Canopy of trees over a road at Wormsloe State Historic Site in Savannah, Georgia

Wormsloe State Historic Site in Savannah, Georgia. Photo by @chriswaltersphotography

25 Things to Do at Georgia's State Parks

With so much to do at Georgia's 63 state parks and historic sites, it can be hard to decide where to begin! Here is a list to get you started.

This bucket list includes items for adventurers, historians, sportsmen, academics and nature lovers. What's on your list?

Swinging bridge at Talluah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls, Georgia

Tallulah Gorge in Tallulah Falls, Georgia. Photo by @gcalebjones

Become a Canyon Climber

Georgia's Canyon Climbers Club is for those few who brave the swinging bridge in Tallulah Gorge, scale to the top of Amicalola Falls, explore the depths of Providence Canyon, and master the staircase in Cloudland Canyon. Hike all four parks and earn rewards for your adventures!

Mountain biking at Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia

Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia

Go mountain biking

Join the Muddy Spokes Club, and set out to tackle 68 miles of trails at 20 state parks from Unicoi in Helen to Magnolia Springs in Millen. Complete 12 of the 20 parks and earn a certificate!

Yurt at Tugaloo State Park in Lavonia, Georgia

Tugaloo State Park in Lavonia, Georgia. Photo by @wildlyroaming

Go camping

More than 40 Georgia state parks offer campsites with everything you need for a terrific camping experience. Not sure if you'll enjoy camping? Try staying in a yurt, a cross between a tent and a cabin, that lets you test your comfort level with the great outdoors.

All of the campsites are located near great places to hike, bike, boat and more. While staying at Unicoi in Helen, venture to the nearby trails on Yonah Mountain for spectacular views.

See more camping options in 9 Amazing Ways to Go Camping Without a Tent.

Alligator in the Okefenokee Swamp

Alligator in the Okefenokee Swamp. Photo by @wandernorthga

Commune with alligators

Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of the Okefenokee Swamp is the American Alligator. Officials estimate that 12,000 of the country's largest reptile live within the 402,000-acre refuge. Keep an eye out for them while you explore Stephen C. Foster State Park.

Man hiking in Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin, Georgia

Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by @elleysmith

Hike Georgia's Little Grand Canyon

Otherwise known as Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area, Georgia's Little Grand Canyon makes some of the prettiest photographs within the state. The canyon soil's pink, orange, red and purple hues make a beautiful natural painting at this quiet park.

Related: Visit Brent Cobb's Favorite Places in Southwest Georgia

Two people ziplining over a lake at Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia

Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia

Go ziplining

At Unicoi State Park, you can fly through the North Georgia mountain canopy on an aerial adventure tour. Soar through the trees on zip lines and cross suspension bridges to get unbelievable lake views and physical thrills you won't soon forget!

Archery at Panola Mountain State Park

Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge, Georgia

Learn archery

Eight Georgia State Parks have archery ranges, ranging from traditional static ranges to realistic targets. Some parks, including Panola Mountain State Park, offer archery lessons and events, so you can learn how to take aim like a pro.

Highland Walk Golf Course

Highland Walk Golf Course in Royston, Georgia

Play championship golf

With designs that take advantage of the diverse terrain across the state, the eight Georgia State Park golf courses, such as Highland Walk Golf Course at Victoria Bryant State Park, will challenge your skills just as well as private courses and at a fraction of the cost.

Gopher tortoise

Gopher tortoise at Reed Bingham State Park in Adel, Georgia

Look for Georgia's official state reptile

Residents of longleaf pine ecosystems, gopher tortoises are a threatened species and a candidate for listing as endangered. They can be found in the southern part of Georgia, including at Reed Bingham State Park.

Children at Fort King George Historic Site in Darien, Georgia

Fort King George Historic Site in Darien, Georgia. Photo by @2traveldads

Explore colonial history

One of the original 13 colonies of the United States, Georgia has two coastal forts dating back to the 1700s: Fort King George Historic Site in Darien and Fort Morris State Historic Site in Midway.

Two women bird watching on the beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia

Bird watching on the Georgia coast. Photo by @switchbackshawty

Go birding on the coast

Follow the Colonial Coast Birding Trail to Crooked River State Park in St. Marys to spot osprey, bald eagles, wood storks and painted buntings. Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation State Historic Site in Brunswick is an excellent spot to look for herons, egrets and ibis.

Woman at an overlook at F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, Georgia

F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Photo by @teylorparks

Enjoy a picnic with a view

At F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Dowdell's Knob is where President Franklin D. Roosevelt sometimes picnicked and pondered world affairs. A life-size sculpture of the president now welcomes visitors to the overlook.

