Georgia State Park February 2011 Events

2011 PARK GUIDE
The 2011 “Guide to Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites” is hot off the presses!  The free, 64-page booklet is filled with the best hiking and biking trails, top fishing spots, camping and more.  For a free copy, call (800) 864-7275 (PARK). 
 
 
FEBRUARY EVENTS
This list is divided by region. Check www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/events for the full listing.  You can also become a fan on Facebook  to receive the latest news, or follow us on Twitter
 
NORTHERN GEORGIA

Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike

Friday, February 18, 7:15 p.m. – 10:15 p.m.

Saturday, February 19, 8:30 p.m. – 11:15 p.m.

Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls

Join Tallulah Rangers on a moonlit hike down into the gorge. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981. 

 

36th Annual Fireside Art & Craft Show

Saturday, February 19 through Sunday, February 20, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen

Celebrate 36 years of the “Fireside” Craft/Art Show. More than 60 of the Southeast’s finest artists and crafts people will be here for this Unicoi tradition. This indoor, juried show has a reputation for excellence and is a nice balance between fine arts and quality crafts. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

American Chestnut Update

Saturday, February 19, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Smithgall Woods Conservation Park – Helen

Dr. Scott Merkle from the University of Georgia will discuss the history and current research being done on the American Chestnut trees. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

 

Winter Botany

Saturday, February 19, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Smithgall Woods Conservation Park – Helen

Botanist Jim Sullivan will demonstrate how to identify plants in the winter, followed by a short hike to identify nearby flora. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

 

Native American Film Festival

Saturday, February 26, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

New Echota Historic Site – Calhoun

Join us as we highlight feature films, “shorts” film productions and documentaries. It’s a nice way to spend a cold February day learning about Cherokee and other Native American tribal culture and history. Fee includes admission to museum and historic buildings self-guided tour. $4-$6. (706) 624-1321.

 

Thrills in the Hills Half-Marathon and Marathon

Saturday, February 26, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Fort Yargo State Park – Winder

This half marathon and marathon will be an off-road course following the park’s scenic mountain bike trails. www.dirtyspokes.com Fee plus $5 parking. (770) 867-3489. 

COASTAL GEORGIA

Dinner with the General

Saturday, February 19, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Fort King George Historic Site – Darien

General James E. Oglethorpe and the garrison of Fort King George invite the public to a quaint colonial dinner in the enlisted soldiers barracks. Evening entertainment will feature the arrival of General Oglethorpe, musket and cannon firings, and interaction among fort officers, soldiers and dinner guests. Reservations required. $30 for dinner. (912) 437-4770. 

SOUTHERN & CENTRAL GEORGIA

Geology Day

Saturday, February 12, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Providence Canyon State Park Outdoor Recreation Area – Lumpkin

Professor Rich McWilliams of Thomas University in Thomasville, Ga. will leads visitors into the canyons and back in time to discover the geological history of the canyons. The floors of the canyons are often wet and muddy, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear. Bring water and your camera. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (229) 838-4706.

Great Backyard Bird Count

Friday, February 18 through Monday, February 21, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs

DR was an avid bird collector in his youth, and guests can join others by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Other great count locations include the National Fish Hatchery in Warm Springs and FD Roosevelt State Park on Pine Mountain, recently named an Important Bird Area. $5-$8. (706) 655-5870.

Arbor Day at the Park

Saturday, February 19, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Reed Bingham State Park – Adel

Plant for tomorrow! Celebrate Georgia Arbor Day at the park. Learn how to plant trees at home, learn interesting fact about the importance of trees, and assist in planting native trees around the park. Afterwards, take a hike with rangers to learn about the various species of trees on the nature trails. $5 parking. (229) 896-3551.

 

Buzzard Day “Road-Kill Run” (10K run/ 5K walk)

Saturday, February 26, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Reed Bingham State Park – Adel

Stretch your legs and test your speed in the annual Buzzard Day “Road-Kill Run”. Registration for the 10K run / 5K walk will begin at Group Shelter 1 at 8 a.m. The course will be on both paved surfaces and nature trails. $20 plus $5 parking. (229) 896-3551.

 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Saturday, February 26, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Mistletoe State Park – Appling

The animals are wearing their winter coats, so put yours on for a magical walk through the woods when most folks are staying home! Joyce Billue will lead you on the Cliatt Creek Trail for a look at winter flora and fauna still very much alive in the woods. We’ll finish the morning with hot cocoa. $5 parking. (706) 541-0321.

METRO ATLANTA 

 Lost Person Prevention

Saturday, February 12, 10 a.m.

Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

Learn simple techniques for not getting lost and keeping track of your family when venturing into the great outdoors of Georgia. Search and Rescue Dog Team will be joining the class unless a SAR activity is occurring. Meeting at the nature center. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $5 parking. I770) 389-7801. 

 

Basic Fly Fishing Clinic

Saturday, February 12, 10 a.m.

Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

The two-hour clinic covers equipment, knot tying, casting, safety issues and other tricks of the trade. If time permits participants may stay to catch the “Fish of Fish.” Instructors C. H. Brown and Michael Reilley suggest wearing long pants/shorts and hiking shoes, and bringing snacks, water and sun lotion. Georgia fishing license required. Meeting at the Alexander Lake Parking Area. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $15 or $12 with own gear. $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

 

Panola Mountain Night Hike

Saturday, February 12, 5:30 p.m.

Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

Join us for an enchanted evening as we hike to the mountain top under the watchful eye of the full moon. We’ll head out just before sunset and enjoy the stroll as the moon begins to rise. Bring flashlights, hiking boots and water. Meet at the nature center 30 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $7 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801. 

 

Behind the Scenes Battlefield Tour: Leverett’s Mill

Saturday, February 12

Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site – Dallas

This tour will follow an old Civil War road that leads to where Leverett’s Mill once stood. The once operating mill was burned by Federal forces as war contraband, while retreating to Acworth. Terrain is rugged; wear good hiking shoes. $2.75 – $4. (770) 443-7850.

Skins and Skulls Wildlife ID Class

Saturday, February 12, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

Want to learn how to identify wildlife like a professional tracker? This class will teach beginners interested in the outdoors how to identify wildlife like the experts. This indoor class will be held in the Interpretive Center. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

 

Valentine Hayride

Sunday, February 13

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs           

This ranger-led hayride will pass through lovely forests as well as the beautiful meadows of Jack’s Hills. Bring a blanket if you want to cuddle with your sweetie. Register in advance. Space is limited. $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.

“Ruins to Rapids” Full Moon Hike

Friday, February 18, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

This 1.5-mile ranger-led night hike is moderately difficult and goes inside the Civil War-era textile mill ruins of New Manchester and follows the lovely rapids (up to class IV) of Sweetwater Creek. Bring a flashlight and sturdy shoes. No children under 6 or dogs. Meet inside the Visitor Center. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871. 

 

Saturday Mountain Hike

Saturday, February 19, 10 a.m.

Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

These guided hikes depart from Panola’s nature center and are for people in good physical condition. This hike allows park visitors to see Panola Mountain up close, as the Ranger explains the reasons Panola Mountain is protected, and what we can all do to preserve the natural beauty of granite outcrops. Bring sturdy shoes, water, bug spray, and your camera! The Panola Mountain hike starts at 10am and generally lasts 2-3 hours. Rain or shine. Meeting at the nature center. $7 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Tree Top Excursions: Introduction Climb

Saturday, February 19, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

Join us “on rope” for an adventure exploring the canopy above. This is an introductory climb to Canopy-Adventure-Research-Educational Technical Tree Climbing (CARE TTC). Participants will use rope and harness for this moderately strenuous activity. Meeting at Naomi-Ruth Climbing Tree. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801. 

 

Introduction to Landscape Painting: Textures in Nature

Saturday, February 19, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

This class will meet at the Interpretive Center and hike a small distance down the Red Trail. This class will focus on painting textures in nature, such as tree bark, lichen, and natural rock surfaces. Meet at the Sweetwater Creek Interpretive Center, materials will be provided. Pre-Registration required, space is limited. $10 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871. 

 

Backcountry Geology Hike

Sunday, February 20, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

Geologist and Friends member John Johnston will lead a moderate three-mile hike identifying rock types and explaining how they formed. Explore the beautiful Jack’s Branch area and the seldom visited rock quarry of New Manchester. Meet in the Interpretive Center. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

 

Chattahoochee Riverside Hike

Sunday, February 20, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

This easy to moderate three-mile hike will take us mostly alongside the Chattahoochee River in Sweetwater Creek State Park. Explore beautiful and seldom-visited areas of the Park. Meet at the Interpretive Center where we will carpool 10 minutes to the trailhead. Register in advance. $5 parking. (770) 732-5871. 

 

Mountain Bike Adventures

Saturday, February 26, 10 a.m.

Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

Join the Southern Bicycle League at the Rockdale River Trail for an off-road adventure. This ride will take you to scenic vistas, wetland complexes and pine savannah, including both dirt and paved trails. Meet at the Alexander Lake Parking Area. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $5 parking. (770) 389-7801. 

 

Wilderness Survival Class

Saturday, February 26, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

Covers basic and some advanced survival techniques. Good for all ages. Learn to build a fire, make an emergency shelter, navigation, and how to pack a daypack and first aid kit for survival. Please bring a sack lunch. Space is limited. Register in advance. $10 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

Introduction to Winter Birdwatching

Sunday, February 27, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

This birdwatching hike will concentrate on the meadows located on the Chattahoochee riverfront. Dense thickets, open meadows, flood plane forest and shallow wetlands on this property attract a variety of winter migrants. Participants will meet at the interpretive center. Register in advance. $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

 

Sunday Afternoon Fly Fishing

Sunday, February 27, 2 p.m.

Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

Casting is the backbone of this clinic; however, if time permits will also cover equipment, knot tying, and safety issues and other tricks of the trade. Master Instructor C. H. Brown suggests wearing long pants/shorts and hiking shoes, and bringing snacks, water and sun lotion. Georgia fishing license required. Meeting at the Alexander Lake Parking Area. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $15 or $12 with own gear. $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

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