Posts Tagged ‘State Parks’

Georgia State Parks offer peaceful Spring Break refuge for vacationers and animals

Georgia State Parks Logo

This Spring Break, break away from the wild life of the college crowd and migrate toward the wildlife at a Georgia State Park, where the gentle calls of birds and furry friends greet visitors waking up in their cabins or campsites and create a soothing melody for a good night’s sleep. Thousands of families, couples and friends emphatically agree that one of the most exciting and entertaining aspects of Georgia State Parks is wildlife-watching during their spring getaway.

From alligators in the swamps of Southeast Georgia, to woodpeckers all over the state, the variety of wildlife seems endless. In the air, Georgia’s location along a major migratory bird route means that more than 300 species including colorful painted buntings, bald eagles, and great egrets can be found here. Forty-six of Georgia’s 48 State Parks and Historic Sites have nature trails and/or nature centers, and many offer guided tours such as moonlight hikes or kayak paddles. Private group tours can sometimes be arranged in advance.

Take in the beauty of Georgia’s sensational spring wildflowers and admire the emerging foliage far from the highways, high-rises and expensive theme parks. Georgia State Parks is a great Spring Break destination that offers outdoor adventure and offers a way to enjoy Spring Break without breaking the bank.  Accommodations in one- to three-bedroom cabins range from around $85 to $160 per night. All come with a kitchen equipped for cooking, great views, screened rocking-chair porches and other comforts of home away from home. For details on Spring Break vacation accommodations, visit this link:  To make reservations by phone, call 800-864-7275.

Guests looking for a cross between cabins and camping will love Yurts, with their tall, spacious tented sides on a permanent platform and deck. Prices start at $70 per night, with heat, beds and seating, and a grill and picnic table outside. For more surprising and delightful unique lodging options, visit here:

Then, of course, is the ultimate commune with wildlife and nature: backcountry camping, starting at $6 and up to modern campsites with many amenities, ranging from $24-$28 per night.  Forty-one parks offer more than 2,700 campsites, including tent-only areas, RV pull-thru sites and group camping areas. Most state parks have laundry facilities and sell camping supplies. Prices vary depending upon the park, amenities and season. For details, go to

Not yet a camper but curious? Thanks to The North Face and REI, Georgia State Parks’ First-Time Camper program orients newbies to the joys of sleeping under the stars, with loaner gear and expert advice for a bargain price.  For just $50, adventure seekers spend two nights in a modern campground, trying out gear from the two leading outfitters. Campers borrow a six-man tent, sleeping pads, chairs, camp stove, lantern and marshmallow-roasting sticks. Park staff help set up tents and provide “Camping 101.”  Upon departure, campers exchange the gear for coupons for their next adventure.

Whether primitive camping or staying in a comfortable cottage, Georgia State Parks are delightfully affordable, while offering many of the amenities of luxury woodland resorts. While each is unique, most parks feature large tranquil lakes, river settings or waterfalls. Park guests can enjoy free hiking, fishing, geocaching, history, animal and nature programs, as well as low-cost bike rentals, boating, championship golf, mini-golf, disc golf, archery, caving and many other activities.

To enjoy Spring Break without going broke, start at, and then browse the tabs for locations, reservations, and details on every Georgia State Park, activities and events.  To make reservations by phone,call 800-864-7275.

About Georgia State Park System:

Georgia’s State Parks are affordable destinations for vacations and quick getaways. Waterfalls and lakes, salt marsh and mountains are just some of the beautiful environments of the 48 state parks.  Georgia State Park Golf Courses offer the best variety and value around. With eight golf courses to choose from, each features natural settings and picturesque surroundings, as well as fun and challenging play. Most state parks offer fishing, boating, hiking, camping, geocaching, birding and more.  Accommodations include campsites, cabins, lodges, even yurts, and vary by park.  Among the 15 Georgia State Historic Sites are presidential homes, ancient Indian mounds, battlefields, plantations and even a gold museum.  Georgia’s public libraries have ParkPasses and Historic Site Passes that can be checked out like a book.  Annual ParkPasses are $50 (or just $25 for seniors 62 and older).  Even better, membership to Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites includes a free ParkPass and more discounts.  Campers can pick up loyalty cards that earn them every 10th night for free.

