June 2013 News & Events from Georgia's State Parks

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
georgia header

June 2013

Georgia State Parks Gopher

"Great Gopher Chase" 

Photo Contest & Naming Quest

To celebrate National Get Outdoors Day on June 8 and Get Outdoors Georgia Month in June, the lovable Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites Gopher mascot is getting out, getting dirty, and getting fit at sites across Georgia all month long. Park goers can join in the fun by spotting the Gopher mascot image on trails, campgrounds and playgrounds, then snapping a photo of him. Photo quest participants will have a chance to win prizes and even choose the Gopher’s name as part of the “Great Gopher Chase” photo quest.  Winning photos will be displayed online and on the Georgia State Parks Facebook page.   For more information, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/gopher-chase

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Celebrate Dad in the Great Outdoors

Father’s Day is the perfect time to gather the family for a weekend of fun in the outdoors.  Show him how much you care with the gift of treasured family time together.  Whether dad enjoys fishing, camping, hiking and kayaking or simply hitting a few golf balls, Georgia State Parks are the perfect place to celebrate.  Pack a picnic lunch and spend a relaxing day on the lake at his favorite watering hole, take a stroll through history with a visit to a historic site, or grab the GPS and set off on a geocaching quest.  For more ideas, check out the events posted below and on GeorgiaStateParks.org/events


Tallulah Gorge Beach

Swimming Fun in the Parks

Don’t let the summer heat keep you indoors.  Grab your sunscreen and swimsuits and enjoy the beach life at Georgia State Parks.  Nearly 20 state parks across Georgia offer sandy swimming beaches on their lakes.  You’ll enjoy pretty scenery while the kids work off energy in roped-off swimming areas.  Lifeguards are not provided, so keep a close eye on your little ones. Beach swimming is free with $5 parking.

If swimming pools are more your style, take a cool dip at F.D. Roosevelt, High Falls, Little Ocmulgee, Magnolia Springs or Victoria Bryant state parks.  Lifeguards are provided and a fee is charged.  Little Ocmulgee State Park also offers a “splash pad” that’s perfect for toddlers. For more information, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/outdoors.


Seminole State Park Cabin

 Summer Staycations

Families interested in a mini staycation this summer can find a variety of lodging options for every budget at Georgia State Parks. Booking an overnight reservation allows you to enjoy all the outdoor recreational activities by day including nature trails, kayak rentals, fishing, bike trails and swimming beaches without having to pack up come night fall. 

Simply pitch a tent under the stars for around $25 per night.  For a week's vacation, consider renting a cozy cabin with fully equipped kitchens and outdoor grills starting at just $85 per night.  Want something in-between the two?  Try out a yurt, a cross between a tent and a cabin with comfortable furniture inside, grills outside, and hot showers only a short walk away, for about $70 per night.  Finally, those who prefer hotel-style accommodations can find lodges with restaurants at Amicalola Falls, George T. Bagby, Little Ocmulgee and Unicoi state parks starting at $69 per night.  Keep in mind that accommodations book quickly during  summer, so reservations should be made in advance. Call 1-800-864-7275 or visit GeorgiaStatePark.org/reservations.   


June 2013

Divided By Region

Below are just some of the many programs happening in June. Check GeorgiaStateparks.org/events for a full calendar.


Overlook Hike at Cloudland Canyon
Saturday, June 8, 15, 22 and 29, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Sunday, June 9, 16, 23 and 30, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Cloudland Canyon State Park – Rising Fawn
Hike with our Naturalist along the Overlook Trail and enjoy the panoramic vistas that Cloudland Canyon is famous for, with plenty of photo opportunities. Meet at the Interpretive Center. $5 parking. (706) 801-7275.

