Outdoors, Recreation & Sports

Fore! Playing It Through At State Parks

Don’t underestimate the challenges of golf courses at Georgia’s state parks. Whether you choose play in the mountains or the Piedmont, these public courses are picturesque, relaxed and affordable.

“You’ll find challenging golf year-round at eight Georgia state parks,” says Kim Hatcher, public affairs coordinator for Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. “We often hear from players how much they appreciate the quality of our courses and affordable rates.” To keep reading click here.

Be Adventurous This Season

With the holiday season fast approaching, we begin the search for the perfect gift for those special people in our lives. Finding that exact match is always a struggle. Once the gift is opened, it is often put away and forgotten. To continue reading this story click here.

Retreating to the Okefenokee

In southeast Georgia, but a world apart, the Okefenokee Swamp is a watery wilderness that can be experienced by foot or float. The dichotomy of plant and animal life spans a broad spectrum, yet its uniqueness is unparalleled. This is why the Okefenokee Swamp is listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia. With each visit to the swamp, I leave wanting to see more. To keep reading click here.

Leaf Peeping Paradise

Ahhhhh, Autumn! The gloriously bountiful, colorful, cool season is upon us.  Georgia's daunting summer heat subsides, cooler breezes and temps wash over us, days gradually get a little shorter. Georgia pecans, persimmons, pumpkins, winter squash, sweet potatoes, apples, and other delectable cool-weather crops will be harvested.  And Mother Nature's grand display of autumn leaves will hypnotize us with vibrant reds and oranges, darker scarlets and vermilions, and bright yellows and golds.  To keep reading, click here

Home on the Range

If you are a horse lover or are simply curious about them, you've come to the right place.  Southern Cross Guest Ranch is an all-inclusive vacation in an equestrian paradise. 

Dude ranches are popular destinations in western states.  A rarity in the east, Southern Cross Guest Ranch is the exception. Its location happens to be in Georgia and virtually in our own backyard. To keep reading, click here.

Mountain Quail

With tails wagging frantically, the pointing dogs raced through a small valley in the northern Georgia mountains and locked up at a conifer thicket next to a stream. Moments later, eight bobwhite quail burst from the thicket and rocketed in all directions. A couple soared across the creek. Others flew toward the mountainsides, but a couple fell to our fire. Hunting quail in mountainous forested terrain requires quick reflexes and fast, accurate shooting. When flushed, birds bolt from cover and zoom through the timbers into thickets. While birds might fly to the slopes to escape, they typically spend most of their time in thick cover growing on the valley floor. When we flushed quail on the hillsides, the swift birds sailed down into a soggy slough full of downed hardwoods and briars near the creek. When hunting the valley down near the creek, the birds typically flew to the most inaccessible thickets along the slopes. For the full article, click here.

Frisbee Golf Fun

"This is the strangest trash can I have ever seen," mused one parkgoer before carefully placing here used paper plate in the dangling chains. The metal receptacle in question was actually a disc golf basket - an object that is becoming increasingly common and familiar across the country. Players throw their discs at this target, the double row of hanging chains slowing the disc down so that it drops into the wire rack below. Click here to read more.

For the Love of the Game

It’s hard work being one of the best junior golfers in the country; nine-year-old Ryan Light from Loganville would know. He plays 18 holes every Saturday and Sunday, and he practices for an hour-and-a-half twice a week after school. On top of that, he has to keep up with the regular duties of being a fourth grader. To read more about this young golfer, click here.

Mud Runs

It's more than mud! Challenges of the mind and body. Training for such an event began years ago. It had to begin early. Preparation, whether mental or physical conditioning, requires a long journey. As the date of the March Spartan Race at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers grew closer, my son gushed with excitement of running through challenging obstacle courses, scaling walls, sliding underneath barbed wire, dashing through sinister three-foot deep water holes. To continue reading this article, view it here.

