Celebrate July 4th with Friends and Family
Haven’t made plans for the 4th of July yet? No worries; Georgia State Parks &
Historic Sites offer ideas that are fun and easy on the pocketbook. All across Georgia, we have dozens of
events, ranging from relay races, bicycle parades and watermelon eating
contests, to boat tours, cannon firings, flag raisings and even firework
displays. Love fireworks, but not big
crowds? Some state parks are near smaller towns hosting firework displays, so
you can stay overnight and drive just a short distance to watch the show. Make
reservations for camping, cabins and lodge rooms by calling 1-800-864-7275.
Summer Cabin Staycations
you know our state parks have a wide variety of rental cabins where you can enjoy
the great outdoors by day, but sleep in a cozy bed by night? Seminole State Park is ideal for
boaters because their newly renovated cabins are right on the water’s edge. If you love history, head to F.D. Roosevelt
or Vogel where you can stay in cottages crafted by the Civilian Conservation
Corps. For mountain lovers, treat
your family to a stay at Cloudland Canyon where some cabins are right on the
canyon’s edge. And, for exceptional
privacy and trout fishing, the cottages at Smithgall Woods are sure to please. It’s not too late to book for summer
vacation. Dogs are welcome in
select cabins with advance reservations. For availability, check GeorgiaStateParks.org/reservations.
Parks Win TripAdvisor Awards
to the backcountry Hike Inn
, Amicalola Falls State Park
and Skidaway Island
for winning TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence awards.
All three sites rank 4.5 stars out of 5 on the user-generated
travel-review website. “Beautiful campground. Shaded sites,” said
decembertraveller of Skidaway Island. The Hike Inn is the “Best place in
the world to go and relax,”
said Cindy T.
And Amicalola Falls is “One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Georgia!”
according to mgriz. Check out more reviews on tripadvisor.com.
is Park and Recreation Month
Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation’s
official Park and Recreation Month. This year we are encouraging everyone to “GET
WILD” about parks and recreation!
Grab a buddy and hike into Tallulah Gorge, paddle the pond at George L.
Smith or play a game of golf at Little Ocmulgee. For ideas on how you can enjoy the many benefits of parks
and recreation, visit nrpa.org/july, then check out our event calendar at
Download Your Free Georgia
State Parks App
The Georgia DNR Pocket Ranger® Mobile App lets
you track trails and mark waypoints in the great outdoors. Developed by ParksByNature Network™,
the app is available on iTunes, Android Market and PocketRanger.com. It is also
formatted as a Mobile Website for Blackberry users. The potentially life-saving
Alert feature supplies GPS coordinates to designated contacts in case of an
emergency. Guests can even cache park maps in case of lost mobile
reception. The free app recently
ranked #34 in downloads on iTunes Apple store. The Pocket Ranger Mobile Tour
Guide tutorial is available at youtube.com/user/PocketRangerApp.
Scouts Celebrate 100 Years
Congratulations to the Girl Scouts of America for
celebrating their 100th Anniversary this year. Troop leaders, did you know we have
private camping areas and picnic shelters just for groups? Plan your next gathering at GeorgiaStateParks.org/gatherings.
July 2012 Calendar of Events
Below are just some of the
many programs happening in July.
You'll find a complete list at GeorgiaStateParks.org/events.
Sunset West Rim Hike
Wednesday, July 3, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Cloudland Canyon State Park – Rising Fawn
Join Georgia Girl Guides as we
take a sunset hike on the West Rim. Learn the history and geology of the park
as we tour overlooks. We will finish as the sun sets and night takes over the
canyon. Bring water and a headlamp or flashlight. Reservations required. $20
plus $5 parking. (706) 913-7170.
Independence Day Celebration
Wednesday, July 4, 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge –
Join us for relay races,
patriotic crafts, and our famous watermelon seed-spitting contest. $5 parking. (706)
July 4, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Mountain State Park – Mountain City
The event begins at 9:30 with an
opening ceremony and national anthem, followed by contests such as hula-hoops,
bubble gum blowing and seed spitting. Noon lunch provided by the park includes
BBQ, slaw, baked beans and drinks. Visitors are asked to bring dessert or
chips. Donations appreciated. $5 parking. (706) 746-2141.
