Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Outdoor recreation activities
Pro Tip: Call ahead to register for programs.
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
What sets your business apart from your competition?
Just 15 minutes from Atlanta, Panola Mountain is a recreational haven for all ages and interests. Visitors can picnic while children work off energy on the playground. Anglers can bring their fishing poles to catch dinner at Alexander Lake. Panola Mountain State Park is one of the only state parks to offer archery programming (including a state of the art 3D practice range, for those with their own equipment), as well as "Canopy Adventure" tree climbing programs. Tree-climbing is great for families, youth organizations, corporate team-building excursions, and can accommodate any physical disability. The park also offers boat rental, geocaching, orienteering, birding and hiking. Georgia's PATH Foundation scenic Rockdale River Trail winds through the park and is ideal for biking, roller blading, jogging and dog-walking.
Panola Mountain is a 100-acre granite outcrop similar to Stone Mountain, but smaller and much more pristine. Panola is special because it's never been quarried, and as a National Natural Landmark, has had limited human impact. Because of this, it has many incredible rare ecologic features. Panola Mountain State Park is the crown jewel of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, one of only three National Heritage Areas in the state. The park’s unusual natural beauty and intriguing cultural changes are the basis for this special recognition.
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
It started as a conservation park to protect the pristine ecosystem of the mountain.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
"We never knew all this was back here!"
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Helping visitors develop an enjoyment and respect for nature.
The snap of cracking shells echoes through the numerous dining rooms of Fisherman’s Bucket. Servers weave through cobblestone archways, bearing fried, steamed, or seasoned shellfish by the platter and bucket, along with po’ boys spilling forth oysters, gator, and catfish. Soft lights illuminate a faux shark head above the booths, tables, and barstools inside, and an outdoor patio stretches out beneath the sun, stars, and skywriters passive-aggressively correcting each others’ work.
Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club sprung from a man's vision of a place to live, explore, and play. And it wasn't a small dream. The grounds span more than 1,000 acres of the rolling hills that nestle up to the Chattahoochee River, where visitors paddle in open-top kayaks, cruise in hovercrafts, and swim. Water isn't sparse here: 16 lakes, ponds, and streams provide plenty of opportunities for fishing for bass and the Lochness Monster. Further catering to the sporting type, the grounds host hunting expeditions in search of quail, deer, and turkeys.
Beyond natural beauty, the resort also offers man-made resplendence. The sporting club hosts a range of activities at well-appointed facilities, which include bocce ball courts and an equestrian facility. And centrally located amid the Lunker Lake boathouse and swim and tennis center stand rustic, yet modern, fully furnished vacation homes, which accommodate guests with privacy while keeping them in the center of the action.
• For $14, you get one adult admission on Friday, September 23 (up to a $29 value). • For $40, you get one family admission—valid for two adults and two children—on Saturday, September 24 (up to an $80 value). • For $40, you get one family admission—valid for two adults and two children—on Sunday, September 25 (up to an $80 value).
A Roswell native, River Through Atlanta owner Chris Scalley grew up on the Chattahoochee River, which he proudly still calls home. It's not unusual for Chris to spend 200 days or more on the Hooch, as he and his affiliate guides constantly lead fly fishing instruction, boat trips, and wading trips on the river. Because of his lifetime of experience, Chris has accumulated a unique knowledge of the local ecology, behavior of the trout, and how frequently they vote on American Idol. Though he has fished at destination rivers all over the world, Chris still feels that the Hooch holds its own with regard to angling and aesthetics. To preserve these aesthetics, Chris led efforts to protect the Chattahoochee and its sport fishery, earning him recognition in 2007 as a Hero of Conservation in Field & Stream.
When it comes to catching fish, Chad Smith is more than well equipped. After all, the professional angler captains a 20-foot pontoon boat decked out with advanced Humminbird mapping and color sonar systems. Still, all of his fancy gadgets pale in comparison to his memory. Having fished in the area for much of his life, he's familiar with the best spots to hook multiple species, including striper, spotted bass, crappie. His passion, though, is trophy catfish, which led him to a record catch weighing 61.33 pounds.
On five- to eight-hour trips on Lake Oconee, Chad helps total novices and seasoned fishers alike haul in large catches. If clients aim to net a catfish, he even guarantee their success. Those who don't hook one of the bottom dwellers on their current excursion can give it a second shot on another trip within a year, free of charge. He also helps established fishers set up their own sonar equipment, meeting them on the water for a test run and a lesson on how to distinguish fish schools from fish retirement homes.