November 2012 News & Events from Georgia's State Parks

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November  2012

Great Deals on November Getaways

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge

November is a perfect time to enjoy the calm before the holidays with off-season rates at your favorite Georgia State Park.  November is also less crowded, meaning it’s a great time to view wildlife and enjoy quiet walks in the woods.  Choose from lodges with restaurants and great views, cozy cottages with fireplaces, modern campsites and even our unique yurts.  Lodge rates start at just $59 per night Sunday through Thursday.  Golf enthusiasts can enjoy stay-and-play golf packages as well.  For reservations, call 1-800-864-7275 or book online.  For information on golf packages or tee times, call 800-434-0982 or visit

Georgia Veterans State Park

Veterans Day is November 11

Honor the men and women who served our country with Veterans Day events at parks tied to our nation’s history.  On Saturday, November 10, you can meet the survivor of a 1953 airplane crash or tour a military museum.  From Friday through Sunday, cyclists can join a bike ride through southwest Georgia. 


Veterans Day Program Honoring Crew and Survivor of 1953 Plane Crash
F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain
Saturday, November 10, 2012
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Honor Navy veteran Richard K. Schmidt, the sole survivor of an October 1, 1953 airplane crash. The USAF B-25 bomber took off from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida with six on board and crashed near Dowdell’s Knob in F.D. Roosevelt State Park. Only Mr. Schmidt survived. After the ceremony and an Air Force flyover, guests can join Mr. Schmidt for a short walk to the crash site. Meet at Dowdell’s Knob.  $5 parking.  (706) 663-4858.

Tribute to Veterans
Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele
Saturday, November 10, 2012
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Honor our nation's heros with a radio-controlled model airplane fly-in and a 1:00 p.m. ceremony with guest speaker, bagpipes and drums, and color guard. Visitors may tour the park's military museum and outdoor exhibits, including aircraft.  $5 parking.  (229) 276-2371

Presidents and Patriots Park-to-Park Bike Ride
Southwest Georgia
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, November 9-11, 2012  
This 3-day bike ride travels from Florence Marina State Park to Georgia Veterans State Park, SAM Shortline Excursion Train, Jimmy Carter National Historic Site and Andersonville National Historic Site and Cemetery. The registration fee includes camping, entertainment, some food and activities.  $35-$55. (229) 276-2371


Little Ocmulgee State Park & Lodge

Thanksgiving Buffets & Beautiful Hikes

Start a new tradition by taking your loved ones to Georgia’s State Park Lodges for a Thanksgiving feast without the work and mess.  Lunch buffets are offered at Amicalola Falls, George T. Bagby, Little Ocmulgee and Unicoi state parks.  Afterward, you can hit the trails to walk off the pumpkin pie.  For even more time together with family and friends, stay overnight in our hotel-style lodges, some with suites and children’s sleeping lofts.  Reservations are required for Thanksgiving buffets.  Prices vary, but range from $8.95 for children to $26.95 for adults. 

To make reservations, call the lodges directly at:
Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge, Dawsonville (706) 265-8888
George T. Bagby State Park & Lodge, Fort Gaines (229) 768-2571
Little Ocmulgee State Park & Lodge, McRae (229) 868-7474
Unicoi State Park & Lodge, Helen (706) 878-2201


Annual ParkPass

Holiday Gift Ideas

Getting a jumpstart to your holiday shopping?  Georgia State Parks have affordable gift ideas for the outdoor lovers on your list.  From Annual ParkPasses and Historic Site Passes to Friends Memberships and Annual Golf GreensPasses, the parks offer something for everyone and convenient stocking stuffers.  We even have gift shops in many park offices, filled with books, hiking sticks, clothing, toys, fishing supplies and more.  Click here to learn more. 


Tallulah Gorge State Park

November Water Releases Through Tallulah Gorge

For just a few days each year, the waterfalls flowing through Tallulah Gorge State Park grow to more than 10 times their normal amount, challenging whitewater kayakers from all across the country.  During these dam releases, you can watch paddlers from the safety of rim trails and overlooks.  On a typical day, the water flow through the gorge is 35-40 CFS (cubic feet per second), but during whitewater releases, the flow is 500 CFS on Saturday and 700 CFS on Sunday.  Join the celebration on November 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18, or mark your calendar to return next April.  Camping and cabins are available nearby at Black Rock Mountain State Park.


