Paddle Clarks Hill Lake at Mistletoe State Park in Appling, Georgia. Photo by @thegeorgiaphotographyfanatic
8 Best Things to Do at Georgia State Parks this Spring
From exploring mountain trails to sleeping lakeside, experience spring in a whole new way at Georgia State Parks.
Georgia State Parks are amazing no matter what time of year you visit, but the springtime is especially beautiful. The buds are just peeping out on the trees, and the forest is waking up. Aside from appreciating the gorgeous scenery, here are eight things to do this spring at Georgia State Parks that will awaken your spirit.
Sleep in a park
No matter what type of camper you are, Georgia State Parks has exactly the right lodging, and all campgrounds have water and electric hookups, hot showers and even site-specific reservations. Tent campers can choose from backcountry, primitive and walk-in campsites. For adventurous camping, several Georgia State Parks, like Reed Bingham, Chattahoochee Bend and High Falls, have paddle-in campsites. For horse owners, Hard Labor Creek, A.H. Stephens, General Coffee and Watson Mill Bridge state parks all have equestrian campsites (bring your own horse).
Cabins & Cottages
Don't want to pitch a tent? Many renovated cabins are available at Hard Labor Creek, Indian Springs, Vogel, Red Top Mountain and several other parks. Book a one-, two- or three-bedroom cabin or cottage surrounded by beautiful scenery. State park cabins come with fully equipped kitchens and screened porches. Bring the four-legged family members along when you reserve dog-friendly cabins in advance.
Start planning your trip with these Surprising Cabin Getaways at Georgia State Parks.
For a unique and affordable getaway, book a "glamour camping" yurt. These funky wood and canvas structures are a blend between a tent and cabin, with furniture inside and fire rings outside. Guests can walk to nearby hot showers. Yurts are available at:
No matter how you stay, there is a wide range of activities right outside the door. Choose from mini golf, nature trails, ranger programs, archery, disc golf and more.
"One of my favorite sunrises from last summer. If you ever go to Cloudland Canyon State Park for the waterfalls, be sure to stick around for either a sunset or sunrise at the canyon overlook." - Nate Bowery
Hunt for treasures at state parks
Love a treasure hunt? Georgia State Park's Parks GeoTour offers 45 caches in 45 state parks, and participants can earn coins in four regions. This mystery cache GeoTour offers geocachers of all levels a chance to explore scenery and a variety of terrain across the state, including in the mountains at James H. Floyd State Park (shown above) and on the coast at Crooked River State Park in St. Marys. Download and print a Parks GeoTour Passport before you go.
Georgia's trails highlight impressive landscapes, fascinating history and native wildlife found across the many regions of the state. From mountains and rivers to coastal marshland, Georgia State Parks have more than 600 miles of trails to explore. You can find easy strolls and paved trails at parks like General Coffee and Skidaway Island, all the way to challenging backcountry trails at Amicalola Falls and Providence Canyon. A number of state parks also have disability-friendly trails.
Take on a new challenge & become part of a club
Georgia's State Parks offer a variety of hiking and biking paths, from easy paved loops to challenging backcountry trails. In addition, you can experience Georgia’s diverse landscape with canyons and waterfalls, salt marshes and streams. Join one of the four state park clubs, and start checking off challenges from your bucket list as you wear your members-only t-shirt on your adventures! Energetic explorers can join the Canyon Climbers Club, Park Paddlers Club or Muddy Spokes Club. Bring Fido along for a full-circle adventure and join the Tails on Trails Club.
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 Georgia fishing 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.
Find more places to go fishing at Georgia State Parks.
Travel back in time
Mix entertainment with education when you step back in time at Georgia's state historic sites. Travel to colonial times at Fort Morris and Fort King George, or to the Civil War at Fort McAllister. To learn about Native American history, visit Kolomoki Mounds, New Echota (shown above), Chief Vann House and Etowah Indian Mounds.
Spring is a great time to explore Georgia's waterways. Rent a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Many parks offer guided tours, including Stephen C. Foster's tours of the mysterious Okefenokee Swamp.
Tee off at one of Georgia's eight state park golf courses offering a family-friendly atmosphere surrounded by sparkling lakes and scenic forests. Lessons, putting greens, pro shops and cabin packages are available. Green fees are as low as $20.