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Harbin Clinic Summer Bucket List: Top 5 Outdoor Activities

Are you making a summer bucket list this year? At Harbin Clinic, we are prescribing outdoor activities for our patients and families this summer, and you don’t have to go on vacation or spend a lot of money to enjoy an outdoor adventure with friends or family.  Here are our top 5 activities to add to your bucket list this summer:

1. JUMP IN: Summer is HOT, but Northwest Georgia has a variety places to cool off. Check out the list below if you’re ready to splash into summer:

  • Paddle in Northwest GA: There are several places in Northwest GA to paddle, but a popular stretch of the Etowah begins at Grizzard Park’s Dixon Landing and ends in downtown Rome at Heritage Park. Between these stretches, boaters see wildlife, bridges, and more until they float down beside historic Myrtle Hill. Don’t forget to check out CRBI’s new swim guide before hopping in the rivers this summer and take a personal flotation device for each person, no matter your floating vehicle of choice.
  • Swim in the lake at Red Top Mountain State Park (Cartersville): This natural area features a sandy beach for swimming on Lake Allatoona. Here you can also find trails for hiking and biking. Access is free, but a parking permit for vehicles is $5.
  • Swim in a pool at Northside Swim Center (Rome): This spot has a fun, twisty, pool slide! Don’t overlook public pool options in your communities as a great way to get out and play. Northside pool requires a $5 fee and John Davis pool requires a $3 fee.
  • Splash in the Town Green (Rome) or Veteran’s Memorial Park (Adairsville): If you want to cool off, but your little ones aren’t ready to dive in, consider visiting a splash pad where fountains, named after each river, squirt and spray in all directions.

2. GO RIDING: Do you have the need for speed? Maybe one of these outdoor activities is more your style.

  • Ride a bike on the Silver Comet Trailhead (Rockmart/Cedartown): This beautiful, paved trail through the woods runs where an old train track used to run. The trail runs 61.5 miles from Smyrna, GA to a trailhead in Cedartown where it connects with Alabama’s Chief Ladiga Trail (another 33 miles long) at the state line. Get on and get off at different trailhead spots in NW GA.
  • Mountain bike (Northwest GA): Looking for beginner options? Check out Jackson Hill, the GE Trails, or Berry College Trails in Rome. Or take a day trip up to the Pinhoti Trail, a popular mountain biking trailhead in Dalton, GA.
  • Do an Ollie at Bob Moore Kick-Flip Skate Park (Rome): The newly renovated skate park at Etowah Park has fun jumps for skateboards or bikes to try. The outer rim of the park is a paved trail for beginners on boards, bikes or scooters.


  • Go geocaching (all around NWGA): If you’ve ever enjoyed scavenger hunts or a game of hide-and-seek, geocaching could be for you! Download a free app to see the locations of dozens of hidden items all over Northwest GA. From puzzles to lockboxes to things to take pictures of, this is a great way to spend time outside as a family.
  • Try Golf or Tennis (Rome): Want to try a new hobby? Head over to Etowah Park to use free, public tennis courts or hit on the driving range. Visitors can buy a bucket of 25 golf balls for $5.
  • Challenge a friend to Checkers: At Veterans Memorial Park in Adairsville, GA, there’s a giant outdoor checkerboard. Take a picnic and challenge someone to a few rounds of checkers.

4. PLAY: If you have little children, they may not be able to ride a bike yet or compete in a game, but there are still ways to get outside together. Here are two excellent, free spaces for active play together:

  • Visit the Rock Garden (Calhoun): If you are looking for a peaceful place for children to play and let their imaginations run wild, look no further than the Rock Garden in Calhoun. Here you will find tiny, handcrafted castles and replicas of famous monuments from around the world. There are over 50 tiny buildings in the garden space, beautiful plants and a creek beside the village. There are also trails on the ground if your crowd is old enough to hike.
  • Play & Climb at Ridge Ferry Playground (Rome): This playground sits beneath a dense canopy of trees that give the perfect shade for a summer playdate. A diverse set of playscapes along with access to the Heritage River Trail system makes this an easy and fun summer spot to get moving with your kids. Bring a kite or bubbles and enjoy the day!

5. HIKE: When in doubt, there are plenty of places to take a walk or hike together in North GA. Check out the TRED resources page or the “Atlanta Trails” website, and you can find dozens of maps for exploring nature in Northwest GA.

Content updated June 2023

Published June 17, 2022

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