May Events at Georgia State Parks

MAY CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Summer is almost here, so don’t wait too long to reserve your campsite, cottage or lodge room.  Favorite spots go quickly!  Be sure to check out the many events happening during Memorial Day weekend and the rest of summer. For an online calendar, visit www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/events.  You can also become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

NORTHERN GEORGIA

Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals
Saturday, May 15, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Smithgall Woods Conservation Park – Helen
Children and their special “big person” can fish in a lake stocked with catfish, bass, and bream. Fish caught can be kept. Bring your own bait and rods. Some rods are available for loan. Call for directions to “Buck Shoals.” $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

Birding by Ear
Saturday, May 22, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Smithgall Woods Conservation Park – Helen
Learn to identify birds by their songs with Lisa Hurt of the Atlanta Audubon Society. The highlight of the walk will be identifying difficult to see neo-tropical birds that pass through the park during the warm season. Walking shoes and binoculars are recommended. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

Common Birds of Georgia
Saturday, May 22, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Smithgall Woods Conservation Park – Helen
Sit back and enjoy Lisa Hurt of the Atlanta Audubon Society as she present slides of Georgia’s birds. Participants may be surprised to learn which birds are native to our area. Spring migration and birdcalls will be discussed. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.


Historical Rock Hike
Saturday, May 22, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
Join our guided hike to see rock formations named during the Victorian era, such as Needles Eye, Devils Pulpit and Inspiration Point. The hike is very strenuous and off the beaten trail. Bring good hiking shoes, water and a snack. Register in advance. $10 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.

Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike
Thursday, May 27 and Friday, May 28, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
Join Tallulah Rangers an a moonlit hike down into the gorge. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.

Memorial Day Blast
Friday, May 28 through Monday, May 31
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
Spend the weekend participating games, crafts for kids and boat rides along the river.  Make reservations early for lodge rooms, cottages and campsites because the park will fill up quickly. $2 – $4 plus $5 parking. (229) 838-4706.

Dirty Spokes Duathlon
Saturday, May 29, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Fort Yargo State Park – Winder
Participants will run-bike-run the scenic trails of this park between Athens and Atlanta. www.dirtyspokes.com.  Fee plus $5 parking. (770) 867-3489.


Saturday Evening Concert Series
Saturday, May 29, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
Some of the best musicians in the area perform a variety of music, from Appalachian Mountain to bluegrass to Southern gospel.  Every Saturday from Memorial Day through mid-November.  “Pass-the-hat” donations. $5 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.


Junior-Senior Fishing Rodeo

Saturday, May 29, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Victoria Bryant State Park – Royston
Anglers 16 and younger or 62 and older can catch catfish and compete for prizes. Sponsored by the “Friend’s of Victoria Bryant State Park” and the prizes are donated by Bass Pro Shop. $5 parking. (706) 245-6270.


Memorial Day Campfire
Saturday, May 29, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fort Yargo State Park – Winder
Celebrate summer’s arrival with a campfire. The park will provide marshmallows and hot dogs for roasting. Meet at the campground #1 amphitheater. $5 parking. (770) 867-3489.

Holiday Gorge Floor Hike
Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
This guided hike will take you from rim to river while learning about the gorge’s unique environments. Be sure to wear proper footwear (no flip-flops or crocs). This hike is strenuous and will involve rock hopping and getting wet. Bring a lunch and lots of water. For ages 10 and older. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.

COASTAL GEORGIA

Coastal State Park

War of Jenkins’ Ear: Colonial Enactment
Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah
See reenactments of Colonial Georgia’s military operations during the 1739-1748 war between England and Spain. Military demonstrations and activities will include musket firings, cannon firings, cartridge making, and military drills. $3.50 – $5 (912) 353-3023.


Memorial Day Celebration at the Fort
Saturday, May 29, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Fort McAllister Historic Park – Richmond Hill
Civil War troops will gather to present musket and cannon firings at this coastal fort. See how the soldiers’ everyday life compares to ours today. $3.50-$5. (912) 727-2339.


Memorial Day Commemoration
Saturday, May 29, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fort Morris Historic Site – Midway
This coastal fort will present hourly continental soldier talks and musket and cannon demonstrations. $2.75-$4. (912) 884-5999.


