New Interactive Outdoor Recreation Map from Georgia DNR
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has created an interactive map that identifies DNR-managed lands and outdoor recreation opportunities. The “Georgia Outdoor Map” includes state parks, wildlife management areas, public fishing areas, boat ramps and historic sites. Users can search by category to find locations where they can camp, hunt, hike, fish or explore history. To view the free map, visit www.georgiaoutdoormap.com.
Historic Site Annual Passes
Now Available for $15-$35
History enthusiasts can save money with our annual pass allowing unlimited visits to 14 state historic sites across Georgia. In addition to learning about the past, visitors can stretch their legs on walking trails, such as those at Pickett’s Mill Battlefield and Fort King George. Passes are $15 for ages 17 and younger, $20 for adults and $35 for a family of six. For a list of participating state historic sites, visit GaStateParks.org/historic
Get Into the Swing for Golf
Georgia’s eight State Park Golf Courses offer exceptional variety, challenge and value. All boast picturesque surroundings, with no subdivisions or distractions. Well maintained facilities will test your golf game this spring, and the relaxed atmosphere welcomes golfers of all ages and skill levels. Pro shops, stay-and-play packages, and tournaments are available as well.
Look What’s New!
Fort McAllister State Park south of Savannah has new kayaks and bicycles for rent. Now you can paddle Red Bird Creek and pedal five miles of trails. Bikes rent for $10 to $15, and kayaks are $20 for a single, $30 for a tandem.
Planning a party or reunion? Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park in Reidsville opened a new Group Shelter (shown above) with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a barbecue pit and commercial kitchen. It seats 80 and rents for $150. Coming this summer is a “splash pad” just for kids.
Vogel State Park near Blairsville and Fort Mountain State Park near Chatsworth are renovating many of their cabins, so look for upgrades this month.
Get Hoppin' -- Easter Egg Hunts
Several Georgia State Parks are hosting Easter events where children can fill their baskets with goodies and work off energy on playgrounds. Covered picnic shelters and enclosed group shelters can be reserved for large family potlucks and barbecues. Plus, all of Georgia’s State Parks and many State Historic Sites have picnic tables with pretty views. To find a nearby park, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org.
April 2014 Events in Georgia's State Parks & Historic Sites
Spring has finally arrived and the wildflowers are blooming. Below are just a few events that will cure your cabin fever. More can be found on GeorgiaStateParks.org/events and each park’s webpage.
Wild Cave Tours
Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in April
Cloudland Canyon State Park - Rising Fawn, GA
You will get muddy and wet on this family friendly underground adventure. Tours are offered by Georgia Girl Guides on weekends and some weekdays. www.GeorgiaGirlGuides.com. Reservations Required. $30-$60 plus $5 parking. 706-913-7170.
Spring at the Homestead: Civil War Reflections
Saturday & Sunday, April 5 - 6
Red Top Mountain State Park - Cartersville, GA
Civil War troops have camped near the Vaughan Cabin! Learn about the lives of soldiers and civilians during our country’s most turbulent years. Many hands-on activities will keep kids entertained, plus you can enjoy the park’s trails and picnic areas. $5 parking. 770-975-0055.
Okefenokee Swamp & Billy's Island Tours
Saturdays in April
Stephen C. Foster State Park - Fargo, GA
Join us for a tour of historic Billy's Island, home to Native Americans, pioneers and lumbermen. We will take a boat into the swamp and hike a short trail on the island. Call for reservations. $15-$20 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Toddler Time and Big Ferry Guided Hike
Thursday, April 10, 10 a.m.
Skidaway Island State Park -- Savannah
Bring your 2- to 4-year-old to enjoy stories, games and learning designed just for them. Each week there will be a different nature-based theme. At 1 p.m., take a guided Big Ferry Trail hike, leading 3-3 miles through a maritime forest and salt marsh. $5 parking. 912-598-2300.
Cabin Life at Pickett's Mill
Saturday, April 12
Pickett's Mill Battlefield Historic Site - Dallas, GA
Discover what life was like on a small farm during the Civil War, 150 years ago. Watch people cooking over a fire. Enjoy toys and games. Experience the sights and sounds of a black powder demonstration as authentic style muzzle loading rifles and muskets are fired. $2-$4. 770-443-7850.
69th Commemorative Ceremony for F.D. Roosevelt
Saturday, April 12, 11 a.m.
Roosevelt's Little White House Historic Site - Warm Springs, GA
We will pay tribute to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the 69th anniversary of his death at the Little White House. Nina Roosevelt Gibson is our guest speaker. Free until noon. 706-655-5870.
Friday - Sunday, April 11-13
Red Top Mountain State Park - Cartersville, GA
Join the Georgia GeoCampers for a weekend of camping, caching and more. Beginners, even those who have never geocached before, are welcome to join the fun and learn from the pros. $5 parking plus camping fees. 770-975-0055.
Marsh Kayak Trip
Saturday, April 12, 1 p.m.
Crooked River State Park - St. Marys, GA
What better way is there to experience the marshes around Crooked River than to kayak? This low-tide, four-mile loop paddle is great for beginners. You'll even have a chance to stretch your legs as you explore sandbars and enjoy the scenery. $35 single or $45 tandem plus $5 parking. 912-882-5256.
Tools & Weapons and Torchlight Tours
Saturday, April 12, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site - Cartersville, GA
Watch the re-creation of ancient Native American tools and weapons. Demonstrators will explain how to make, use and care for things that were very important for survival thousands of years ago. Complete your evening by seeing an amazing nighttime view of Etowah. The site will be illuminated by torchlight for guided tours. $2-$6. 770-387-3747.
Earth Day: Bark In The Park
Saturday, April 19, 2 p.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park - Pine Mountain, GA
Bring your canine friend and join us for an easy Earth Day forest romp. New sounds, sights, and discoveries are there for all of us. Dogs must be on a 6-foot leash. You do not have to have a pet to walk with us. Everyone is welcome. Supported by the Columbus area Petsmart. Meet next to the Trading Post. Bring water. $5 parking. 706-663-4858.
Festival by The Lake
Saturday, April 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Florence Marina State Park - Omaha, GA
Enjoy our festival with craft vendors, food vendors, games and entertainment. Boat rides on Lake Walter F. George will depart on the hour. $5 plus $5 parking. 229-838-4706.
New Moon Kayak Tour
Saturday, April 26, 8 p.m.
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.
To see more programs, visit GaStateParks.org/events or visit each park's webpage.