Step Outside - Georgia WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 http://stepoutside.org/ Step Outside - Georgia 144 144 http://stepoutside.org/ https://cdnstep-americantownscom.netdna-ssl.com/img/stepoutside_logo.gif Wed, 18 Jul 2018 17:23:26 -0500 5 Gorgeous Beach Campsites in Georgia Georgia’s coastline can be truly beautiful, offering up its share of some seriously stunning beachside campsites. There’s nothing like spending a night in nature and waking up to an ocean view. Here’s where you can reserve the five best beachside campsites in Georgia. 

If you want a rustic camping experience, make your way to Cabretta Campground. Accessible only by ferry, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of Lowcountry paradise, complete with Spanish moss, tidal marshes, and plenty of beaches. The campsite itself is situated in a wildlife refuge, helping you get up close and personal with Mother Nature and all her creatures. It’s the perfect place for a little peace and quiet like only a barrier island could offer. 

If you don’t have a canoe or kayak, you’ll need to get one before heading out for a campsite here. Boat is the only way to access this little uninhabited island, but it’s well worth it if you’re looking to truly get away from it all. Throughout the island are salt marshes that are begging to be explored, in addition to campsites that offer up close viewing of bald eagles, egrets, herons, and other natural wildlife.

As the Peach State’s largest barrier island, guests love the primitive camping opportunities here. The island features several campgrounds where you can set up base. Enter through St. Mary’s, then enjoy your stay roaming undeveloped beaches, salt marshes, and forests. The island is also well known for its wild horses and other untouched whispers of wildlife. 

As Georgia’s third largest barrier island, Ossabaw Island is well known for its abundance of wildlife, including feral donkeys and hogs, loggerhead turtles, deer, and migratory birds. Campers can book a two-night camping trip through the Ossabaw Foundation, which grants them access to the 26,000-acre island. Guests can choose from primitive campsites or lodge to get the best experience. 

This little island retreat is the ideal spot for those in search of outdoor adventure, from biking to fishing to swimming and exploring. Here you can enjoy a full RV hookup or rent a primitive campsite for your tent at Jekyll Island Campground. The park is packed with amenities for all guests, including free Wi-Fi, a bird sanctuary, pickleball court, and bike rentals. And Driftwood Beach is just a stone’s throw away to ensure you maximize your fun in the sun. 

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5 Awesome Trail Running Spots in Georgia There’s something special about venturing off the road and into the midst of Mother Nature for a good run. Sure, terrain is often unpredictable, with slight ups and downs and a myriad of surprise obstacles, but that’s what makes trail running so alluring. Because of its natural, unpaved components you never know what to expect, which helps keep you focused and on your feet during your workout. As an added benefit, you get an energizing run that’s as good for your mind as it is for your body. If you never experienced the joys of trail running or are looking for a few new places to blaze your path, these five awesome trail running spots in Georgia ensure you never have a boring run again. 

This 4.9-mile loop trail takes your running game to new heights—literally. The trail offers scenic views throughout, including a treetop boardwalk well above the forest floor. The trail winds its way down into the canyon at a steep 40-degree slope, along with 1,200 stairs to make sure you get a good workout. Though this trail is rated as moderate, it does provide additional challenges for trail runners which might put it on the more difficult side of the moderate spectrum. The waterfalls here are a welcome reward and can help motivate you to finish your run.

Short and sweet, this just-over-two-mile loop trail is the perfect balance of challenge and distance. This trail takes you right past beautiful Amicalola Falls. However, the weekends here can become quite crowded because of people clamoring for a view of the falls, so your best bet for an uninterrupted run is early in the mornings or on a weekday. Once you get a good view of the falls from the bottom, head to the steps (over 600!) to get another view from the top before heading back down the trail to finish your workout.

Perfect for beginner trail runners and seasoned ones alike, this four-mile loop leads the way along a creek. The first part of trail itself is relatively tame, with slight elevation changes and a few terrain challenges to give your run a little variation. The second half features some steeper parts so make sure you bank your energy early. If you want to add a little more distance, consider combining the red and white trails. 

This 6.9-mile trail (roundtrip) is rated as more challenging. Panther Creek Falls’ out-and-back trail features a beautiful waterfall on its namesake creek, along with several terrain and nature challenges that will take a bit of finessing to keep your footing. It’s best to visit this trail during a dry spell, as storms often down trees here and can make the trail somewhat dangerous for runners. There are a few stretches here that offers massive elevation gains and other technicalities, so exercise caution.

Set in view of Georgia’s iconic Stone Mountain, this five-mile trail travels around the base of the mountain, giving you beautiful views from all sides. It’s challenging enough for seasoned trail runners, but not too strenuous for beginners. Often touted as one of Atlanta’s best kept secrets, this beautiful trail gives you plenty of natural scenery you never would have expected so close to the city. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-trail-running-spots-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-trail-running-spots-in-georgia Thu, 05 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0500
8 Best Outdoor Festivals and Events in Georgia You never need a reason to celebrate the great outdoors, but Georgia knows how to do it in style. Their abundance of festivals year-round offer a little something for every outdoor enthusiast. And, given Georgia’s mild climate year-round, there’s never a bad time to experience all the state’s natural scenery. Whether you love fishing or hiking, kayaking or boating, nature or wildlife, you won’t want to miss these eight best outdoor festivals and events in Georgia. 

