July 2013 E-News from Georgia State Parks

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July 2013

July 4th boaters

Join Us for Star-Spangled 

July 4th Celebrations

Grilling burgers in the shade, lounging at the lake, and camping under the stars are just some of the ways to celebrate July 4th in Georgia’s state parks.  

Below are a few more ideas to make your holiday festive and memorable. 

  •  Join one of many events across the state.  Some forts will showcase America’s history with musket firings and military drills.  A few parks have planned old-fashioned games such as egg tosses and sack races.  
  • Picnic shelters and group shelters can reserved for family reunions and parties.  
  • Lakeside swimming beaches are free once visitors pay a $5 parking fee.  
  • Swimming pools are available at F.D. Roosevelt, High Falls, Little Ocmulgee, Magnolia Springs and Victoria Bryant state parks.  Little Ocmulgee also has a "splash pad." An admission fee is charged. www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/swimming. 
  • Too pooped to pack a picnic?  The lodges at Amicalola Falls, Unicoi, Little Ocmulgee and George T. Bagby state parks all feature restaurants inside the parks.

Don’t forget to make reservations for accommodations by calling 1-800-864-7275 or at http://www.GaStateParks.org/reservations.  (Hint: it's not too early to plan for 2014.  Many parks fill up a year in advance.)  Also, remember that sparklers and fireworks are not allowed in Georgia’s state parks. 

First-Time Camper Program Expands this Summer

First Time Camper

$50 for Two Nights Camping 

Since its creation last year, our “First-Time Camper” program has introduced more than 100 families to the joys of sleeping under the stars.  To encouraging even more “newbies” to try camping, two more parks are providing borrowed gear and expert advice for a bargain price.  The new campgrounds are at General Coffee State Park in Coffee County and F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Harris/Meriwether counties.  Plus, Fort Yargo State Park in Winder now has two sets of gear, welcoming larger families to try camping this summer.  The program is sponsored by The North Face and REI.  The cost is $50, which includes two nights of camping.  Participating parks are listed on www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/FirstTimeCamper.


fishing tackle loaner

Fishing Tackle Loaner Program

 You Can Borrow Equipment for Free

Curious about fishing but don't have equipment? The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has a Fishing Tackle Loaner Program that provides fishing poles and stocked tackle boxes for free.  Children under 16 do not need a fishing license; however, older anglers will need to purchase a license.  With more than 25 State Parks and Historic Sites active in the program, there is sure to be a fishing spot close to you. Participating parks can be found at www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/TackleLoaner . 



Vote for Your Favorite Georgia State Park by July 15

Help Win $100,000 from Coca-Cola

You could help your favorite Georgia State Park win $100,000 and be crowned “America’s Favorite Park” by Coca-Cola.  Their campaign will award $100,000, $50,000 and $25,000 grants to the top three ranking parks in the country.  A fourth park will be chosen at random from the remaining top 25 to win a $15,000 grant.  Georgians can vote as often as they wish on www.Coke.com/parks until July 15, and checking in with foursquare earns even more votes.  Which park do you think should win?


July 2013 Calendar of Events

Divided By Region

Below are just some of the many programs happening in July.  Check GeorgiaStateParks.org/events and the individual sites' web pages for a full calendar. 




Happy Birthday America!
Thursday, July 4, 9:30 a.m.
Black Rock Mountain State Park – Mountain City
Celebrate with fun contests and great food. The event begins at 9:30 with an opening ceremony and the National Anthem, followed by contests such as hula-hoops, bubble gum blowing and seed spitting. Noon lunch includes BBQ, slaw, baked beans and drinks. Visitors are asked to bring dessert, a side dish or chips. Donations appreciated. $5 parking. (706) 746-2141. 


Old Fashioned Fourth
Thursday, July 4, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia
Decorate your bicycle and join us for a Bicycle Parade through the campground at 10 am. We will be playing Old Fashion Games at the Baseball Field at 11 am. At 3 pm, we will start our Putt-Putt Tournament for ages 12 and younger. Prizes will be given to the top 3 players. $5 Putt-Putt Tournament. $5 parking. (706) 356-4362. 


Independence Day at Vogel
Thursday, July 4, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Vogel State Park – Blairsville
Come to one of our nation's oldest state parks as we celebrate our independence with a flag-raising ceremony, bicycle parade, pedal boat races, sandcastle building competition, watermelon eating, sack races, egg tosses and greased pole climbing. $5 parking. (706) 745-2628.


Holiday Gorge Floor Hike
Saturday, July 6, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
This is a strenuous trek, which includes hiking down 531 stairs, a river crossing jumping from rock to rock, and climbing boulders along the side of the river to Bridal Veil Falls. Total miles are 3.5. No pets; wear appropriate footwear; children must be 10 or older; bring food and water. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981. 


Mountain Style Music
Saturday, July 6, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia
Join us for an evening of old time Appalachian, Bluegrass and Folk music. “The Nearly Normal String Band” will fill the summer air with their fast pickin' and harmonies at our Beach Pavilion. Bring your favorite camping chair. $5 parking. (706) 356-4362. 


Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals
Saturday, July 20, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen
Children and their special "big person" can fish in a lake stocked with catfish, bass and bream. Fish caught can be kept. Bring your own bait (no corn) and rods. Call for directions. Occurs every third Saturday through September. $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.


Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike
Sunday, July 21, 7:45 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.
Monday, July 22, 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
Take a mile and a half hike under the full moon. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981. 


Chief Vann House Days
Saturday, July 27
Chief Vann House Historic Site – Chatsworth
Watch 1800s crafts demonstrations at the home of Cherokee Indian plantation owner James Vann. Demonstrators show the art of blacksmithing, soap making, weaving, spinning, quilting, doll making, chair and basket weaving, pottery, and much more. $4 - $6. (706) 695-2598.





Cannons Across the Marsh
Thursday, July 4
Fort King George Historic Site – Darien
Join the garrison for a day of artillery drills, musket firings, and soldier's life activities to honor Independence Day. Short canoe excursions will leave from the fort dock.  Free watermelon and lemonade will be served.  $4.00- $7.00 (912) 437-4770.


Independence Day Celebration
Thursday, July 4, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fort McAllister Historic Park – Richmond Hill
Join us as we celebrate our country's birthday with Civil War-era demonstrations from re-enactors, spinning demonstrations, cannon and musket firings, old fashioned games, and lots of family fun and history. Adults $6.50, Seniors $6.00, Youth (6-17) $3.75, 5 & Under- Free. (912) 727-2339.


Independence Day Colonial Faire
Thursday, July 4, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fort Morris Historic Site – Midway
Celebrate the 4th with colonial games, contests of skill, colonial music, musket firings, cannon firings and activities. Prizes will be awarded to all participants. Sponsored by the City of Flemington, Friends of Fort Morris, and the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau. (912) 884-5999.


Sunset Boat Tour in the Okefenokee
Saturday, July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Stephen C. Foster State Park – Fargo
Dare to venture out in the swamp at night. See which creatures lurk after dark. After the sun sets, see the stars come out and the alligators’ eyes glow bright red with the aid of a spotlight. Sign up at the office; space is limited. $15 - $20. $5 parking. (912) 637-5274. 


Family Fun Day
Saturday, July 20, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys
Activities will include competitions, games, 3D archery shooting, fishing simulator, County Sheriff K9 demonstrations, and more. Live musical entertainment throughout the day. This event is sponsored by C. MO’S KIDS, with drinks and BBQ for sale. $5 parking. (912) 882-5256.


Intro to Pine Needle Basket Making
Saturday, July 27, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys
Beginners can learn the basics of gathering the needles, treating them and starting a small pine needle basket. Materials are provided. Register by July 20. Adults only due to required skill level, class size and time restraints. $25 plus $5 parking. (912) 882-5256. 


Adventure Camp
Tuesday, July 30 through Thursday, August 1, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys
Kids age 10-13 can enjoy three days of outdoor adventure, with kayaking, fishing, hiking, outdoors skills, photography, and environmental education and more. Reservations required. $85 plus $5 parking. (912) 882-5256. 





Fourth of July Celebration
Thursday, July 4 through Saturday, July 6
Florence Marina State Park – Omaha
This celebration includes a weekend of fun for the whole family, crafts, watermelon-eating contest, and making hiking sticks. $1 - $5 plus $5 parking. (229) 838-4706.


Fireworks on the Flint
Thursday, July 4, 9:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Georgia Veterans State Park – Cordele
Watch a spectacular display of fireworks on Lake Blackshear, all in celebration of the Fourth of July. $5 parking. (220) 276-2371.


Ol’ Time Independence Day at Jarrell Plantation
Thursday, July 4, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site – Juliette
Put on your red, white and blue, pack a picnic, and spend a day on an old time farm. Hear the Declaration of Independence at noon and compete in sack race, three-legged race, egg toss, and other events. Watch blacksmiths, steam engineers, quilters, and other demonstrate skills of the past. $4.00-$6.50 (478) 986-5172.


Fourth of July Firefly Weekend
Thursday, July 4 through Saturday, July 6
Reed Bingham State Park – Adel
Come celebrate Independence Day with a patriotic bicycle parade, patriotic crafts, face painting, live animal programs, night hikes and more. $1 for animal shows and crafts. $5 parking. (229) 896-3551. 


Fourth of July Paddle
Thursday, July 4 through Friday, July 5, 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Join this guided paddle on Lake Rutledge under the star-filled night sky. Listen to night sounds, check out star constellations, and enjoy a peaceful July fourth evening. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001. 


Movie on the Mountain
Friday, July 5, 8:15 p.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain
Join our Movie on the Mountain at the ball field across from Liberty Bell Pool. The movie “The Croods” will be showing. Gates will open 8:15 pm, and the movie will start at sundown. $5; children under 4 free. $5 parking. (706) 663-4858. 


