Celebrate Valentine’s Weekend in Georgia’s State Parks

Celebrate Valentine’s Weekend in Georgia’s State Parks

Ft Mtn heart at sunsetWith Valentine’s Day falling on a weekend this year, Georgia’s State Parks are offering a variety of ways to share the love of nature with the ones you love. Park rangers have planned creative events for couples, families, friends — and even Fido.

If your favorite kisses involve a wet nose, bring your four-legged sweetheart to High Falls State Park (Jackson) for Paws on the Falls. At 1:00 p.m. on February 13, dogs and their owners will gather for a scenic hike along the river, ending with dog treats. All pets must be on a six-foot leash while exploring the park. Visitors may call 478-993-3053 for more details.

Feeling like Cupid? A couples-only archery class at Panola Mountain State Park (Stockbridge) will fan the flames with a competition. At 5:00 p.m. on February 13, take aim to see who’s the best arrow-toting angel. All equipment is provided, but couples must register in advance by calling 770-389-7801.

Nothing says romance as much as snuggling by a fire. A few Georgia State Parks have planned Valentine’s Weekend specials on cabin rentals. Guests at Elijah Clark State Park (Clarks Hill Lake) will get a 30% discount, box of chocolate, wine glasses and sparkling cider at check-in, plus a friendly putt-putt challenge. F.D. Roosevelt State Park (Pine Mountain) offers a free fireside wine and cheese tasting, plus a scavenger hunt adventure, to cabin guests. Make reservations by calling 706-359-3458 for Elijah Clark and 706-663-4858 for F.D. Roosevelt.

History lovers will fall for a romantic story from Fort Mountain State Park (Chatsworth). During the 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Corps mason carved a heart-shaped stone for his sweetheart, setting it into a fire tower. On February 13 at 1:00 p.m., join a family friendly hike to see the stone and hear about their love story. The lad’s romantic gesture must have won her heart, because they were married 59 years. To learn more about the hike, call 706-422-1932.

Looking for romance on the rails? On February 14, enjoy a sunset dinner on the Sam Shortline Excursion Train (Cordele) as it crosses sparkling Lake Blackshear. The meal is $129 per couple and includes an Italian dinner, 45-minute train ride, romantic decorations and cash bar. Call 229-276-0755 for reservations.

Finally, over the years, many Georgians have popped the question and even gotten married in state parks. Now, rangers are inviting visitors to share their romantic stories and photos on the park system’s Facebook page. Some of the best will be highlighted over Valentine’s Day weekend. To share your own story, post it to www.facebook.com/georgiastateparks/.

To learn more about Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org. Overnight accommodations can be booked online or by calling 1-800-864-7275. Last-minute availability is posted online as well.

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