Georgians Offered free Admission to Celebrate “Your State Parks Day”

Georgia State Parks Logo

Put away your wallet and pull out your work gloves. Visitors to Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites will not pay for parking or admission on Saturday, September 28 as part of the statewide “Your State Parks Day.” Sponsored by the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, with support from REI, the celebration highlights the importance of volunteerism and the many ways that recreation enriches communities. Parking is normally $5 at state parks, and admission ranges from $2.50 to $10 at state historic sites.

“We are sponsoring the annual ‘Your State Parks Day’ to remind Georgians that these parks and historic sites belong to them,” said Andy Fleming, executive director of the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. “Parks enrich communities and give us safe places for outdoor recreation. Our historic sites help educate school children in a way that can’t be done in a classroom. So during this event, we hope Georgians will visit sites closest to their homes or even join in on service projects.”

The statewide event includes numerous volunteer projects and family-friendly programs. Seminole State Park in southwest Georgia will be clearing debris in preparation for a campground expansion, General Coffee State Park near Douglas will host wiffle ball games, and Panola Mountain State Park near Atlanta will hold a river cleanup. State park golf courses will host tournaments that day. Additionally, volunteers will go home with a discount coupon for future accommodations. A complete list of events and volunteer projects can be found at

Friends is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Georgia’s state parks and historic sites in many ways. Some members raise funds for specific projects, others lead programs such as bird walks, and some help with maintenance. Many support the organization simply by purchasing annual memberships or making donations.

“Most state park systems across the country are seeking ways to operate with limited funds and rising costs,” said Fleming. “Our organization addresses that need and helps park supporters find ways they can help as well.”

Georgia is known for its exceptional state park system. Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, boating, geocaching, picnicking, golf and numerous other activities. Historically significant places such as Jarrell Plantation tell the story of Georgia’s rich past. Cabins, campgrounds, yurts and lodges let visitors spend short getaways and longer vacations within the parks, putting hiking trails and fishing lakes right outside their door. Reservations can be made online at and by calling 1-800-864-7275. There’s is also a Facebook event provided by the Georgia State Parks Facebook page that you can add to your calendar.

“Over a decade of challenging state budgets has greatly limited our ability to address maintenance and repair needs, as well as our ability to improve current amenities,” said State Parks Director Becky Kelley. “Our Friends and volunteer supporters are critical to helping keep Georgia’s State Parks attractive and safe for our patrons. We appreciate their sponsoring this event so that we can welcome every citizen to visit for free on September 28.”

Free parking and admission during “Your State Parks Day” is available to all Georgia residents and visitors. Participating locations can be found on, and includes Black Rock Mountain, Crooked River, Sweetwater Creek, Dahlonega Gold Museum, Reed Bingham, Etowah Indian Mounds, Indian Springs and dozens of other destinations. Because Stone Mountain, Jekyll Island and Lake Lanier are not operated by the Department of Natural Resources’ State Parks Division, they are not included in the free day. The day-long celebration is also in honor of National Public Lands Day and is a Georgia SHAPE Initiative.

Swim the Warm Springs

Below is the May 2013 calendar from Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites.

More information on events, accommodations and recreation can be found at or 1-800-864-7275.

For a complete calendar, visit You can also become a fan of theirs on Facebook , follow us on Twitter and sign up for their monthly newsletter.

Thank you for helping promote Georgia’s natural and historic resources!

May 2013 Events – Divided By Region:


Atlanta Audubon Society Bird Walk
Saturday, May 11, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Fort Yargo State Park – Winder
Fort Yargo has some great habitat, including marshland, mixed hardwood Forest, and an expansive open lake. We will look for a variety of birds like woodpeckers, warblers, and wading birds. Learn about the Atlanta Audubon Society, and how you can get involved in bird watching, as well as land conservation. $5 parking. (770) 867-3489.

CCC Reunion/Trail Project
Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Vogel State Park – Blairsville
Join the boys of “The Tree Army” as they tell stories of the New Deal era. This is a covered-dish meal with meat and drinks provided by the Vogel Volunteers. Also join the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club for a service project like one that would have been done during “The Great Depression”. Work begins at 9:00 am and CCC Reunion begins at 11:00 am. RSVP required. (706) 745-2628.

Twisted Ankle Marathon
Saturday, May 18
James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park – Summerville
The Twisted Ankle Marathon and Half Marathon is a hilly, technical run through the park and along Taylor’s Ridge in the Chattahoochee National Forest. There is also a Kid’s Fun Run on the day of the event – an enjoyable way to participate in National Kids to Parks Day. Fees. $5 parking. (706) 857-0826.

