Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites is offering free admission on Saturday, September 26 as part of National Public Lands Day. The statewide celebration at all 63 state parks and historic sites is a way to thank park visitors and volunteers for their support of outdoor recreation and historic preservation.
Sponsored in part by The Coca-Cola Company and Verizon Wireless, the celebration includes dozens of family-friendly events and service projects. Learn to canoe and shoot skeet at Unicoi State Park’s Outdoor Adventure Day. Listen for owls on a night hike at Hamburg State Park. Try fishing in the Okefenokee Swamp at Stephen C. Foster State Park. Or watch molten iron become works of art at Red Top Mountain State Park’s harvest celebration. A full calendar of events is posted at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/events.
On Free Day in the Parks, the regular $5 parking fee will be waived, historic sites will open their doors for free, and even anglers will not need a fishing license. September 26 is also National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources at many events and locations.
Modern campsites, fully equipped cottages, and hotel-style lodge rooms provide overnight accommodations for outdoor enthusiasts who want to extend their free day into an affordable stay for the weekend. The lodges recently introduced lower promotional rates starting at $69 per night and campsites are around $23 per night. Reservations for accommodations and picnic shelters can be made by calling 1-800-864-PARK (7275).
Numerous volunteer projects are being coordinated by the non-profit Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites with 47 chapters across the state. Corporations are also involved, with REI kicking off the celebration at Panola Mountain State Park near Stockbridge and employees of The Home Depot volunteering at Reed Bingham State Park in Adel. Organized groups or corporations that would like to participate can call the parks’ volunteer coordinator at 404-656-6533 or the Friends group at 1-888-948-2092.
And to learn more about Free Day in the Parks, take one click and go here: www.GeorgiaStateParks.org.