Some of the best and most memorable family-friendly activities are ones that take place on the water. If you’re looking to keep your children entertained all day while also getting some sun and exercise, fishing and easy boating like kayaking are two great activities to enjoy. Luckily, Alpharetta and the surrounding North Georgia area has plentiful lakes, rivers, and other waterways so you have lots of options close by. Check out six of our favorite locations for a day trip, or even a weekend trip, filled with fishing and kayaking.
Experience Elite Bass Fishing at Lake Lanier
Lake Lanier is a local hot spot for Georgians and is located just 20 miles north of Johns Creek. This man-made lake was constructed in the 1950s as a multi-purpose waterway for flood protection and water supply as well as recreational activities and fish and wildlife management. It brings in over 7.5 million visitors annually and is hugely popular with locals in the warmer months.
Lake Lanier offers some of the best bass fishing not just in the state, but in the entire country. The lake is often the site for professional bass tournaments, including the 2019 Toyota Bassmaster Elite. It’s also a great place for boating, canoeing, and kayaking, with a number of spots where you can rent boats for the day. Everyone is urged to use caution at Lake Lanier though, as there have been some boating and swimming accidents in the recent past.
“Shoot the Hooch” Along the Chattahoochee River
If you want to stay in Alpharetta and don’t want to travel far, the Chattahoochee River offers plenty of recreational water activities only a few miles away. While Lake Lanier offers great bass fishing, the “Hooch,” as it is affectionately known, is home to some of the best trout water in the South, with 5,000 trout per mile of river in the area north of Atlanta. Beyond having plenty of brown and rainbow trout, the river is great for bass, catfish and a few other fish species, as well.
Another popular activity is to “Shoot the Hooch,” which is rafting, kayaking, canoeing, or tubing down the river. The Chattahoochee has a number of natural and man-made entrances, making it easy to pop into the river, travel downstream, and then come out. Shooting the Hooch is super popular in the summertime, when the weather is hot and the river offers a cool, refreshing reprieve from the heat. Depending on how fast the river is moving that day, your trip can take anywhere from one hour to four hours, so pack some snacks, drinks, and sunscreen.
Relax on Lake Windward
If you’re a part of the Lake Windward community, chances are you already know the beauty of Lake Windward. This 200-acre area is great for family-friendly activities and is home to over 250 pontoon boats, many kayakers and canoers, and fishermen. Lake Windward is catch-and-release if you’re specifically looking to fish for fun. The lake even has its own private Windward Yacht Club for those who are serious about committing to spend time on the water.
Spend a Day at Lenora Park
Southeast of Atlanta and Alpharetta in Lithonia is Lenora Park. This 178-acre park includes traditional park amenities such as fields, walking trails, and grills, but the lake is a great place to swim, fish, and paddle around in kayaks and canoes. Boat docks and ramps are available to make it easy to get your kayak in the water as well as a fishing pier. The park has three different entrances and is mostly open daily from sunrise to 11 p.m., giving you plenty of time to plan day activities with friends and family.
Fish or Dock Your Boat at Fort Yargo State Park
Fort Yargo State Park is another park that offers a large lake (260 acres) that can be used for a myriad of activities. Fort Yargo is located farther east, between Atlanta and Athens. Like other parks, Fort Yargo comes with a number of amenities and features, depending on what you’re looking for. It has a fishing pier for those looking to catch some fish and two boat ramps if you want to do some boating on the lake for a few hours. Fort Yargo offers pavilion and shelter rentals to fit every size and budget of vacation or getaway that you could be planning.
Fall in Love With Amicalola Falls
Image via Flickr by Clinton Steeds
Travel north of Dawsonville, Georgia, and you’ll come across Amicalola Falls State Park at the base of the North Georgia mountains. This beautiful park is named after the breathtaking Amicalola Falls, a 729-foot waterfall that is the third-highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. You can indulge in a number of fun, unique activities, such as zip lining and GPS scavenger hunts, while taking in the spectacular nature scenes around you. Stay for a day or book lodging and spend a few days in the park.
Beyond being a hub for family vacations, romantic getaways, and corporate retreats, the falls and the surrounding park are a great place to enjoy fishing and boating of all sorts. Below the falls is the Reflection Pool that feeds into a creek, rightly named Little Amicalola Creek. This waterway is regularly stocked with trout for catch-and-release fishing. Georgia state fishing regulations do apply here, which means all fishers must have a proper fishing license to participate. Get serious and try out whitewater rafting, which is also very popular at the falls.
Here at Crème de la Crème of Alpharetta, we know that outdoor activities are not only fun but are great opportunities for learning and development for your child, as well. Thankfully, Alpharetta and North Georgia have a number of unique and exciting locations to fish and kayak, ranging from a few minutes to a couple hours’ drive away, depending on your wants and needs. Is there a little-known spot great for fishing or boating that we may have missed on this list? Be sure to let us know.