May 2012 Calendar of Events

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May 2012

New Kids Workout Videos

State Parks Partner with Department of Education to

Combat Childhood Obesity

Georgia’s State Parks and the Department of Education have produced workout videos featuring Georgia’s own “CJ The Workout Kid.”  The 10-year-old fitness instructor shows how classroom exercises can mimic outdoor recreation found in state parks.  The short activity breaks are streamed into Georgia’s public elementary schools so that children can raise their heart rates and stretch their muscles while learning about Georgia’s environment.  The short videos are also posted on You Tube and the Georgia State Parks Tons of Fun website.  The next time your kids need a quick mini-break, bring the outdoors inside!

New Echota Historic Site

New Echota Cherokee Capital

Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Free Activities and Tours on May 12

Fifty years ago, the former Cherokee Nation capital became Georgia’s newest state historic site.  To celebrate the anniversary, New Echota State Historic Site will host a free celebration and open house at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.  The day will be filled with living history demonstrations, Native American arts and crafts, and guest speakers. New Echota is located in Calhoun, one mile east of I-75 exit #317 on Ga. Hwy. 225.

Sweetwater Creek SP

Time Spent Together is the

Best Mother’s Day Gift of All

Show all the mothers in your life how much they mean to you with a memorable gift of sunshine and family time.  Pack a picnic basket with Grandma’s and Mom’s favorite goodies, then head out to a beautiful Georgia State Park.  If restaurants are more Mom’s style, visit a state park lodge for bountiful buffets and pretty views.  You can even turn Mother’s Day into a weekend getaway by reserving a cabin or lodge rooms.  Learn more at and  Check out all the events scheduled for Mother’s Day Weekend at

Memorial Day Reflections

As friends and family gather for picnics this Memorial Day Weekend, take time to honor those who fought on American soil.  Below are forts and museums across Georgia where you can enjoy a picnic with a bit of history. 

Fort King George State Historic Site, Darien

From 1721 until 1736, this fort was the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America.  Climb into the reconstructed cypress blockhouse, explore the palisaded earthen fort and tabby ruins, tour the museum and hike a short nature trail.

Fort Morris State Historic Site, Midway

This earthen fort on the Medway River protected Georgia against the British in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.  A museum describes the colonial port of Sunbury; a nature trail and picnic sites are available.

Pickett's Mill Battlefield State Historic Site, Dallas

Pickett's Mill is one of the best preserved Civil War battlefields in the nation, highlighted with a museum, earthworks and wooded trails.  The 1864 battle was one of the few Confederate victories during General Sherman's Georgia campaign.

Fort McAllister State Historic Park, Richmond Hill

Nestled among giant live oaks, this is the best preserved earthwork fortification of the Confederacy and the end of General Sherman's March to the Sea.  Recently, an original 1864 flag which flew above the fort was returned to Georgia and mounted in the museum.

A.H. Stephens State Historic Park, Crawfordville

Liberty Hall, the 1875 home of the Confederate Vice President, is fully furnished and open for tours.  A museum houses one of the finest collections of Civil War artifacts in Georgia.


Have You Seen us on TV Lately?

Check out the short clips we’re running during morning news shows across Georgia:  Closer to Home and Family Adventures. If there’s a state park or historic site that you’ve been curious about, search on YouTube for other visitors’ videos.  Many of our guests have produced wonderful tours of Georgia's most beautiful places.  You'll also find photo galleries on each site's web page.

May 2012 Calendar of Events – Divided by Region

Below are just some of the many programs happening during May.

Check for the full calendar.


Wings of Flight

Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, May 6, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge - Dawsonville

Share your love of all winged creatures during these programs on birds, bats, and butterflies. Learn about their life histories and discover tips on how to attract these creatures to your own backyard. $5 parking. (706) 265-1969.

Dirty Spokes Mountain Bike Race

Saturday, May 5, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Fort Yargo State Park - Winder

These 6-hour and 9-hour races take competitors along our mountain bike trail and allow visitors to see the action first-hand. Fee plus $5 parking. (770) 867-3489.

Yargo Disc Golf Invitational

Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Fort Yargo State Park - Winder

Show your disc golf skill in our first competition. Register by May 14. Trophies will be given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Presented by Earthen Excursions. $10. $5 parking. (678) 963-8891.

Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals

Saturday, May 19, 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. This event is not at Smithgall Woods, but at Buck Shoals, a nearby unopened state park. Call for directions. Occurs every third Saturday through September. $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

Kids Day at the Park

Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen

Hands-on exhibits in outdoor sports, recreation and environmental education give kids a chance to learn ways to stay healthy and appreciate the great outdoors. Kids can earn a badge through active participation. Archery, animal exhibits, compass games, air rifles, stream critters and more. $6 parking. (706) 878-3087.


Mother’s Day Origami

Sunday, May 13, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Stephen C. Foster State Park - Fargo

On Mother's Day, come to the Interpretive Center to make the special woman in your life a folded paper water lily. $5 Refuge Parking Fee. (912) 637-5274.

Memorial Day Weekend at Fort McAllister

Saturday, May 26, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Fort McAllister Historic Park – Richmond Hill

This program about the common confederate soldier includes what he ate, how he lived, what he wore and the medicine of the day. Also included will be musket and cannon firing demonstrations. $3.50 - $6.50 (912) 727-2339.

War of Jenkins’ Ear

Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah

Experience colonial Georgia's military operations during the 1739-1748 war between England and Spain. Demonstrations include military drills, musket and cannon firings, and a military demonstration at 2 p.m. $4.50 - $8 plus tax. (912) 353-3023.


International Migratory Bird Day

Saturday, May 12, 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Reed Bingham State Park – Adel

Come celebrate with us, with guided bird hikes, bird lectures, crafts, and other fun bird activities. $2 for crafts. $5 parking. (229) 896-3551.

Second Sundays on the Farm

Sunday, May 13, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

General Coffee State Park - Nicholls

The Heritage Farm will feature demonstrations of late 1800s farm life. $5 parking. (912) 384-7082.

Night Hike

Friday, May 18, 7:30 p.m.

Reed Bingham State Park - Adel

Explore your nighttime senses during this hike suitable for all ages. Please wear appropriate walking shoes and bring a flashlight. $1 plus $5 parking. (229) 896-3551.

Swim the Warm Springs

Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs

Swim in the historic pools built by President F.D. Roosevelt as a place for therapy. Normally kept empty for preservation, the shallow pools will be filled with naturally warm spring water. Reservations suggested. Ages 6 and older. $20 adults; $12.50 ages 6 to 17; Family Package $80. (706) 655-5870.


Basic Fly Fishing Clinic

Saturday, May 12, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Panola Mountain State Park - Stockbridge

The clinic covers casting, safety issues and other tricks of the trade.  Instructors suggest wearing long pants/shorts and hiking shoes, and bringing snacks, water and sunscreen. Georgia fishing license required. Register in advance. $15 or $12 with own gear. $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Navigation for Recreation: Orienteering 101

Saturday, May 19, 2 p.m.

Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

Every year many people get lost in the wilderness. Many of them have a map and compass. Our orienteering course will help you to understand compass usage and use topographic maps to find your way. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Candlelight Hike to the Mill

Saturday, May 19, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

This mile-long guided night hike is easy to moderately difficult and goes inside the Civil War era textile mill ruins of New Manchester. Candle lanterns will be provided. No children under 6 years or dogs permitted. Meet and register at the Interpretive Center. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

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