Due to weather conditions, please call the parks in advance to make sure First Day Hikes and other activities are being offered and all trails are passable.
First Day Hikes
are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to get people outdoors, with over 400 hikes scheduled this year in all 50 states. Kids and adults all across America will be participating in First Day Hikes, getting their hearts pumping and enjoying the beauty of a state park. Find your nearest Georgia State Park below to participate!
On our trail we will visit some C.C.C. Buildings and walk along the paths that they took over 80yrs ago. This program will offer views of Historic structures and wildlife. Bring water and wear sturdy shoes. No minimum age but the trail is not accessible for strollers. Meet at the park office.
Cruise alongside the Chattahoochee River with a peaceful hike on the Riverside Trail. Simply bring yourself and a smile, and we'll embrace the day together. This trail offers an excellent amount of captivating scenery. One will navigate through a variety of different plantlife and hardwoods. We will walk through the same exact forest that Native Americans once walked through and depended upon. From the beginning to the end of the hike, the eyes and spirit will be rejuvenated by the beauty of the stunning surroundings. Bring water and comfortable shoes. No minimum age/strollers are possible, but a couple obstacles exist. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
Rising Fawn, GA
Start the New Year off on the right foot: join Cloudland Canyon State Park's naturalist for a morning hike along the park's newest section of trail. Travel through oak, hickory, and hemlock woodlands and discover the natural history and recreational opportunities of a lesser-known section of the park. Bring water and wear sturdy shoes. Snacks optional. Dress appropriately for cold weather. No minimum age. Strollers are possible but a couple of obstacles may exist. Meet at the Cloudland Connector Trailhead, near the Backcountry Trailhead.
St. Marys, GA
Please bring water and walking shoes. No minimum age but the trail is not accessible for strollers. Meet at the Nature Center.
Join a ranger as we explore a beautiful backcountry area of the park. Our 2 mile cross country adventure will follow old road beds, ridges, hills and valleys. Moderate to strenuous. Call the Visitor Center to reserve a spot. Limited to 15 hikers. Bring water and comfortable shoes. We will be crossing a creek twice so waterproof boots aren't a bad idea or feet might get a little wet. No pets. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
Beautiful mixed pine-hardwood forest on peninsula surrounded by Clarks Hill Lake. Limited to first 24. 2nd hike may be offered at 1:00 PM if needed. Bring water, sturdy shoes, snacks if you want. No strollers. No pets. Meet at the office.
Etowah Indian Mounds
January 2nd, 9:30am
This hike will be a mix of a history tour, wildlife walk, and celebrating the new year by getting out on a trail. I would expect the predominant wildlife to be seen would be birds, so it is recommended that you bring binoculars and a bird ID guide. Our Friends group provides hot cocoa, tea, and coffee before/after the hike. Please bring water, jacket, and questions. No minimum or maximum age. No restrictions, but people in wheel-chairs may have some difficulty and would not be able to acsend to the top of the mounds; strollers also do not go up the staircases of the mounds very well. Guests should expect to carry small children in some instances. Meet if cold: in the museum near the Diorama. If warm: Just outside the museum on the back porch.
Pine Mountain, GA
No RSVP required. Expect large number of participants. Beautiful Pine Mountain Ridge and rich winter woodland views. Dress for the weather. Bring water and a snack. Ages 6 & up. Not stroller accessible. Pets allowed on 6' leash. Natural surface trail (rocks, creek crossings). Meet at the Callaway Country Store parking lot.
