As summer swelters on, the wee ones sometimes need a spot to splash after they work up a sweat. If you are looking for something beyond the sprayground, the Atlanta-area offers an array of rivers, streams and creeks to explore. Read on for five spots where the smaller set can safely splash.


Watson Mill Bridge State Park
Easily one of the most picturesque state parks in Georgia, Watson Mill Bridge contains the longest covered bridge in the state, spanning 229 feet across the South Fork River. Although it is a bit of a drive from Atlanta, seeing one of this bride built in 1885 is worth the trip. The littles will love playing in the cool river shoals just below the bridge.
650 Watson Mill Rd., Comer


Poole’s Mill Park
Poole’s Mill’s unique covered bridge, built in 1901, spans the shoals of Settendown Creek. The park, on the National Historic Registry, offers wee ones the chance to rock hop and tickle their toes in the creek. Bigger (and braver) kids can slip around on their bottom or belly on the rocks so be sure to back a suit that can stand up to some sliding.
7725 Pooles Mill Rd. (at the corner of Heardsville Rd.), Cumming


Jones Bridge Park
Located in the western corner of Forsyth County along the banks of the Chattahoochee River, this park was built around an area that was once a mill and comes complete with a charming covered bridge. It has a small, shaded playground, two picnic pavilions and bathrooms, but the main attraction are the river rocks for kids to slide around on and the geese and ducks to feed so don’t forget the bread!
4901 East Jones Bridge Rd., Norcross


Azalea Park Playground
This smaller playground is settled sweetly right on the Chattahoochee River. The shady spot offers a peaceful setting for play and picnics in one of the nearby pavilions. With plenty of parking and a paved hiking/biking trail that runs along the river—this is the spot to hang ‘Hooch-side.
203 Azalea Dr., Roswell


Glenlake Park
This 17-acre park boasts a dog park, swimming pool, tennis center and both baseball and basketball areas—but it is the playground and adjacent creek are what will interest the smaller set. Located just a few blocks off the Courthouse Square, the playscape features the basic slides and climbing structures while the recently restored banks of the creek and bridge offer a prime spot to watch the water and wade.
1121 Church St., Decatur


Before you go, check the flow! To find out more about Chattahoochee River water release information, click here.

—Phebe Wahl

Photos courtesy of Watson Mill Bridge State Park via Facebook, Jerry T., Matt E., Tom N. via Yelp, and Lee Edwin Coursey on Creative Commons via Flickr