Part of the highly acclaimed Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, this brightly colored event is dedicated to all things pink. Start with a pink pancake breakfast, then don your pink gear and enjoy a group bike ride through the city of Macon. Cycles and Change Macon and Live Healthy Macon-Bibb brought this epic event to the city just last year and received a huge response from the community. Even if pink isn’t your color, you can’t help but have fun on this one-of-a-kind bike ride.

This prestigious event held at the breathtaking Callaway Resort & Gardens is the summer kickoff every outdoor enthusiast needs. Sponsored by Nautique, FATSAC, Rockstar Energy Drink, Eagle Sports, SeaDek, and other top names in watersports, guests can watch some of the best athletes on the water come together in an action-packed water ski and wakeboard tournament. Live music, beach games, kid-friendly zones, food, drink, and more will be there to celebrate summer’s arrival. 

Anyone can host a bike race, but only Atlanta turns this traditional sport into a full blown festival. This multi-day event features bike rides, classes, and plenty of fun for an entire week. You can learn how to bikepack, enjoy a doughnut ride, or experience the MTB Film Festival. Some of the biggest names in cycling, outdoors, and fun are part of this event including Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG), Eventide Brewing, Zombie Camels Mountain Bike Club, Caravan Bicycles, Atlanta Bicycle Barn, and many more! 

This beautiful event at Callaway Gardens will be a weekend to remember. Colorful hot air balloons light up the morning and evening skies, offering plenty of entertainment and photo ops for kids and adults alike. The festival also includes a kids zone, food and drink vendors, disc dog demos, live music all weekend long, and tethered balloon rides so you can experience the great outdoors from a completely different perspective.

Combining outdoor living, wildlife, and art, this festival is truly one of a kind. A long line up of events bring people and animals together through wildlife encounters, education, an off-road outing, and other presentations to bring attention to conservation efforts. Whether you love wildlife or art (or both!), this unique combination of events brings out the best of the Red Hills region.

This outdoors-themed scavenger hunt will be loved by kids and parents alike. Each of the items are related to Georgia wildlife, plants, or history. Participants will hike the trail and look for clues along the way. Located at the Pettit Preserve, guests can choose between a 1.7-mile scavenger hunt or a less intense 0.4-mile hunt. 

This Memorial Day weekend tradition in the Northeast Georgia mountains offers the best of both land and lake. Board your canoe or kayak at the Walker Creek Boat Access and embark on a paddling adventure to see the historic sites along the Tugaloo River. Points of interest include an old logjam, ancient Cherokee villages, Longnose Creek Falls, and more. There’s also a separate tour for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Each tour is professionally guided, and there will be a few kayaks or canoes available to rent. 

This seven-mile paddle takes place on the Yellow River is an old-fashioned outdoor adventure. Journey through untouched wilderness down the river, dock on a sandbar for a picnic, play on the rope swings along the way, and keep your eyes open for native deer, herons, turtles, and otters. This is a laidback section of the river, offering shallow depths and calm waters, so bring the kids along. The journey ends with live music, craft beer, and plenty of hometown restaurants to sate your appetite.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/8-best-outdoor-festivals-and-events-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/8-best-outdoor-festivals-and-events-in-georgia Tue, 22 May 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Best Birdwatching Hikes in Georgia In Georgia, it’s not uncommon to see several different species of birds on a daily basis. The Peach State is brimming with hundreds of bird species at various times of the year. Birdwatching is more than simply spotting birds as they fly overhead, it takes the right timing, knowledge, patience, and planning if you want to catch sight of something spectacular. For many travelers and locals in Georgia, birdwatching is the real sport of champions. Head to one of these five best birdwatching spots and test your skills! 

With nearly 350 species of birds coming to nest and roost, your chances of sighting one of Georgia’s most diverse bird populations is pretty high here. Woody Pond is home to the endangered wood stork. The refuge itself contains a variety of salt marshes, wetlands, freshwater ponds, hardwood forests and fields that continually attract birds to the area. Bonus points: their website offers an eBird tracker that can notify you about recent bird sightings.

#harrisneckwildliferefuge #Georgia #visitgeorgia #nature #nofilter

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Home to nearly 200 species of birds, this 35,000-acre wildlife refuge offers plenty of viewing opportunities for serious birdwatchers. Inside the refuge, you’ll find a network of several hiking trails, along with the six-mile Wildlife Drive and 45 miles of gravel roadways that take you through the area for prime viewing. Most commonly seen here are varieties of warblers, woodpeckers, wood ducks, herons, hawks, chickadees, flycatchers, and wild turkey, to name a few. Neotropical songbirds are in abundance in April and May, while winter waterfowl are most likely seen during the cooler months.

The Owl’s Roost Tower gives visitors a 360-degree view of the swamp and surrounding areas, perfect for bird spotting. Wading birds are no strangers to the area, and you’ll likely find plenty of sandhill cranes, egrets, herons, and the endangered wood stork. Kingfishers, woodpeckers, and bobwhites are also heard in abundance here.

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Situated on the outskirts of Atlanta, Sweetwater Creek is a hidden gem in this major metro. The reservoir in the park is a prime fishing spot, which also makes it attractive to ducks. The park’s trail system takes visitors up rocky bluffs above the rapids and through fields and forests teeming with birdsongs. Over 300 species have been spotted here, including bald eagles, ruby throated hummingbirds, wood storks, and egrets. Migratory birds rely on this park as a resting and refueling spot, so prime viewing is in full swing in the spring and fall months. 