UGA Ice Dawgs

Ah, wintertime in Athens – that time of year when University of Georgia (UGA) fans bundle up in red and black and head out to the game to cheer on their beloved hockey team. Wait, what? Ice hockey? In Athens? Yes, it’s true. In 2014, the UGA Ice Dogs began suiting up in Athens after 28 years of playing home games on the road an hour away in Duluth. The Ice Dogs’ new home ice is at the Classic Center downtown in the Grand Hall, now converted into the 2,000-seat Classic Center Arena with a hockey rink worthy of NHL play. And the UGA hockey faithful are over the moon about it. To read more about the Ice Dawgs, click here.

Rolling with the Classic City Girls

July 19, 2014. It’s a soggy, gray day in Athens, Ga., the kind of day that begs you to curl up inside with a good book. But the more than 800 fans that filled the Classic Center Arena for tonight’s bout against Bowling Green, Kentucky.’s Vette City Roller Derby would rather curl up with the town’s hard-hitting belles on wheels: the Classic City Rollergirls (CCRG). To read more, click here.

The Thrill of the Hunt

Remember the excitement of tracking down a mysterious treasure using a crudely drawn map when you were kids? Or perhaps you raced to find a variety of items in a scavenger hunt so you could be the first to find them all. Either way, the excitement and anticipation of completing such a hunt doesn’t have to be just a childhood memory. To learn how to keep treasure hunting alive, click here.

Bass Fishing on Lake Oconee

With the rising sun streaking through the morning fog of Lake Oconee, my mind drifted back to another time. Memories of my early days at this beautiful lake and the excitement of fishing bass tournaments with and against my peers like Tony Couch, Larry Foster and Norris Edge had my adrenaline surging! Now I was on the verge of another piscatorial adventure on this productive impoundment with a good friend. To read more about bass fishing, click here.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

There's just something to watching the snow fall and watching ice skaters glide across a rink. It makes us nostalgic, remembering the winters of our childhood. Peeking out the window and seeing the ground covered in white meant snowmen, snowball fights, ice skating and a day off from school. Whether Georgia gets a dusting or a foot, seeing it, or even anticipating it means winter is here. To find out more about Georgia's snowiest places, click here

Back To Life

In the late nineteenth century, Dr. James Bascomb  Pendergrass  was  one  of  Jackson  County’s  most important  citizens.  One  of  three  doctors  for  the  county’s 6,800  residents,  Pendergrass  made  house  calls,  performed surgeries, prescribed herbal remedies and made community announcements in church on Sunday mornings. He worked out  of  an  office  attached  to  his  father’s  general  store  in downtown Jefferson.

Throwing a Backyard Bash

WINTER IS OVER. Spring and all its pollen have come and gone. It’s summer and the perfect time to have people over and hold a backyard bash. Let’s celebrate: Fathers Day, July 4th, graduation, birthdays, weddings and showers.

If you’ve been wanting to throw a summer shindig in your own yard but don’t know where to start, though it can be a lot of work, planning ahead and staying organized can make it manageable. And, having your own yard full of your family and friends is a memory worth making.  For tips on how to manage a backyard bash, click here.

Find Your FUN

In a world where people are always searching, there are those among us who have found the secret to fun, and in many cases, the secret to a life well-lived. Some of them have gone to extremes and found it all.

Climbing Higher

Daniel Luke, age 28, climbing for 10 years

Why rock climbing?  To find out why Daniel chose rock climbing as a way to live life to the fullest, click here.

Real Men Do Dance

Falling in love with Ballroom.

On Tuesday nights in Monroe a group from First Baptist Church (FBC) meets at The Rock Student Center nearby to dance. On Sunday nights at the University of Georgia, sometimes 70 students come to the Ballroom Dance Club for free lessons. At Dancefx in Athens, ballroom lessons are offered several nights a week. On Saturday nights in Loganville at the American Legion, there’s dancing.

At the FBC Monroe group, most of the participants are nearing or at retirement age, but a few younger couples attend, too. Many are regulars, taking the sessions each fall, spring and summer. It’s full of men who, while they may have been dragged there by their wives in the beginning, are excited about coming back each week.  Click here to learn about different ballroom dances and the various venues where you can learn how to do them.