May 2024 -- Tallulah Gorge, Watson Mill Bridge, Mother's Day

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May 2024

World Turtle Day is May 23

turtle face

Did you know that all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises? Learn more cool facts on May 23, World Turtle Day. Rangers at Amicalola Falls State Park, Crooked River State Park, Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site and Panola Mountain State Park have planned crafts, hikes or live-animal programs for the day. Find more turtle programs throughout the year on our Tales of Scales calendar. If you’re camping in southern parks like Reed Bingham, Kolomoki Mounds or Jack Hill, you might even spot Georgia’s state reptile, the gopher tortoise, out on the trail.

5 State Parks for a Mother’s Day Picnic

@freedom_champagne Mother and Daughter at park

Spoil Mom with a gourmet picnic surrounded by beautiful scenery. We’ve put together five suggestions for pretty places to celebrate Mother’s Day. High Falls State Park has several picnic tables near the rocky river, while Watson Mill Bridge State Park invites Mom to relax by Georgia's longest covered bridge. At F.D. Roosevelt State Park, she can lunch with the likeness of FDR atop Dowdell’s Knob overlook. James H. Floyd State Park has both picnic shelters and a lawn with lake views, and Hamburg State Park has spots near a historic grist mill. Your family can even reserve picnic shelters in advance for large celebrations. (Photo by @freedom_champagne.)

The Covered Bridge of Madison County

Watson Mill Bridge State Park

A hidden gem between Athens and Elberton, Watson Mill Bridge State Park features Georgia’s longest covered bridge. Built in 1885 and spanning 229 feet, it’s a beautiful spot for a picnic or cooling off in river shoals. Campers can choose from 21 shaded campsites, while several miles of trails are open to hikers, bikers and equestrians. Horse owners can even camp overnight next to stables or rent log cabin bunkhouses. Reserve a campsite.

Rare Ravens Soar at Tallulah Gorge

Ravens at Tallulah Gorge State Park

Birders have a chance to spot rarely seen ravens at Tallulah Gorge State Park this spring. Normally, these large black birds are seen only in high elevations in Georgia’s northeastern corner, and seeing nests is even more rare. You’ll want to bring a spotting scope to get a better look, especially since the nest is shaded by an overhang. Look for the pair soaring through the gorge, and learn more about ravens from DNR's Georgia Wild newsletter. Visitors will also find a campground, swimming beach, hiking trails, overlooks, exhibits and a film. If you’re looking for an easy walk, check out the paved Shortline Trail which follows the Tallulah River. Reserve a campsite.

Stay Overnight Inside Lapham-Patterson House

Lapham-Patterson House

Imagine having morning coffee inside one of Georgia’s most unique historic homes. Lapham-Patterson House recently began renting a private wing to overnight guests. You’ll get your own well-appointed room and bath in this 1885 site with beautifully restored heart-pine floors. Proceeds help preserve the house which is located in Thomasville, a town known for gorgeous Victorian architecture.

May 2024 Ranger Programs & Events

Our program theme for 2024 is “Tales of Scales” and our calendar is filled with activities teaching about reptiles. Learn about turtles, lizards, snakes and alligators found in Georgia. Find a complete list of more programs on

Reptile Habitat Hike -- May 4, 11, 18 and 25, Elijah Clark State Park, Lincolnton

Birding Basics and DIY Bird Feeders – May 9, Crooked River State Park, St. Marys

Tour and Tea at Tallulah – May 10, Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls

The Hissstory of Snake Encounters -- May 11, Jarrell Plantation Historic Site, Juliette

Bear Talk and Fire Tower Trek – May 11, Fort Mountain State Park, Chatsworth

Mother’s Day Twilight Paddle – May 11, Hard Labor Creek State Park, Rutledge

Rare Reptiles Talk with Dr. Chris Jenkins – May 18, Black Rock Mountain State Park, Mountain City

Kayaking 101 and Sunset Paddle -- May 18, James H. Floyd State Park, Summerville

West Ridge Hike and Bats of Georgia – May 25, Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawsonville

Prospecting with Play-doh – May 25, Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site, Dahlonega

Eye Spy Scavenger Hunt– Throughout May, F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain

Archery in the Pines – May 25, Laura S. Walker State Park, Waycross

160th Anniversary of the Battle of Pickett’s Mill – May 25 and 26, Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site, Dallas

Family Fun Day – May 25, Jack Hill State Park, Reidsville

Tallulah Gorge by @mcsmeyer

Misty clouds above Tallulah Gorge State Park in northeast Georgia. Photo by @mcsmeyer.
Do you take beautiful photos? We would love to see your adventures on Facebook and Instagram. Tag us #GaStateParks.