Columbus, Georgia, breaks the mold with city-based outdoor pursuits
Think outside of the box when it comes to adventure. Stop being a spectator and jump in! Whitewater rafting, birding, biking and flat water fun beckon visitors to Columbus, Georgia, about an hour and a half south of Atlanta-the ultimate urban escape. Head outdoors to experience the best of Mother Nature within the convenience of a vibrant cityscape.
Hunting for treasure
Embark on a modern treasure hunt in a scenic outdoor urban setting and go digital. Enter GPS coordinates into your portable navigation device and hunt for any of hundreds of geocaches stashed throughout Columbus.
It’s a bird!
Columbus’ urban jungle is actually an ideal spot for bird-watching thanks to the restoration of the Chattahoochee River and the return of different varieties of native fish and unique birds to the area. The Audubon Society’s Bird Garden at Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center is specially designed to attract birds and is a great place to watch feathered friends.
Go the distance on the Fall Line Trace, a multi-use bike and pedestrian trail completed as part of the Rails-to-Trails project constructed by Columbus Consolidated Government. The trail follows former rail lines that wind through the city. Pedal the 11-mile pathway that formed the backbone of the former rail system, connecting Columbus to the rest of the United States, and see a different side of the city, with rest stops along the way.
See the city in a unique way with a RiverWalk Segway tour. Don’t miss a trek down this pathway winding along the Chattahoochee River. Rent a bike, take a run, grab your skateboard or Segway to experience more than 15+ miles of RiverWalk. You can watch the river action from RiverWalk Island where paddlers and rafters take on Heaven’s Gate, one of the largest rapids on the river. If you have kids, bring them along to enjoy Uptown’s Splash Pad located in Woodruff Park.
Launch yourself into memory-making adventure at Columbus, GA Whitewater. The 2.5-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River located in the heart of Uptown Columbus is the world’s longest urban whitewater course and was named one of the Top 12 Man-Made Adventures in the World by USA Today. Columbus, GA Whitewater offers rafting from mild to wild, ranging from Class I rapids and a Lazy River to the famous Class V rapid, Cutbait and many more rapids in between. Kayak some of the largest rapids this side of the Colorado River. Playboaters will have the chance to hit big water and river runners will be able to paddle over eight rapids spanning the 2.5-mile whitewater course.
Flat water fun
From Paddle Board Yoga to fishing, enjoy flat water activities on the Chattahoochee River. Hop on an inner tube, try your hand at a Stand Up Paddle Board or take a peaceful, flat water kayak trip alongside the riverbank of the Chattahoochee River. Visit Whitewater Express or Outside World Outfitters for more information.
Take flight on the Blue Heron Adventure in Columbus and fly across the Chattahoochee River to Alabama on the only 1,200-foot dual-zip line that connects two states, reaching speeds up to 40 miles per hour. The Blue Heron Aerial Course offers a treetop experience with 10 obstacles for all ages. The adventure continues as you cruise in the motorized Canyon Raft back to Georgia.
If you go
Beyond outdoor adventure, Columbus offers year-round special events such as ArtBeat of Columbus or the Uptown Beer & Wine Festival. Browse boutiques for trip-worthy souvenirs and refuel at local restaurants serving Southern favorites alongside options from around the globe. At the end of the day, choose from more than 4,600 hotel rooms where a night’s rest is the perfect ending to a day spent exploring the wild side of this unbeatable Southern city.