Earth Goddess at Atlanta Botanical Garden in Atlanta, Georgia

Earth Goddess at Atlanta Botanical Garden in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by @gcalebjones

10 Best Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in Georgia

From waterfalls in Helen to unspoiled beaches on Cumberland Island, Georgia is full of inspiring places to celebrate Earth Day on April 22. Reflect on the beauty of nature as you experience magnificent landscapes and fascinating wildlife along wooded trails, in gardens and parks, or as you camp out and sleep under the stars. Join special events to meet other nature lovers, clean and beautify public spaces, and learn ways to protect the planet for generations to come.

Choose a new way to celebrate Earth Day in Georgia with the ideas below.

Hiking in Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by @elleysmith

1. Explore natural wonders

You’ll be amazed by the unique features of the Earth’s diverse landscape in Georgia from the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast to North America's largest blackwater swamp. Hike through Georgia’s "Little Grand Canyon," admire the state’s largest natural spring, take in the view from the top of a monadnock right outside of Atlanta and more. Mark Earth Day with Adventures at Georgia’s 7 Natural Wonders and gain a new appreciation for Mother Nature’s handiwork throughout the state.

Anna Ruby Falls in Helen, Georgia

Anna Ruby Falls in Helen, Georgia. Photo by Jacob Tekippe

2. Hit the trails

No matter where you go in Georgia, you’re never far from a trail where you can hike, bike, run or roll and become immersed in nature. Bring your hiking poles to check out a stretch of the Appalachian Trail through the mountains, pedal along the paved Silver Comet Trail in west Georgia, follow the half-mile trail to Anna Ruby Falls in Helen, or explore the boardwalk through the marsh on the Earth Day Nature Trail in Brunswick. Keep an eye out and ears open for unique birds, and other native plants and wildlife along the way.

On April 20, 2024, join a guided hike with a trained volunteer through the restricted Conservation Area and up to the summit of Panola Mountain in Stockbridge. This 6-mile, semi-off trail, strenuous hike offers a variety of beautiful views and unique perspectives on the park.

On April 21, 2024, join a ranger at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn for an Earth Day Hike from the interpretive center to the Meadowlands.

On April 22, 2024, join the Full Moon Hike to the suspension bridge at Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls and watch the moon rise above the gorge.

Anytime April 22 - 26, 2024, complete the Bob Ross-themed Happy Little Trees 5K anywhere outdoors – on foot, or by bike, skate or paddle, or using a mobility device. Register to receive a T-shirt, bib number and finisher's medal.

Explore more parks and trails.

Wild horse on the beach on Cumberland Island, Georgia

Wild horse on the beach on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Photo by @2traveldads

3. Get in free to national parks

April 20, 2024, kicks off National Park Week, and national parks that typically charge entrance fees will waive those fees on this day. In Georgia, four national park sites typically charge entrance fees:

Explore those and several other national park sites in Georgia.

More: 6 Great American National Parks in Georgia

Timberline Glamping on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia

Timberline Glamping on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia

4. Go camping or glamping

Get close to nature on a springtime camping trip, where you can count constellations as you relax around a campfire and wake to birds chirping as the sun rises. Choose a location in the mountains, on the coast, near a lake or even tucked away in a city. Take your pick of camping style from RV resorts to backcountry trails, treehouses and geodesic domes to luxury safari-style tents and tiny cabins.

Plan a camping trip in Georgia.

Milky Way over Vogel State Park in Blairsville, Georgia

Milky Way over Vogel State Park in Blairsville, Georgia. Photo by @damiandelgado

5. Go stargazing

Fall and winter may be the best times to go stargazing in Georgia as temperatures drop and nights are longer, but you can still see quite well in spring. Seek out a quiet knoll, survey the planets and stars, and ponder the wonders of the universe and Earth’s place in it. Or, you can go to Georgia’s planetariums and observatories to learn more about space from astronomers.

More: 15 Best Stargazing Spots in Georgia

WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia

WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia

6. Visit a museum or nature center

Georgia has many museums and nature centers where you can learn about native wildlife, geology and ecology, and attend special Earth Day events.

On April 19, 2024, join the 4-H Tidelands Nature Center on Jekyll Island to celebrate Earth Day at the beach. Take a walk and learn about the tides, sand dunes and how sand moves along barrier islands. You can help keep the beach beautiful by picking up trash during the walk.

On Saturday, April 20, 2024, celebrate spring with baby animals, themed crafts and activities at Little Critters Day at Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta. While you’re there, catch a movie at Fernbank’s Giant Screen Theater and explore WildWoods at Fernbank Forest, an immersive nature trail with hands-on exhibits and beautiful scenery.

Also on April 20, 2024, bring the kids to Autrey Mill Nature Preserve in Johns Creek for its Earth Day Celebration, featuring family fun activities, a wildlife baby shower and a free screening of the award-winning documentary, “Saving Sea Turtles Preventing Extinction.”