Dog at Sweetwater Creek State Park

Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs, Georgia

Take your dog for a walk

Bring your four-legged family member along to Georgia's State Parks, and you’ll see a wagging tail the whole time! Dogs are welcome on most state park trails, including the trail to the mill ruins at Sweetwater Creek State Park.

Dahlonega Gold Museum

Dahlonega Gold Museum in Dahlonega, Georgia

Learn about the nation's first major gold rush

Twenty years before the 1849 gold rush to California, thousands of gold seekers flocked into North Georgia to make their fortunes. Between 1838 and 1861, more than $6 million in gold was coined by the U.S. Branch Mint in Dahlonega. The Dahlonega Gold Museum offers visitors a look at Georgia's mining history.

New Echota Cherokee Capital State Historic Site

New Echota Cherokee Capital State Historic Site in Calhoun, Georgia

Learn about Cherokee culture

During its short history, New Echota State Historic Site was the site of the first Indian language newspaper office, a court case that carried to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the assembly of Indians for removal west on the infamous Trail of Tears. See several original and reconstructed buildings, interpretive exhibits and a short film.

Iron pour at Red Top Mountain State Park

Red Top Mountain State Park in Cartersville, Georgia

Watch an iron pour

Celebrate North Georgia's rich 19th-century history and mining traditions while watching an iron pouring demonstration at Red Top Mountain State Park. Check the park's calendar for dates.

Wormsloe State Historic Site

Wormsloe State Historic Site in Savannah, Georgia

Go geocaching

More than 40 state parks participate in the Parks GeoTour, and 14 historic sites are on the History Trail GeoTour. Take the geo-challenge at Wormsloe State Historic Site and search for multiple caches to solve clues and earn prizes.

Historic SAM Shortline Railroad in Plains, Georgia

SAM Shortline Train in Plains, Georgia

Ride a train

Ride the rails on the Historic SAM Shortline Railroad through southwest Georgia in air-conditioned 1949 vintage cars. There are fun and exciting train stops, including at Georgia Veterans State Park at Lake Blackshear, the Telephone Museum, Americus and Plains, the home of President Jimmy Carter. Check the train's schedule for special events like visits from Thomas the Train and Santa!

Horse at General Coffee State Park

General Coffee State Park in Nicholls, Georgia

Camp with your horse

Seven Georgia State Parks welcome horseback riders, with some parks offering miles of horseback riding trails, equestrian campsites, horse stalls or riding rings. Guided rides are available at F.D. Roosevelt State Park.

Tree climbing at Panola Mountain State Park

Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge, Georgia

Climb in the trees

At Panola Mountain State Park, you can climb into the canopy of a noble Southern Red Oak that tops out around 100 feet! Learn how to use ropes to lift yourself into the branches. Check the park's calendar for introduction climbs.

Waterfalls in Tallulah Gorge

Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls, Georgia. Photo by @gcalebjones

Kayak whitewater rapids

One of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S., Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. The first two weekends of April and first three weekends of November are when the dam’s water release is high enough for paddlers to experience the rapids. Boaters must be quite skilled to tackle Oceana, Bridal Veil and the other falls. If you're not up for kayaking, spectating can be just as thrilling!

Mistletoe State Park

Mistletoe State Park in Appling, Georgia

Study the night sky

View the wonders of the night sky through telescopes, and learn about the constellations from park rangers during astronomy programs at Georgia State Parks, including at Mistletoe, Hard Labor Creek and Red Top Mountain. Experience the parks like never before at other Parks After Dark Events, such as candlelight hikes, twilight paddles and campfire stories.

Vogel State Park

Vogel State Park in Blairsville, Georgia

Hear stories of the CCC Boys

Many facilities at Vogel State Park were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp during the Great Depression. Hear stories of the CCC Boys in the park's museum, open seasonally.

Temple mound at Kolomoki Mounds State Park

Kolomoki Mounds State Park in Blakely, Georgia

Climb Georgia's oldest great temple mound

Occupied by Indians from 350 to 750 A.D., the historically significant Kolomoki Mounds State Park preserves seven Indian mounds, including the 57-foot-high great temple mound. Learn about the ancient people in the park's museum, built around an excavated mound.

Stephen C. Foster State Park

Stephen C. Foster State Park in Fargo, Georgia

Experience the darkest skies in Georgia

Stephen C. Foster State Park is among the best spots in the world for star gazing. The gold-tier "International Dark Sky Park" located in the Okefenokee Swamp offers exceptional views of the moon, stars, planets and comets. Check the park's calendar for guided tours of the galaxy.

Published: May 2024
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