Have Fun and Stay Fit in Atlanta s South Metro


Anne Jiles

As we get ready to ring in the New Year, many of us will be thinking about making New Year s resolutions. A top priority on many lists will be to make healthier lifestyle choices and get more exercise. Most of us start out with good intentions, but fall short after a few weeks. Varying the exercise routine and location can help many people keep their focus. Atlanta s south metro area offers some great places to stay fit while enjoying the outdoors.

Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge offers unique opportunities to exercise while enjoying the natural surroundings. Visitors can participate in 3.5 mile guided hikes every Saturday to the top of the mountain. This is the only way to access the fragile environment of the park s granite outcrop. A special New Year s hike is scheduled for January 1. After the hike, enjoy hot chocolate around the campfire. Advance reservations are required, and the cost is $7 plus $5 to park. Panola Mountain State Park is also an access point for the 12 mile paved PATH Trail to Arabia Mountain. The PATH Trail is open to walkers and bicycles. In addition, the park offers Tree Top Excursions one Saturday each month. These rope assisted climbs into the tree canopy are moderately strenuous. Preregistration is required, and the fee is $15 per person. Climbers must be at least 8 years old. Panola Mountain State Park is located at 2600 Hwy 155.


For a quiet hike through the woods, try Reynolds Nature Preserve in Morrow, Georgia. Visitors can explore the highest ridges in the county on the 3.5 miles of hiking trails. The Perimeter Loop Trail, Summit Loop Trail, and Pond Loop Trail wind through woodlands of mixed hardwoods and pines. The preserve is located at 5665 Reynolds Road. It is open weekdays from 8am until dusk, and admission is free.

Clayton County s International Park has one of the best tennis facilities in the south metro area. There are 17 lighted courts, locker rooms, and a pro shop. Court fees are $3 for non-residents during the day and $4 after 6pm. Muscle Beach Fitness Center is also located at the park. The facility has a full gym with free weights, machine weights, cardio equipment, and certified trainers. A one day pass is $5. Monthly and yearly memberships are available. International Park is located at 2300 Hwy 138 SE in Jonesboro.

Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia has a one mile walking trail around scenic Swan Lake on its campus. There is also a 1.5 mile loop around the perimeter of the campus. The City of Morrow is developing a new 3 mile Pathway Trail for walking and biking through the city. A new tunnel adjacent to Clayton State University and the Georgia Archives lets trail users go safely under busy Hwy 54. Reeves Creek Trail in nearby Stockbridge is a 3 mile concrete path for walking and biking. Trail access, parking, and restrooms are located in Memorial Park, at 106 Jennings Way.

Anne Jiles is the Director of Sales of the Hampton Inn

Morrow Georgia hotel

in Atlanta-Southlake. Located in the heart of Morrow, the hotel is just across from Southlake Mall and 18 miles from downtown Atlanta. This property offers a full range of services and amenities to make your stay exceptional. For more information visit: http://www.HAMPTONINNSOUTHLAKE.com

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Have Fun and Stay Fit in Atlanta s South Metro

Have Fun And Stay Fit In Atlanta S South Metro