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.
Wormsloe Plantation in Savannah
This bucket list includes items for adventurers, historians, sportsmen, academics and nature lovers. What's on your list?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Become a Canyon Climber
Ride a train
Ride the rails on the Historic SAM Shortline Excursion Train 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!
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, and you can even spend a night in the tree. Check the park's calendar for introduction climbs, night climbs and sleepovers.
Try camping for the first time
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.