fishing.
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Fishing is a popular activity along the Chattahoochee River. This 2006 photo shows Dennis Ficco of Alpharetta fly-fishing.

Credit: Bob Andres / AJC

Credit: Bob Andres / AJC

Drive a sportscar

For car enthusiasts, nothing compares to getting behind the wheel of a high-octane vehicle.

South Atlanta is home to the Porsche Experience Center, which allows visitors to experience high-speed maneuvers on its 1.6-mile car track. If weather permits, open-air vehicles are also an option, allowing thrill-seekers to feel every mile per hour.

Porsche Experience Center. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. Open first Sunday of each month. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. One Porsche Drive, Atlanta. 888-204-7474, porschedriving.com/atlanta.

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The Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, shown in 2018. (Porsche)

Credit: TNS

The Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, shown in 2018. (Porsche)
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The Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, shown in 2018. (Porsche)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Learn about plants

Not all outdoor adventures have to involve adrenaline.

For a relaxing and informative day out of the house, Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw offers plenty to explore. The 17-acre garden is home to more than 4,000 plant species, a butterfly house and several activities for children.

Smith-Gilbert Gardens. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Closed Mondays and Sundays. 2382 Pine Mountain Road, Kennesaw. 770-919-0248, smithgilbertgardens.com.

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Only online tickets are available — among the many coronavirus-related changes — to view the exhibit of “A Garden With Wings” at Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw. (Courtesy of Kennesaw)

Only online tickets are available — among the many coronavirus-related changes — to view the exhibit of “A Garden With Wings” at Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw. (Courtesy of Kennesaw)
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Only online tickets are available — among the many coronavirus-related changes — to view the exhibit of “A Garden With Wings” at Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw. (Courtesy of Kennesaw)

Shoot some skeet

You don’t have to be a champion marksman to enjoy an afternoon of shooting clay pigeons.

Just outside of the Perimeter, Tom Lowe Shooting Grounds in south Fulton County features shooting fields for trap, skeet and sporting clays. Don’t worry if you’ve never held a shotgun before because they cater to all proficiency levels, especially beginners.

Tom Lowe Shooting Grounds. 1-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; closed Fridays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays; and 1-6 p.m. Sundays. 3070 Merk Road SW, Atlanta. 404-346-8382, atlantaskeetshooting.com.

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Georgia coaching legend Vince Dooley shoots Skeet at the Tom Lowe Trap and Skeet Range Saturday in Atlanta. Dooley was one of several sports stars and celebrities paired with war veterans for the event, presented by the North Metro Miracle League and the Faces of Freedom.

Credit: Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com

Georgia coaching legend Vince Dooley shoots Skeet at the Tom Lowe Trap and Skeet Range Saturday in Atlanta. Dooley was one of several sports stars and celebrities paired with war veterans for the event, presented by the North Metro Miracle League and the Faces of Freedom.
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Georgia coaching legend Vince Dooley shoots Skeet at the Tom Lowe Trap and Skeet Range Saturday in Atlanta. Dooley was one of several sports stars and celebrities paired with war veterans for the event, presented by the North Metro Miracle League and the Faces of Freedom.

Credit: Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com

Credit: Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com

Shoot some paint

If shotguns aren’t your style, maybe paintball could scratch that sharp-shooting itch.

Paintball Atlanta, located off Ga. 400 in Forsyth County, features a 34-acre campus with six playing fields that include different obstacles, layouts and themes. Players as young as 10 years old can participate, and the company also offers inclusive options such as “low impact” paintballs.

Paintball Atlanta. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends. Closed weekdays. 5315 Shiloh Road, Alpharetta. 770-594-0912, paintballatlanta.com.

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A German paintball enthusiast poses with his weapon in a paintball hall in Berlin in May 2009.

Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

A German paintball enthusiast poses with his weapon in a paintball hall in Berlin in May 2009.
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A German paintball enthusiast poses with his weapon in a paintball hall in Berlin in May 2009.

Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

Credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

Golf with frisbees

A plastic disc is much cheaper than a full set of golf clubs, so it’s no surprise that disc golf has become a popular outdoor activity.

Austell’s Frog Rock Disc Golf course features 18 holes for participants to play through and is free to the public. Located in Louise Suggs Memorial Park, the course is fairly shaded but open enough that errant frisbee tosses are easy to track, making it difficult to lose discs.

Austell Frog Rock Disc Golf. 6040 Spring Street, Austell. 770-944-4309, pdga.com/course-directory/course/frog-rock-park.

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Cole Reyes has a little English on his throw to hit the No. 2 hole. FRAN HUNTER PHOTO FOR SMITHVILLE TIMES

Cole Reyes has a little English on his throw to hit the No. 2 hole. FRAN HUNTER PHOTO FOR SMITHVILLE TIMES
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Cole Reyes has a little English on his throw to hit the No. 2 hole. FRAN HUNTER PHOTO FOR SMITHVILLE TIMES

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