175 Years: Cherokee Trail of Tears Memorial Service
Saturday, May 18, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
New Echota Historic Site – Calhoun
In May 1838, State Militia and Federal Troops started the removal of Cherokee Indians from their homeland in Georgia and surrounding states. Join us for a memorial service including speakers from the Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee and National Trail of Tears Association. Participating will be Tommy Wildcat, All Nations Warrior Society Honor Guard, Medicine Ridge Singers, Sammy Still and Jack Baker. $5-$6.50 (free for service only) (706) 624-1321.

Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals
Saturday, May 18, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen
Children and their special “big person” can fish in a lake stocked with catfish, bass and bream. Fish caught can be kept. Bring your own bait (no corn) and rods. This event is not at Smithgall Woods, but at Buck Shoals, a nearby, unopened state park. Call for directions. Occurs every third Saturday through September. $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

Tugaloo’s National Kids Park Day
Saturday, May 18, 11 a.m.
Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia
Celebrate getting outdoors and join us for these kid friendly programs. 11:00 am ‘Water Exploration’ see what critters live in Lake Hartwell. Met at the Amphitheater and wear shoes that can get wet. 1:00 pm ‘Snakes Alive’ at the Nature Hut. 3:00 pm ‘Putt-Putt Tournament’ at the Mini Golf Course by the beach. Tournament is for kids 12 and under. $5 Putt-Putt Tournament $5 parking. (706) 356-4362.

Junior Fishing Rodeo
Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Victoria Bryant State Park – Royston
Registration will begin at 8:30 am. We will hold the Rodeo at the back pond. It is for children ages 16 yrs. or younger. All participates must be registered or in line to register by 9:00 am to be eligible for prizes. $5 parking. (706) 245-6270.

Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike
Friday, May 24, 8:15 p.m. – 10:15 p.m.
Saturday, May 25, 9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
Take a mile and a half hike under the full moon. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.

Memorial Day Blast
Friday, May 24, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday, May 25, 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, May 26, 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Monday, May 27, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
Join in on sack races, field-day activities, hayrides, a campfire, a music concert and hoedown. $5 parking. (706) 878-2201 ext. 305.

Exploring Mushrooms
Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen
Explore mushroom natural history, ecology, and lore with Dr. Julia Kerrigan, a mycologist at Clemson University and co-founder of the South Carolina Upstate Mycological Society (SCUMS). Begin in the classroom with an introduction to the kingdom Fungi followed by a walk exploring fascinating fungi in the forest and their roles in the ecosystem. Register in advance. $10 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

Holiday Gorge Floor Hike
Saturday, May 25 through Tuesday, May 28, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
This is a strenuous trek; include hiking down 531 stairs, a river crossing jumping from rock to rock, and climbing boulders along the side of the river to Bridal Veil Falls where you can swim. Total miles are 3.5. No pets; wear appropriate footwear; children must be 10 or older; bring food and water. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.

Southern Gospel Music
Saturday, May 25, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia
The Southern Gospel group “Blood Bought” from Toccoa will be at the park’s Beach Pavilion for a night of fun and music. Bring your favorite camping chair and join us for a relaxing musical evening. $5 parking. (706) 356-4362.

Saturday Evening Concert Series
Saturday, May 25
Unicoi State Park and Lodge couples having sex online live free – Helen
Some of the best musicians in the area perform a variety of music from Appalachian Mountain, Bluegrass and Southern Gospel music. Saturdays at 8 p.m., Memorial Day Weekend through mid-November. These programs will be “pass-the-hat” donations for the musicians. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

Visiting Artist Series
Saturday, May 25 through Sunday, May 26, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
Each week a different artist or craftsperson will be demonstrating their art or craft and will have samples of their work for sale. The program lasts each weekend from Memorial Day through mid-November. $5 parking. (706) 878-2201 ext. 305.


Family Nature Quest
Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys
Want to learn about nature as a family? Come to our “fundana” activities each month and learn about a different topic. There will be 12 quests and at each program the family will receive one bandana about the topic. The family that completes the most quests will receive a bonus bandana for the entire family. Register in advance. $10 per family $5 parking. 912-882-5256.

Skidaway’s National Kids to Parks Day
Saturday, May 18, 2 p.m.
Skidaway Island State Park – Savannah
Celebrate National Kids to Parks Day by competing in a number of yard games, such as water balloon toss and sack races. $5 parking. (912) 598-2300.

