There are many recreational opportunities in Decatur County, some of which require membership and many¬†of which are free to the public. Decatur County is pleased to announce the acquisition by the Silver Lake property by Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which opened to the public August 2008 for fishing, hunting, hiking¬†and other family-oriented recreational opportunities.
Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA
Click here YMCA, for more information on the Bainbridge -Decatur County YMCA, phone 229-243-0508. Located at 1818 E.¬†Shotwell Street, the local "Y" is a 40,000 square foot complex featuring an Olympic-sized swimming pool with a diving well, four lighted tennis courts, two air conditioned racquetball courts, an indoor jogging track, a large gymnasium with basketball courts, free weight room and exercise classes. The fitness center features showers, steam, sauna, and whirlpool for men and women, and the Y's soccer program for kids is one of the most popular anywhere. The Langston-Gray Bowling Center at the Y is open to the public and has16 lanes for public bowling and nightly bowling leagues.
City of Bainbridge Leisure Services
The Leisure Services Department of the City of Bainbridge, 229-248-2010, offers many community sports programs for both youth and adults,¬†and maintains several parks within the city limits of Bainbridge. The city also maintains¬†a modern public aquatic center, phone 229-248-2013, located on Potter Street. County residents pay the same registration fees as city residents thanks to an intergovernmental agreement between Decatur County and Bainbridge. Statewide tennis tournaments, as well as baseball (tee-ball leagues and up), softball, soccer and flag football for all ages are also offered. Click on Leisure Services for more information.
There is another option for youth who choose to participate in sports. Bainbridge Youth Football League is an organization in Decatur County that offers area youth the opportunity to participate in free tackle football and cheerleading activities.
Best Fishing in the South
The Flint River and Lake Seminole offer abundant fishing and water sports. Decatur County's county seat of Bainbridge was recently named "The Bass Capital of Georgia." Thousands of amateur and professional fishermen attend many top bass tournaments held here throughout the year. Lake Seminole is ranked by some as the fifth best bass fishing lake in the United States. Abundant populations of striped and white bass, catfish, crappy, and bream are also found in the area waterways.
Fishing is a year-round activity on Lake Seminole. In addition to the challenging bass fishing tournaments held in the area annually, there are many casual competitions held almost every weekend among local bass clubs and professional anglers. The annual Jack Wingate Open is held the first weekend in March and is a good chance to test your skills against the best fishermen in the business. The Lake Seminole area even has a legal netting season - the only location in inland Georgia where this is true. For more information on upcoming bass tournaments, contact¬†Bainbridge-Decatur County¬†Chamber of Commerce at 229-246-4774.
Camping, Boating, Water Skiing, and Picnicking
In addition to fishing, there are other outdoor activities for nature-lovers. Camping, boating, water skiing, and picnicking are also favorite leisure activities in the area. Boaters are provided with numerous boat ramps along the shores of the Flint River, Spring Creek, Lake Seminole,and related bodies of water. Boat rentals are available at Seminole State Park and Wingate's Fishing and Hunting Lodge. There are numerous camping sites, RV sites/parks, and freshwater beaches.
There are several beautiful parks maintained by the City of Bainbridge, including Earle May Boat Basin, Cheney Griffin Park and W.M. Coyle Park. The parks include such items and features as campsites, barbeque pits, stocked fishing ponds, a steam-powered sawmill, playgrounds, a historic non-functioning steam-powered train engine and an outdoor theater. There are elevated nature trails, boardwalks, bike trails, lighted tennis courts, fishing piers and more.
Are you a golfer? If so, you will be pleased to know that Decatur County has¬†two golf courses located in the community. The privately owned Bainbridge Country Club features an 18-hole golf course, four lighted tennis courts, swimming pool, club house and a pro shop.¬†The Decatur County-owned¬†18-hole public course, The Pines,¬†is managed by Roland Hebert and¬†is located on Highway 27 North at the Decatur County Industrial Park, phone 229-246-8545.
There are two libraries available in Bainbridge/Decatur County. The Southwest Georgia Regional Library¬†, located at 301 S. Monroe Street, phone 229-248-2665, fax 248-2670, is open six days a week (see Web site for hours as they vary) has regular adult and children libraries with¬†public computer access¬†as well as¬†resources for persons who are blind or have visual impairments or physical handicaps. Call 229-248-2680 or 1-800-795-2680 for more information. The Bainbridge College Library, located at 2500 E. Shotwell St., phone 229-248-2590, is open to students and the community and is located in the Academic Building on campus. It¬†is also open six days a week.