Friday, June 27, 2014

Top 10 Things To Do At Georgia State Parks

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We love exploring the Georgia State Parks. And with over 65 Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites there's a lot of exploring to do! But did you know about everything these fabulous parks offer? And did you know that many of the activities are FREE or very inexpensive? State Parks require a $5 parking fee and Historic Sites vary in price, ranging from FREE- approximately $10 per person. And since the majority of the activities are FREE you can have a fun filled family day for next to nothing!

Here are our top 10 favorite things to do at Georgia State Parks:

1) Geocaching - Geocaching is treasure hunting with a GPS. You can find out how to get started by reading one of my past geocaching how to posts. Throughout the State Parks you will find many geocaches, however you need to check out the Georgia State Park GeoTour. There are 43 State Parks and 14 Historic Sites participating in the GeoTour. Makes sure you download your passport before you head out. As you complete the State Park GeoTours you can earn special Geo-Coins, Trading Cards and Pathtags.

2) Camping - Many of the State Parks offer camping options including tent, RV, group and backing packing sites. They also have cabin rentals if you are not fond of being one with nature. If you are not an avid camper and want to give it a try check out their 1st time camper program. This program allows you to borrow all th  gear you will need for 2 nights of fun for only $50. If you are an avid camper then the loyalty program is for you. After you camp 9 nights you will get the 10th night free. Camping SPECIALS are also offered from time to time. For the 2014 Summer you can get 50% off select State Park campsites.

3) Boating - About half of the Georgia State Parks offer boating fun. For a small fee you can rent canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, pedal boats and even fishing boats. Or if you have your own boat that is welcome too. Spend a day or a few hours relaxing on a serene lake!

4) Fishing - Children under 16 years of age can fish without obtaining a license. So grab a rod or make your own bamboo fishing pole and head to one some of the top fishing parks in Georgia. 44 Georgia State Parks offering fishing.

5) Swimming You don't need to travel to the coast for white sandy beaches because 24 of the State Parks have them. For just $5 a day you can enjoy sandy beaches and clean lake swimming. A couple of the parks even offer splash pads and "sliding rocks". We have been to two of the lakes and they are absolutely fabulous.

6) Junior Ranger Program - Do you have a child that loves nature and history? Then you must check out the FREE Junior Ranger Program. Simply visit your favorite Georgia State Park and ask the visitors center for activity book. You can also print one here. Children can then work through the activity requirements on their own or with the help of an adult. After they complete the guidelines in the book they will earn a badge (there are 3 badge levels). Also be sure to check out the Get Outdoors Gopher Badge and limited time Civil War Badge. Some parks and historic sites offer Junior Ranger day camps or workshops, usually during summer.

7) Hiking - All of the State Parks offer fabulous hiking and there is something for everyone including the novice and expert hikers. Perhaps you need a stroller or handicap friendly trail? Georgia State Parks have those too. The first trail we hit with our daughter in a stroller was at Amicalola Falls. Be sure to take along your nature journal to document the neat things you find on your hike or check out some of my FREE nature journal/notebooking worksheets. To make your hike even more fun create your very own exploration backpack.

8) Archery - Perhaps you want to harness your inner Katniss? Well you can do that too at 8 of the Georgia State Parks. For a small fee you can try out two different archery ranges: traditional static ranges, where archers shoot into “bow butt” targets in free-standing target sheds and trails with realistic targets (deer, turkey, etc.) on several lanes. There is a range fee (approximately $5-$10) for archery and you can either bring your own equipment or rent from the park.

9) Visit Historic Sites - Are you a history buff? Then you will love the 18 Georgia Historic Sites. Travel back in time as you visit beautiful plantations, unique homes, Native American mounds, civil war battlefields, coastal forts and gold rush museums.

10) Biking - 20 State Parks offer beautiful bike trails. For the novice biker there are several paved trials and for the experts there are dirt mountain bike trails.  Some trails do require a small fee to help maintain them. One of our favorite paved paths is at Panola Mountain. Pretty soon you will be able to even rent bikes at Panola Mountain.

These are just some of the activities offered at the Georiga State Parks for a full listing as well as their events calendar visit the website.

Image courtesy of Georgia State Parks.

*All of the parks do not offer these activities so be sure to use their new Google Map search feature to find the perfect park for your family. 

What Georgia State Parks have you been to?

1 comment:

Mary said...

Kathy, this is such great information. Thank you -- we're looking forward to exploring the state parks a lot during the coming school year!

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