Fort King George
DATE CHANGE: January 2nd, 5:00pm
Enjoy a special Living History Night Hike through Fort King George. Discover the tales and traditions of New Years in Colonial America. Hiking the Fort after Dark, Living History Hike in Colonial attire. Please bring a flashlight. No strollers, no pets. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
10:00am & 2:00pm
Richmond Hill, GA
10:00am: The Ranger will talk about the ecosystem of the Coastal Georgia Salt Marsh. Please bring water and sturdy shoes. The trail is sometimes muddy and not stroller friendly. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
1:00pm: The Interpretive Ranger will lead you through the fort and tell you about it's roll in the Civil War. Then we will walk to an area that is usually closed to the public. A unique behind the scenes history walk. Please bring water and sturdy shoes. The trail is rarely used and a little rough for strollers. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
11:00am & 1:00pm
A Revolutionary War soldier talk and musket demo will be presented. Beautiful view of St Catherine's Sound and the Georgia coastal environment. Please bring walking shoes. All ages. Meet at the museum.
Beautiful West Overlook view, can see 50 miles on a clear day. Tour up the Historic CCC Tower recently restored to its original state. Also will pass ancient stone wall built in approximately 500 A.D. No one knows who built it or why. Please bring water, hiking shoes, binoculars. All ages. Meet at the Old Fort parking lot.
Ranger led hike that will feature park history and searching for a geocache. Please bring water, hiking shoes. All ages. Meet at the Nature Center.
Night Hike on the Gopher Loop Trail in the sandhill management area. Good chance to see bats, owls, deer and other nocturnal wildlife. S'mores around the campfire at the campground shelter after the hike. Please bring sturdy shoes, water, flashlight. All ages. No pets allowed. Meet at the Campground Shelter.
George L. Smith
Twin City, GA
Ranger-led 3 mile hike through Gopher Tortoise Habitat. Please bring comfortable shoes, water, snacks. All ages. Pets allowed on leashes. Please meet at the park office.
Ranger-led 1-mile hike on the Yucca Trace Trail. Please bring comfortable shoes, water, snacks. All ages. Meet at the Lake Blackshear Resort front desk.
| 912-557-7744 or 912-557-7745
Ranger led hike that will feature the plant and animal life on the park. Discussion of endangered plants on the park. Please bring water/hike shoes. All ages. No strollers and participants should be able to handle walking moderate terrain. Please meet at the Clubhouse.
Hard Labor Creek
Learn about the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the work they did to create Hard Labor Creek State Park. Hike will take visitors along the edge of lake Brantley, and up to the old CCC Rock Quarry. Many guests to the park never notice the footprint the CCC left, but there is evidence all across the park. The old rock Quarry, the building of the two lakes on the park, even the Native American History and the effect of farming on the land, all still evident, and detailed in this "walk" back through time. Please bring Sturdy shoes, bag lunch, water. Ages 10 and up. No pets, participants must be able to walk trail moderately rough terrain. Please meet at the park office.
This staff-led 1.5 mile moderate hike will take you past several scenic and historic sites including the falls, the old grist mill, and through a mixed pine/hardwood forest. You will learn about the park history and the local ecology. Please wear comfortable shoes, and bring water and a snack. After the hike, visitors can warm up by a campfire and roast marshmallows and enjoy hot chocolate provided by the friends group. Please bring water, snacks, comfortable walking shoes. No minimum age but the trail is not accessible for strollers. Please meet at Shelter #4.
January 2nd, 1:00pm
Ranger led hike along 3 mile Broadfield Loop trail. View longleaf pine and palmetto habitat. Dress appropriate for the season and wear comfortable shoes. All ages. Meet at Visitor's Center.
11:00am & 3:00pm
11:00am: Join a park ranger for a journey through time. Discover the history of Indian Springs State Park, sample the famous spring water, and tour the park museum. This moderate hike will involve some steps and hills. There will be hot chocolate in the park museum. Please bring water, comfortable shoes. All ages but strollers are discouraged. Meet at the museum.
3:00pm: Staff-led nature hike along the Overland Nature Trail ending in a campfire with s'mores. There will be a campfire and s'mores at the end of the hike. Please bring water, comfortable shoes. All ages but strollers are discouraged. Meet at the Overland Nature Trail trailhead.