War of Jenkins’ Ear
Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah
Wormsloe will commemorate Georgia’s role in the 1739-1748 war between Britain and Spain. A brief presentation at the Visitor Center will be followed by a walking tour of the site. The program will also include military drills and black powder weapons demonstrations. $4.50 – $10 (912) 353-3023.

Memorial Day Commemoration
Saturday, May 25, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fort McAllister Historic Park – Richmond Hill
Help us pay tribute to our fellow patriots who served our country throughout the years. Cannon and musket firings, Civil War-era demonstrations, and lots of family fun. (912) 727-2339.

Memorial Day Commemoration
Monday, May 27, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fort Morris Historic Site – Midway
This coastal fort will present hourly Revolutionary War soldier talks and musket and cannon demonstrations. $3-$4.50 (912) 884-5999.


The Little Roy & Lizzy Music Festival
Wednesday, May 1 through Saturday, May 4, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Elijah Clark State Park – Lincolnton
Little Roy and Lizzy return to Elijah Clark with some of the country’s best Bluegrass performers. Bring your lawn chairs. Enjoy the food and craft vendors. Fee. $5 parking. (706) 864-7203.

Twilight Paddle
Friday, May 3 through Saturday, May 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday, May 17, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 26 through Monday, May 27, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Explore Lake Rutledge on this ranger-guided twilight paddle. As we scan the sky for Ospreys and maybe an Eagle, and watch the changing colors on the water as the sunsets, we will interpret the role the CCC made in creating this great park in the 1930s. Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.

Southern History Train Ride
Friday, May 3, 10 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
SAM Shortline Excursion Train – Cordele
Explore history with a departure from Georgia Veterans State Park, followed by an hour layover in Archery at the boyhood farm of President Jimmy Carter. Hop back on the train for a 10-minute ride into Plains for an hour and 20 minutes stop. You will arrive back at Georgia Veterans with time to enjoy the park’s museum. 1-877-427-2457.

May Day Train Ride
Saturday, May 4, 9:45 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.
SAM Shortline Excursion Train – Cordele
Enjoy May Day Festivities at St. Mark A.M.E. Church. Arriving at 12:30, you can have some lunch, hear choirs, view exhibitors making soap and other things. Face painting and crafts. Yes, there is the tradition of platting of the May Pole at 1:15 and speakers. 1-877-427-2457.

Bird Walk
Saturday, May 4, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain
Stroll along the woodland edges to listen and look for feathered friends. Bring binoculars or share park loaners. Meet at the park office on Hwy 190. $5 parking. (706) 663-4858.

Atlanta Audubon Beginners Bird Walk
Saturday, May 4, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
This field trip is designed for anyone interested in learning more about birds, habitats critical to some species, and organizations like the Audubon Society, which are dedicated to bird conservation. Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post. $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.

High Falls Historic Walk
Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
High Falls State Park – Jackson
Join our naturalist on a short walk and learn about the history of the once-prosperous town of High Falls. Hike also includes a rare chance to tour inside the old powerhouse, which provides great photo opportunities of the Towaliga River. Please wear sturdy shoes. Meet at the Visitor Center. $5 plus $5 parking. (478) 993-3053.

Roosevelt Day: Anniversary of the Little White House
Saturday, May 4, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs
In May of 1932, a housewarming party was thrown to celebrate the construction of FDR’s Little White House. Eighty years later, a series of guest speakers and special programs will be offered. $8-$12. (706) 655-5870.

Americus Adventure Train Ride
Friday, May 10, 9:30 a.m. – 4:50 p.m.
SAM Shortline Excursion Train – Cordele
Riding in air-conditioned, 1949 vintage train cars, you can travel across Lake Blackshear, tour Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village and sample peanut butter treats in Plains. Enjoy a mix of romantic yesteryear with the excitement of today’s South as the SAM Shortline Excursion Train runs from Cordele through Georgia Veterans State Park to Americus and Plains, then back. Groups and parties welcome. 1-877-427-2457.

Kids Fishing Derby
Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
General Coffee State Park – Nicholls
Children ages 3-15 (accompanied by a parent or guardian) are invited to participate in the parks annual kids fishing derby. Prizes will be offered in various categories and age groups. Registration will be held the morning of the event. Donations appreciated. $5 parking. (912) 384-7082.

