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REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

#OptOutside Hike and Meditation

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Island Ford Chattahoochee National Recreation Area , Sandy Springs, GA   Hike: #OptOutside Hike and Meditation  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Nov 25 2022  2:00 pm >> Fri, Nov 25 2022 4:45 pm
Registration Opens: Sun, Nov 20 2022 7:03 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Nov 25 2022 10:00 am
Event Duration:2 Hours 45 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Distance:6 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 12 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


On Black Friday, REI is once again closing its doors and paying their 16,000+ employees to #OptOutside. Over the years, REI's Opt Outside has evolved from a response against consumerism to a movement that has advocated for causes including environmental welfare, inclusivity in the outdoor industry and responsible recreation.

Let's join them for the AOC's seventh annual #OptOutside. We'll take a jaunt around Island Ford, enjoying the soothing melody of the wind in the trees as we watch the river roll. We can give thanks that we are not vying for that lone parking spot at the mall, or parked in front of a computer screen searching for deals.

We will meet at the Park Headquarters parking lot (carpooling to Island Ford is also encouraged!), then venture north along the Chattahoochee River before turning west along Summerbrook Creek. We will loop around the "lollipop" section, circling back to glimpse the river before proceeding back over some bridges to Beech Creek. For the final section of the hike we will meander along the river, then stop at a scenic vantage point.  

Before we end our event, we will pause for a brief, easy guided meditation to fully savor the beauty and joy of nature. 

Estimated distance for this hike is approximately 6 miles. Note, this is not a beginner hike; we will take a few water breaks but keep a steady fast pace up and down the hills to get a good workout. The allotted time allows for about 2 hours 15 minutes of fast hiking, plus 30 minutes of slow meditating.

*Photo credit to Joyce Taaffe, from our very first #OptOutside on Black Friday 2015*

Required Items to Bring:

hiking boots/shoes with good traction; water; $5 for parking or CRNA annual pass or America the Beautiful pass.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

snacks; a smiling face; willingness to try a brief guided meditation

How to Get There:
Event Directions:


From northbound US 19 and GA 400

  • Take exit #6 (Northridge Road).
  • Coming off the exit, stay in the right lane, cross over GA 400, and turn right onto Dunwoody Place.
  • Go 0.5 miles to Roberts Drive.
  • Turn right and proceed 0.7 miles to the park entrance on your right.
  • Proceed straight back approx. 1.1 mi. to Park Headquarters parking lot.


From southbound US 19 and GA 400

  • Take exit #6 (Northridge Road)
  • Continue straight ahead at the traffic light onto Dunwoody Place.
  • Go 0.5 miles to Roberts Drive.
  • Turn right and proceed 0.7 miles to the park entrance on your right.
  • Proceed straight back approx. 1.1 mi. to Park Headquarters parking lot


Parking fee of $5 required (or purchase an unlimited-visit annual pass that day at the headquarters building. The Island Ford Visitor's Center is open from 9 am until 5 pm the day we are there).

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost Includes:

$5.00 parking per car or annual CRNA parking pass or America the Beautiful pass

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.