On Saturday, April 27, 2024, visit the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens on Family Day to see environmental works of art, complete Art Cart activities and create your own work of art inspired by the planet.

More: Free and Cheap Science-themed Fun in Georgia

Japanese garden at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia

Japanese garden at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia

7. Admire the beauty of gardens

Perfectly timed during spring’s peak blooms, Earth Day is a beautiful opportunity to explore Georgia’s gardens.

Spend a day in North Georgia at the stunning Hamilton Gardens for The Rhododendron Festival April 12 through May 12, 2024. Stroll the gardens in Hiawassee to see native wildflowers like trilliums, shooting stars, and trout lilies, and more than 1,500 rhododendrons and native azaleas in peak bloom. Each weekend, enjoy crafters, live music, food, drinks, a plant sale, seminars and more.

On April 19, 2024, enjoy engaging and fun family activities celebrating nature and beautiful plants during Earth Day events at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Atlanta.

April 20-23, 2024, visit Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden in Summerville to complete the Earth Day Scavenger Hunt. Throughout the 4-acre garden, discover ways in which Finster took everyday objects and transformed them into something new. Well-behaved four-legged friends (on leash) are also welcome.

More: 10 Best Gardens to Visit in Georgia

Picking berries at Southern Belle Farm in McDonough, Georgia

Picking berries at Southern Belle Farm in McDonough, Georgia. Photo by @justthekings

8. Visit a farm

Where would we be without family farms and their stewardship of the land to produce healthy food generation after generation? Celebrate Earth Day at Georgia’s family farms and learn about how they work with Mother Nature to grow springtime favorites like strawberries.

Visit Southern Belle Farm in McDonough to pick your own strawberries and enjoy the family fun attractions like pedal karts, jumping pillows, a trike track and gem mining. They're closed on Mondays but otherwise open for spring activities April 1 to June 30, 2024.

Super Spring Saturdays at Washington Farms in Bogart feature fun farm activities, including wagon rides, a petting zoo, a cow train, ziplines and paintball. The farm is open every Saturday from April 13 until May 25, 2024. Try the delicious homemade strawberry ice cream, slushies, hand-squeezed lemonade, and freshly popped kettle corn while you’re there.

More: 47 Places to Pick (or Pick Up) Strawberries in Georgia

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by @mseeley

9. Learn about animals and wildlife

We share the planet with an incredible variety of animals and wildlife, and Georgia’s animal parks and zoos contribute to conservation through research and education. You can learn about beluga whales at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, gopher tortoises at Chehaw Park in Albany, giant zebras at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, camels at North Georgia Wildlife & Safari Park in Cleveland and many more.

On April 13 and 20, 2024, you can enjoy a continental breakfast at Zoo Atlanta while also watching the elephants as they get ready to start their day. During Rise and Dine with the Animals, you’ll learn more about the species and get a memorable takeaway. Stay and enjoy the zoo after the program.

More: Top 12 Places to See Animals in Georgia

Trombone Shorty at Sweetwater 420 Fest in Atlanta, Georgia

Trombone Shorty at Sweetwater 420 Fest in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Addison Hill

10. Join the fun at events and festivals

Celebrate Earth Day with other nature lovers at festivals and events throughout Georgia.

Sweetwater 420 Fest in Atlanta

If you love music, beer and Mother Earth, don’t miss Sweetwater 420 Fest April 20-21, 2024, at the Pullman Yards grounds in Atlanta. Historically held on the weekend closest to Earth Day, the festival hosts charities, non-profits and environmental workshops alongside the live music, food trucks, artist market and beer stations. Fans can secure free general admission through the SweetWater 420 Fest website, with a $10 donation to Waterkeeper Alliance. VIP options are also available.

Kendall Rae's Earth Day Parade & Learning Fair in South Fulton

On April 20, 2024, join the community in South Fulton, just outside Atlanta, for Kendall Rae’s Earth Day Parade & Learning Fair. See a colorful and spirited parade of eco-friendly floats adorned with artistic displays and manned by passionate advocates dedicated to raising awareness about the global plastic crisis. After the parade, engage with interactive exhibits, workshops, and presentations led by environmental experts, scientists, and community leaders.

Earth Day Celebration at Black Rock Mountain State Park in Mountain City

On April 20, 2024, visit Black Rock Mountain State Park in Mountain City for the Earth Day Celebration to learn about native plants, do earth-related crafts, and make and eat a layers-of-the-earth pudding cup.

Spring Festival at Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah

On April 20, 2024, visit Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah for the annual Spring Festival. In honor of Earth Day, vendors will sell environmentally friendly products. Take a guided nature hike, and enjoy live animal programs and food trucks.

Earth Day Expo at Fort McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill

On April 20, 2024, visit Fort McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill for the Earth Day Expo, and learn how local organizations participate in conservation.

Find more events and festivals on the Explore Georgia Calendar of Events.

Published: March 2024
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