Controlling Deer Overpopulation

To maintain healthy deer herds, many of Georgia’s State Parks hold managed hunts on just a few days each year.  Hunters are chosen through a lottery, and spaces are already filled for this year.  The following parks will be closed to the public during these quota hunts.  To learn more, visit

    Hard Labor Creek State Park, November 6-7 
    Panola Mountain State Park, November 13-14
    Red Top Mountain State Park, November 27-28
    Tugaloo State Park, November 30-December 2
    Fort Yargo State Park, December 4-5
    Mistletoe State Park, December 4-5
    Richard B. Russell State Park, December 4-5
    F. D. Roosevelt State Park, December 4-5
    Chattahooche Bend State Park, December 12-13


November 2012 Events  

Divided By Region

Below are just some of the many programs happening in November.  Check for a full calendar. 



Hayrides and Campfires
Saturday, November 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Cloudland Canyon State Park – Rising Fawn
Enjoy wildlife, late fall colors and the beauty of the park while riding on our tractor-pulled hay wagon, then sit around the campfire and roast marshmallows and hot dogs while sipping hot apple cider. $3-$5 plus $5 parking. (706) 657-4050.

Backpacking 101
Saturday, November 10, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park – Summerville
Ever wanted to go backpacking but never knew where to start? Learn what to bring, where to go and get your hands on some of the gear. $2 plus $5 parking. (706) 857-0826.

Make Your Own Basket
Saturday, November 10 and 17, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen
Fall into the rhythm of weaving with basket maker Jan Stansell of Black Mountain Crafts. Leave with a completed berry basket to keep or give away at the holidays. Advance registration required. $35 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

Appalachian Thanksgiving
Thursday, November 22, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge – Dawsonville
Enjoy living history demonstrations in the lower lodge lobby. Explore the magic of handmade folk toys, and try your hand at churning butter. $5 parking. (706) 344-1505. 

Festival of Trees
Friday, November 23 through Saturday, December 8, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
View beautifully decorated trees throughout Unicoi Lodge. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.



The Debatable Land
Saturday, November 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site – Darien
Living history presentations will highlight the various cultures and peoples that inhabited our region before Georgia was established in the 1730s. A battle re-enactment will take place at 2 p.m. $3.75- $6.50 (912) 437-4770.

Sugar Cane Festival
Saturday, November 17, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
George L. Smith State Park – Twin City
Watch us grinding sugar cane and making cane syrup, and browse craft and food booths.  Civil War living history with cannon and musket demonstrations can be enjoyed throughout the day, along with live bluegrass. Guests can also participate in crafts and a canoe race. $1 plus $5 parking. (478) 763-2759. 

Come & Take It! – American Revolution Encampment
Saturday, November 17, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fort Morris Historic Site – Midway
This American Revolution encampment commemorates Colonel John McIntosh's defiant reply to a British demand for surrender: "Come & Take It!" Watch colonial demonstrations, musket and cannon drills, skirmish, 18th century music and more. (912) 884-5999. 

Thanksgiving Leftovers Kayak Trip
Friday, November 23, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys
Work off your Thanksgiving meal and bring leftovers for a sandbar picnic during this three-hour marsh kayak adventure. No experience necessary. Gear provided. Reservations required. $35-$85 plus $5 parking. (912) 882-5256.

Thank Goodness for the Moon
Friday, November 23, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Stephen C. Foster State Park – Fargo
Meet near the Trading Post where we'll have high powered telescopes focused on the moon. You'll be able to see the craters, which were created by meteorites, and learn fun facts about the moon. Registration required. $5 Refuge Parking plus $3. (912) 637-5274.



Syrup Makin’ Time on the Plantation
Saturday, November 3, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site – Juliette
Ever chewed fresh sugar cane, sipped cane juice, or poured cane syrup on a biscuit? Experience a sugarcane harvest and syrup cook-off the way it was done every fall on the farm. Also see folk life demonstrations. $4-$6.50 (478) 986-5172. 

