Georgia State Parks

Mark your calendar — September 24 is SAVE My State Parks Day. This year, many state parks are offering programs including live animal shows, fishing rodeos, geology hikes, canoeing and music on or around the day to celebrate National Public Lands Day. If you would like to find out how to become involved in supporting your favorite state park, visit (Did you know membership includes a FREE Annual ParkPass?)
If you need to spice up your workout or simply want to lose some inches, check out our Tons of Fun Fitness Challenge. The new program combines the great outdoors with healthy living and features a website,, where you can create an online profile to plan your fitness activities, track calories burned and document weight lost. There are even trainers and nutritionists to answer questions.
For great exercise, head to your favorite state park and go for a fall hike, or challenge yourself with one of three heart-pumping clubs. Hikers will enjoy the Canyon Climbers Club, which includes Amicalola Falls, Providence Canyon, Tallulah Gorge and Cloudland Canyon. Mountain bike enthusiasts can burn off calories with the Muddy Spokes Club. The club features 11 state parks with 68 miles of trails. And for paddlers, the Park Paddlers Club features 22 miles of scenic waterways, ranging in difficulty. All three clubs have their own bragging rights t-shirts, provided to members upon completion.
As part of the Tons of Fun Fitness Challenge, many state parks are offering fitness and health-related events to keep families motivated. George T. Bagby is hosting a “Fun and Fitness Day” on September 10, which features Zumba and aerobic classes, outdoor games, tennis and golf lessons, nutrition seminars and sockhop. The first 100 cars get in free! Additional events include a historical rock hike at Tallulah Gorge, guided hike to Chunanee Falls at Smithgall Woods and The North Face Challenge at F.D. Roosevelt. Check out for events throughout the year, and get outdoors — it’s good for your health and well being.
Leaf peeping season will be here before you know it. Beginning in October, our website will let rangers give regular updates on how fall color is progressing. But book your cabins, lodge rooms and campsites now, since space fills up quickly during the popular fall season.
Check for the full listing. You can also become a fan on Facebook to receive the latest news, or follow us on Twitter. GeoCache and Golf enthusiasts be sure to check out our new Facebook fan pages, designed exclusively with you in mind.


Saturday Evening Concert Series

Saturdays, September 24, 8 p.m.

Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen

Saturdays at 8 p.m., regional musicians perform a variety of music from Appalachian Mountain, Bluegrass and Southern Gospel music. The program lasts through mid-November. Donations appreciated. $5 parking. (706) 878-2201 ext. 305.


Music in the Park

Saturdays, September 24, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Vogel State Park – Blairsville

Come to the Lake Trahlyta Pavilion and enjoy a cool mountain evening while listening great music. Donations to the performers are appreciated. $5 parking. (706) 745-2628.

Tugaloo Triathlon

Saturday, September 24, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia

Watch or participate in this invigorating event that includes a 1.5k swim, 42k bike ride and 10k run. Entry fee for event. $5 parking. (706) 356-4362.


Outdoor Adventure Day

Saturday, September 24

Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen

Learn how to catch a trout, paddle a canoe, and shoot a shotgun. Try activities like fly tying and casting, bass fishing basics, and trout fishing in the stocked stream, archery, BB gun and skeet shooting. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.


Outdoor Adventure Day

Saturday, September 24

James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park – Summerville

Enjoy a day on the water with the kid’s fishing event and canoe instruction. On land live animal shows in including a snake show will be offered. Children may learn more about hunter’s safety at the archery range, BB gun range and the laser shooting system. Hot dogs and cold drinks will be available. $5 parking. (706) 857-0826.


Save Our State Parks Day

Saturday, September 24, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen

Take a van tour to see the conservation area that is normally inaccessible to vehicle traffic. Dukes Creek, the covered bridge, Fish Camp, and the beautiful cottage setting will be featured. Donations appreciated. Tours will be given at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. Register in advance. $5 parking. 706-878-3087.


Guided Hike to Chunanee Falls

Sunday, September 25, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen

A van ride to the trailhead makes the Cathy Ellis Trail easily accessible. The trail is 1-mile round-trip and moderate in difficulty. Register in advance. $1 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.




A Murder Mystery in Colonial Darien

Saturday, September 24, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Fort King George Historic Site – Darien

Have fun with the garrison as you play killer colonial Clue! Guests will become amateur sleuths during this engaging evening. Uncover clues as this dramatic episode unfolds before your eyes. All guests who solve the crime receive a prize, while two lucky guests receive free tickets to the next garrison dinner. Light hors d’oeuvres served. Reservations required. $30. (912) 437-4770.




Kid’s Fish Fest

Saturday, September 24, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Elijah Clark State Park – Lincolnton

Come for beginner tips and prizes. $5 parking. (706) 359-3458.


Pioneer Harvest Festival

Saturday, September 24, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

General Coffee State Park – Nicholls

The Heritage Farm will come to life as volunteers demonstrate the skills of farm life from the 1800s. This festival includes crafters, musicians and dancers. $1 plus $5 parking. (912) 384-1581.


2nd Annual Junior Angler’s Fishing Rodeo

Saturday, September 24, 9:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Indian Springs State Park – Flovilla

Join us for a fun filled morning where even little fish bring on big smiles. Every fish caught makes you a prize winning angler. Please bring your own fishing poles and tackle. Ages 15 and younger. Meet at the Boat Ramp. $5 parking. (770) 504-2277.


Remembering World War 11 – Operation Market Garden

Saturday, September 24, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs

Veterans of major campaigns from WWII will sign autograph sheets for kids. FDR portrayer will speak on the progress of the, “Betty the Homemaker” highlight the role of women during WWII and Kellys Zeroes will feature displays and exhibits of WWII equipment. $5-$8. (706) 655-5870.



Harvest Time at the Homestead

Saturday, September 24, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Red Top Mountain State Park – Cartersville

Step back in time to the 1800s and experience the lives of citizens and soldiers. Demonstrators will bring our historic log cabin to life as they perform crafts and activities. Try your hand at woodworking, laundry, soapmaking and more. Stop by the Civil War camp and speak with soldiers. $5 parking. (770) 975-0055.


Geology Hike

Saturday, September 24, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

Geologist and “Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park” member John Johnston will lead a moderate 2-mile hike identifying rock types and explaining how they formed. There will also be a visit inside the ruins of the Civil War era New Manchester Mill alongside the beautiful rapids of Sweetwater Creek. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.


Candle Light Hike to the Mill

Saturday, September 24, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

This mile-long guided night hike is easy to moderately difficult and goes inside the Civil War era textile mill ruins of New Manchester. Candle lanterns will be provided. No children under 6 years or dogs permitted. Space is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Meet and register at the Interpretive Center. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.


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