Located on Cockspur Island, this park is home to much more than a national monument. During your visit, you have a strong chance of sighting one or more of its bird species, including bald eagles, wood stork, or terns. Pelicans and other wading birds and waterfowl are regular visitors here, as well as raptors, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and finches. The park plays an important role to painted buntings, whose neotropical homes have largely been lost. If you catch sight of this beautiful gem, consider it a treat.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-birdwatching-hikes-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-birdwatching-hikes-in-georgia Wed, 31 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0600
9 Best Winter Hikes in Georgia Hiking during the winter in Georgia is a completely different experience than summertime walks in the woods. Aside from the obvious changes in temperature, those willing to brave the chillier air can expect amazing rewards that just aren’t possible in warmer months, like potentially frozen waterfalls and sweeping vistas that are typically obscured by plant life. You won’t want to miss your chance of experiencing these nine best winter hikes in Georgia! 

Easily one of Georgia’s most scenic spots, the Waterfalls Trail takes you to a magical winter wonderland when temperatures drop. Tucked inside the Cloudland Canyon State Park, this trail leads you to two waterfalls that are often glistening in their frozen state during the winter. It’s a strenuous, two-mile hike, but the rewarding views are well worth the effort.

A nice winter waterfall hike at Cloudland Canyon

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For an energizing hike with the best views of the Atlanta skyline, head to Kennesaw Mountain and make your way to the top. Switchbacks are frequent on this loop trail as you pass through Civil War battlefields. The low vegetation growth in the winter months make it easier to see the skyline as you climb to the summit, giving you fantastic views all along the way.

Despite being in one of the chillier parts of the state, Raven Cliff Falls still boasts plenty of green signs of life during the winter. This 6.6-mile out-and-back hike takes you to beautiful Raven Cliff Falls that slices through a looming rock outcrop. If you’re looking for a backpack camping experiences, the banks of the stream have become a favorite spot for many. 

Sweetwater Creek State Park features a number of great trails, but the White Trail is the historical one that takes you to the ruins of the old textile mill that burned during the Civil War. The White Trail intersects with several of the other trails in the park for you to make your hike as long or short as you like.

This trail is ideal for winter hikes because each of its loops offer excellent stand-alone day hikes. Pine Mountain’s historical significance makes it attractive to tourists, as there’s much to see and do both on and off the trails. You can get a permit to camp along the trail if the cold weather doesn’t bother you—and it does get quite chilly here!

This easy 1.5-mile loop inside General Coffee State Park gives you a great chance of glimpsing the protected Gopher tortoise and threatened Indigo snake. Winter is ideal for traveling this trail because it’s located in the driest area of the park, which makes it extremely hot during the summer.

Tucked in the southeastern corner of Georgia, Woodbine enjoys slightly warmer temperatures than the mountainous regions of North Georgia, which makes winter hiking here an obvious must-do. This small section of a growing rail trail allows hikers to travel on a defunct rail line that’s been transformed to the point where you may never have known that trains were once rules of this space.

This short one-mile trail is far from simple. Starting at the base of Stone Mountain, you’ll gain elevation with every step until you reach the top. People enjoy this steep set of steps year-round, but the lack of Georgia summer heat in the winter makes it a preferred time for many.

Tucked away in beautiful Sky Valley roars a 100-foot waterfall that you deserve to find. This one-mile trail is considered easy, offering mulched terrain all the way to the falls. You’ll need to come back the way you came, which adds another mile to your trip.

hike: life's better @ the top

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http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-winter-hikes-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-winter-hikes-in-georgia Wed, 24 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0600
8 Best Watersport Retailers in Georgia Georgia’s warm weather and seemingly endless number of lakes and rivers make it a prime destination for watersports. Wakeboards, kayaks, and jet skis often dot the waters during warmer months, offering as much thrill and adventure as you can handle. Find a new passion or continue your existing one with the help of these eight best watersport retailers in Georgia. 

Offering the biggest watersport pro shop in the state, Watersports Central is your headquarters for gear and equipment. Their high-end product lineup includes life jackets, wakeboards, skis, tubes, ropes, apparel, GoPro cameras, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned watersport enthusiast or just getting your feet wet for the first time, you’ll want to prioritize a stop here first.

Just a short distance from highly-acclaimed Lake Lanier, you can find everything you need for a day on the water. Choose from top brands like Ronix, Liquid Force, and Inland Surfer, all of which have been personally demoed by the team to ensure you’re getting quality. Each staff member shares your passion for all things water sports, and you’ll appreciate their first-hand knowledge when shopping for the right products.

Though known for their cold-weather sports equipment and apparel, you’ll be glad to know Peter Glenn also specializes in outfitting you for a day at the lake. They carry a full line of gear for wakeboarders and stand up paddleboarding, as well as tubes and skis. Kids and adults alike will find a variety of apparel and accessories, like SUP beach carts and water skiing training platforms, to complete their experience.

This surf shop is exactly what you need to get out on the water and look good in the process. They carry high quality lifestyle brands like O’Neill, Reef, Chaco, Columbia, and others, along with a great selection of stand up paddleboards. They also know the area well, and are more than willing to help you find the best local spots to enjoy your SUP.

This sporting goods store is dedicated to all things extreme sports. You can find some of the best names in wakesports and water skiing, alongside a hearty selection of paddleboards and dive equipment. Find everything you need under one roof and save a trip elsewhere. 