Memorial Day Weekend at Skidaway
Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30
Skidaway Island State Park – Savannah
Spend the day with the family and play a volleyball game, compete in our horseshoe tournament, ride hayrides, enjoy a fun campfire and other games. $5 parking. (912) 598-2300.

SOUTHERN & CENTRAL GEORGIA

Traveling Exhibits in May Remember WWll and the Holocaust
Saturday, May 1 through Sunday, May 30, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs

“Parallel Journeys” tells the stories of teenagers who were often victims of this brutal conflict and of the White Rose resistance group. The “WWII Traveling Trunk” contains objects, documents, maps, photographs, and audio-visual materials related to the war and life on home front. $5-$8 plus. (706) 655-5870.

Chattahoochee Trail Horse Association Poker Ride & Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, May 15, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
A.H. Stephens Historic Park – Crawfordville

Ride your horse on 12 miles of beautiful trails. Participate in a drawing, 9:30 a.m. poker ride, 1 p.m. scavenger hunt and earn a chance to win great prizes up to $450 in value. Register from 8 to 9 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon. $10 – $25 $5 parking. (770) 466-4430.

Birds of a Feather – Birding Together
Saturday, May 15, 7 a.m.
Reed Bingham State Park – Adel

Our new program will help maximize your bird count. Join other bird-watching enthusiasts for an extensive birding tour that includes a walk on the Coastal Plain Nature Trails and a pontoon boat ride to watch for waterfowl. Held the 3rd Saturday of each month. Dress for appropriate for weather. $5 plus $5 parking. (229) 896-3551.

Memorial Day Celebration on the Lake
Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Florence Marina State Park – Omaha

Spend the weekend participating games, crafts for kids and boat rides along the river. $2 – $4 plus $5 parking. (229) 838-4706.

Swim the Warm Springs – Dip Into The Past
Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs

Swim in the historic pools built by President F.D. Roosevelt as a place for therapy. Normally kept empty for preservation, the shallow pools will be filled with naturally warm spring water. Tickets to the swim may be purchased over the phone with credit card. Reservations are suggested. $20 adults; $12.50 ages 6 to 17; Family Package-$75. (706) 655-5870.

Grits & Cornmeal
Sunday, May 30, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Hamburg State Park – Mitchell

Watch how cornmeal and grits were once made at Hamburg’s historic gristmill. $5 parking. (478) 552-2393.

METRO ATLANTA

New Manchester History Hike
Saturdays, May 8, 15, 22 and 29, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

This mile-long hike (easy to moderate) will lead us to the five story ruins of the Civil War-era New Manchester textile mill and focus on the history of the Sweetwater Creek Valley. This Historian or Ranger-led hike will include going inside the impressive mill ruins and seeing the lovely whitewater rapids (both providing great photo opportunities). $2-$3 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.

Saturday Mountain Hike
Saturday, May 15, 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 3-4 hours.  Rain or shine. Call to register in advance. $7 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Tree Top Excursions: Introduction Climb
Saturday, May 15, 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. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Road Bike Race
Saturday, May 22, 9 a.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

Join us for a 41-mile ride with a 23-mile option. We will be highlighting the Arabia Mountain Path and gently traveled country roads of Rockdale, Dekalb and Henry counties. Meet at the Alexander Lake Parking Area. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $5 parking. (404) 375-6789.

“Ruins to Rapids” Full Moon Hike
Friday, May 28, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs

This 1.5 mile ranger-guided 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. The hike will continue if it is overcast but will be postponed until the following night if raining. Bring a flashlight and sturdy shoes. No children under 6 or dogs. Limited to 50 people; phone registration in advance required. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

Kids Fishing Festival
Saturday, May 29, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge

Kids 15 and younger are invited to our lake to hook a catfish or bluegill while learning about aquatic habitats, fish identification and fishing skills. Also, an archery range, fly-fishing, tree climbing, Georgia Wildlife Encounters, and other activities will be available. Bring your own bait and rods. Meeting at the Alexander Lake Parking Area. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

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Author: Gwinnett Park Life

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