October News from Georgia State Parks

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October 2013

Cloudland Canyon State Park

“Leaf Watch” Helps You Find Best Fall Getaways in Georgia

Online Fall Color Travel Planner

How will this summer’s rain affect fall color?  That’s the question only Mother Nature can answer.  Despite the soggy summer, Georgia could still see vibrant autumn color if the rain stays away, days are sunny and warm, and nights are cool but not freezing.  Whether leaves are fiery red or mellow gold this year, Georgia’s mountains will still be a popular getaway this autumn.  

To help leaf peepers find the best spots to visit, Georgia’s State Parks offer an online “Leaf Watch” travel planner.  Regular updates will keep travelers posted on how fall color is progressing across Georgia’s Blue Ridge.  The website is filled with top trails and overlooks, mountain cabins and campsites, fall events, and safe hiking tips.  Shutterbugs are even encouraged to post their favorite shots to the Georgia State Parks Facebook page for a chance to win prizes.


Thomas the Tank Engine, Cordele

Thomas the Tank Engine Coming to South Georgia's Sam Shortline

October 19-20 and 25-27

Tiny fans of Thomas the Tank Engine™ can ride a real train this fall when the storybook character pulls into southwest Georgia.  The 2013 Day Out With Thomas offers little engineers and their families an opportunity to ride a 15-ton replica of Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the popular Thomas & Friends™ series. Children will ride along with their favorite hero on his latest adventure as he pulls SAM Shortline Excursion Train down the track at Georgia Veterans State Park in Cordele.  For information and tickets, visit SamShortline.com or call 1-866-468-7630.


Crooked River State Park fishing

“Reelin’ In The Prizes” Fishing Challenge

October 1 - December 1

Whether you’re casting for bass, trout or catfish, you could reel in more than just fish this fall.  We’re giving away Bass Pro Shop gift certificates, Shakespeare fishing gear and even a Big Green Egg as part of our first fishing challenge hosted by TV personality O’Neill Williams.  Simply bring your catch to the “Reeling in the Prizes” measuring signs at most Georgia State Parks.  Take a photo with your catch and email it to FishingChallenge@gastateparks.org before December 1.  Complete details are on GeorgiaStateParks.org/fishingchallenge.  For information on fishing licenses and regulations, visit georgiawildlife.com/fishing/angler-resources.



Great Golf Rates and Packages This Fall

Love the links?  Several of Georgia’s State Parks offer championship golf at an affordable price.  The scenery is great as well, since players are surrounded by lakes and forests rather than subdivisions and parking lots.  This fall, Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course at Richard B. Russell State Park is offering two-day, two-night golf packages starting at $160 per person, a $30 per person discount.  Other courses have similar money-saving packages.  For details, visit GeorgiaGolf.com.


October 2013 Events

Below is just a sample of October events held in Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites. Love Halloween?  Check out all our hayrides and haunted trails.  For a more complete calendar, visit each park's webpage or GeorgiaStateParks.org/events


Hayrides and Campfires

Saturdays, October 5 - November 16, 2013  

Cloudland Canyon State Park - Rising Fawn, GA

Enjoy wildlife and fall colors while riding on our tractor-pulled hay wagon, then sit around our campfire and roast marshmallows and hot dogs while sipping hot apple cider. $5 per adult, $3 per child 4 -12. $5 parking. 706-657-4050.


Battle of Allatoona Pass Remembered

October 5-6, 2013      

Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville, GA

During the 149th commemoration of this bloody battle, you can tour the hillside and railroad cut through the pass. Walk the trails, visit the star fort, and follow the old roads just as the soldiers did in 1864. Watch rifle and cannon demonstrations. Event is at Allatoona Pass Battlefield, not inside the park. 770-975-0055.


Backcountry Geology Hike

October 6, 2013, 1 PM to 4 PM

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs, GA

Join a moderate three-mile hike identifying rock types and explaining how they formed. Explore the beautiful Jack's Branch area and the seldom visited rock quarry of New Manchester. Meet in the Interpretive Center.  $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.


Beginning Digital Photography Workshop

October 5, 2013, 10 AM to 4 PM      

Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park - Reidsville, GA

At the end of this workshop, participants will become capable of making sound exposure, metering, and focus area settings on their digital SLR cameras, as well as they will learn to apply creative composition principles. Hike in the park afterwards and practice new skills. $22-$30. $5 parking. 912-580-5308.


New Moon Kayak Tour

October 5, 2013, 7 PM to 9 PM        

Hard Labor Creek State Park - Rutledge, GA

Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, star-gazing and a relaxing time on the water. A new moon means that many stars will be visible on the night-time paddle. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001


Brews & Bites at Skidaway

October 10 and 17, 2013, 6 PM to 9 PM      

Skidaway Island State Park – Savannah, GA

Brewers and chefs will discuss their process and their appreciation of local ingredients. Guests will also have a chance to learn about many exciting local and park projects. Tickets are $30 or $25 for Friends of Georgia State Parks Members. http://gastateparks.givezooks.com. 912-598-2300.


Halloween Hayrides

Fridays and Saturdays, October 11-26, 2013, 7 PM to 10 PM         

Red Top Mountain State Park - Cartersville, GA

Take a "spooktacular" hayride through the town of Ravenwood and listen closely as storytellers bring ghosts and goblins to life around a campfire. Suitable for all ages. Reservations required. $8 plus $5 parking. 678-792-9554.


Dirty Spokes Race

October 12, 2013       

Fort Yargo State Park - Winder, GA

The Dirty Spokes running race series includes four state parks: Red Top Mountain, Unicoi, Fort Yargo and Victoria Bryant. Dates and distances vary. http://www.dirtyspokes.com/fort-yargo-state-park-georgia/  Race fee plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.