James H. "Sloppy" Floyd
Staff led hike around the Lower Lake. Topics covered will be local flora and fauna, history of park, and wildlife viewing. Chances of seeing the Bald Eagle that frequents the park for winter hunting. Please bring water, comfortable shoes, binoculars if owned. Park has some binoculars to loan. All ages, no strollers. Meet at the park office.
Staff led hike through the White Oak Trail where we start off the New Year on the right foot. Please bring water, comfortable shoes. All ages, no strollers. Meet at Group Shelter #2.
Laura S. Walker
Help us celebrate a brand new year with a brand new boardwalk and trail! Hot chocolate and goodies provided at the end of the hike. Please bring water, comfortable shoes. All ages. Meet at Picnic Shelter #7 at boat ramp station.
Short guided hike around site of Camp Lawton, a Civil War prison operated on the property in 1864. Earthworks from perimeter defenses are visible. Hike will also include guided tour of Magnolia Springs History Center. Please bring water. All ages. Meet at the park office.
Guided nature hike around the Cliatt Creek trail. Guests will meet the naturalist at the nature center and then begin the hike which leads down to Cliatt Creek and includes views of Clark's Hill Lake. Please bring sturdy shoes. All ages, no strollers. Meet at the Nature Center.
Start the New Year off right with a brisk hike up our beautiful mountain! Join us on a journey that begins by writing, then burning, last year's burdens. Hike to the top of the mountain to symbolize all the great things you will accomplish in 2016. Finish with s'mores and hot chocolate around a campfire. Register in advance. Panola Mountain is a pristine ecosystem, only accessible through ranger-led hikes. This is a fun opportunity to experience one of Atlanta's hidden gems and learn about the unique history and ecology of granite outcrops. Please bring water, sturdy shoes, appropriate clothing for weather. Ages 6 and up. No pets permitted, participants must be able to hike through moderately rough terrain. Meet at the Nature Center.
Naturalist lead geology hike through the canyon floor. Hikers will learn local facts and lore of the canyon formation. Upon completion of the hike, hikers will have the opportunity to join the Canyon Climbers Club. Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon" is a testament to the power of man's influence on the land. Massive gullies as deep as 150 feet were caused simply by poor farming practices during the 1800s, yet today they make some of the prettiest photographs within the state. Please bring hiking boots/shoes, water, bug spray, sunscreen, camera, hiking stick, camera. Ages 6 and up. Pets on a 6' leash. Please meet at the Visitor's Center.
Red Top Mountain
Bring in the New Year on a healthy note and get out and enjoy nature? Come join a Ranger at Red Top Mountain for a different type of hike. We will meet at the Park Office and take the Sweet Gum Trail for a moderate 3.5 mile scenic hike and explore the many different ways to use nature as a fitness gym. Bring water, dress comfortably and don’t forget your hiking shoes. This hike participants will learn how to use the elements of nature as a gym while enjoying the benefits that can only be gained in an outdoor setting. Please bring appropriate clothing for working out/weather, hiking shoes and water. All ages, guests will be physically working out on the trail. Meet at the park office.
Reynolds Mansion/Sapelo Island
January 2nd, 9:00am
Naturalist-led hike beginning in maritime forest and ending on the beach. The Naturalist will highlight flora, fauna, and overall ecology of maritime forest and beach habitats. This hike will be held on January 2nd. Participants must meet at the mainland ferry dock at 8:30 AM to purchase their $15 round trip ferry ticket. They will depart Sapelo Island at 12:30 PM and return to the mainland by 1:00 PM. Please bring bug spray, water, snacks, appropriate shoes. All ages. Meet at the Sapelo Ferry Dock.
Richard B. Russell
Naturalist-led hike along our trail that passes the site of one of the Paleolithic communities originally located on the land where Russell Lake was built. We will have demonstrations and exhibits that bring to life how Paleolithic communities prepared for and lived through the cold winter months as the last ice age was coming to a close. Please wear appropriate clothing for weather. All ages. Meet at the Beach parking lot trailhead.
