Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites
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Free Day: Sept. 25, 2010
Free Day in the Parks: September 25, 2010
Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites dedicate day to volunteers and visitors

ATLANTA, GA, August 24, 2010 ~~ Put away your wallet and pull out your fishing pole or hiking boots. Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites is offering free admission on Saturday, September 25 as part of National Public Lands Day. The statewide celebration is a way to thank park visitors and volunteers for their support of outdoor recreation and historic preservation.

“Georgia’s state parks and historic sites wouldn’t be here without our visitors and supporters,” said Parks Director Becky Kelley. “Free Day in the Parks is our way of thanking the thousands of people who volunteer their time, spend their vacations in the parks, or even just visit for the day. We are waiving the parking fee, but of course voluntary contributions are welcome because they help us preserve Georgia’s public green spaces.”

Sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company, the celebration includes dozens of family-friendly events, such as outdoor adventure day at Unicoi, a children’s fishing rodeo at Indian Springs and pioneer harvest festival at General Coffee. A full calendar of events is posted at and selected programs are listed below. Numerous volunteer projects are being coordinated by the non-profit Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites with nearly 50 chapters across the state.

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 25 is also National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources at many events and locations.

“For less than a tank of gas, families can enjoy a full day of ranger programs, hiking, biking, picnicking, birding and more,” said Kelley. “All visitors will pay for are rental facilities, some events or programs, activities such as canoe rental and mini golf, and accommodations like cottages, lodge rooms or campsites.”

Modern campsites, fully equipped cottages, unique yurts and hotel-style lodge rooms provide overnight accommodations for outdoor enthusiasts who want to stay for the weekend. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-864-7275. To learn more, visit


Sample “Free Day” Events by Region
A full calendar is listed on

Northern Georgia

Outdoor Adventure Day
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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. There will also be wildlife shows with live snakes and hawks and hayrides. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

Georgia Geocaching 101
2 PM to 3 p.m.
Moccasin Creek State Park - Clarkesville
High-tech treasure hunting geared for the whole family is what geocaching is all about. Learn how to use a GPS and how to navigate geo websites, participate in mock exercises and develop hunting techniques. Bring your unit and a sense of adventure! A limited number of GPS units will be available for loan. 706-947-3194.

Kids Fishing Rodeo
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Mistletoe State Park - Appling
Kids, we're stocking catfish just so you can catch dinner for the family tonight. You must bring your own pole and bait. Friends of Mistletoe State Park will cook hotdogs and have drinks after the rodeo. Sorry parents, but this event is limited to kids 15 and younger. 706-541-0321.

Middle & Southern Georgia

Pioneer Harvest Festival
9 a.m. to 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. Donations appreciated. 912-384-1581.

Junior Fishing Rodeo and Lakeside Cleanup
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Reed Bingham State Park - Adel
Children 15 and under bring your poles and rods so you can fish in the stocked ponds from 9am-11am. Families bring your gloves and join other volunteers in doing a shoreline cleanup around the lake and behind the dam. 229-896-3551.

Junior Angler Fishing Rodeo
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Indian Springs State Park - Flovilla
Join us for "Save our State Parks Day" with a fun-filled morning where even little fish bring on big smiles and each fish caught makes you a prize-winning angler! Participants ages 15 and younger are welcomed with an adult. Please bring poles, tackle and chairs. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn about fishing while supporting our Georgia State Parks. 770-504-2277.

Coastal Georgia

Scavenger Hunt and Blackpowder
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site - Darien
Visit the fort and complete the Family Scavenger Hunt to be eligible to win one of three gift certificates. Living history and black powder demonstrations will be on-going. 912-437-4770.

Colonial Cricket
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site - Savannah
The sport of cricket returns to Savannah as it was played among the first colonists in the 1730s. Capt. Noble Jones will be on hand to explain the rules and umpire the matches. No equipment is necessary and anyone can play. 912-353-3023.

Invasive Plant Day
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Skidaway Island State Park, Savnnah
Volunteer to be a "Tallow Terror" and learn how to "hack and squirt" for the removal of the highly invasive Chinese Tallow Trees. 912-598-2300.

Metro Atlanta

Cleanup Sweetwater Creek
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park - Lithia Springs
Join us for a park cleanup, light trail maintenance, native grass plantings, and invasive plant removal on the 17th annual National Public Lands Day, our nation's largest hands-on volunteer event to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. 770 732-5871.

Road Bike Ride
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. 404-375-6789.

Etowah Mounds Clean Up Day
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site - Cartersville
Volunteers are needed to help spread wood chips on paths, clean up picnic areas and mulch trees. 770-387-3747.

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