Wild Gourmet Dinner
Saturday, May 11
Mistletoe State Park – Appling
You never “sausage” a dinner as the one we’re planning this time! On the menu: rattlesnake sausage and venison sausage, smothered in gravy with acorn dumplings — a real taste treat. Come by and taste what everyone brings to this potluck treat where every dish has to contain at least one wild ingredient. $5 parking. (706) 541-0321.

New Moon Kayak Tour
Saturday, May 11, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, star-gazing, and a relaxing time on the water. A new moon means that many stars will be visible on the nighttime paddle. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.

International Migratory Bird Day
Saturday, May 11, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Reed Bingham State Park – Adel
Everyone knows about robins and geese migrating, but did you know that hummingbirds, vultures, and hawks migrate as well? Come learn about migratory birds with guided bird hikes, bird lectures, and crafts. $5 parking. (229) 896-3551.

Archery Explorer Train Ride
Saturday, May 11 and 25, 9:30 a.m. – 5:20 p.m.
SAM Shortline Excursion Train – Cordele
Riding in air-conditioned, 1949 vintage train cars, you will travel across Lake Blackshear to Plains and back. Explore President Jimmy Carter’s boyhood farm (Jimmy Carter National Historic Site), go shopping and sample peanut butter treats. Groups and parties welcome. 1-877-427-2457.

A Presidential Motorcade: Social Security Car Tour to Visit
Friday, May 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs
More than 60 antique automobiles will be parked on the Little White House grounds for visitors to take a step back in time. The Social Security Car Tour features cars old enough to draw a Social Security card, if they could draw one. Car owners will be on hand to answer questions and show off their automobiles. $8-$12. (706) 655-5870.

The Dam Walk
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m.
High Falls State Park – Jackson
Get up close and personal with the most predominant feature at High Falls State Park…the dam. Walk availability is dependent on river flow. No dogs. Must be 6 or older. Please wear durable shoes. $5 plus $5 parking. (478) 993-3053.

High Falls’ National Kids to Parks Day
Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m.
High Falls State Park – Jackson
Celebrate National Kids to Parks Day by competing in a number of fun activities including a miniature golf tournament, backyard Olympics, and wildlife trivia. $5 plus $5 parking. (478) 993-3053.

5K Road Kill Run
Saturday, May 18, 8 a.m.
Reed Bingham State Park – Adel
Stretch your legs and have fun. Meet at the Beach Pavilion to run in our 5k race around the beautiful park. The course is certified and will be professionally timed at the finish line. Register at the Visitor Center or at before May 12 or register at 7:00 a.m. the day of the race. $20 pre-register; $25 day of race. $5 parking. (229) 896-3551.

Jarrell Plantation’s National Kids to Parks Day
Saturday, May 18 through Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site – Juliette
Learn what kind of life children had on the plantation. We will show you what kind of games they would have played and we will make one of the toys they would have played with in that time. $4-$6.50. (478) 986-5172.

75th Anniversary BBQ Dinner
Friday, May 24, 7 p.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain
75th Anniversary BBQ Dinner includes meal, seat in Group Shelter and Mystery Tree Program Presentation. Guest Speaker: Don Wells Author of the book Mystery Trees. The never-before-told story about the curious, oddly shaped “trail trees” that were used by Indians to guide themselves across the North American continent. $25. (706) 663-4858.

75th Celebration Activities
Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain
Outside World singles triple trouble download Outfitters Boat Demo Day- 8:00am –Noon & 2pm- 6pm at Lake Delanor. FDR Amusement Carnival- 10:00am – 6:00pm at ball field. Grand Opening of Liberty Bell Pool- 10:00am-6:00pm. Sean Rox Drum Circle Concert- 6:00pm- 10:00pm at the Office Amphitheater. Bring your own instruments; all percussion instruments welcome. Some fees. $5 parking. (706) 663 4858.

Memorial Day Weekend
Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Reed Bingham State Park – Adel
Celebrate with boat rides, animal programs, arts and crafts, and guided hikes. Call in advance to reserve spots for boat rides. Boat Rides $5. $5 parking. (229) 896-3551.

Moonlight Hike
Friday, May 24, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Join a park ranger on this guided hike under the full moon. Wear comfortable shoes, insect repellant, and bring a camera to record the journey, as we listen for insects, frogs and other nocturnal creatures. Meet at the Hard Labor Creek Trading Post. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.

