Georgia Kayak Adventures’ experienced staff guides tours centralized on the Etowah River, which plays host to 75 native species of fish and strategic Civil War battle sites and crossings. Its eco tours embark on the green, natural waters of the river surrounded by lush foliage as guides explain the ecology of the area, with chance sightings of deer, birds, and incredibly lost scuba teams. Weekend evening tours tempt romance beneath the moonlight, whereas history tours explore covered bridges and Civil War hot spots. Kayak fishing trips come in both day and overnight versions, in which anglers search for bass or etowah and cherokee darters, which are native only to this area of the world.
A U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association–rated master pilot, Matt Taber has been soaring through the skies since 1978, during which time he's managed to design several of his own gliders. He's also devised and constructed other contraptions, such as glider-towing equipment and lightweight tow planes—both of which his company, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, uses to teach new recruits how to surf the skies. Matt leads a team of USHPA-certified pilots and instructors that coaches students of all levels in basics and advanced maneuvers through on-the-ground training and hands-on tandem flights, during which pilots safely guide their charges over the scenic mountains and blurry bushes of Lookout Valley at altitudes of up to 4,000 feet. Conducted on a 55-acre private training facility, lessons can include the overnight use of amenities such as a pool, volleyball court, bathhouse, and cabins.
In 1960, Vin Silvia put his faith in a parachute as he dove from an aircraft for his first freefall. The rush of adrenaline continued beyond the dropzone, inspiring the creation of Chattanooga Skydiving Company. Now in its third generation of family ownership, the company mints new divers on a regular basis. As long as the skies are clear and the clouds slake their appetites on birds rather than planes, instructors give lessons or pair up with novices for tandem jumps. Chattanooga Skydiving Company abides by safety methods approved by the United States Parachute Association so that any client can experience the thrill of great heights without previous experience or access to the shoulders of an obliging tall man. A digital video recording allows customers to upload, email, and share video evidence of their celestial endeavors.
A Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers and winner of the 2009 Larry MacPhail Trophy for inventive promotional efforts in the community, the Lookouts induce crackerjack-tossing cheers thanks to a skilled roster of battle-ready bat-and-glove brandishers. Settle into an up-close lower box seat (the seating areas in green) at scenic AT&T Field, where guests can absorb majestic views of the surrounding greenery and use their souvenir program to call out the opposing first baseman's credit score.
Surrounded by the majestic Cumberland Mountains, Goose Pond Colony’s 36 golf holes share the banks of Lake Guntersville with cozy cottages, a campground, and a full-service marina. The Colony Course, designed by renowned course architect George Cobb and opened in 1971, stretches 7,100 yards across a peninsula that juts out into the lake, a water-laden layout that will host the 2013 NJCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship. Players can see water from each of the course’s 18 holes, in the form of the surrounding lake, the two large inland ponds, and the sweat pouring out of overworked golf carts. Meanwhile, the slightly shorter Plantation Course is reached after a short ride north on State Route 79 and challenges players with its open fairways and bentgrass greens.
Goose Pond Colony’s proximity to a 69,200-acre waterway affords ample opportunities for recreational activities aside from golf, including boating, fishing, and paddleboarding. After a day spent reeling in largemouth bass, catfish, and wayward golf balls out of the lake, weary competitors can retire to The Docks Restaurant for soups, salads, and seafood.
Colony Course at a Glance:
Plantation Course at a Glance: