New Leadership, Labor Day, Fall Escapes, New Campsites

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Fort Mountain State Park tower

September 2023

New Leadership in DNR

Walter Rabon swearing in

Governor Brian Kemp has appointed Walter Rabon as the new Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Rabon began his DNR career as a game warden and law enforcement major before serving as Deputy Commissioner. Additionally, Rabon named Angie Johnson as the new Director of Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites. Johnson, who was previously Assistant Director, replaces Jeff Cown who has taken leadership of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division. 

Director Angie Johnson

Johnson has worked for DNR for 34 years, including at sites such as Amicalola Falls, Moccasin Creek, Unicoi and Dahlonega Gold Museum. She has been involved with many initiatives over the years, including operating procedures and uniform standards. She served on the Search and Rescue team for 22 years. Johnson was the 1996 Ranger of the Year, 2008 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, as well as the 2014 and 2020 Above and Beyond Awards. Please join us in congratulating both Commissioner Rabon and Director Johnson!

Plan Your Autumn Escapes

Fall camping

Fall is almost here and that means it is time once again for Georgia to show its colors. Bask in the glow of maples, sourwoods, poplars and hickories as they bid farewell to summer and prepare for cooler months ahead. We’ve put together a sampling of places to explore, plus our Leaf Watch Travel Planner is filled with fall programs, the latest photos and planning tips. Be sure to tag your favorite Instagram shots with #GaStateParks for a chance to be featured.

Full Hookups Now Available at A.H. Stephens

A.H. Stephens campground

Good news for RV campers! A.H. Stephens State Park near Crawfordville has completed renovations and now offers 50-amp service and full hookups. The small campground is nestled under the shade of pines and includes a bathhouse with hot showers. The park offers several miles of equestrian trails, hiking trails, fishing, boating, volleyball, horseshoes, geocaching and even a Civil War museum. Upcoming programs include A Haunted Evening on October 28 and Christmas Light Weekends from November 24 through December 25.

Saddle Up at State Parks

Horse camping at A.H. Stephens

Autumn colors seem even more vibrant when enjoyed on horseback, and your steed will appreciate cooler breezes too. Several Georgia State Parks welcome horseback riders, offering miles of equestrian trails, stalls or riding rings, and even nearby campsites. Most horse trails are loops with links to other trails, allowing you to customize your adventure. Frequent riders can save money with annual trail passes. Find equestrian facilities at A.H. Stephens, Cloudland Canyon, F.D. Roosevelt, Fort Mountain, General Coffee, Hard Labor Creek, Don Carter and Watson Mill Bridge, plus guided trail rides at F.D. Roosevelt State Park.

Your State Parks Day is September 23

YSPD logo

Our biggest volunteer event of the year is Saturday, September 23. The Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites and our rangers invite you to join us for a variety of projects that help take care of our treasured resources. Examples include painting fences at F.D. Roosevelt, clearning debris at Fort McAllister and gardening at Hard Labor Creek. It’s all in celebration of National Public Lands Day.

September Programs & Events

Our program theme for 2023 is "Birds, Bats and Pollinators" and our calendar features many activities celebrating creatures that take flight. Find butterfly walks and more on

Labor Day Weekend
Celebrate the unofficial farewell to summer this weekend with hayrides at Hard Labor Creek or guided hikes at F.D. Roosevelt. On the coast, Fort King George, Fort Morris and Fort McAllister will showcase early trades like blacksmithing and weaving. Tallulah Gorge’s beach luau includes a DJ, door prizes and games. Find events on (Insider Tip: Make camping and cabin reservations now for Labor Day 2024 to ensure your favorite spot is waiting for you.)

Girl Scouts Love State Parks Days – September 9 and 10, Statewide activities such as guided hikes and outdoor safety classes.

Little Shrimp in a Big Marsh – September 3, 12 and 29, Skidaway Island State Park, Savannah

Feed to Heritage Herd – September 3, 10 and 17, General Coffee State Park’s farm, Douglas

Bat Hike – September 15, Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill

Intro to Tree Climbing – September 16 and 17, Panola Mountain State Park, Stockbridge

Explore Sweetwater After Dark – September 17, Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs

Outdoor Adventure Day – September 23, James H. Floyd State Park, Summerville

Look Who's In The News

WMAZ-13 TV Macon -- Indian Springs has a rich history and something to do for everyone
WLAQ Radio Rome -- Georgia State Parks Welcome Visitors to go Camping
Jackson Progress-Argus -- Jarrell Plantation offers summer send-off with Junior Ranger event
Atlanta Parent -- When the Sun Goes Down -- The Best Georgia State Parks North of Atlanta
Clayton News Daily -- Enjoy State Parks After Dark
Dahlonega Nugget -- Master Gardeners volunteers keep Gold Museum flowers beautiful
Garden & Gun -- 12 Must-See Southern Waterfalls for Your Bucket List

Outside -- The 14 Best State Parks for Hiking in the U.S.
WorldAtlas -- 4 Best Georgia State Parks To Go Camping -- Atlanta Isn’t All That Georgia Has to Offer

Cleanup crew at Skidaway Island State Park

Hurricane Idalia Response
From assisting communities with debris removal to managing efforts at Incident Command, all Divisions of Georgia DNR worked around the clock to assist people impacted by Hurricane Idalia. Thank you all!