Here we are for another week of our series, A Walk In the Park, State Park Spotlight. In this series, we visit a different state each week and learn about its local State Park. Today we will be exploring the state parks of Georgia. You may not be familiar with these wonderful parks and all they have to offer. I enjoy taking my readers on a journey through each of the 50 states to explore some of the state parks that you may not know about. Now let’s take a look at some of Georgia’s state parks.
The beautiful state parks of Georgia are a treasure trove of marshes, waterfalls, lakes and mountains. There are almost 50 state parks in Georgia. They are run by the Department of Natural Resources and they make outdoor recreation available for visitors and protect the historic integrity and beauty of Georgia. Visitors can hike, fish, bike, go geocaching, paddling and play golf among many other outdoor activities.
Black Rock Mountain State Park
Mountain City, GA 30562
OPEN SEASONALLY: From December 1–March 15, the park is closed.
Black Rock Mountain is the highest state park in Georgia and home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are 4 hiking trails for visitors to enjoy. Along the way you will see lush greenery, wildflowers, waterfalls and streams. There are also roadside overlooks with 80 mile vistas. It seems like everything you see belongs on a postcard due to the peaceful beauty of nature which encompasses you with every step you take. When you are ready for lunch, head to the picnic tables at the visitor center and enjoy great views. While you are there you can pick up some gifts in the gift shop.
If you should decide to spend a night or two – and trust me, you will want to- you can choose to camp out on one of the campsites or stay in a mountaintop cabin. There is a small playground surrounded by the cottages, so the little ones have a safe and fun place to play. After dinner, it’s so relaxing to take a walk around the park’s lake. Make sure to bring some warm clothing, because at 3,640 feet altitude, the nights tend to be chilly. The park will close if the weather is icy due to the steep winding roads that could be dangerous.
This park is chock full of things to do and see. There are 10 cottages, 44 campsites, 12 private walk-in campsite, 4 backcountry campsites, 2 picnic shelters, a visitor’s center, gift shop and a 17 acre lake. Imagine hiking 11 miles of trails followed by a picnic under the sun. If you’re a photography buff, there is so much to capture here. Sunrises and sunsets are especially breathtaking. Of course, we can’t forget canoeing, fishing and kayaking on the lake along with geocaching; there are plenty of things to fill your days.
Crooked River State Park
St. Marys, GA 31558
If you need a relaxing and fun getaway, Crooked River State Park is the place to be. It is located on the southern tip of the Colonial Coast. There are campsites which are surrounded by palmetto trees and moss draped oak trees. You can also stay in a cottage near the tidal river. There is a boat ramp if you want to get out on the water. It is popular with the anglers, who you will see out on the water before the sun comes up. Down the road is the ferry that takes you to Cumberland Island National Seashore. It is famous for it’s secluded beaches and wild horses.
If you are traveling with your family be sure to take to the park’s natural trails. You will walk through salt marsh and forest. While hiking, you may come across fiddler crabs, gopher tortoises, herons and a variety of other birds. Over at the nature center, you can see fish, turtles, snakes and other animals that are native to the Georgia coast. History buffs will want to check out the ruins of tabby mill which was built around 1825 and used during the Civil War as a starch factory.
The park sits on 500 acres and has cottages and campsites, some of which are dog friendly. There is saltwater fishing and you can rent a boat or kayak. If you love tours, the guided kayak trip is right up your alley. There are lots of activities for everyone, like biking, hiking, birding and geocaching. You can also play a few rounds of mini golf and spend some time on the playground, which is fun for the entire family.
Mistletoe State Park
Appling, GA 30802
It’s been said that Misletoe State Park has the best bass fishing and watersports in the area. We would have to agree. It’s located on Clarks Hill Lake which is 71,000 acres, near Augusta. It’s known as one of the finest bass fishing spots in the entire nation. When the weather is warm, you can enjoy walking on the shaded nature trails or hanging out at the sandy beach. There are all types of special events hosted at the park. There are concerts, nature walks and other programs like the astronomy program.
When you stay at Misletoe State Park, you can stay in a log cabin on the lake. Wait till you get a load of the sunrises and sunsets. They are truly mesmerizing. You can rent a canoe to go out on the water and explore. There are also campsites if you want the full “camping out in a tent” experience. Boating and fishing are visitor favorites and of course swimming at the beach is lots of fun. You can go hiking or biking on 15.5 miles of trails, play at the playground and go bird watching.
This is a state park that everyone in the family will fall in love with. Whether you want to relax and just enjoy some peace and quiet, or you love action and the outdoors, Mistletoe State Park is like a dream come true. Once you visit, this park may become one of your favorite places. So much so, that you can even have birthday parties or weddings in the park! Be sure to get park approval before planning your event, of course.
Seminole State Park
Donalsonville, GA 39845
Seminole State Park is is southwest Georgia on Lake Seminole. Lake Seminole is a 37,500 acre reservoir and the boating, fishing and birding is excellent there. Along the water’s edge there are picnic areas, cottages and campsites. You will enjoy beautiful scenery and you will love the lake. The park surrounds a small cove so the water is normally smooth is you want to go tubing or skiing. If you love to swim, make sure to visit the sand swimming beach.
This state park is a wildlife lover’s dream. The wildlife is abundant here and it’s truly natural beauty at it’s finest. You will find one of the largest longleaf pine forests in any other Georgia state park and a nature trail to go hiking. Along the way, you may see alligators, bald eagles and other animals and wildlife. There are places nearby for duck and deer hunting as well.
Along with the usual campsites and cottages that you are sure to find in a state park, one of the best things that this park offers is treehouse camping! These treehouses can accommodate up to 15 people and they are really cool, even for the adults. Of course you can enjoy the usual things like fishing, swimming, and hiking, but there is also kayak and canoe rentals, mini golf, geocaching and a playground on site. The Army Aviation Museum is nearby, as well as the Gulf Coast Beaches. Seminole State Park should definitely be on your list of top Georgia state parks that you must visit!
Have you visited any Georgia State Parks? I would love to hear about your visit or your plans for an upcoming visit? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
All photographs belong to http://gastateparks.org. You can visit their website for more information on planning your visit to a Georgia State Park.
Additional Walk in the Park State by State Spotlight
Alabama State Parks
Alaska State Parks
Arizona State Parks
Arkansas State Parks
California State Parks
Colorado State Parks
Connecticut State Parks
Delaware State Parks
Florida State Parks
Georgia State Parks
Hawaiian State Parks
Iowa State Parks
Illinois State Parks
Indiana State Parks
Iowa State Parks
Kansas State Parks
Kentucky State Parks
Louisiana State Parks