Whether you need some solo time breathing in fresh air, or you’re trying to think of something fun to do with friends or family, Alpharetta, Georgia, has a ton of great outdoor attractions nearby. Enjoy some hiking, birdwatching, biking, exploring, and just taking in your beautiful natural surroundings. Here are five nature-filled experiences to see around Alpharetta.
Rock Mill Park
Rock Mill Park on Kimball Bridge Road is just a few minutes south of Alpharetta’s city center. The Big Creek Greenway Trail offers 20 miles of paved trail with a few boardwalk areas along the way. You can enter the Big Creek Greenway from Rock Mill Park and head in either direction for a great run, bike ride, or walk. Because the trail is both flat and wide, it’s a great spot for families to enjoy a bike ride together. At the park, you’ll find some interesting sites like a Grist Mill that was built in 1824 and an outdoor amphitheater.
If you don’t have bikes to bring, you can rent some from the Zagster Bike Rental Station that’s on-site. There are a few different picnic areas and covered shelters throughout the park if you want to bring lunch or dinner along. Rock Mill Park is open from sunrise to sunset daily and is free to enjoy.
Roswell Mill Park
Image via Flickr by jared422_80
Also known as Old Mill Park, Roswell Mill Park is a great spot for explorers and history buffs. Vickery Creek Falls is a major attraction at Roswell Mill Park that brings regular visitors. The large waterfall is a man-made structure used as a spillway for the Chattahoochee River. Take a 5-mile walk on the Vickery Creek Trail, and you’ll see Civil War ruins, a charming covered bridge, a waterfall, and plenty of wildlife. Commonly spotted birds include heron and geese. Relax on the bank of the river and dip your feet into the water while you take in the scenery.
This park and trail are easy to navigate and suitable for all ages. Kids will enjoy some time playing in the creek water, especially on a hot day. Roswell Mill Park is about 6 miles southwest of Alpharetta on Mill Street in Roswell, and it’s open to the public daily from morning until night. Admission and parking are free.
Gold Branch Trail
Take a short trip southwest about 10 miles to the Gold Branch Trail along the Morgan Falls Reservoir for some unforgettable views of waterfalls, towering trees, and the Chattahoochee River. The trail is a 3.8-mile loop along the water starting with a wooden bridge and heading toward Bull Sluice Lake. You can access the trailhead from Lower Roswell Road and park in the small parking area at the start. Enjoy your hike any day of the week while the sun is up.
Be sure to bring your camera along for the experience as you’ll have plenty of photogenic moments to capture. If you want to get out on the water, Bull Sluice Lake is an easy lake for beginner paddlers thanks to its typically still waters. Morgan Falls Overlook Park is another spot worth checking out right on the other side of the river from the Gold Branch Trail.
Chattahoochee Pointe Park
Chattahoochee Pointe Park is an ideal nature-filled experience for all ages. Right inside the main entrance to the park on Chattahoochee Pointe Drive in Suwanee, you’ll find a children’s play area, picnic pavilions, and restrooms. Explore further into the park, and you’ll also come across a disc golf course and access to the Chattahoochee River. The park is open all year round from sunrise to sunset.
A multipurpose trail welcomes cyclists, walkers, and runners to circle the park in 3.1 miles. Play a round of disc golf, go for a walk, dip your toes in the river, and let little ones enjoy the playground. Next time you’re looking for a place to celebrate a birthday or have a family reunion, remember that you can reserve Chattahoochee Pointe Park, its pavilion, and playground for just $50 for 4 hours.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Take the time to make a trip to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, about a 35-minute drive from Alpharetta. This is a little further than the other nearby spots, but it is definitely worth the drive. At Kennesaw Mountain Drive in the town of Kennesaw, this park features a museum, a driving tour, historic markers, and a shuttle bus that takes visitors to the top of the mountain. If you’re feeling up to it, consider a hike to the top.
The Kennesaw Mountain Park Trail is only 1.7 miles long, but it’s a bit of a steep climb. The view at the top is worth the effort. Other trails range from easy to moderate in difficulty and from 1 to 16 miles. Get in a great hike, trail run, or even bring along some mountain bikes for a seriously exciting adventure. Dogs are also welcome on the trails as long as they’re on a leash.
This park is a day-use park only, so there’s no lodging or camping available. However, if you want a few days to explore, there are lots of places to stay overnight outside of the park. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park requires visitors to pay a $5 fee per vehicle. If you plan to visit frequently, you can purchase an annual pass for $40. The visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and the park is open from 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. from December through February and 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. from March through November.
Next time you’re looking for something fun to do outside, check out one of these nearby natural attractions recommended by Crème de la Crème of Alpharetta (Haynes Bridge Road), GA. Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to relax, recharge, and reset your mind. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Your body will thank you. If you bring the family along, they will appreciate the outdoor fun as well.