Full Moon Kayak Tour
Saturday, May 25, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Join a guided tour of Lake Rutledge, and enjoy a peaceful paddle under a bright moon. Listen for night sounds, enjoy the night sky, and learn about the history of Hard Labor Creek State Park. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.

Memorial Day Weekend Celebration
Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27
Florence Marina State Park – Omaha
A variety of family events will include crafts and games throughout the weekend. $2 – $5 $5 parking. (229) 838-4706.

Memorial Day Mayhem
Saturday, May 25, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge – Helena
It’s H2O Olympics Time! Compete in soaking wet water games, meet interesting creatures, take home cool crafts and enjoy a night hike. $1-$3 plus $5 parking. (229) 868-7474 x6052.

Swim the Warm Springs
Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs
Swim in the historic pools built by Franklin D. Roosevelt as a place for therapy. Normally kept empty for preservation, the shallow pools will be filled with naturally warm spring water. Limited to 80 per session. Reservations suggested. Ages 6 up. $20 adults; $12.50 ages 6 to 17; Family Package $80. (706) 655-5870.

Searching for Dragons and Damsels
Sunday, May 26, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Dragonflies and damselflies are some of the most beautiful and beneficial insects in the bug world. They come in many sizes shapes and colors. Join a park ranger on the hunt for these tiny predators, and explore streams, lake and pond. Bring a digital camera and binoculars for the adventure. This hike is best for participants 10 years old and up. Meet at Office/Trading Post. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3006.

Memorial Day Flag Retirement Ceremony
Monday, May 27, 10 a.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain
Pine Mountain Boy Scout Troop #40 will be performing a retirement ceremony for the American flag. Guests are welcome to bring flags needing to be retired and may drop their flags off at the FDR State Park Front Desk upon check-in. $5 parking. (706) 663-4858.


Soldier’s Life
Saturday, May 4
Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site – Dallas
Learn about the life of the common soldier who fought in Georgia. A Park Ranger dressed as a soldier will display the items soldiers carried while marching and fighting in north Georgia in 1864. $3-$5.50 (770) 443-7850.

Photography 101
Saturday, May 4, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Join Georgia State University professor Nancy Floyd, the artist-in-residence at Sweetwater Creek State Park, as we learn about Composition and Point of View. You don’t need an expensive camera to take good pictures. A simple point-and-shoot will do. Bring your manual. This class offers easy to understand instructions, classroom time and a hike in the woods. Ages 12 and older. $15 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

Celebrate Archaeology
Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site – Cartersville
See Etowah Mounds as an archaeologist would. Learn how archaeology works. See artifacts from the site and discover what they tell us about ancient people. There are activities for the kids including archaeological dig boxes. A guided tour with a professional archaeologist will highlight the day, along with other group presentations. $4.00-$5.50. (770) 387-3747.

Iron Pour
Saturday, May 11
Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville
Watch a demonstration of our iron furnace, harking back to the days of iron production in the Allatoona mining community. Purchase a scratch block mold and create your own piece of cast iron art. Molds go on sale at 2 pm and supplies are limited. $5 parking. (770) 975-0055.

Bird Walk
Saturday, May 11, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville
Bring your binoculars and cameras to this guided bird walk celebrating International Migratory Bird Day. We’ll be on the paved Lakeside Trail and hiking less than a mile. $5 parking. (770) 975-0055.

Kids Outdoor Adventure Festival
Saturday, May 18, 8 a.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Join us at Alexander’s Lake for a fishing rodeo, archery, fly-fishing, tree climbing, orienteering, hayrides, and lots of other fun games. Bring your fishing poles and bait as we learn about aquatic habitats and fish identification. $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Geology Hike
Saturday, May 18, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Geologist and “Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park” member John Johnston will lead a moderate 2-mile hike identifying rock types and explaining how they formed. There will also be a visit inside the ruins of the Civil War era New Manchester Mill alongside the beautiful rapids of Sweetwater Creek. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

Atlanta Audubon Society Bird Walk
Sunday, May 19, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Bring your binoculars for this gentle hike through the park’s Power of Flight area. Basic identification techniques and common birds will be discussed. Good for all ages. We recommend long pants and sleeves. Meet at the Alexander Lake Area. Register in advance. Donations of birdseed are appreciated. $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Full Moon Night Hike
Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Listen to whippoorwills and owls as the sun slowly sets and the moon begins to rise. Panola Mountain is one of the best places to see the wildlife of the night. Bring flashlights and hiking boots. Meet at the nature center 15 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $7 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

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