This place is mostly visited as a rental agency for SUPs and kayaks, but their own line of stand-up paddleboards is worth some notoriety. As a sponsor for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, you can feel good about purchasing your SUP from them while also having peace of mind you’re getting a great board. 

This boat and jet ski rental hub has an onsite wake shop where you can stock up before you head out on the water. Helmets, boards, bindings, apparel, and other gear await you. With best-in-class brands like Ronix, Slingshot, and Liquid Force, you can expect nothing but superior action while you’re out on the water.

Come check out our new boardshop!!

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As one of the best places to find a new or used boat, you can also find quality water sports equipment to fill your new ride. While you’re shopping for parts and accessories to keep your boat looking and running like new, pick up an inflatable tube or life jacket to keep the party going.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/8-best-watersport-retailers-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/8-best-watersport-retailers-in-georgia Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0600
SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Unicoi State Park Georgia’s picturesque scenery and abundance of outdoor activities make it a prime vacation destination for all ages. It doesn’t cost much to enjoy a few days in the great outdoors, especially when there are a multitude of state parks that offer just about everything you could ever want on-site. Once you experience the wonders of Georgia’s beautiful wilderness, you may say good-bye to pricey resorts for good.

Tucked inside the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest lies Unicoi State Park, a scenic area just a stone’s throw from the alpine village of Helen. This park gives you the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere without sacrificing modern accommodations like Wi-Fi. The park itself is brimming with activities year-round, everything from hiking and biking trails and a lake for fishing to sports facilities and picnic shelters. There’s also an on-site restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you may never need to leave the park until your vacation is over.

If you care to venture out of the state park, head to Bodensee for authentic German cuisine. This fine dining restaurant reflects the heart and soul of Bavarian-inspired Helen. They’re serving up lunch and dinner options so you can sate your appetite just about whenever you like.

For a little more universal fare, head to Cafe International and enjoy dining with a waterfront view. This tasty eatery features fan favorites like the Reuben, French dips, and classic hamburgers. Locals and tourists alike love this place because of the homey vibe, view of the river, and good selection of international cuisine.

Reuben

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Train enthusiast or not, you can’t help but have fun at Charlemagne’s Kingdom. This scale model railroad exhibit mirrors the German countryside from the Alps to the sea. This work of art is about as unique as they come, and you’ll appreciate the fine details and craftsmanship put into this beautiful project.

Aside from its notoriety as a German-focused town, Helen is also known as a river tubing destination. During the warmer months, you can rent a tube from Cool River Tubing and cruise down the Chattahoochee (don’t worry, their bus will bring you back at the end of your trip!). They also feature a zip line, rock wall, and ropes course.

my dream is for u to be as happy as me 💫

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This little park is situated in the midst of downtown Helen and is open to the public to enjoy. Here you get the best views of the town, along with a playground, hiking trails, picnic areas, and a charming gazebo for picture perfect moments. It’s also within walking distance to shops and restaurants in Helen.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-unicoi-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-unicoi-state-park Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0600
9 Best Winter Cabin Camping Spots in Georgia Camping season doesn’t end when winter comes knocking in Georgia. In fact, some may argue that cold weather heralds the beginning of the best time to camp in the Peach State. Despite being in the south, it does get fairly chilly in Georgia during the winter, which means you’ll need a cozy camping cabin to complete the experience. Find your home away from home at one of these great winter cabin camping spots in Georgia. 

Don’t let the name mislead you—this RV park is just as dedicated to cabins and “glamping” experiences, too. Nestled along the Tallulah River, winter camping is ideal here because of its proximity to famed Tallulah Gorge. The trails at the gorge are considerably less crowded when the weather cools, so you can get unobstructed views of the majestic Tallulah Falls and surrounding areas.

Ideal for families and couples alike, this quiet getaway spot offers no shortage of amazing nature views. Rated as one of the top 100 camping destinations in the U.S., you’ll discover trails leading to waterfalls, trout fishing, and wildlife all around. Each of their cabins are on or near the stream and feature a full kitchen and bathroom, heat, linens, towels, fire pit, grill, and deck.

Quiet and laid back, Under the Hemlock is the camping destination when you want to get away from it all. There’s not much to do on site but relax, but the tallest waterfall on this side of the Mississippi is just a mile away inside the Amicalola Falls State Park. But don’t feel like you’ll be all alone—wildlife has been known to frequent the campground.

With a name like Mistletoe, the winter camping here just has to be good. The park is known across the country for its bass fishing, and also offers biking trails, nature trails, and a sandy beach (though the lake will be too cold to swim). The park offers 10 cottages for rent (five on the lake) and one tent cabin, so make sure you book early to guarantee availability.

This family-friendly campground is based on the picnic basket-stealing Yogi Bear and friends, but you can rest assured your food will be safe during your stay. Fun for kids and adults alike, the park is chock full of amenities, like mini golf, gem mining, horseshoe pit, playground, and arcade. Since Yogi will be hibernating and most kids will be back in school, winter is the perfect time to visit if you want a little peace and quiet with your R&R.

Just a stone’s throw from beautiful Savannah, this park is a natural wonder in its own right. Birds like egrets and ibises gather here frequently to delight park visitors. The campground is in close proximity to day trip destinations like Jekyll Island and Tybee Island, not to mention the Savannah historic district.

It’s got a funny name, but this cabin rental spot has a lot more to offer its guests. Known as an epic stargazing spot, the private campground sits across from the famed Okefenokee Swamp that offers endless wildlife viewing and exploring. You may never need to leave the campground, as there are tons of activities on site, like horseshoes, game room, movie & book nooks, and fireplace.

