Travel a bit north of the city to find Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

The Eternal Flame at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park symbolizes MLK's dream for humanity.

Enjoy 48 miles of river at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Visit Three National Parks in Atlanta

Atlanta isn’t called the City in a Forest for nuttin’. The city is home to several city parks as well as three national parks. Two of the national parks are steeped in history. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park was a centerpiece of the American civil rights movement. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park was the site of a Civil War battle. The third, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, includes a 48-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park

Stop at the Eternal Flame at The King Center, part of Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.

Walk in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the park that bears his name. Visit his birth home and sit in a pew at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. King, his father and grandfather all preached. Just across the street, you may attend services at the modern Ebenezer where the pastor is Sen. Raphael Warnock. Visit The King Center where you’ll find the crypts of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King. Stand in front of the Eternal Flame, which symbolizes Dr. King’s vision for a world of justice, peace and equality.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

Honor those who died during the Civil War at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. (📷 Tom Wilson)

Travel a bit north of the city and revisit the American Civil War at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. Highlights include a preserved battlefield where 5,000 Americans died, three monuments and four stone markers. In addition to the history, you may hike, go horseback riding, have a picnic, go birding or visit the museum. 

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

There’s no end to things to do at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Three million people, give or take a few, visit the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area annually. With its 48 miles of river, the area includes five boat launches and ramps, 12 picnic areas, three fishing docks, three multiuse trails plus hiking trails. Animal residents include 25 species of amphibians, 168 species of birds and 41 species of reptiles.  One popular activity here is “shooting the ‘hooch,” which is how locals describe floating down the river on a raft.

Here are a few more ideas for outdoor things to do in Atlanta.

Journalist Carol Carter writes and edits for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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