Bark In The Park Dog Ramble

October 12, 2013, 1 PM to 2:30 PM 

F.D. Roosevelt State Park - Pine Mountain, GA

Bring your canine friend and join us for an easy forest romp. Dogs must be on a 6-foot leash. You do not have to have a pet to walk with us. Meet next to the Trading Post in the campground. $5 parking. 706-663-4858.


Family Fall Fest

October 12, 2013       

Mistletoe State Park – Appling, GA

Welcome fall with apple bobbing', a pumpkin scavenger hunt, face painting, children’s games, marshmallow roasting, a snake program, storytelling, hayrides, cake walks and bingo. Chick-Fil-A will be the food vender. $10 per vehicle plus some fees. 706-541-0321.


Twilight Paddle

October 12, 2013, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM        

Hard Labor Creek State Park - Rutledge, GA

Explore Lake Rutledge as we scan the sky for ospreys and watch the changing colors on the water as the sun sets.  We will discuss the role the CCC made in creating this park in the 1930s. Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.


Annual Kolomoki Festival

October 12, 2013

Kolomoki Mounds Historic Park - Blakely, GA

Enjoy a day of eats, shopping, boat tours, Native American demonstrations, singing and dancing performances, music, antique tractor parade and more. Also available is the free children’s section with arts and crafts, moon walk, and slide. $5 parking. 229-724-2150.


Geology Day

October 12, 2013, 11 AM to 1 PM    

Providence Canyon Outdoor Recreation Area - Lumpkin, GA

Providence Canyon is one of the great geographic wonders of the eastern United States. Join Professor Rich McWilliams of Thomas University in Thomasville for a close-up view of this most unusual park. Pre-registration is required. $5 plus $5 parking. 229-838-4706.


Fall Celebration

October 12, 2013, 12 PM to 4 PM    

Smithgall Woods State Park - Helen, GA

Enjoy the natural beauty of the season with hands-on pioneer skills exhibits, hayrides, traditional craft vendors, mountain music, and apple cider from a hand-cranked press. $6 parking. 706-878-3087.


Going Caching 2013 -- History & Mystery

October 17 - 20, 2013

F.D. Roosevelt State Park - Pine Mountain

Join free geocaching programs throughout the park. Venture back to 1939 and explore caches, codes and cryptics. Four fun-filled days of events and geochaching await the boldest of adventurers. www.geocaching.com. $5 parking. 706-663-4858.


Haunted House

October 18 - 19, 2013

Reed Bingham State Park - Adel, GA

Trick-or-treaters, beware; you’re in for a scare! Our haunted house and hayride are sure to be a scary trip for anyone. $5 parking. 229-896-3551.


Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike

Friday, October 18, 2013, 7 PM to 9 PM      

Saturday, October 19, 2013, 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM    

Sunday, October 20, 2013, 8:15 PM to 10 PM         

Tallulah Gorge State Park - Tallulah Falls, GA

Join in this challenging group hike as the evening arrives. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-754-7981.


Candle Lantern Tours

October 19, 2013, 6 PM to 9 PM      

Fort McAllister Historic Park - Richmond Hill, GA

Experience the fort at night as you are guided around by candlelight. See how Confederate soldiers spent their evenings by campfire, how they passed the cold nights, and how they performed their evening and nightly duties. Adults $6.50, Seniors $6, Youth (6-18) $3.75, 5 & younger are free. 912-727-2339.


Full Moon Kayak Tour

October 19, 2013, 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM        

Hard Labor Creek State Park - Rutledge, GA

Join a guided tour of Lake Rutledge, and enjoy a peaceful paddle under a bright moon. Listen for night sounds, enjoy the night sky, and learn about the history of Hard Labor Creek State Park. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.


New Echota Days

October 19, 2013, 10 AM to 5 PM    

New Echota Historic Site - Calhoun, GA

The old Cherokee Capital will come alive with various living history demonstrations including arts, music, crafts, dances, blacksmith, spinning and weaving and tours of the historic grounds and buildings of old New Echota. $5.50-$7.50 706-624-1321.


Edible and Medicinal Plants of Fall

October 19, 2013, 10 AM to 3 PM    

Smithgall Woods State Park - Helen, GA

Explore the bounty of medicinal and edible plants available in north Georgia forests and fields. The focus will be on plants that can be utilized in the field with little preparation. Advanced registration required. $35 plus $5 parking. 706-878-3087.


Fall Hoedown

October 19, 2013, 12 PM to 8 PM       

Vogel State Park - Blairsville, GA

Celebrate autumn’s arrival with noon chili, hotdogs and drinks for sale, followed by a 3 p.m. cakewalk, 4 p.m. hayrides, 5 p.m. bonfire and square/line dancing, 6 p.m. trunk or treats, and 7 p.m. professional storytelling. $3 for  hayrides. $5 parking. 706-745-2628.



October 26, 2013, 6 PM to 9 PM      

Florence Marina State Park - Omaha, GA

Celebrate Halloween with a haunted hayride, games for kids, and a costume contest. Food vendors will be on hand. Games 1 ticket each, hayride 3 tickets, cakewalk 1 ticket. Friends of Florence Marina will be holding the annual silent auction. $1 per ticket plus $5 parking. 229-838-4706.


Moonlight Madness & Haunted House

October 26, 2013, 1 PM to 10 PM    

General Coffee State Park - Nicholls, GA

The day starts with a kids carnival in the afternoon, followed by the opening of our haunted house and hayrides after dark. $1-$5 plus $5 parking. 912-384-7082.


For a more complete calendar, visit each park's webpage or GeorgiaStateParks.org/events.

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