Some Atlantans spend 20 hours a week sitting in hellish traffic with a 690-calorie Chick-fil-A milkshake in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. Others consider lifting ice-cold beers from the patio table to their mouths to be adequate exercise for the day, or think that even filling out the application for a Peachtree Road Race number sounds like a bit too much work. And most of us have, at one point or another, considered taking a nice walk only to call it off after stepping outside into sauna-like conditions that Satan himself might find a smidgen too toasty. The good news is that whether you're out of shape, heat averse or just plain lazy, Atlanta has a hike for you.
[Photo via Wikimedia Commons.]
The Great Decatur Uphill Pub Crawl
Start at The Marlay House, 974 feet above sea level. Get good and hydrated because you're going to need it for the excruciating 0.53 mile journey that lies ahead. Don't be fooled by the activity's name; you should endeavor not to literally crawl at any point during the route. When the time is right, slowly make your way up the four percent grade of West Ponce Avenue until you reach the Taco Mac. Stop, revive, survive with another beverage at 1,008 feet above sea level. When you're ready, push on until you've reached Decatur Square at an elevation of 1,041 feet. Enjoy beverages at the Square's myriad pubs while congratulating yourself on your 67 foot climb.
[Six Feet Under photo via Wikimedia Commons.]
The Summit Crest to Six Feet Under's Rooftop Patio
Sometimes the catfish basket you want is located in the sky, high above your position on the ground. It can seem daunting. You may feel like giving up, settling for grocery store seafood or, god forbid, a McFiletOFish thingy. Turn those feelings of hopelessness into an opportunity for fitness. Face those stairs, take a deep breath and hit them one at a time until you have the cemetery view and catfish basket you deserve, you champion.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons.]
The Castleberry Hill Art Stroll
The name makes this a great choice for the easily intimidated. Strolling is an activity suited to almost every level of fitness and there are pretty pictures to distract you from the hike itself and wine is available every few feet. If nothing else, drink until you forget that you're in the midst of a physical activity.
The Waffle House to Krispy Kreme 1.5K
This is a longer option for more advanced hikers, but the rewards are plentiful and divine. Begin at the Waffle House on Fifth Street at Georgia Tech. Do not be frightened off by the L.A. Fitness across the street; no one is going to force you into a gym situay here. Follow Fifth, head South on Penn Avenue until you hit Ponce then head east to the holy grail: Krispy Kreme. Eat until full. Cab or Uber home.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons.]
The Stone Mountain Downhill Mosey
When you arrive at Stone Mountain, people may try to convince you to hike UP the monolith. Note that those type of people also own proper sporty shoes, attend boot camps and eat stuff like quinoa. Ignore them. What you want to do is buy a ticket for the sky bucket things to take you to the top then slowly mosey or saunter (your choice, dependent on your level of sass) down at your own pace. There's a reason God invented sky buckets and it's to avoid things like hiking up mountains.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons.]
The Peachtree Center MARTA Escalator Race
This one isn't entirely outside, but it starts in sort of a cave and ends up outside, so that counts as nature time, right? At 120 feet below street level, Peachtree Center MARTA Station has some of the longest elevators in the Southeast, especially the ones near the Carnagie Way entrance. Stand near the bottom of the escalators until you find some fool who plans on walking up all of those stairs, then start the race. You'll be using the escalator, not the stairs (duh), in an effort to best the harebrained stair climber. The beauty of this event is that you can stop and rest when you feel winded and you're still going to be moving forward. Dumb fitness dude has to actually move his feet the whole time. It's a sucker's game. If you need extra motivation, whoop and holler challenges at him or her as you pass.
[Turner Field image via Wikimedia Commons.]
The Mega-Stair Trek From Section 101 at Turner Field to the Beer Stand in Section 401
Make the most of your seventh inning stretch by journeying all the way to the upper level of Turner Field for your domestic beer needs. It must be noted that this hike is significantly less effective if escalators are used but if you find yourself running out of breath, do what you need to do to survive.
[Image via Starlight Six.]
The Starlight Six Popcorn Dash
Next time you're seeing a movie at the drive-in, try this short but intense workout. Park your car a few rows away from the concession hut, wait for a slow moment in your film then leap dramatically from your vehicle and sprint across the parking lot to the candy and popcorn vendors. Watch for moving cars and other sprinters.
[Image via Chastain Park Amphitheatre on Facebook.]
The Chastain Park Seat-To-Wine Walk
Next time you're enjoying some Hall & Oates in the fresh air at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, add some cardio during the chorus of "Private Eyes." Simply stand and walk down the steps from your seats (this works best if your seats are kinda crappy), stopping to clap where appropriate ("Private eyes!" CLAP! "They're watching you." CLAP CLAP! "They see your everrrrrry moooove.") Purchase some wine from the kindly wine merchant, then make your way back up the stairs to your seat. Important note: Attempting the claps while carrying full wine glasses could lead to stains and embarrassment.
[Chicken and waffles photo via Folk Art Restaurant.]
The Inman Park Hill Climb From Fritti Pizzeria to Folk Art Restaurant
While the ascent and five percent grade may seem daunting, this 0.7 mile expedition is ideal for lazy foodies who want to burn off a couple of calories in between meals. Start with some pizza and a beverage (hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, y'all!) at Inman Park's Fritti then push up North Highland Avenue until you've reached Folk Art Restaurant where you can enjoy a (mostly) guilt-free feast of chicken and waffles.
[ABOVE: Base sloth image via Pierre Pouliquin on Flickr.]