Astronomy Night
Saturday, November 10, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Providence Canyon State Park Outdoor Recreation Area – Lumpkin
Providence Canyon is an ideal location to view night skies because there is virtually no light pollution. Join Columbus State University as they reveal the night skies through the use of telescopes and share mythological stories about the constellations. $5 parking. (229) 838-4706. 

Pioneer Harvest Festival
Saturday, November 10, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
General Coffee State Park – Nicholls
The Heritage Farm will come to life as volunteers demonstrate the skills of farm life from the 1800s. This festival includes crafters, musicians and dancers. $1-$2 plus $5 parking. (912) 384-1581. 

Indian & Pioneer Living
Tuesday, November 20, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Mistletoe State Park – Appling
Children 8-12 will step back in time as they experience how pioneer and Indian children lived. They will learn the signs of nature on a hike and how important wildlife and plants were to everyday living. Children will make their own butter, pioneer toys and candles. Register by Nov. 19. $20. (706) 541-0321.

Train Trip:  Plains Tree Lighting
Saturday, November 24, 1 p.m. – 9:20 p.m.
SAM Shortline Excursion Train – Cordele
Take a tourist train across southern Georgia. Groups and parties welcome. 1-877-427-2457.



Nighttime Hayrides & Native American Storytelling
Friday, November 2 through Saturday, November 3, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site – Cartersville
Tours and programs will be offered during the day. Hayrides are offered at 7:00, 7:45 and 8:30 p.m. Conclude your evening with refreshments and Native American storytelling by Gary Greene. Reservations required. $5. (770) 387-3747.

Hayrides and S’mores
Saturday, November 3, 10 and 24, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Join us for a tractor-pulled hayride up to Jack's Hill. We will also gather around a campfire and make s'mores. Park Rangers and local historians will be leading these programs, sharing history and stories from the park. Reservations are required. $8 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

Iron Pour
Saturday, November 10
Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville
Watch a demonstration of our iron furnace, harking back to the days of iron production in the Allatoona mining community. Buy a scratch block and create your own piece of cast iron art. Our 1850s cabin will also be open so come inside and warm up by the fire. $5 parking. (770) 975-0055. 

Fall Candlelight Tours
Saturday, November 10, 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site – Dallas
Confederate and Federal soldiers will recreate the night attack of the Battle of Pickett's Mill. During guided tours at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.  Visitors will witness Brig. Gen. Hiram Granbury's Brigade advance into the dark ravine and Capt. Thomas Key's artillery bombardment. Register in advance. $8. (770) 443-7850. 

Candlelight Hike to the Mill
Saturday, November 17, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
This mile-long guided night hike 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. Space is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Meet and register at the Interpretive Center. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

Moonlight Hike
Friday, November 30, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Join a park ranger on this guided hike under the full moon. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera to record the journey, as we listen for insects, frogs and other nocturnal creatures. Meet at the Hard Labor Creek Trading Post. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001 

Looking Ahead to 2013 

First Day Hikes
Tuesday, January 1
Multiple State Parks across Georgia
All across the country, State Parks are inviting families to start the New Year with a “First Day Hike” and a commitment to healthy living.  In Georgia, numerous state parks have planned guided hikes where families can connect with nature and even re-connect with each other.  The nationwide event is sponsored by America’s State Parks, with New Year’s Day hikes being led in all 50 states.

Fireside Craft/Art Show
Unicoi State Park & Lodge, Helen
Saturday, February 16, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 17, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Celebrate 38 years of the Fireside Craft/Art Show. More than 60 of the Southeast’s finest artists and crafts people will be here for this Unicoi tradition. This indoor, juried show has a reputation for excellence and is a nice balance between fine arts and quality crafts.  Book cabins and lodge rooms now because they usually sell out in advance.  $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

Colonial Faire & Muster
Saturday, February 9, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Sunday, February 10, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah
Experience life in Colonial Georgia during the 18th century with a military encampment, sutlers' row, craft demonstrations, military demonstrations, and period music and dance.  Free. (912) 353-3023.

 Check for a full calendar.

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