• Three kayakers enjoying the river.

    Chattahoochee River

    National Recreation Area Georgia

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  • Rising River Waters Can Kill!

    Watch for rapidly rising river levels on the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries. Water released from dams and heavy rain can turn a day on the river into a tragedy! More »

  • Call for Water Release Schedule

    With colder temperatures you can expect longer and more frequent water releases. For water release schedule info, call 1-855-DAM-FLOW (1-855-326-3569) for Buford Dam and 404-329-1455 for Morgan Falls Dam. Save numbers to your cell! More »

Hyde Farm Outdoor Experience

Enjoying the campfire.

Enjoying the campfire.

The evening entertainment was a delight to all…a musician and storyteller who combined stories from years ago with more contemporary "scary stories". Students got to participate in a storytelling workshop, which was performed in front of the audience, and had an opportunity to try their hand at various "old-time" instruments (such as spoons, washboard, limerick, and other rhythm instruments). Night sky viewing was an optional late-night activity and viewers were awed by the sight of Jupiter.

The next morning, participants had a hot breakfast which had been cooked in Dutch ovens on-site. A Leave No Trace program was provided, followed by station rotations to give kids "hands-on" experiences with butter churning, washing clothes on a washboard, plowing, sack races, and a nature walk.

The program was a huge success. The campers had a fun time, and learned some valuable lessons along the way. In total, there were 55 participants (student campers and their chaperone, and Brumby Elementary school staff), 10 NPS staff members, 3 Cobb County staff members, and 12 volunteers who assisted during the overnight camping experience. All food items were generously donated by Harry's/Whole Foods Market.

The students kept journals of their camping experience. Below is a collection of their entries.

 
Park ranger Nancy Walther shows first time campers how to set up a tent.

Park ranger Nancy Walther shows first time campers how to set up a tent.

With funding provided by the National Park Foundation, through an "America's Best Ideas" grant, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area hosted its second of two overnight camping experiences at newly acquired Hyde Farm. The purpose of this program was to provide an opportunity for inner-city Title I students to connect with their national parks, participate in an overnight camping adventure with a parent or guardian, and get involved in the out-of-doors. Out of a total of 48 campers…only 4 had ever been camping…so this was a new and unique experience for a great many.

Participants were provided a unique opportunity to learn about and experience what life was life back in the 19th and 20th centuries through "real-life" activities and learning adventures. Upon arrival at the farm, students (along with their parent chaperone) were greeted by NPS staff, Cobb County staff, and volunteers to assist with tent set-up, followed by a time of cane-pole fishing. For many, the idea of putting a worm on a hook was frightening…but in retrospect…many agreed they would do it again. After the fishing experience, participants were taken on an historic walk of the property (which was settled in the 1830s-40s). Supper followed…which was heated atop campfire coals. Smiles abounded as participants sat around the campfire, enjoying a hot meal comprised of "silver turtles" (meat and vegetables wrapped in aluminum foil).

 

Did You Know?

Jones Bridge ruins - Photo by Matt Harr

Jones Bridge spanned the Chattahoochee River from 1904-1922, falling into disrepair in the 1930s. Half of the bridge was "stolen" in 1940, neighbors didn't know the workers cutting the bridge were not authorized to do so until it was too late.