This mountain bike getaway offers the best in cabin camping and biking. You bring the bike, and they handle the other details. This isn’t your typical cabin camping experience. Someone else handles all the meals that you’ll enjoy with the other guests. Their guides offer personalized trail mapping to suit your skill level. Plus, the resort features hot tubs, fire pits, and other amenities that are head and shoulders above your typical camping trip. Cabins range in capacity up to six people.

Take your pick of cabin or yurt and enjoy an old-fashioned state park camping experience. Activities for campers include disc golf, geocaching, and over 20 miles of hiking trails to ensure you never run out of things to do.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-winter-cabin-camping-spots-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/9-best-winter-cabin-camping-spots-in-georgia Fri, 05 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0600
10 Best Archery Outfitters in Georgia Georgia’s hunting season includes an abundance of bow-only days, so it’s no surprise that the state is brimming with fans of the sport. Here you’ll find no shortage of archery shops dedicated to helping hunters nab their prize, along with all the expertise you need to make your purchases work right. To help get you field-ready even faster, prioritize a trip to one of these 10 best archery outfitters in Georgia. 

You won’t find a better place for archery gear and expertise. Their fans love them for their deep level of product knowledge and above-and-beyond customer service. They carry a wide selection of Mathews and Mission bows, and also offer service for Mathews and other brands. 

Offering some of the best archery gear and service, locals love the Foxhole because of their reasonable prices and impeccable attention to detail and service. For hunters who aren’t strictly by the bow, you get the best of both worlds all under one roof.

Let’s be honest, good bows don’t come cheap. If you’re looking to own the best, the guys at Diamondback Archery Shop can help you finance your purchase. Their customers appreciate how easy they make the financing process and how the shop delivers on what they promise.

Come on out, we'll be here till 5 #bowtecharchery #diamondbackarchery

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For gear, repairs, or just advice, you’ll learn from the best at Archery Learning Center. Every trip here is an experience, giving you top0notch service from fellow bow hunters who share your passion. They also offer a variety of classes for kids and adults alike.

It’s not a large shop, but there’s plenty to be found inside. From service to sales, the pros here know their stuff when it comes to bows. Archery is all they do, so you can rest assured that they do it right.

One of the best things about Wildcat Archery is their indoor range. Fans love coming here for target practice on a rainy day (or any other time) to hone their skills and get expert advice. They also specialize in all the goods for bow hunters, competitive archers, and recreational archers.

Tucked just above Atlanta, this place is the mega store of archery. With over 10,000 square-feet of store space, there’s no way you can’t find what you’re looking for when it comes to gear and accessories. In addition, they also carry a full range of firearms to complete your hunting or outdoors experience.

As the only archery pro shop in Harris County, Columbus Archery recognizes its obligation to the outdoors community to provide top-notch gear and second-to-none service. They cater to competitive archers and bow hunters alike, offering bow tunings, custom arrows, and all the accessories. They also feature archery leagues and instructional courses to help you get more out of the sport.

Thursday night league night @columbusarchery 🏹

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If you’re looking for a customized archery experience, you’ll want to make the trip to Treetop Archery. They’ll make sure you get the best equipment for your needs and skill level, along with bow setup and other services. You won’t find a better set of professionals to work with.

Specializing in all things outdoors, the team here takes a particular interest in archery. They have a full archery product line along with two skilled techs with over two decades of experience. As a result, you get some of the best technical service in the state, along with a one-stop shop for all your outdoor gear. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-archery-outfitters-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-archery-outfitters-in-georgia Mon, 18 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0600
10 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Georgia From the largemouth bass of Lake Allatoona to the red snapper of the state’s coastal waters, Georgia attracts visitors from all over for its fishing opportunities. Of course, to catch your share you’ll first need to suit up with the right gear, which you’ll be able to find at these 10 best bait and tackle shops in Georgia.

If you’re heading out for a day on Lake Lanier, you’ll want to stop at Oakwood Bait & Tackle first. This full-service shop can provide all your fishing needs and point you in the right direction for a successful day of fishing. They’re the area experts, and love putting their firsthand knowledge to work for you.

Offering the best in live bait and tackle in the area, Buccaneers knows fishing like no other. They’ve always got a good selection to cater to your offshore and inshore fishing needs. Combine that with friendly hometown service and you’ll never want to go anywhere else.

Not only do they offer a huge selection of live and artificial bait, they’re also right next door to a filling station for the human appetite. You can stock up on snacks, beer, and deli items to prevent you from abandoning your fishing spot in search of food. This one-stop shop’s convenience is valuable to its customers, which keeps them coming back every time.

This drive-thru bait shop is truly one of a kind! Close to Lakes Allatoona and Carters, you can expect the best bait for the fish here. The experience alone is worth the trip.

Bait, tackle, and dry ice are what you’ll find at Angler’s Corner. You can stock your cooler with groceries while you get your gear to save you from making another trip elsewhere. They offer discounts on bulk bait purchases of $100 or more, perfect if you have a large group for your fishing trip.

This hometown bait shop is an icon of its community. Aside from their friendly service and area knowledge, you can expect a good variety of bait and other gear in one of the cleanest, most well organized bait stores you’ll ever step foot in.

