LOCATE IT: Presidential Pathways

Presidential Pathways: Adventure is Calling

People have been coming for generations to the 19-county district of West Central Georgia known as the Presidential Pathways region to enjoy its acres of pristine forest and fields, miles of trails, and lakes brimming with fish. Today, adventure-seekers are finding new thrills here, with whitewater rafting, tubing and ziplines on the Chattahoochee River at Columbus.

Stroll, bike or skate on Columbus’s RiverWalk, a 15-mile linear park that parallels the Chattahoochee. Also in Columbus, you’ll find the wildlife trails, wetlands, and natural history exhibits of Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center a relaxing pleasure.

The Chattahoochee River certainly helps define this region. The river flows into West Point Lake near LaGrange, offering more than 500 miles of shoreline, championship fishing, and other recreational and water activities. Communities bordered by the river include Franklin, in Heard County, which offers the paved Old Town Chattahoochee Greenway Trail for bicycling, walking, running and other non-motorized activities. Heard County’s Riverside Park has boat ramps and fishing areas in West Point Lake.

Another access point to the Chattahoochee River is Chattahoochee Bend State Park in Newnan, a haven for paddlers, campers and anglers. A boat ramp provides easy access to the water, while wooded trails are open for hiking and nature photography.

Set up camp in F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain. This park is a wonderful combination of nature and history, deeply rooted in the historical era of this four-time president who made this area his second home as he sought the restorative waters of nearby Warm Springs to treat his polio. Picnic at Dowdell’s Knob, Roosevelt’s favorite picnic spot, overlooking a magnificent view of the valley below. Hike the 23-mile Pine Mountain Trail, which winds through a mix of hardwoods and pines. There are also horseback riding trails.

Love water sports? Then head to Florence Marina State Park in Omaha, at the northern end of 45,000-acre Lake Walter F. George, with its natural deep-water marina and accessible deep-water fishing pier, boat slips, and boat ramp. Birders are sure to see herons and egrets, and possibly bald eagles. To the east, cool off in the gently flowing Flint River at Sprewell Bluff Park, a little-known gem and great daytime getaway spot. Skip rocks across the water, picnic on the river’s edge, or toss horseshoes in a grassy field. A boat ramp is available for canoeists, kayakers, rafters, and anglers.

Don’t miss awe-inspiring Providence Canyon Outdoor Recreation Area, known as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon, to enjoy magnificent views of the canyons from the rim trail. Backpackers who head out before 4 p.m. can sleep under the stars along the backcountry trail.

Both F.D. Roosevelt State Park and Providence Canyon Outdoor Recreation Area host occasional “astronomy nights” facilitated by staff at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus, so if you schedule a visit during one of these events, you can mingle with others who delight in stargazing.

And you’ll never tire of all the outdoor opportunities at Callaway Gardens,just a few miles from F.D. Roosevelt State Park: trails, golf, swimming, the Day Butterfly Center, and the resort’s TreeTop Adventure zip lining and obstacle course, among others.

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Presidential Pathways - Locations

Whitewater Creek Park

Presidential Pathways
GA Hwy. 128 N. and Whitewater Rd.
Oglethorpe, GA 31068

Whitewater Express

Presidential Pathways
1000 Bay Ave.
Columbus, GA 31901

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Wild Animal Safari

Presidential Pathways
1300 Oak Grove Rd.
Pine Mountain, GA 31822

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William L. Brown Farms

Presidential Pathways
664 Brown Rd.
Montezuma, GA 31063

Williamsburg Park

Presidential Pathways
6220 Williamsburg Dr.
Columbus, GA 31909

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Willie Lee Walton ‘Boone’ Park

Presidential Pathways
350 Rucker St.
Americus, GA 31719

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Windsor Hotel

Presidential Pathways
125 W. Lamar St.
Americus, GA 31709

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Woodruff Farm Soccer Complex

Presidential Pathways
3547 Woodruff Farm Soccer Complex
Columbus, GA 31907

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Woodruff Park

Presidential Pathways
3808 Rosemont Dr.
Columbus, GA 31904

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Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park

Presidential Pathways
1301 Cowan Rd.
Griffin, GA 30223

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