Independence Day At Vogel
Wednesday, July 4, 8:20 a.m.
Vogel State Park – Blairsville
Come to one of our nation's
oldest state parks as we celebrate 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.
Vann House Days
Saturday, July 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Chief Vann House Historic Site –
craftspeople will demonstrate blacksmithing, weaving, quilting, spinning wool,
chair caning, black powder shooting and more. $3.50 - $6.00 (706) 695-2598.
Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals
Saturday, July 21, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen
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.
Cannons Across the Marsh
Wednesday, July 4, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site – Darien
the Garrison for a day of artillery drills, musket firings, and soldier's life
activities to honor Independence Day. $3.75- $6.50 (912) 437-4770.
July Fourth Celebration at Fort
Wednesday, July 4
Fort McAllister Historic Park – Richmond
our nation's birthday with Civil War troops as they fire special salutes. Also
join us for period games and a cool slice of melon. $3.50 - $6.50 (912) 727-2339.
Independence Day Colonial Faire
Wednesday, July 4, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fort Morris Historic Site – Midway
the 4th with colonial games, contests of skill, colonial music, musket firings,
cannon firings and activities. (912) 884-5999.
Swamp Excursion to Billy's Island
Saturday, July 7, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Stephen C. Foster State Park – Fargo
with a park ranger on a guided canoe trip to Billy's Island where we will hike
a nature trail to find out how the boomtown from a logging operation was once laid
out. Reservations required. $20 plus $5 parking. (912) 637-5274.
Saturday, July 14, 9 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Stephen C. Foster State Park – Fargo
out to the cul-de-sac at the end of 177 where we'll have an 18" telescope
set up. You'll be able to see planets, star clusters, nebulae, and other
celestial bodies. $3 plus $5 Refuge Parking Fee. (912) 637-5274.
SOUTHERN & CENTRAL GEORGIA
July 4th Celebration on the
Wednesday, July 4, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Florence Marina State Park – Omaha
the Fourth of July with games, a watermelon eating contest, and educational
boat tours on Lake Walter F. George. $4 plus $5 parking. (229) 838-4706.
Fireworks on the Flint
Wednesday, July 4, 9:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Georgia Veterans State Park – Cordele
spectacular display of fireworks highlights the Fourth of July. $5 parking. (229)
Ol’ Time Independence Day at Jarrell
Wednesday, July 4, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site –
your red, white, and blue, pack a picnic lunch, and come to the farm for a
traditional noon reading of the Declaration of Independence followed by
3-legged race, egg toss, tug-of-war and other competitions. $4.00-$6.50 (478) 986-5172.
Military Express Train Ride
Saturday, July 14, 9 a.m. – 2:40 p.m.
SAM Shortline Excursion Train – Cordele
the train and meet with families of deployed soldiers from Warner Robins Air
Force Base. Express your appreciation in person for there loved ones and how
much freedom means to all Americans. 1-877-427-2457.
Atlanta Audubon Beginners Bird Walk
Saturday, July 14, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
field trip is designed for anyone interested in learning more about birds,
habitats critical to some species, and organizations like the Audubon Society,
which are dedicated to bird conservation. $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.
“Ruins to Rapids” Full Moon Hike
Tuesday, July 3, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
1.5-mile hike is moderately difficult and goes inside the Civil War-era textile
mill ruins of New Manchester and follows the lovely rapids (up to class IV) of
Sweetwater Creek. A flashlight and sturdy shoes are required. No children under
6 or dogs. Register in advance. $6 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.
Fourth of July Night Hike
Wednesday, July 4, 8:30 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
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
Fourth of July Night. We may glimpse fireworks in the distance and the full
moon. Register in advance. $7 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.
Mountain Music Series
Saturdays, July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 8 p.m.
Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville
different band each week will play for an hour or more. Bring a chair or
blanket to sit on, and meet at the Vaughan log cabin located behind the park
office. $5 parking. (770) 975-0055.
Days of Discovery for Kids
Saturday, July 14, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site – Cartersville
learn what archaeology is from a professional archaeologist. Hear about history
and see real artifacts. Take part in mock excavations and learn how to clean
and identify treasures that you find. $3.50-$5.00 (770) 387-3747.