The Great Outdoors Right In Acworth
Ask visitors what they love about coming to Acworth, and you’ll likely hear people say that our town has the best of both worlds: the great dining and one-of-a-kind shops of a bigger city, but with the great outdoors right on its doorstep, too. It’s true: with our lakes, parks, and close- proximity to hiking trails and rivers, Acworth is the perfect home base for an outdoor adventure (or a lazy day in the sun). And few people in Acworth know how to enjoy nature in and around Acworth quite like Bill Benefield.
As the owner of Appalachian Outfitters, Bill supplies Acworth residents and visitors alike with everything they need to enjoy the great outdoors. “Everything we have in our store, we use ourselves, so we can tell you all about it,” says Bill, who has spent years hiking, camping, and kayaking in the area with his son. Whether your idea of being “outdoorsy” involves a laid-back paddle around Lake Acworth, a challenging hike, or an afternoon of fishing, Bill is a pro at steering folks in the right direction.
We caught up with Bill to ask him how he likes to enjoy nature in and around Acworth, and how he shares that love with our out-of-town guests — and yes, that includes golf carts.
What is Appalachian Outfitters?
We’re a full-service outdoor outfitter, and we do everything from camping to hiking, kayaks, paddle boards, stuff you can’t find at big-box stores. We have a lot of local brands, and we try to stock a lot of products from the Southeast. This past year, we’ve been working with the city to set up some mobile locations on Acworth’s three beaches, too. We offer rentals at our beach locations for kayaks, paddle boards, paddle boats, and canoes.
And you’re doing golf cart rentals, too?
We are. We’re getting a new line of gas golf carts in. .
How did you end up in this line of work?
I’m just an outdoors person. The whole reason we started the store is because my son and I just couldn’t find the gear or the answers we needed. So after some frustration with that, we decided, well, we have this passion for outdoor stuff, so we started researching.
And what are some of your favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors?
I love kayaking, hiking, and camping.
You must love living in Acworth, then.
Oh, yeah. We’re blocks from Lake Acworth, which is a great paddle lake, because it’s non-motorized. We have Lake Allatoona within about a mile and a half. And then we have a lot of rivers we can go to nearby. It’s a great location because it’s within close proximity to Atlanta, but you’re far enough out that you feel like you’re out of town. You have plenty to do, all within just a few miles.
Do you have a favorite hiking trail?
Oh, yeah: Kennesaw Mountain. I really love it. And here in Acworth, they’re starting to put in more miles of trails, too.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Acworth?
We have some great dining, and you can spend a whole day just looking in the shops on Main Street. It’s a small town, but Acworth is an eclectic town that’s hung on to a lot of its past, which is neat. A lot of towns forget where they came from, but Acworth has a lot of mom-n-pop shops.
Where do you like to send visitors who come into the shop?
We always recommend Lake Acworth and Cauble Park. During the summer, all three of the parks are just great places to spend the day. We have some really nice beaches, and we have a lot of things to do there. If they like to fish, we can direct them to the good fishing spots. If they just want to relax, there’s places you can relax right on the lake. We always try to get folks out on the water, which is a lot of fun. You can picnic, cook out. I really love Cauble Park because it’s on Lake Acworth, which is a non-motorized lake, so it’s really peaceful.
How has Acworth changed since you’ve been here? 13 years is a while.
Acworth has changed for the better. Sometimes, cities with growth, they forget about the heart of the city. But Acworth seems to hold on to that, while improving it.