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Outdoors events
For the week of Sept. 17-23
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This week

Shore Sweep, Gainesville and Flowery Branch. Pick up trash and get a free T-shirt and invite to the Shore Sweep Volunteer Appreciation Party. Saturday, with sweep from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and party from 1 to 4 p.m., Shore Sweep at various marinas listed on Web site; party at Van Pugh Park North, end of Lake Sidney Lanier Road, Flowery Branch. 770-503-7757 or

"Fall is for Planting," Cumming. Forsyth County Master Gardeners class. 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Forsyth County Public Library, 585 Dahlonega Road, Cumming. Free. 770-887-2418.

Safe Boating Course, Flowery Branch. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Learn to operate your vessel safely, navigate waterways and what to do in an emergency. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Coast Guard Auxiliary Operations Center, 6595 Lights Ferry Road, Flowery Branch. $35. Class size limited; preregister. 770-271-4059 or

"Inspired by Nature," Gainesville. Elachee's Safari Benefit Dinner & Auction. Live and silent auctions, cocktails, dinner and live jazz. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville. $75. Reservations required. 770-535-1976.

Sterling Stampede, Flowery Branch. 5K and half-mile "Tree House Tot Trot." 8 a.m. Saturday, Sterling on the Lake Clubhouse, 7005 Lake Sterling Blvd., Flowery Branch. Early registration, $20 for 5K, $15 for Tot Trot, $50 for a family of four; race day registration, $25 for 5K, $20 for Tot Trot. Benefits My Sister's Place. 678-267-3502 or

Wetland Walk, Helen. With botanist Jim Sullivan. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Smithgall Woods Conservation Area and Lodge, 61 Tsalaki Trail, Helen. Preregister. $5 parking. 706-878-3087.

Tri2Remember Sprint Triathlon, Gainesville. Individual or relay teams can compete in a 400-meter swim, 13-mile bike course and 5K run. Benefits the Georgia chapter of The Alzheimer's Association. Saturday, Laurel Park, 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, Gainesville. 404-728-6066 or

Bike ride, Gainesville. Chicken City Cyclists. Moderate, more than 40 miles. 9 a.m. Saturday, Dewberry Church, 4616 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville. 770-534-7075 or

Guided hike to Chunanee Falls, Helen. One-mile round trip hike. 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Smithgall Woods Conservation Area and Lodge, 61 Tsalaki Trail, Helen. Preregister. $2; $5 parking. 706-878-3087.

Rivers Alive Cleanup, Helen. Clean up Chattahoochee River in Helen. 9 a.m. to noon, Smithgall Woods Conservation Area and Lodge, 61 Tsalaki Trail, Helen. Preregister. $5 parking. 706-878-3087.


National Public Lands Day, Blairsville. Help spruce up Vogel State Park. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 26, Vogel State Park, 7485 Vogel State Park Road, Blairsville. Bring a sack lunch. Free; preregister. 706-745-2628.

The Fat Finch bike ride, Maysville. More than 35 miles. Chicken City Cyclists. 9 a.m. Sept. 26, The Fat Finch Cafe, 9169 Ga. 52, Maysville. 770-534-7075 or

Celebrate Service music festival weekend, Suwanee. Benefits Amigos for Christ. Features music by Fee, Matt Maher, 12 Stone, Banks and Shane and more. Basketball tournament, bike ride, 5K and salsa making competition. Sept. 26, Town Center Park, intersection of Buford Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suwanee. 770-614-9250.

Moonlight Paddles, Gainesville. Group paddles led by a professional instructor. Equipment provided. Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2, Lake Lanier Olympic Venue, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville. $15 nonmembers; free to members.

Fall Garden Expo, Gainesville. Hall County Master Gardeners. More than 60 vendors with plants, garden art and products. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 2 and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center, 1855 Calvary Church Road, Gainesville. Free.

Southern Appalachian Mushrooms, Helen. Slide show and identification hike. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Smithgall Woods Conservation Area and Lodge, 61 Tsalaki Trail, Helen. Preregister. $5 parking. 706-878-3087.

Elachee's Backyard Conservation Workshop, Gainesville. Learn how to compost, make rain barrels and rain gardens. 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 3, Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville. Preregister. 770-535-1976.

Bike ride, Cleveland. More than 50 miles. Eat at Batesville General Store for lunch. 9 a.m. Oct. 3, Woodlawn Baptist Church, 4219 Ga. 254, Cleveland. 770-534-7075 or

Bike ride, Gainesville. Chicken City Cyclists. 9 a.m. Oct. 10, Bolling Mill Park, Gainesville. 770-534-7075 or

Stocking Scurry 5K Run/Walk, Gainesville. Oct. 10 with preregistration from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and race at 9 a.m., parking lot of Hall County Bank, 311 Green St. SE, Gainesville. $20 due by Sept. 26. 770-363-1340 or

Run the Vineyard, Braselton. 5K race and one-mile fun run. Benefits the Braselton Rotary Club. Oct. 10 with fun run at 7:30 a.m. and 5K at 8 a.m., Chateau Elan Winery/Paddy's Pub, 100 Rue Charlemagne Drive, Braselton. $20 in advance, $25 on race day; $45 preregistration per family. 770-965-8949 or

Adopt-A-Stream Training, Gainesville. 1.5-day workshop on how to accurately monitor streams. Age 18 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Oct. 23, Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville. $5 for materials. Preregistration required. 770-535-1976.


Chicken City Cyclists evening ride, Gainesville. 6 p.m. Wednesdays, downtown Gainesville square. 770-534-7075 or

ISI Cycling ride, Gainesville. Three group rides with varying speeds and distances. No ride if in rain or if temperature below 32 degrees. 7 a.m. Saturdays, Corinth Baptist Church, 3590 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville. Free. 678-231-0417.

Come Try It, Gainesville. Try canoes and kayaks on Lake Lanier. Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club. 1-6 p.m. Sundays through September, Lake Lanier Olympic Center, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville. $15. 770-287-7888.

Pre-order Native Plant Sale, Gainesville. Fall plants. Order by Oct. 1, Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville. 770-535-1976.

Hall County Farmers Market, Gainesville. 6 a.m. Tuesdays and 7 a.m. Saturdays, corner of East Crescent Drive and Jesse Jewell Parkway, near U.S. 985 Exit 24, Gainesville; 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays, downtown Gainesville square. $10 to join market, $5 per day to sell; $100 to reserve space for entire selling season. 770-531-6988.

Hoschton Farmers Market, Hoschton. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, Towne Center Shopping Center, Hoschton. Dan Graves, 770-861-7232

Dahlonega Farmers Market, Dahlonega. 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays through Nov. 7, Hancock Park off the downtown Dahlonega square. 706-864-6133.

Suwanee Farmers Market, Suwanee. Farmers must grow their own produce and be licensed and certified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture; vendors register in advance. 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 17, Town Center Park, 310 Town Center Ave., Suwanee. 770-945-8996 or

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