Holiday Gift Ideas, Southern Road Trips, Happenings & More

Trouble viewing? View this email in your browser.

Find a Park     Reservations     Events     Activities

Fort King George

December 2020

Celebrate the Holidays with Lights and Tours

Hardman Farm

Holidays may look much different this year, but you can still find safe ways to celebrate. Walk through 10 acres of colorfully lit Christmas scenes at A.H. Stephens State Park. Take a small, guided tour through Hardman Farm’s mansion decked out in Victorian traditions. Or join Vogel State Park’s annual tree-lighting ceremony on the lawn. Find more holiday events on

Outdoorsy Gifts They Are Sure to Love

Tails on Trails Club

From cabin getaways to annual passes, our holiday gift guide makes it easy to shop for outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers will be challenged by our Canyon Climbers Club. Dad can use a gift card for camping reservations. Even four-legged family members will wag over Tails on Trails Club membership. Choose from these outdoorsy ideas, buy a gift card or shop our new online store. Many parks even have gift shops filled with camping gear, hammocks, toys, books and more.

Explore Laura S. Walker State Park

laura walker cabin

This winter, plan a southern Georgia road trip near the mysterious Okefenokee Swamp. Laura S. Walker State Park is home to fascinating flora and fauna like alligators and carnivorous pitcher plants. Walking along the nature trail, you might find gopher tortoises, owls and great blue herons. A lake welcomes anglers and boaters, plus Fido can burn off energy in the dog park. Stay a few nights in a cabin or campsite so you can enjoy the park’s golf course as well. Check out this tour of Laura S. Walker State Park on River City Live.

Walking Through History at Jarrell Plantation

Jarrell Plantation house

Nestled in middle Georgia’s red clay hills is Jarrell Plantation, an 1850s estate owned by a single family for more than 125 years. Today, this historic site tells the story of an authentic cotton plantation rather than Hollywood’s portrayal. Walking among the many original buildings, you’ll learn about the cotton boll weevil, enslaved people who tilled the soil, steam engines, sugar cane production, sawmilling and more. During the holidays, the plantation features traditional decorations and offers tours by reservation. 365 Atlanta Traveler tells a bit more of Jarrell’s story.

Parks Open Christmas and New Year’s Day

Dog hiking

Georgia’s State Parks are open every day of the year, welcoming you to enjoy open spaces, peaceful scenery and fresh air. For just $5 parking, go fishing on a tranquil lake, picnic in the sun or hike through quiet forests. Some park offices and historic sites may be closed on holidays so that rangers can spend time with their families as well. For a heart-healthy start to the New Year, go on a First Day Hike – a national movement celebrated each January 1st. With more than 600 miles of trails, our parks offer plenty of room to find your own space, or join a small group on a ranger-led hike (reservations required).

Look Who's In the News

Fox 5’s Good Day Atlanta -- Friday the 13th is perfect day to visit Hard Labor Creek State Park

Atlanta Journal Constitution -- Vultures move into Georgia for the winter

Marietta Daily Journal -- Chief Vann House rangers will host tours through cabin restoration

WMAZ TV Macon – Climb Aboard the Sam Shortline Train

Henry Herald -- Georgia State Parks a Good Option Over Holiday Shopping -- 2020 Holiday Gift Guide from Georgia State Parks

USGS Birding -- Notes From the Field: Panola Mountain Bird Banding Station

Atlanta Senior Life -- Mountain Foliage Blazes with Reds, Oranges and Yellows