- Eric Champlin for The AJC
Don't forget, Father's Day is Sunday, June 18. But before you scramble to buy Dad (or your favorite father) yet another tie, there is still time to get creative.
Give the gift of the outdoors this Father's Day and plan a unique outdoor adventure for Dad. You'll enjoy some quality time in Georgia's great (and gorgeous) outdoors. You'll make some new family memories, and you'll all have some fun. Most require reservations, though, so book early to guarantee your adventure.
Nothing beats a night under the stars, campsite storytelling and, of course, campfire-roasted s'mores. For a rugged adventure with some seriously stunning views, backpack to the backcountry campsites at Fort Mountain State Park or Cloudland Canyon State Park.
For a more remote adventure, backpack one of the scenic stretches of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and make camp at a primitive campsite in the Chattahoochee National Forest (free, first come, first camp).
Skip the hike and paddle to the campsite instead. Rent a kayak and paddle to Eagle Island at Reed Bingham State Park.
Pack the tent and head to one of North Georgia's 52 best campgrounds. From full-service campsites with water and electricity to primitive backcountry sites offering nothing more than a stone fire ring, Georgia has a great variety of campsites to fit every family's camping style. (Need a tent or backpacking supplies? Try before you buy and rent a tent from High Country Outfitters or another local outdoor outfitter.)
Plan an active outdoor Father's Day with some family time on the trail. Hike to the Len Foote Hike Inn from North Georgia's Amicalola Falls State Park for a unique overnight stay. The Hike Inn is a rustic backcountry inn that's only accessible via hike. Great meals and great camaraderie are plentiful at the inn, and the southernmost blaze of the Appalachian Trail is but a day hike away on the nearby Springer Mountain summit.
If a day hike is more your style, plan a hike to a waterfall on one of North Georgia's top hiking trails, or catch a day hike on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia to a stunning summit view. Or keep it local, and trek one of metro Atlanta's most popular hiking trails to a mountain summit, whitewater-filled creek or historic site.
Bike the Silver Comet Trail, a 60+ mile paved trail through a former rail corridor that runs from Atlanta's northern suburbs to the Georgia-Alabama border. Mid-ride, grab a Father's Day lunch at a restaurant near the trail. Need a bike? Silver Comet Cycles rents hybrid, road and mountain bikes in adult and youth sizes, and it's conveniently located adjacent to the Silver Comet Trail.
See Atlanta by cycle and experience the city from a new perspective. Tour Atlanta on a 3-hour bike tour with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta at 9 a.m. June 17-18.
Cool off on the water, and explore the Chattahoochee River over Father's Day weekend by kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard (SUP). Rent kayaks, canoes, SUP boards and paddle gear by the hour at the High Country Paddle Shack, located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River at Morgan Falls Overlook Park.
Further upriver, visit one of several Shoot the Hooch locations to rent rafts, tubes, kayaks, canoes or SUP boards and gear.
Take a guided cave tour at Cloudland Canyon State Park on the Wild Cave Tours (10 a.m., June 17-18). You'll get muddy (and wet) climbing through an underground cave as you learn about geologic formations and bats.
Explore a tree canopy by rope at Panola Mountain State Park. Remember those great memories of climbing trees as a kid? You'll make new memories as you join Dad to climb a giant, 100 foot Southern Red Oak tree by rope and harness, and you'll see the park's beauty from new heights.