If you're living in or visiting Atlanta in Georgia, you'll find there's no shortage of facilities for practicing all manner of sporting activity. The city which hosted the Olympic Games in 1996 also has many first-class venues where you can watch everything from soccer to football, basketball, hockey and of course American football.
Atlanta has more than three hundred public green spaces where residents and visitors alike can enjoy some outdoor time. Jogging and running are popular sports for many and the city has become renowned for holding annual running races that attract tens of thousands of participants. While it's great to be able to take part in mass events alongside others who enjoy doing the same and with lines of spectators cheering from the sidewalk, it does mean that the already heavily populated city gets even more crowded.
To escape from the mayhem and multitudes, team up with a group of like-minded sporty friends to hit the highway for a three to five day RV road trip from Atlanta to Boston in Massachusetts. Go kayaking over a tranquil lake, climbing or bouldering on a scenic mountain, or surf the waves in a whitewater center before mountain biking countryside trails. You'll have one long, uncrowded, non-stop sporting adventure all the way.
Set out from Atlanta on the I 85 heading north and after around two hours driving, you'll be nearing the state border with South Carolina. The Tugaloo State Park is situated snug up against the border on the Georgia side of the expansive, serpentine Lake Hartwell. Pitch up in the campground there and you'll be able to enjoy some fantastic water-oriented sports. The lakeside campground has superb facilities and even better views. It's open all year, but does require reservation of the campsites before arrival.
Float a canoe, kayak or motorised craft to go exploring Lake Hartwell. The massive reservoir covers a surface area of over fifty-thousand acres and has more than nine-hundred miles of shoreline. Dotted with multiple small forested islands, it's a truly scenic place for a paddle or to navigate. Take some fishing tackle with you and you're likely to hook up a decent sized catfish or bass to share with your friends for dinner on the first night of your Atlanta to Boston road trip.
Crowders Mountain is a one-thousand six-hundred-foot peak near the city of Charlotte in North Carolina. You'll see it protruding above the surrounding landscape as you motor along the I 85. The mountain sits within the boundaries and gives its name to the five-thousand acre Crowders Mountain State Park. There is no campground for RVs in the park, but if you want to pitch up nearby, you'll find the Kings Mountain State Park conveniently close.
Check in first at the ranger station of the Crowders Mountain State Park then head up the mountain to go climbing or bouldering. The best spot to practice bouldering is Buzzard Roost, but make sure you have the right equipment with you before setting out to tackle the rocks. If climbing or bouldering aren't your thing, you'll find there are trails leading up to the summit of Crowders Mountain and the neighboring peak, the Pinnacle. The views from the top of either are incredible and uninterrupted for over twenty miles.
When is a theme park not a theme park? When it's the US National Whitewater Center. Surprise your friends when you pull up in the parking lot of this extensive installation in the suburbs of Charlotte where you can practice just about every type of adventure sport going. The center is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and only closes on the occasional national holiday.
Get kitted up with a safety helmet and life jacket before boarding a dinghy and going whitewater rafting over class III and IV rapids on the biggest man-made whitewater river in North America. Fly over the treetops on a zipline, go stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking or free fall into a pool after grappling your way up a forty-five-foot high climbing wall. If that's not thrilling enough, you can go bungee jumping or scale a precarious rope bridge high above the ground. The center also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year. You can check here if any coincide with your RV road trip from Atlanta to Boston.
After all the adrenaline thrill sports at the Whitewater Center, you and your friends will probably be ready for a day or two's rest. A great place to pitch camp for a night or more is the Falls Lake Recreation Area. There are six campgrounds in the recreation area distributed around the shores of Falls Lake. The two that have the most amenities, like hook-ups and a dump station, are the Holly Point and Rolling View Campgrounds. You'll find the turn-off to the recreation area along the I 85 a few miles east of Durham.
While you and your friends will no doubt indulge in catching some rays and taking a swim at one of the recreation area's five beaches, there's plenty more to do than just lazing about by the waterside. Get your mountain bike out and set off on some of the area's fourteen miles of single-track bike trails. There are three different trails to ride in the Beaverdam section of the recreation area. Two are easy to intermediate and the third is for skilled riders only. If you don't want to cycle, take a hike around the lakeshore on the fifty mile long Falls Lake Trail.
If you thought the US Whitewater Center was adventurous, wait until you get to the Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park, it'll test your bravado to the limit. The park is located in the city of Portland in Connecticut on Brownstone Avenue and opens weekends only from Memorial Day to mid-June then seven days a week from then until the end of September. If you want to camp close by, there are campgrounds in both the Hurd State Park and the Cockaponset State Forest just south of the city.
In the Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park, you and your road trip buddies will be able to clamber over floating obstacles, jump off a cliff into the water below, learn how to wakeboard if you haven't done it before or let rip with some smoothly executed turns and show off your skill if you have. For something more sedate, though not much, see how long you can hang on to the rope swing before you have to let go. Be warned – it's pretty extreme.
When you eventually arrive in Boston after your three to five day road trip from Atlanta, as well as some great memories to share, you and your friends may well have aching muscles and some hard earned bruises to show for your endeavors. But it will have been a fun and exciting time that you'll want to repeat at some time in the future. If not exactly along the same route, but definitely one which will give you the same amount of adventure and adrenaline thrills. After all, isn't that what taking road trips with friends is all about?