You’ll come for the bait, but you won’t be able to ignore the beautiful view of the waterfront you get while shopping. This Tybee Island favorite features all the bait you need for a successful day of fishing in the area, backed up by experts who know the area well and can put you on the right path.

get some bait shrimp here 🦐

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Customers love coming to St. Simons Bait & Tackle because they know they can get quality frozen bait and gear at affordable prices. You can’t help but feel like family when you visit, as the staff makes sure to serve up a dose of southern hospitality the Peach State is known for.

In business for over 30 years, Hammond’s has built its reputation on trust, quality, and value. They’ve proven themselves to be the Lake Lanier experts when it comes to fishing and can help you get exactly what you need. They’re open every day year-round (minus Christmas Day) to offer you every possible chance to pursue your passion.

Truth be told, there isn’t much to do in Bainbridge outside of fishing. That’s why the area is lucky to have a dedicated bait and tackle shop that can cater to the fishing community here. Get your license, ice, supplies, gas, and other necessities all in a single stop.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-georgia Mon, 18 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0600
7 Best Motorsport Retailers and Rentals in Georgia Georgia is an off-roader’s dream destination, and there are plenty of awesome retailers and rental places to help make those dreams come true. Whether you’re just learning how to ride an ATV or dirt bike, or have been behind the wheel for years, your off-roading experience just can’t be satisfied by any retailer. It pays to partner with a retailer or rental place that specializes in meeting your specific needs, and there’s no shortage of these places in the Peach State. Everything you need, from ATVs and UTVs to parts and upgrades and even personal expertise, can be found at these seven fantastic retailers and rental places in Georgia! 

The Northeast Georgia mountains offer the perfect backdrop for off-roading, and you won’t find a better place than Nacoochee Adventures. They offer ATV rentals and tours that take you through 600 acres of beautiful wilderness you just couldn’t see on foot. The tour also includes a short stop where you can venture into a 200-year-old gold mine and visit an old moonshine still. The park also features other epic adventures, like a giant swing, ropes course, and camping opportunities.

If you don’t have an off-roading vehicle or just don’t feel like hauling it, rent one at Durhamtown Off Road Resort. You can snag a dirt bike, ATV, or side by side, plus all the safety gear you need for fun day on the trails or dirt track. And speaking of trails, they’ve got over 150 miles of them just begging to be explored!

If you dream of owning your own ATV or UTV, but aren’t sure which one will suit your needs, head to Mega-Motorsports in Toccoa. Not only will you have the added value of buying from fellow riders, they also feature a dirt track where you can test drive any vehicle before you commit to buying it. Some of their top brands include Polaris, Yamaha, and Kawasaki, among others. 

Located just a stone’s throw from the Mall of Georgia, Mountain Motorsports carries some of the best names in off-roading, along with parts and services to keep your vehicle in tiptop shape. They’ve also got five other locations in the Atlanta area to help riders no matter where they live. Top-selling brands include Yamaha, Polaris, and Suzuki, among others.

Rent an ATV or UTV from Sunburst Adventures and let the memory-making begin! This family-friendly park is packed with trails and other activities for both kids and adults. You can pile the family into a five-seater UTV, or embark on a guided ATV tour, perfect for beginners or seasoned riders. The park also offers other thrills, including zip-lines, and boat trips so plan on having a full weekend here.

Polaris takes center stage in this showroom, thanks to their diverse line of off-roading vehicle options. They feature a huge selection of ATVs and UTVs, and also the trailers that can help you take your new purchase to all your favorite sites. You can also count on them for all your servicing and special parts.

Specializing in Yamaha and Polaris off-roading rides, you can expect an easy shopping experience from “just looking” to finalizing the paperwork. The folks here know their stuff when it comes to off-roading and how to choose the perfect vehicle to suit your needs.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/7-best-motorsport-retailers-and-rentals-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/7-best-motorsport-retailers-and-rentals-in-georgia Wed, 29 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0600
Start Your Trek: 7 Unbeatable Hiking Retailers in Georgia From oceans to mountains and everything in between, Georgia’s got hiking trails for all kinds of outdoor scenes. Having the right hiking gear as you set out to see it all can make a huge difference in your trip’s success. From shoes and apparel to backpacks and hydration, a walk in the woods is anything but unless you’re fully prepared. Given Georgia’s burgeoning hiking community, it’s no wonder there are myriad retailers that are just as dedicated to hiking as you are. They’ll have everything you need to fuel your passion for the outdoors, and maybe even a few little luxuries you never knew you needed. Your adventure starts here at these seven excellent hiking stores in Georgia. 

If you think all hiking and outdoor stores are the same, think again. Kevin’s continually brings new, unique items to the shelves. Their fun, upscale store ambiance adds to the overall shopping experience. And even though they’re a small, single location store, you can still find top brands like Yeti, Nebo, and Patagonia

Dubarry and Kevin's favorite dress shoe maker, come design your own! #dubarry #trunkshow #mensfashion

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Whether you hike alone, with the kids, or bring your canine friend along, you can find everything you need to outfit your next hiking trip at Blue Sky. They carry a little bit of everything for nearly every woodland adventure, including backpacks, water bottles, and gear for your dog. Choose from trusted brands like Marmot, Patagonia, and the North Face, to name a few. 

Sorel Boots and Smartwool socks will always keep your toes warm!

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The entire North Georgia region is a hiker’s paradise, so it’s no wonder the area features one of the best hiking stores in the state. The folks here do whatever it takes to make sure you’re prepped for your adventure, everything from providing the right apparel and gear to offering directions to the trailheads. Inside you’ll find some of the best names in hiking, including Keen footwear, KAVU bags, and ENO. You’ll come as a shopper, but leave as a friend. 

