Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites
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Outdoor Activities

Get Outdoors Georgia
Georgia’s state parks offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities, including miniature golf, tennis, volleyball, horseshoes and children’s playgrounds. Some activities require a small fee, while many others are free. Hours vary and some activities may close during winter.
       Biking
       Fishing/Boating
       Horseback Riding
       Swimming
       Birding
       Geocaching
       Off-Road Vehicles
       Tennis
       Camping
       Golf
       Paddling
 
       Disc Golf
       Hiking/Backpacking
       Picnicking
 


GOpher bikiing
Biking
Bicycles may be used on paved roads only, with the exception of designated bike trails. Bikers should yield to hikers. Love a challenge?  Earn a t-shirt from our Muddy Spokes Club.


Birding
Nearly 350 bird species can be found in Georgia, including painted buntings, ruby throated hummingbirds, redwing blackbirds, bald eagles, wood storks and great egrets. Neotropical migrants pass through Georgia in the spring and fall while traveling to and from their summer nesting grounds.

A few state parks known for exceptional birding are F. D. Roosevelt, Florence Marina, Reed Bingham, Little White House, Skidaway Island, Smithgall Woods and Unicoi

Crooked River State Park near St. Marys has a large bird blind popular with photographers, and Skidaway Island has a birding room with binoculars. The Colonial Coast Birding Trail and Southern Rivers Birding Trail are driving routes which lead to locations where bird species are abundant.

Unicoi State Park has 1,050 acres of habitat for birding, including wooded forests, open fields, a creek and mountain lake. More than 75 species may be heard or seen in the forest, include the wood thrush, several varieties of woodpeckers, and the red-eyed vireo. In the marshy beaver pond there are red-winged black birds, the common yellow throat and many goldfinches. Around the fields there are Eastern bluebirds, blue grosbeaks, sparrows and swallows. While hiking the lake trail, guests may see the kingfisher and, at times, the great blue or green herons. Some of the warblers that may be found include hooded, pine, prairie, worm-eating, yellow-throated, yellow-rumped, black and white, and black throated green. The park hosts an annual birding event and will provide bird walks to private groups with advance reservations.


Camping
Toasting s’mores over a campfire and sleeping under the stars can be some of the best memories.  We have dozens of modern campgrounds with electric and water hookups, bathhouses with hot showers, and laundry facilities.  Choose from several types of campsites, ranging from wooded tent-only sites to RV pull-through sites.  Learn about our First-Time Camper program and Campground Host opportunities.


GOpher disc golf
Disc Golf
This fun-for-all-ages sport is similar to regular golf and involves throwing Frisbee-style discs into metal baskets.  Courses are located at Cloudland Canyon, Fort Yargo, Georgia Veterans and Richard B. Russell state parks.  A small fee is charged.


Fishing and Boating
Georgia is an angler’s paradise, and our parks offer excellent fishing and boating. Most have boat ramps and docks, and a few parks feature marinas.  (Some facilities may be closed during extreme drought.)  Fishing in park lakes, rivers and streams is free, but a fishing license is required for guests 16 or older. Trout stamps are required when fishing in streams.

Water skiing, sailing and personal watercraft are permitted at parks on large lakes; however, some parks on small lakes have horsepower restrictions. Top parks for skiing are Red Top Mountain, Tugaloo, Hart, Richard B. Russell, Bobby Brown, Elijah Clark, Mistletoe, Florence Marina, George T. Bagby, Georgia Veterans, and Seminole.

More than 20 parks rent motorized fishing boats (jon boats) by the hour. Stephen C. Foster State Park offers guided boat tours through the mysterious Okefenokee Swamp, while Reed Bingham State Park offers pontoon boat tours of their blackwater lake.

Fishing and Hunting Licenses:
Operated by the DNR's Wildlife Resources Division, the Electronic Georgia Licensing (EGAL) system provides online fishing and hunting license purchases, or you can call 1-800-366-2661.


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Geocaching
Go geocaching in a state park or historic site today! Now more than 43 state parks are part of The Parks Geo-Challenge and 14 historic sites are on The History Trail. Grab your GPS and join one of the biggest treasure hunts in the state. Geocaching is a perfect sport for families who love technology and the outdoors!


