Winter is a seasonal mix in the Greater Valley Area

12/20/2013  | 
TRAVEL USA
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Winter weather offers its own variety in the Greater Valley Area. Many people wear shorts all season — adding a jacket on the colder days. One day it may be sunny in the low 70s, the next may bring a chill wind. Among locals, there are fervent prayers for a white Christmas, but about the most that ever happens are infrequent snow flurries.

Fishing continues to be a big sport in winter with 40 square miles of water in West Point Lake and more than a dozen creeks feeding in. Deer hunting is also big in the area with plentiful game.

The frequent warmer, sunny days are a boon to golfers who continue to enjoy 18 scenic holes at Riverside Country Club in Lanett, Ala., which is open to the public, and at Callaway Gardens, just 16 miles to the east.

Hikers also use the good days to hit the numerous trails in the area and kayaks and canoes can be seen coming down the Chattahoochee River.

The Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail plays host to a variety of birds, including those coming south for the winter. Numerous eagles can be seen around the lake and patrolling the Chattahoochee River as it flows south from West Point Dam. In the Greater Valley Area there are three approved birding sites on the trail:

  • Alligator Creek Nature Trail, West Point Lake
  • The west side of West Point Dam at West Point Lake
  • Chambers County Fishing Lake, a large state lake in LaFayette, Ala.

With the winter foliage gone from the trees, it is a premium time for bird and wildlife watching. At Southern Harbor Marina there are cabins and pontoon rentals offered for exploring all 525 miles of shoreline forest. With the abundance of game in the area, deer hunting is also a major attraction.

In the cities there are many holiday events, and shopping for unique gifts is easy at the variety of antique and gift shops in the area. Bluffton Street Antiques on Hwy. 50 in Lanett offer everything from doll houses to hotel furniture.

Christmas arrives in force with the Valleywide Christmas Parade on Dec. 12, which goes the entire length from West Point, Ga., through Lanett, Ala. to Valley, Ala. It is known as one of the largest Christmas parades in the area. People arrive along U.S. Hwy. 29 as early as seven in the morning to secure a parking spot. Tailgating cranks up about four p.m. in anticipation of the six p.m. parade. Shops dress their windows with seasonal selections.

Callaway Gardens opens its famed Fantasy in Lights in December, bringing visitors from several states.

With its prime location along Interstate 85, halfway between Atlanta and Montgomery, the Greater Valley Area is not only a convenient, easily reached destination, but also one that offers year-round activities and entertainment. A mild winter climate makes fishing, golfing, hiking, kayaking and canoeing possible on many days throughout the season.

Even with its convenient location and many natural attractions, the Greater Valley Area has never shouted its offerings. Instead, local residents welcome visitors with a hearty serving of Southern hospitality and hope that the area’s quiet, uncluttered approach to savoring life’s abundance will be so enjoyable to visitors that they will return again and again.

For more information, visit www.greatervalleyarea.com or call 334-642-1411.
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