- Eric Champlin for The AJC
Grab some fresh air and exercise, and head to the great outdoors for some sporting fun. Georgia's mountains, rivers, valleys and coastal plains offer a multitude of adventures— from hiking and cycling to rock climbing and fly fishing.
Need to gear up before you go? Shop local and soak up some expertise at these locally-owned outdoor stores in metro Atlanta, each with a different specialty.
High Country Outfitters
With roots in Atlanta since 1975, High Country Outfitters was founded by a group of friends with a passion for the outdoors. High Country Outfitters now spans three retail stores in metro Atlanta (Ansley Mall, East Cobb and Buckhead) and outfits customers with a wide variety of outdoor gear. It's a great place to gear up for your next climbing, camping, paddling or backpacking adventure— and a great place to get expert advice from an ultra-friendly staff of outdoor experts. "Whether you're exploring a new outdoor passion or upgrading gear for your favorite outdoor activity, our knowledgeable and friendly experts are there to provide expert advice," said Warren Hamilton of the midtown store and avid trail runner, climber and paddler.
High Country Outfitters' newest location is in Midtown’s Ansley Mall. Headed to Piedmont Park for a lounge in the park? Visit High Country's Midtown location for a new pair of shades, or grab an ENO hammock for a relaxing chill in the park.
New to the outdoor scene? High Country Outfitters lets you try before you buy, offering outdoor gear rentals from two locations. The Buckhead location offers a variety of gear for daily or multi-night rental, including camping gear (tents and backpacks) and paddling gear (kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and accessories). Headed for a paddle on the river? Visit the High Country Paddle Shack, located at Morgan Falls Overlook Park on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. The Paddle Shack rents paddle gear by the hour, including solo and tandem kayaks, stand up paddle boards, canoes and paddle accessories. The High Country Paddle Shack also offers on-water classes and private instruction.
Big Peach Running Co.
Most passionate runners believe that a perfect running shoe can make a significant difference in a runner's performance. To fit a wide variety of runners' forms, running surfaces and distances, running shoes come in a staggering number of finely tuned fits and designs. The experts at Big Peach Running Co. have helped runners and walkers find a perfect fit since they opened their first store in Brookhaven in 2004. Today Big Peach Running Co. spans eight metro Atlanta locations that offer a wide selection of running and walking footwear, gear and apparel.
Fit experts at Big Peach Running Co. will help you find a comfortable shoe that's tailored to your body's mechanics and running style. Using a digital image of your foot and an expert analysis of your running or walking gait and stride, they'll help you find a shoe that's a comfortable fit, feel and ride.
Big Peach Running Co. is dedicated to helping promote the running and walking lifestyle. In-store and online clinics teach the basics of nutrition, trail running and workouts to help increase your running efficiency and enhance your running form. Looking for some company on your run? Big Peach Running Co. offers group training and fun runs, various distances, open to runners and walkers of all paces and abilities.
Since Atlanta Cycling opened its doors more than 40 years ago in Vinings, the company has matched everyone from beginning to expert riders with a finely tuned ride. Atlanta Cycling's heartbeat is to build better cyclists, and now serves the cycling community with two metro Atlanta stores (Vinings and Ansley). Whether you're a veteran triathlete or beginning rider, cycling experts at each location offer advice and expertise on a wide line of hybrid, mountain and road bikes, cycling nutrition and accessories.
Atlanta Cycling offers education on bikes and components, from teaching customers how to ride to intermediate techniques, like switching to pedal cleats and learning how to clip in and out of the pedals. And the stores facilitate group rides with ride leaders that encourage on-road safety and a respectful sharing of the road.
The Fish Hawk
For 40 years, the avid pros at The Fish Hawk have been outfitting and instructing customers in all aspects of fishing. While fly fishing gear and instruction is The Fish Hawk's specialty, the store also outfits fishermen with specialized gear tailored to the whole spectrum of fishing, from freshwater to saltwater.
The Fish Hawk's Buckhead store offers fishing gear, an extensive clothing line, and full-service travel and guide booking. The store offers year-round fly casting instruction in the store. The Fish Hawk also provides expert, immersive instruction at The Fish Hawk Sage Fly Fishing School in North Georgia, offered in guided river courses and immersive two and three day classes.
Looking for fun outdoor activities in Atlanta? We've got you covered with this list of the best outdoor activities in and around Atlanta.