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Constructive engagement 

Fall weather. Do something. Outdoors. Now.

Get it on: run

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Kennesaw Mountain National Park, 900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw. 770-427-4686. www.nps.gov/kemo.

Hot spot: Not only can you run up the mountain – there also are trails for lower intensity.

Prime time/drive time: Early morning; parking is limited/30 to 45 minutes

Expert advice: "Always [run in the] early morning, to fight off heat, smog, traffic, plus you'll start your day off on the right foot."

– Tina Klein, Atlanta Track Club

Know more: www.atlantatrackclub.com, sponsor of the Peachtree Road Race

www.runtheplanet.com, a worldwide running resource for tips and more

Get it on: cycle

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Blanket's Creek, Sixes Road, Woodstock.

Silver Comet Trail, South Cobb Drive, Smyrna. 404-875-PATH. www.thepathfoundation.org.

Hot spot, mountain: It's a SORBA-maintained trail, making it safer, and there are tracks for every experience level. Hot spot, road: There are no grades steeper than 3 percent.

Prime time/drive time: Mountain, early morning/up to 40 minutes; road, 25 minutes

Expert advice: "For fitness, early morning exercise is best. It sets your metabolism for the day."

– Peter Wicker, Outback Bikes

Know more: www.sorba.org, Southeast Off-Road Bicycle Association for more information on Blanket's Creek

www.outback-bikes.com, for information on proper equipment and more

Get it on: hike

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Cochran Shoals, Interstate North Parkway. www.nps.gov/chat/planyourvisit/interstatenorth.htm.

Hot spot: It's a little-known spot, so there's always a place to park. Plus, there are great views of the Chattahoochee.

Prime time/drive time: Early evening/20 minutes

Expert advice: "I am surprised if I see more than three cars at Cochran Shoals and those are usually kayakers. It is more natural [than neighboring Sope Creek]."

– Ben Taratoot, vice president of Atlanta Outdoor Club

Know more: www.americanhiking.org, for tips and more

www.atlantaoutdoorclub.com, a free outdoor adventure club

Get it on: canoe/kayak

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Chestatee River, Dahlonega. Vistor's Center, 13 S. Park St. 706-864-3711. www.dahlonega.org.

Hot spot: It's slow enough for beginners, there's lots of wildlife and it's easy to stop midway for a break.

Prime time/drive time: In the morning/about one hour

Expert advice: "More people get hurt when they're trying to get in or out [of the canoe or kayak]."

– Bubba Sloan, High Country Outfitters

Know more: www.highcountryoutfitters.com, classes, boats and more

www.canoegeorgia.com, for more information on guided tours

www.atlantaoutdoorclub.com, for group trips

Get it on: camp

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Amicalola State Park. 418 Amicalola State Park Road, Dawsonville. 706-265-4703. gastateparks.org/info/amicalola.

Hot spot: Awesome waterfalls, lodging or primitive camping, and the Appalachian Trail

Prime time/drive time: Early October/about one hour

Expert advice: "No one has ever left a tent as quickly as I did. My friend, who was still a bit drunk, awoke to find a very frightened mouse in our tent."­

– Ben Taratoot, again www.atlantaoutdoorclub.com, for group camps

Know more: www.rei.com, for equipment

Get it on: rock climb

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Boat Rock, 1220 Boat Rock Road.

Hot spot: It's climber-owned and -maintained, and with more than 13 acres, it's also a green space and park.

Prime time/drive time: Late fall, morning or late afternoon/about 30 minutes

Expert advice: "A common misconception is that [climbing is] an upper-body sport. They try and pull the rock down to their waist. It's a full-body sport. You are pushing as much with your feet."

– Brad McLeod, Southeastern Climbers

Know more: www.seclimbers.org, Southeastern Climbers Coalition

 

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