Saturday Evening Concert Series
Saturday, June 8, 15, 22 and 29, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
Some of the best musicians in the area perform a variety of music from Appalachian Mountain, Bluegrass and Southern Gospel music. Saturdays at 8 p.m., Memorial Day Weekend through mid-November. These programs will be “pass-the-hat” donations for the musicians. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

Kids Fishing Rodeo
Saturday, June 8, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Vogel State Park – Blairsville
Wolf Creek will be stocked with plenty of trout to be tempted by anglers 12 and younger. Prizes will be given to the lucky ticket holders. Adults must be accompanied with the children that will be fishing at the registration tent prior to fishing. A limited amount of fishing poles will be loaned out. $5 parking. 706-745-2628. 

Snakes Alive
Saturday, June 8, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia
Ever wonder what snakes do during the winter? Don Burdick, a local snake expert, will have his snake collection at the Beach Pavilion. So come and join us to learn about these fascinating critters and get answers to your snake questions. $5 parking. (706) 356-4362.

Family Camp
Monday, June 10 through Friday, June 14
Unicoi State Park and Lodge - Helen
Make your family vacation memorable by attending Unicoi Family Camp. Spend each day attending classes or workshops while enjoying time with your family. No age limits. Register in Advance. $35 adult/$25 child. $5 parking. (706) 878-2201 ext. 305. 

Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals
Saturday, June 15, 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, June 15, 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. 

Summer Sky Observations
Saturday, June 15, 9 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia
Join us at Shelter 5, to observe the summer sky with members of the Atlanta Astronomy Club. A brief presentation will be followed by outdoor observations with several telescopes. $5 parking. (706) 356-4362. 

Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike
Saturday, June 22, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, June 23, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
Take a mile and a half hike under the full moon. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981. 

Holiday Gorge Floor Hike
Saturday, June 29 through Sunday, June 30, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
This is a strenuous trek; include hiking down 531 stairs, a river crossing jumping from rock to rock, and climbing boulders along the side of the river to Bridal Veil Falls where you can swim. Total miles are 3.5. No pets; wear appropriate footwear; children must be 10 or older; bring food and water. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.



Sunset Boat Tours
Saturday, June 8, 15, 22 and 29, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Stephen C. Foster State Park – Fargo
Dare to venture out in the swamp at night. See which creatures lurk after dark. After the sun sets, see the stars come out & the alligators’ eyes glow bright red with the aid of a spotlight. Sign up at the office; space is limited. $15 - $20. $5 parking. (912) 637-5274.

Laura S. Walker Kids Fishing Rodeo
Saturday, June 8
Laura S. Walker State Park – Waycross
Prizes will be awarded for different categories. A food concession area will be available. For kids 13 years old and under. Please bring your own fishing gear and bait. Meet at the screened in Group Shelter behind the playground to sign up for the event. Sponsored by Friends of Laura Walker. $5 parking. (912) 287-4900. 

Adventure Camp
Tuesday, June 18 through Thursday, June 20, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys
Kids age 10-13 come out and enjoy 3 days of outdoor adventure. Kayaking, fishing, hiking, outdoor skills, photography, and environmental education and more. Space is limited, reservations required. $85 plus $5 parking. (912) 882-5256. 

Sherman’s March by Stephen Berry
Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site – Darien
Historian Stephen Berry will discuss General Sherman's infamous March to the Sea. (912) 437-4770. 

Darien in the Reconstruction Period
Sunday, June 23, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site – Darien
Dr. Michael Benjamin will discuss the intricacies of Darien being re-built from the ashes of the Civil War. (912) 437-4770.



New Moon Kayak Tour
Saturday, June 8, 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, stargazing, and a relaxing time on the water. A new moon means that many stars will be visible on the nighttime paddle. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001. 

National Get Outdoors Day Forest Ramble
Saturday, June 8, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain
Bring your canine or human friend and join us for an easy forest romp. New sights, sounds, and discoveries for all of us. Dogs must be on a 6' leash. Supported by PetSmart of Columbus. $5 parking. (706) 663-4858. 