Golf
Seven state parks feature uncrowded, beautifully maintained courses, pro shops and putting greens.  GreensPasses are available for frequent players.  www.GeorgiaGolf.com
GOpher golfing


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Hiking and Backpacking
Georgia’s diverse landscape makes for a hiker’s paradise. In the north Georgia mountains, hikers will find waterfalls and colorful autumn leaves.  Trails in middle and southern Georgia highlight sandhill communities with longleaf pines and gopher tortoise burrows.  Along the coast, hikers can explore salt marsh and Spanish moss-laced trees.
~ ADA Accessibility
~ Hiking Safety Tips


Horseback Riding
Park visitors can ride their own horses on trails at A.H. Stephens, Cloudland Canyon, Hard Labor Creek, F.D. Roosevelt, Fort Mountain, General Coffee and Watson Mill Bridge state parks. Some have stall rental, riding rings and designated camping areas for horse owners. Riders pay a fee to use equestrian trails. To rent horses for short rides or overnight excursions, visit the privately operated stables at F.D. Roosevelt and Fort Mountain state parks.


Off-Road Vehicles
ORVs (or ATVs) are not allowed on any state park trails.
   


Paddling
From the raging rapids of Tallulah Gorge to the serene Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia has paddling experiences for all skill levels. Canoes and kayaks may be rented seasonally at more than 20 state parks, and visitors may also bring their own boats. Our Park Paddlers Club challenges water enthusiasts to complete 22 miles at six parks, earning a “members-only” t-shirt.
  • Mountain Lakes -- Fort Mountain and Unicoi rent canoes for paddling their small mountain lakes. These are good locations for beginners to practice paddling skills.
  • Coastal Kayaking -- Visitors at Fort McAllister can rent canoes to explore Redbird Creek with its sawgrass, fiddler crabs and occasional dolphins. Paddlers who bring their own boats to Crooked River can enjoy abundant wildlife and the shortest route to Cumberland Island National Seashore (across the intracoastal waterway). Boaters should check tidal charts and weather before exploring, otherwise they could become stranded until the next high tide. Strong currents and wind can make coastal kayaking challenging.
  • Whitewater – While there are numerous whitewater rivers throughout north Georgia, Tallulah Gorge is the only state park to feature whitewater kayaking. The first two weekends of April and first three weekends of November are when the dam’s water release is high enough for this activity. Boaters must be quite skilled to tackle Oceana, Bridal Veil and the other falls. Spectators will find the best views from the new Inspiration Point overlook, #1 North Rim overlook and #9 South Rim overlook.
  • Blackwater -- Stephen C. Foster is the western entrance to the famed Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. It features more “open” water than the grassy plains of the eastern entrance. Rent canoes or kayaks to explore Minnie’s Lake, Billy’s Island or “the narrows.” Alligators, deer, ibis, heron and egrets are commonly seen within the swamp. Reed Bingham, George L. Smith, Magnolia Springs and Little Ocmulgee also have pretty lakes where Spanish moss, cypress trees and lily pads reflect off the dark water.
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Picnicking
Plan your next party or reunion at a state park.  Picnic tables and grills are located throughout all state parks and most historic sites.  Open-air picnic shelters include covered tables and usually grills.  Enclosed group shelters seat 50–250 people and include tables, chairs, grills, kitchens, restrooms and heat or A/C. Shelters may be reserved 11 months in advance.  All vehicles must display a ParkPass.


Swimming
Our beaches and pools are great places to cool off during summer.
  • Lakeside beaches with designated swimming areas have no lifeguards and are free with your ParkPass fee.  Most are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  Bathhouses are closed during winter months.
  • Swimming pools are available at F. D. Roosevelt, High Falls, Little Ocmulgee, Magnolia Springs and Victoria Bryant state parks. Lifeguards are provided, therefore, a small fee is charged. Hours and days of operation vary, so call ahead before visiting. Swimming pools usually open Memorial Day weekend and close Labor Day weekend.  George T. Bagby State Park has a pool for lodge guests only.
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Tennis
Tennis courts are found at Cloudland Canyon, Fort Yargo, George T. Bagby, Gordonia-Alatamaha, Little Ocmulgee, Red Top Mountain, Tallulah Gorge, Tugaloo and Unicoi state parks. Some may be restricted to lodge guest use.


Get Outdoors Georgia



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