Top Seven Ideas for a Spring Outdoor Escape in Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites.
A visit to any of Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites will leave guests wanting to experience even more. From parks listed as one of the “Top Places to Visit in the U.S.” by Buzzfeed, to parks considered to be one of the “20 Wild and Beautiful State Parks in the U.S.” by National Geographic, the options are endless, affordable and allow families to check adventures off of their bucket lists.
Experience the opportunities available to park goers as the weather warms up and gear up for the seven can’t-miss adventures.
- Astrotourism: Camping Under the Stars –Pack the tent and build cherished memories while toasting s’mores. Camping encourages the entire family to enjoy the simple pleasures of swapping stories while looking up at the stars. All campgrounds have water and electric hookups, hot showers and site-specific reservations. Many have full hookups, and leashed dogs are welcome. GaStateParks.org/Camping
Insider Tip: Stephen C. Foster in the Okefenokee Swamp, a certified Dark Sky Park, is a perfect location to start for awe-inspiring views of the stars and more.
- Glamping Yurts – Want to camp without the hassle of pitching a tent? A yurt is the perfect option and provides a unique and affordable way to escape to the great outdoors. These funky wood and canvas structures are a blend between a tent and cabin, with furniture inside and fire rings outside. Guests can even walk to nearby hot showers. Yurts are available at Cloudland Canyon, Red Top Mountain, High Falls, Fort Yargo, Sweetwater Creek and Tugaloo state parks. GaStateParks.org/UniqueAccommodations
Insider Tip: Anglers, High Falls’ yurt village lets you stay on a premier fishing lake in middle Georgia.
- Basecamp for Exploration: Cozy Cabins – For an affordable and cozy staycation, book a cabin or cottage surrounded by beautiful scenery. Ranging from one to three bedrooms, state park cabins come with fully equipped kitchens, screened porches and a wide range of activities right outside the door. Choose from mini golf, nature trails, archery, disc golf and more. Bring the four-legged family members along when you reserve a dog-friendly cabin in advance. GaStateParks.org/Cottages
Insider Tip: Many parks have added more dog-friendly cabins for 2021, including Richard B. Russell, Elijah Clark and Hard Labor Creek.
- Junior Rangers – Open to all ages, each park has its own badge (59 of them). Children will have fun learning in the outdoors as they work toward earning Junior Ranger badges from more than 50 state parks and historic sites. By following the activity books, those who partake in this fun opportunity will experience nature first-hand and explore Georgia’s fascinating history. Learn more at GaStateParks.org/EducationalResources.
Insider Tip: The newly revamped Junior Ranger program is open to all ages, good for day-dates with friends or mid-day “schoolcations” while homeschooling.
- Club Challenges for all ages and skill levels – Discover the wonders of nature through your children’s eyes. Georgia’s State Parks offer a variety of hiking, padding and biking paths, from easy paved loops to challenging backcountry trails. Energetic explorers can join Canyon Climbers, Park Paddlers or Muddy Spokes clubs while wearing members-only t-shirts. Learn more at GaStateParks.org/ParkActivities, GaStateParks.org/ParkClubs and GaStateParks.org/TailsOnTrailsClub.
Insider Tip: Bring Fido along for the Tails on Trails Club, and he will get a matching bandana too.
- Go Fishing –Grab your rod and reel and head out for a day of fishing at parks like High Falls or Reed Bingham. There is no fee for casting a line, but a license is required for ages 16 and older. For families who would like to take their adventure up a notch, many state parks rent boats by the hour. GaStateParks.org/ParkFishing
Insider Tip: The state record blue catfish – 80 pounds – was caught in 2019 at Florence Marina State Park on Lake Walter F. George.
- Travel Back in Time – Mix entertainment with education when you step back in time at Georgia’s state historic sites. Children can explore colonial times at Fort Morris and Fort King George, or Civil War bunkers at Fort McAllister. To learn about Native American history, visit Kolomoki Mounds, New Echota, Chief Vann House and Etowah Indian Mounds. Even more historic sites are listed on GaStateParks.org/History.
Insider Tip: 2021 marks the 300th anniversary of Fort King George, the first British fort in colonial Georgia.
Rest assured that the list of exploration opportunities does not stop here. During the day, park goers can enjoy a number of activities including kayaking, geocaching, paddle boarding, hiking, bird watching, waterfall chasing and so much more. Start planning the spring break excursion of the year today at GaStateParks.org/Map.
SOURCE: Georgia Department of Natural Resources, State Parks & Historic Sites