Star Talk
Saturday, June 8, 8:30 p.m.
Magnolia Springs State Park – Millen
Enjoy a relaxing evening among the stars at our amphitheater by the lake. Bring your best star stories and enjoy some s'mores and good company. Donations welcome. $5 parking. (478) 982-1660. 

Introduction to Fly Casting
Saturday, June 8
Mistletoe State Park – Appling
You don’t have to wade in a mountain stream to enjoy fly-casting. Come see what it’s all about, and you may be as hooked as the fish you catch! If you have your own fly rod, bring it; if not, come on anyway. We’ll have extras. Leaders: Dick Manning and Charlie Hinton. Register by 2 p.m. June 5. $5 parking. (706) 541-0321. 

Rosie The Riveter
Saturday, June 8, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs
During the 1940's an unprecedented number of women responded to government encouragement to fill factory jobs left vacant by men during World War II. Join actress and teacher Carol Cain as she portrays these women collectively know as "Rosie the Riveter". Living history with President Roosevelt reading his D-Day prayer and Kellys Zeroes, a WWII re-enactor group will be on hand. Meet Paul Harless who served on the USS Potomac. Special exhibit of WWII uniforms. $6-$10. (706) 655-5870. 

Mountain Dulcimer Workshop
Saturday, June 15
Mistletoe State Park – Appling
Have fun learning to play this beautiful folk instrument, with free, hands-on instruction from members of the Garden City Strummers Dulcimer Club. If you already play, come on to get in on the jam session. Extra instruments are available. Bring a folding chair. $5 parking. (706) 541-0321. 

Twilight Paddle
Saturday, June  15 and 29, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Explore Lake Rutledge on this Ranger-Guided Twilight Paddle. As we scan the sky for Ospreys and maybe an Eagle, and watch the changing colors on the water as the sunsets, we will interpret the role the CCC made in creating this great park in the 1930s. Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001. 

Senior Fishing Rodeo
Saturday, June 15, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
A.H. Stephens Historic Park – Crawfordville
This tournament will be held at Lake Liberty. Anglers 55 and older can compete for great prizes in several categories. Registration will be held from 7:30am to 7:55am at the park office. $5 parking. (706) 456-2602. 

Father’s Day Hike
Sunday, June 16, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Give your father the greatest gift of all; memories of a beautiful hike at Hard Labor Creek State Park! Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post before we head over the Brantley nature trail. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001. 

Twilight Walk
Friday, June 21 and 28, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain
Awaken your senses to the sights and sounds of the evening. Great program for all ages as we walk and investigate the lives of spectacular spiders, beautiful bats, and fantastic frogs. Bring a flashlight. Meet below Lake Delanor dam in the campground at Picnic Shelter #2. $5 parking. (706) 663-4858. 

Full Moon Night Hike
Saturday, June 22, 8:30 p.m.
Magnolia Springs State Park – Millen
Whippoorwills, owls and bats, oh my! Explore the night by using all your senses while going on a hike through the woods led by a ranger. Bring a flashlight and hiking shoes. Easy half-mile hike. $1 plus $5 parking. (478) 982-1660. 

Full Moon Kayak Tour
Saturday, June 22, 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
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. 

Creative Camp Cooking
Saturday, June 22
Mistletoe State Park – Appling
Don’t eat dinner until you’ve stopped by for appetizers cooked up with lots of fun! We’ll fry hamburgers on a flat rock, bake biscuits in a cardboard oven, cook omelets in zip lock bags, roast potatoes in mud, and make desserts to die for. Kids ages 8-80 will love this program, which just may change the way you cook the next time you’re camping. $5 parking. (706) 541-0321. 

Robert Augustus Toombs 203rd Birthday Program
Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Robert Toombs House Historic Site – Washington
Living History Performers, "Robert Toombs Family and Friends' will celebrate General Toombs' arrival home from battle. Visitors will become a part of their celebration. Free Admission. (706) 678-2226.  



