Get Back to Nature with Outdoor Activities
1. The skill of fly fishing takes some effort to master. To educate and encourage you in this sport, Orvis stores offer free Fly Fishing 101 classes. All ages are welcome to tattend and learn the basics of fly casting, fly tying and more. Participants can even progress to Fly Fishing 201 and 301 courses, which will help prepare you for long summer days on the river.
Details: 3275 Peachtree Road, Ste. 210, Atlanta, GA, (404) 841 0093, www.orvis.com/atlanta
2. Enjoy views of beautiful Lake Lanier from the deck of a sailboat this summer. Lanier Sailing Academy offers Basic Keelboat Certification and Coastal Navigation classes, as well as provate sailing instruction. In Basic Keelboat Certification, you’ll spend 80 percent of the class on the water, learning safety, sailors’ knots, docking and mooring, tacking and jybing, and everything else needed to be a sailor. The three-day class costs $485.
Details: 6920 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford, GA, (770) 945-8810, www.laniersail.com
3. Hiking at Cochran Mill Park requires just a comfortable pair of shoes, but the experience is so much more than a walk in the park. Their trails south of Atlanta will lead you to several different waterfalls. Hike the mile-long trail on the east side to get to Cochran Mill Falls, or hike the west side to Henry Mill Falls. Either option offers spectacular views and an enjoyable workout.
Details: 6505 Rico Road, Chattahoochee Hills, GA, (770) 463-8881, www.chatthillsga.us/cochranmillpark.aspx
4. Strap on your skates and learn some moves at the Bohemian Skate School. Classes are held outdoors, either at Piedmont Park or a location of your choice, starting at $35 per student. If you’re really skate-savvy, sign up for the Athens to Atlanta Road Skate in October. The Road Skate covers the scenic 87 miles from Athens, Georgia to the finish line in Old Fourth Ward Skate Park.
5. Rent a canoe, kayak or raft and spend a day floating or paddling on the 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Make this a relaxing retreat with a leisurely paddling and wildlife observation, or head to the lower stretch of the river for a swift trip on the class I and II rapids. Brace yourself against any splashes, though – the river’s temperature rarely rises above 50 degree.
Details: 1978 Island Ford Parkway, Atlanta, GA, (678) 538-1200, www.nps.gov/chat
6. Attracting wildlife to your yard adds an interesting element to your garden each season, and everything from butterflies and bees to frogs and spiders can improve your garden’s health, Free gardening classes at Pike Nurseries can teach you how to invite the prettiest of those to your yard: butterflies. Pike’s ongoing community classes can keep you outdoors and connected with nature on weekly basis, so check their website regularly as new classes are posted.