New Moon Kayak Tour
Saturday, July 6, 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, stargazing, and a relaxing time on the water. A new moon means that many stars will be visible on the nighttime paddle. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.


Star Talk
Saturday, July 6, 8:30 p.m.
Magnolia Springs State Park – Millen
Enjoy a relaxing evening among the stars at our amphitheater by the lake. Bring your best star stories and enjoy some s'mores and good company. Donations welcome. $5 parking. (478) 982-1660.


Waterfall Scenic Hike
Sunday, July 7, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
High Falls State Park – Jackson
Join a guided hike down to High Falls along the Towaliga River. Learn about the habitat and history that surrounds the river. Hike is approximately 3/4 mile long and moderately strenuous. Meet at picnic shelter 4. $4 plus $5 parking. (478) 993-3053. 


Kayak out to a Frog Slog
Monday, July 8, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Discover some amazing things about wetlands and the many frogs that live in them. We will kayak out to the marshy area of Lake Rutledge, and search for the many frogs that call the wetland home. Bring shoes and clothes that you don't mind getting muddy and wet! $15 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.


Introduction to Archery
Saturday, July 20, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Archery has been around for more than 1,000 years. Try your skill at shooting a "bull's eye" and learning the basics of this fun outdoor sport. Space is limited, pre-registration required. $10 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.


Night Hike & Marshmallow Roast
Saturday, July 20
Mistletoe State Park – Appling
Join us for an old-fashioned marshmallow roast around the campfire, followed by a walk through the dark, night woods. Can you walk quietly enough to discover a night creature before it sees you and gets away? Wear comfortable walking shoes for this exciting night hike. $5 parking. (706) 541-0321.


Full Moon Night Hike
Saturday, July 20, 8:30 p.m.
Magnolia Springs State Park – Millen
Whippoorwills, owls and bats, oh my! Explore the night by using all your senses while going on a hike through the woods led by a ranger. Bring a flashlight and hiking shoes. Easy half-mile hike. $1 plus $5 parking. (478) 982-1660.


Beat the Heat Nature Hike
Sunday, July 21, 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
High Falls State Park – Jackson
Join us for a 1.5-mile hike to view nature at its finest in the morning. Meet at park office.; $5 plus $5 parking. (478) 993-3053.


Outdoor Adventure Camp
Monday, July 22 through Thursday, July 25, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
General Coffee State Park – Nicholls
Kids ages 10-14 are invited to attend to parks newest camp and have fun while learning outdoor skills. The camp will include canoeing, archery, orienteering and more. $45 plus $5 parking. (912) 384-7082.


Twilight Walk
Friday, July 26, 8 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain
Awaken your senses to the sights and sounds of the evening. Great program for all ages as we walk and investigate the lives of spectacular spiders, beautiful bats, and fantastic frogs. Bring a flashlight. Meet below Lake Delanor dam in the campground at Picnic Shelter #2. $5 parking. (706) 663-4858.


Searching for Dragons and Damsels
Saturday, July 27, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Dragonflies and damselflies are some of the most beautiful and beneficial insects in the bug world. They come in many sizes shapes and colors. Join a park ranger on the hunt for these tiny predators, and explore streams, lake and pond. Bring a digital camera and binoculars for the adventure. This hike is best for participants 10 years old and up. Meet at Office/Trading Post. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3006.





4th of July Night Hike to view Fireworks
Thursday, July 4, 8:30 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Slow down this July 4th and join a ranger for a leisurely stroll to the top of Panola Mountain. As the sun sets we will enjoy a panoramic view of Atlanta's Independence Day celebrations. Bring water and bug spray. Participants must register in advance. $7 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.


Bluegrass “Mountain Music” Concert Series
Friday, July 5 and Saturdays, July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville
Enjoy a free “Mountain Music” concert every week at the Vaughan Log Cabin behind the Park Office. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on and let some sweet, sweet music carry your worries away. $5 parking. (770) 975-0055.


Camping and Kayaking
Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21
Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville
Get outdoors and do something different this summer by spending a weekend camping and kayaking with two Park Rangers. Explore Red Top and Lake Allatoona by boat and relax at the campsite afterwards. Fee includes a campsite for two nights, a tandem sit-on-top kayak, paddle, life jacket, paddling instruction, and two days of guided paddling tours. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. $175 per person $5 parking. (770) 975-0055.


Tree Top Excursions:  Introduction Climb
Saturday, July 20, 1 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Join us "on rope" for an adventure exploring the canopy above. Participants will use rope and harness for this moderately strenuous activity. One group will start at 1PM; another group will start at 3PM. Please arrive 15 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.


Full Moon Night Hike
Saturday, July 20, 8 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Join us for an enchanted evening as we hike to the mountaintop under the full moon. We'll head out just before sunset and enjoy the stroll as the moon begins to rise. Bring flashlights, hiking boots and water. Meet at the nature center 15 minutes before each program. Participants must register and pay in advance. $7 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.


Check GeorgiaStateParks.org/events for a full calendar.  



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