As it goes with Georgia, large urban sprawls aren’t far from stunning wilderness which makes High Country Outfitters an excellent place to visit for all your hiking essentials. Inside you’ll recognize brands like Marmot, Chaco, Osprey, and MSR, to name a few. From packs to knives to apparel and more, you’ll find everything you need and more.  

Visiting my uncle Greg at work and checking out @highcountryoutfitters collection of ruffwear. I like what I see.

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If you want the best in hiking gear, it pays to go to the experts who have first-hand expertise of what you can expect. Talk to the folks at Alpharetta Outfitters, who can help you find what you need the first time without having to make a second trip somewhere else. As fellow outdoor enthusiasts, you’ll benefit from their knowledge of the area and they can direct you to some of the best trails around. From area maps and watches to water bottles and clothing, you’ll find brands like Orvis, Patagonia, and Yeti, among others.

Say hello to your newest, no nonsense camp cup. @yeti #flyfishing #flyfishga #yeti #campvibes #coffeemug #alpharettaoutfitters

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Their name says it all: they’re experts on our outside world. From clothing and hiking boots to backpacks, dog leashes, and dry bags, you’ll get everything you need for a quick trail, day hike, or backcountry camping adventure all under one roof. Choose from beloved brands like KAVU, Sealline, and Black Diamond

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there’s no better guide to hiking in the area than the team at Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters. If you’re hiking nearby, they’ve been where you’re going and know what you might need to make your hike both enjoyable and safe (there are bears in the mountains, ya know!). Patagonia is a cornerstone brand here, offering reliability, functionality, and quality in every item.

Outdoor gear! You'll love this place! @blueridgemountainoutfitters McCaysville #optoutside #wandernorthga

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http://stepoutside.org/article/start-your-trek-7-unbeatable-hiking-retailers-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/start-your-trek-7-unbeatable-hiking-retailers-in-georgia Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0600
Camping Done Right: 7 Essential Outdoor Stores in Georgia Georgia has long been known as a camper’s favorite destination, which is probably why you’ll find so many outdoor stores dedicated to the hobby. Beginner campers and serious overnighters alike know that having the right equipment can determine a camping trip’s success, and it’s always best to get outfitted right the first time. These seven essential outdoor stores in Georgia have everything you need for an epic camping adventure. 

Camping or glamping, you’ll find plenty of high-quality gear to enjoy your next camping trip. They’ve got something for every type of camper, whether you’re living large in an RV or roughing it with little more than a sleeping bag. There’s also a little something for tiny campers and canine adventurers too. Choose from top brands like Camelbak, Patagonia and Eureka! Tents to ensure you’ll only have to buy some things once.

"Can we take them home? We promise we'll feed them.".....so frigging glad they get excited about outfitters.

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Going Gear has a fully stocked website, but some things are just better experienced in person. Unlike many websites, everything you see online can be found in their store, along with few extra perks. They’ve even got most of their flashlights on display ready for you to test before you decide. They feature some of the best brands your campsite will ever see, including Black Diamond, ENO and Klean Kanteen among others. If you need it for your camping trip, you’ll likely find it here.

Nobody knows campers like Coleman. This brand is dedicated specifically to the needs of campers everywhere, and their extensive inventory of tents, cookware, coolers, and gear prove it. This one-stop store stocks everything the camper needs for an epic adventure, meaning you won’t have to go anywhere else. They’re also your go-to resource for replacement parts for tents, lighting, air pumps, fireplaces, and other camping gear.

#coleman #camping paradise!

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Get off the road and on the trail faster when you make Outside World Outfitters your first stop. These folks know what outdoor living is like in Georgia, and carry a variety of brands and gear to complete your experience. Choose from tried-and-true favorites like Yeti coolers and accessories, Big Agnes tents, and Osprey Packs to keep you ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you.

When you think high-quality outdoor gear, one name comes to mind: REI. They’re the outdoor experts that not only sell the right brands and equipment, but also know how to help you get the most from your purchase. Campers can find a variety of tents, backpacks, kitchenware, furniture, and navigational tools to help them conquer their time in the woods like a pro. Brands like Ruffwear make it easy for your four-legged friend to enjoy the trip, too.

This well-loved store is in the perfect location to cater to campers. Nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and in the midst of prime camping areas in every direction. The folks here have personal knowledge and expertise when it comes to camping, and can help you outfit your entire trip with the right gear you need. Choose from popular brand names like Coleman, ENO, Blackpine and Kelty.  

Dedicated to all things outdoors, this national outfitter brings all of the best brands in camping apparel and gear under one roof. They’ve got everything for both simple, primitive campers and fully connected, spare-no-luxury glampers. Choose from fan favorites like Big Agnes tents and sleeping pads, Black Diamond flashlights, and Kavu bags and apparel among other high-quality items.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-essential-outdoor-stores-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-essential-outdoor-stores-in-georgia Thu, 02 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500
Making the Most out of Tugaloo State Park When it comes to natural beauty, Georgia’s got the best of both beach and mountains to satisfy anyone who appreciates the great outdoors. Just looking at Georgia’s state park system you’ll realize that this state is full of natural wonders just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. One of the most incredible wonders is Tugaloo State Park. With its nearly 400 acres of space, beautiful lakeside views, and plenty of opportunity for recreation, it’s among the best. Here’s how to enjoy an adventure at Tugaloo State Park. 

