First Day Hikes, ParkPasses and Prescribed Burns

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Fort King George

January 2022

Welcome 2022 with a First Day Hike

Cloudland Canyon IG by jnicoletate

This New Year’s Day, join our park rangers for an inspiring First Day Hike. More than 40 guided treks let you connect with nature, friends and family. Outings range from a kid-friendly stroll through Mistletoe State Park’s campground, a three-mile hike through Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon,” and even a night hike at Reed Bingham State Park. (Some are even dog friendly.) Find the perfect First Day Hike for you. Want incentive to keep hiking? Join our Canyon Climbers Club quest. (Photo credit @jnicoletate.)

Explore More in 2022

Sweetwater Creek State Park IG kscincotta

Where will your boots take you in 2022? Our newly published “Guide to Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites” is available in park offices or by calling 770-389-7286. The booklet is filled with ideas for spring break, romantic retreats, weekend outings and summer vacations. Do you visit often? Save money with an Annual ParkPass ($50) that provides parking at more than 40 state parks, plus our Historic Site Pass ($25 - $50) that covers admission fees at 15 sites. New scratch-off posters and passports let you track your travels across Georgia, from Amicalola Falls in the mountains to Wormsloe near the coast. (Photo credit @kscincotta.)

Prescribed Burns Benefit Ecosystems

Prescribed Burn at Hard Labor Creek State Park

You’ve heard “good fires prevent bad ones,” but do you know how experts plan for them? Our latest blog post examines what goes into using prescribed burns to restore and protect Georgia’s ecosystems. Experts use prescribed fires to stimulate the growth of herbaceous plants like wildflowers and grasses, which are the foundation of a healthy wildlife ecosystem. Wildflowers are crucial for pollinators like moths, butterflies and bees, and their health has impacts up to the largest animals, such as bears and deer.

George T. Bagby State Park

George T. Bagby State Park

Good news, campers! George T. Bagby State Park in southwest Georgia is now operated by the Department of Natural Resources. To best serve guests, plans are underway to replace the lodge with traditional state park amenities such as camping. Cottages and the group shelter will be improved as well. Visit soon to enjoy a meal in the restaurant, play a round at Meadow Links Golf Course, and go fishing and boating on Lake Walter F. George. 

Upcoming Events

Meet the Farm Animals, General Coffee State Park, Douglas – Fridays and Saturdays in January
Eye Spy Scavenger Hunt, F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain – Saturdays in January
Colonial Medicine
, Fort King George Historic Site, Darien – January 2, 16, 22 and 30
Archery Class, Magnolia Springs State Park, Millen – January 8 and 22
Movie Night
, Laura S. Walker State Park, Waycross – January 21
Living With Bears, Smithgall Woods State Park, Helen – January 22
Find more happenings on

Look Who's in the News

Northwest Georgia News – Georgia Parks, Historic Sites Offer Inspiring Adventures to Kick Off the New Year

Southern Living -- The Best Stargazing Spots in the South

WSB TV Atlanta -- White Christmas, cozy stays, holiday hikes on tap at state’s best kept secret

365 Atlanta Traveler -- Gift the outdoors: Georgia State Parks Holiday Gift Guide

MSN Travel -- Jaw Dropping spots to park your RV -- Your state's most beautiful natural wonder