Lake Lanier at Don Carter State Park in Gainesville

Swimming at Georgia State Parks

The heat is on, and you’re invited to cool down at Georgia State Parks with plenty of swimming options at beaches, spraygrounds and natural waterslides.

Lakeside Beaches

The lakeside beach at Fort Mountain State Park. Photo by Candy Cook.
The lakeside beach at Fort Mountain State Park. Photo by Candy Cook.


Nestled among the rolling hills, Fort Mountain‘s sandy beach and cool, refreshing waters offer an ideal summer retreat. The park features outstanding views along relatively easy hikes, primitive backcountry camping, and one of the most exciting trails included in the park system’s Muddy Spokes Mountain Biking Challenge. Vogel and Unicoi State Parks also offer magnificent views of waterfalls and mountains nearby their sandy swimming beaches.

Red Top, Fort Yargo, Don Carter and Hard Labor Creek State Parks all offer lake swimming for a getaway day near Atlanta. Bring your bikes, go on hikes, and enjoy a swim in the lake. Stay overnight in a yurt or cabin, and explore the trails in addition to swimming areas.

Splashpads, Spraygrounds and Pools

Little Ocmulgee
Little Ocmulgee


Perfect for play dates, several parks feature splashpads and spraygrounds. Let the fun rain down at Magnolia Springs and Little Ocmulgee State Parks. They both have pools and spraygrounds. Look for aquatic wildlife in crystal clear waters from the Magnolia Springs boardwalk, or search for signs of the state reptile, gopher tortoises, on an easy hike at Little Ocmulgee.

Natural Waterslide Rocks

Watson Mill Bridge State Park in Comer, Ga. Photo courtesy Georgia State Parks.
Watson Mill Bridge State Park in Comer, Ga. Photo courtesy Georgia State Parks.


The rock formations at Watson Mill Bridge and Tallulah Gorge make natural water slides in these unique landscapes. The strenuous Canyon Climbers hike descending into Tallulah Gorge is best rewarded with a little playtime on the sliding rocks.

Coastal Campouts

Cumberland Island National Seashore. Photo by Candy Cook
Cumberland Island National Seashore. Photo by Candy Cook


Make a last minute escape to camp on the Georgia Coast at Crooked River and Skidaway Island State Parks. Make day trips to Cumberland Island National Seashore, Jekyll and St. Simons Islands from Crooked River, or visit Tybee Island beaches and Savannah from Skidaway.

 

Published: July 2016