It doesn’t get more family friendly than Tugaloo State Park. Step inside and you’ll find a place reminiscent of decades’ past. The park offers activities for all ages, including swimming, geocaching, mini golf, grilling, camping, and sports. It’s the perfect spot for families looking to truly get away from it all while unwinding to the sounds of natures. 

There are over four miles of hiking trails throughout the park, all of which the average hiker can easily trek. The Sassafras and Muscadine trails take visitors through forests of cherry, oak, mulberry, and walnut trees. You can also expect some of the best views of sparkling Lake Hartwell.  

Given the park’s location on its woody peninsula, just about every angle offers sprawling views of beautiful Lake Hartwell. As one of the most visited lakes in the state, Lake Hartwell offers prime fishing opportunities, boating, and other watersports. The park offers boats and a dock so you can experience the lake up close.

There’s a campsite to suit just about every camper. Choose from traditional RV or tent sites, or opt for a yurt or camping cottage. Much of the park remains shaded to help keep you cool on sweltering Georgia summer days, plus nearby picnic shelters make it easy to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors.

I’m thankful for percolators ensuring there’s always coffee...& family. That’s a given.

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While you’re in the area, consider venturing beyond the park and head to Toccoa Falls, one of the tallest free-flowing waterfalls this side of the Mississippi. Entrance to the path that leads to the falls is tucked away on the Toccoa Falls College campus, and is quite popular for weddings, events, and was even featured in a made-for-TV movie.

Waterfall rainbows are neater than sky rainbows. Also convinced I’m dating an extra large leprechaun

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For an epic hiking experience, head to Toccoa’s beloved Currahee Mountain, 800 vertical feet of beauty. The standalone mountain is a local icon, having been an important training site for American Paratroopers in World War II and Andrew Jackson’s battle site during the Battle of Currahee. Visitors can hike to the peak for amazing views, or enjoy a day of rock climbing and rappelling. 

Thankful has a whole new meaning for me this year 😍 #blessed #home

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Just minutes from the park lies one of the area’s most hidden gems: Gumlog Bar-B-Q. This middle-of-nowhere joint is dishing out the best barbecue and catfish around, all at reasonable prices. The restaurant is only open Friday through Sunday, and the place fills up quickly. That’s how you know there’s good eatin’ waiting inside!

This large historic inn once played a crucial role in Toccoa’s economics, serving as a rest top for travelers along the newly built Unicoi Turnpike. Visitors can tour the home and grounds, thanks to careful preservation efforts that showcase original furniture and artifacts. It’s also a popular photography site for locals and travelers alike. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/making-the-most-out-of-tugaloo-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/making-the-most-out-of-tugaloo-state-park Wed, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500
5 Energizing Hikes in Georgia Mother Nature is the queen of bringing you back to your senses. Georgia boasts some truly immaculate natural scenery—among the very best in the country. To absorb the beauty of the state’s natural wonders, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. Given the state’s location in the foothills of the mountains, there is plenty of opportunity in Georgia for a more heart-pumping trek. For a step up in a difficulty, give these five energizing hiking trails a go! 

As one of the state’s most popular hiking destinations, Tallulah Gorge is a spectacle to behold. The hiking trail here is full of challenges to keep your heart rate hopping, with the two-mile loop packing in all the best sights from the area. If you need to take a break, there are plenty of scenic overlooks that give you beautiful views from every angle. Part of the trail consists of metal steps that keep you on your toes for a wondrous workout while you enjoy the scenery. The view of the falls and gorge alone make this hike worthwhile.

Situated near the Georgia/Tennessee border, Lookout Mountain is a premium destination for hikers, especially those who like a bit of a challenge. The Lula Lake Land Trust trail system is a favorite among area hikers, leading the way to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state. Starting at the first parking lot once you enter the trust, hop on the middle trail that eventually ends at the Bluff Trail, which will lead directly to the shorter High Adventure and Lula Lake trails for a good view of the falls. The trails also feature plenty of spectacular natural views of the area, along with its share of challenges that make it the perfect trail system for those looking for an enjoyable pick-me-up.

As part of the famed Appalachian Trail, this two-mile down-and-back route takes you through the Chattahoochee National Forest to show you some of Mother Nature’s most beautiful sights in the state. Along the way, you’ll see the Long Creek Falls, one of the few waterfalls in the southern portion of the Appalachian Trail. It’s certainly one of the most scenic stretches of hiking trails, and one that shouldn’t be missed if you love the great outdoors.  

At just two miles-long, Hemlock Falls may seem more like a walk in the woods than a hike… until you begin your journey. This amazing trail leads you to beautiful waterfalls surrounded by rich natural greenery in a rocky, boulder-filled terrain. The creek continues along the trail encouraging you to make it to the end (just a mile to the falls), at which point you’ll head back the way you came. The trail features slight elevation gains throughout, making it a good choice for those looking for a health boost while they enjoy the scenery.

As part of the Appalachian Trail, this vigorous yet stunning hike offers plenty of views to make the climb worthwhile. It’s also one of the most popular trails in the area, and once you hike it yourself you’ll see why. The five-mile up-and-back trail takes you to the summit of Tray Mountain, where you’ll find beautiful vistas as far as the eye can see, along with challenging yet pleasurable elevation gains and stunning rhododendron.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-energizing-hikes-in-georgia http://stepoutside.org/article/5-energizing-hikes-in-georgia Mon, 23 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0500