Twilight Lake Paddle
Friday, June 7, 14, 21 and 28, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 15 and 29, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Join us for a peaceful, ranger-led outing as we watch for wading birds and enjoy the setting sun. This program is open to adults and children 6 years or older who are accompanied by an adult. You may choose a canoe or kayak for this trip. Reservations required. $15 includes gear. $5 parking. (770) 732-5871. 

Bluegrass “Mountain Music” Concert Series
Saturday, June 8,15, 22 and 29, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville
Enjoy a free "Mountain Music" concert every week at the Vaughan Log Cabin behind the Park Office. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on and let some sweet, sweet music carry your worries away. $5 parking. (770) 975-0055. 

Sweetwater Creek by Kayak
Saturday, June 8, 15, 22 and 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Join us for a beautiful two-hour paddle through a peaceful stretch of Sweetwater Creek in a tandem kayak. There is an optional short hike to view the mill ruins and whitewater rapids. This outing is for adults (18 yrs. and older) who can swim and those 12 yrs. to 17 yrs. with a parent. Kayak, PFD, and paddle included. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871. 

Ranger-led Lake Paddle
Sunday, June 9, 23, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Join us for a ranger-led, peaceful outing on the lake and up Beaver Creek. This trip is for those 16 years or older who can swim or children 6 years or older who can swim and are accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Bait Shop. Registration in advance is necessary. $15 includes canoe or tandem kayak, PFD, and paddle. $5 parking. (770) 732-5871. 

“Wednesday Night Mid-Week Wind Down” Paddle
Wednesday, June 12, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Join us for a peaceful paddle on the beautiful George H. Sparks Reservoir as the sunsets and we refresh ourselves in preparation for the end of the workweek. You may choose a canoe or kayak for this program. Open to anyone 16 or older and children 6 or over accompanied by an adult. Register in advance. $15 includes boat, PFD, and paddle. $5 parking. (770) 732-5871. 

Tree Top Excursions:  Introduction Climb
Saturday, June 15, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park - Stockbridge
Join us "on rope" for an adventure exploring the canopy above. Participants will use rope and harness for this moderately strenuous activity. One group will start at 1PM; another group will start at 3PM. Please arrive 15 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801. 

Frog Slog
Saturday, June 15, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Learn how to identify frogs by their calls. Investigate wetlands and streams in search of frogs and salamanders. Be prepared to get wet, muddy, and bring a flashlight and headlamp, nets, seines and buckets. Meet at the Nature Center. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801. 

Iron Pour – Rain Date
Saturday, June 15, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville
Celebrate this Father's Day by taking dad to an Iron Pour.  Purchase a scratch block and immortalize your great day by making a piece of unique cast iron artwork. Scratch blocks go on sale at 2 p.m.; supplies are limited. Pouring begins at 6 p.m. $5 parking. (770) 975-0055. 

Junior Ranger Camp
Tuesday, June 18 through Thursday, June 20, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Children 6 yrs. to 12 yrs. are invited to join us for this three-day camp (9am-5pm, Tue, Wed, & Thur) as they work to earn their Junior Ranger badges. The days will be filled with Junior Ranger book activities, boating, learning about wilderness survival, nature-oriented arts and crafts, bird watching, nature and history hikes, and games. $80 includes Junior Ranger book and badge. (770) 732-5871.

Full Moon Paddle
Saturday, June 22, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Join us for this ranger-led peaceful paddle on the Sparks Reservoir under the full moon. This program is offered to all adults who can swim. You have a choice of a tandem kayak or a canoe. Reservations are required. $15 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871. 

Ranger-led Canoeing Tours
Saturday, June 29, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville
Paddle with us on beautiful Lake Allatoona and search for birds, turtles, deer, and more. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. $20 per person $5 parking. (770) 975-0055. 

Check GeorgiaStateParks.org/events for a full calendar. 

Bookmark and Share