Rocky Mountain PFA
Ranger led hike along East Antioch Lake nature trail. Along the way the Ranger will talk about the unique local history, flora and fauna of Rocky Mountain. All ages. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
Ranger led hike through one of Southwest Georgia's largest Long-Leaf Pine Habitat. Please bring water. All ages. Meet at the Gopher Tortoise trailhead.
Enjoy an afternoon hike through the marsh. This guided hike will discuss the history of Skidaway Island, marsh plants and local animals. All ages. Meet at the Interpretive Center.
Take a lovely stroll from the Smithgall Woods Visitor’s Center to our rustic log cabin, on a crisp winter day, for some warm cider and a beautiful view. Take a guided hike, starting at the Visitor’s Center, to the cottages of Smithgall. Once there, enjoy a warm apple cider & continue on to Dukes Creek Falls, if you so choose. All ages. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
Stephen C. Foster
Take a guided hike on the Trembling Earth Nature Trail. See some of the effects from the Honey Prairie Fire. Learn why fire is a vital process of the unique Okefenokee ecosystem. As you hike, learn about the plants and animals found in the beautiful Okefenokee Swamp. This is an easy 3/4 mile trail. Please bring water. Meet at the Trading Post.
9:00am, 10:30am, & 3:00pm
Lithia Springs, GA
9:00am: Get the New Year started off right in 2016 with you and your dog, we will enjoy a guided hike by a park ranger along Sweetwater Creek and view the exterior of the New Manchester Mill from the recent movie "Mockingjay." Please bring water for you and your dog. All ages. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
10:30am: Join us on New Year's Day for a strenuous 1.5 mile hike on the beautiful East Side as we visit the "Indian Cave" and learn about the Native American history of the area. Please bring water and snacks. All ages. No pets. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
3:00pm: Enjoy a New Year's Day Hike guided by a park ranger, you will view Sweetwater Creek, discuss interpretive signs along the way and see the New Manchester Mill exterior from the popular movie "Mockingjay." Please bring water. All ages. No pets. Meet at the Visitor's Center.
10:00am & 2:00pm
Tallulah Falls, GA
10:00am: This hike will allow visitors to see views not normally open to the public. Please bring water. Ages 8 and up. Meet at the Interpretive Center.
2:00pm: Start the first day of the New Year creating a new family tradition-Hiking. Families will be given a small family journal for participating to begin documenting their family hikes together. Park Rangers will also give activities so that families can explore together. All ages. Meet at the Historic Jail.
Start the new year off with a hike along the scenic muscadine trail, With a stop at the birding overlook to see what birds you can spot overlooking Lake Hartwell. Please bring water. All ages. Meet at the day-use trailhead.
The first day hike at Victoria Bryant will be a night time hike along Victoria's Path as well as portions of the Perimeter trail. The hike will conclude with a bonfire where you can roast s'mores and make some new friends around the fire. Please bring water, snacks, flashlight. Ages 8 and up. Meet at the Nature Center.
Ring in the New Year with a First Day Hike. The hike is 4.1 miles in length and will be at a leisurely pace, with some optional add-ons for those who are interested. We plan to stop at a beautiful overlook with a spectacular view of Vogel’s Lake Trahlyta. This hike will be guided by experienced hikers from the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club (GATC). Please bring water, snacks, comfortable shoes, and dress appropriately. All ages. Meet at the park office.
Watson Mill Bridge
History Bridge and power plant hike. All ages. Meet at the Bridge parking lot.
January 2nd, 11:00am
A beautiful hike along our scenic marsh and Moon River, to Battery Wimberly, a Civil War earthen fort. Interpretive guides will give a history of Wormsloe along the way, including information about one of the most well preserved Civil War earthworks in Georgia. Please bring comfortable shoes, water. All ages. Meet at the Interpretive Center.
© 2016 - Georgia Department of Natural Resources