By Mary Ashton Mills


In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, “Are We There Yet” is traveling to Sandy Springs to celebrate over 950 acres of parkland, 22 miles of river shoreline and 16 parks. The amenities, hiking options, views and recreation opportunities may just be the trial run you need for that trip to one of America’s big National Parks in the future. The beauty of visiting Sandy Springs is that you can easily couple your visit with a trip to one of Atlanta’s larger attractions like a Braves game, The World of Coca-Cola, The College Football Hall of Fame or one of the many malls. 

Pack a picnic and leave Augusta early for Sandy Springs. Make your first stop the Nantahala Outdoor Center Lower Chattahoochee Outpost where you can rent kayaks and tubes for exploring the Chattahoochee River. The river rarely reaches a temperature above 50 degrees so you’ll instantly feel cooler on those sultry summer days. After your float, try your angling skills at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The Chattahoochee River is a designated trout stream and you’ll also find fish like catfish, bass and other freshwater species. If you like paddleboarding, visit the High Country Outfitters Paddle Shack at Morgan Falls Overlook Park to rent a paddleboard or even find your Zen with a stand up paddleboard yoga class.  

If you are from Augusta, chances are you have an appreciation for the game of golf. Try your luck at a new sport combining golf and soccer at Sandy Springs popular Steel Canyon Golf Club. FootGolf requires no clubs and is played with a soccer ball.  Greens, Bunkers, Hazards and Tee Boxes are all still a part of this unique game that hails from the Netherlands and is sure to catch on quickly stateside.

Distance: 2 hours and 14 minutes, 150 miles.

Budget: Tubing on the Chattahoochee runs $24.99 per half day at the NOC Lower Outpost. Stand up paddleboard rental from the Paddle Shack starts at $25.00 per hour. Steel Canyon Golf Club FootGolf round is $18.00 for adults and kids under 15 years-old play for their age.

What to See: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, High Country Outfitters Paddle Shack, Morgan Falls Overlook Park, Nantahala Outdoor Center Lower Chattahoochee Outpost, Steel Canyon Golf Club.   

If you go: The Annual Sandy Springs Festival takes place September 17-18 and features an artists’ market, 5 and 10 K races, food court, children’s park and more.

This article appears in the August 2016 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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