National Trails Day is June 4, 2016

Events Celebrate 85th Anniversary of Georgia’s State Parks

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ATLANTA, May 2, 2016 -- Georgians of all ages are invited to lace up their hiking boots this June in celebration of National Trails Day and the 85th anniversary of Georgia’s State Park System. Park rangers are saying “hike with us on our birthday” as a way to honor our country’s largest public trail event. Sponsored by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day is held the first Saturday of each June and highlights 200,000 miles of trails that crisscross America.

Programs included ranger-led hikes, kayak tours, caving, geocaching and even the kickoff of a new dog walking club. While most are set for Saturday, June 4, a few will happen throughout the month.  A partial listing of National Trails Day events is below and more can be found at  To make reservations for camping, cottages or yurts, visitors can go online or call 1-800-864-7275.  Georgia’s state parks and historic sites are operated by the Department of Natural Resources. To learn more about the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, visit
National Trails Day Events – Divided by Region
Northern Georgia
Wild Cave Tours
Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sunday, June 5, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cloudland Canyon State Park - Rising Fawn, GA
You will get muddy and wet on a family friendly underground adventure. Our guides will educate you on cave formations, bats, and geology while you have fun getting muddy and wet climbing and crawling your way through a wild cave. Reservations required. $30-$60. $5 parking. 800-979-3370.
Sunset Point: Cloudland Canyon's Hidden Gem
Saturday, June 4, 8:15 p.m.
Cloudland Canyon State Park - Rising Fawn, GA
Take a short walk with the park naturalist to Sunset Point, Cloudland Canyon State Park's best-kept secret. Enjoy expansive views of Trenton, Lookout Valley, Sand Mountain and more while the sky turns colorful at sunset. Meet at the West Rim Access Parking Lot. $5 parking. 706-657-4050.
A Walk Through the Mining Industry
Saturday, June 4, 1 – 3 p.m.
James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park - Summerville, GA
The hills of northwest Georgia use to be rich with mining operations in the 1960s and 1970s. Join a ranger-led hike to the old Marble Mine and discover the history that lies in these hills. $5 parking. 706-857-0826.
National Trails Day Hike to Hemlock Falls
Saturday, June 4, 9 – 11 a.m.
Moccasin Creek State Park - Clarkesville, GA
Take a ranger-led, 2.2-mile hike to Hemlock Falls. Please bring water and be prepared to walk on uneven and sometimes muddy terrain. Park and meet at the Hemlock Falls Trail Head. 706-947-3194.
Metro Atlanta Area
Tails on Trails -- National Trails Day Dog Hike
Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs, GA
Bring your four-legged hiking companion and join a ranger on our 4-mile Red Trail. Dogs must be leashed at all times. We’ll explore areas of whitewater rapids (up to class IV) and see the ruins of the Civil War-era New Manchester Mill, as seen in Hunger Games. Two people per dog max. Register in advance.  $7 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.
New Moon Kayak Tour
Friday, June 3, 8:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park - Rutledge, GA
Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, star-gazing and a relaxing time on the water. A new moon means that many stars will be visible on the nighttime paddle. The program will proceed if it is cloudy or lightly drizzling. Register in advance. Meet at the lake beach. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Frogging (and Other Night Sounds) by Kayak
Saturday, June 4, 8:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park - Rutledge, GA
Join Environmental Outreach Coordinator Linda May for this nighttime symphony by a host of nocturnal creatures. Frogs, crickets and hopefully an owl or two may be heard on this easy paddle on Lake Rutledge. Enjoy the stars after the sun goes down if the night sky is clear. Space is limited, please pre-register. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Civil War Battle Commemoration and National Trails Day Hike
Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Pickett's Mill Battlefield Historic Site - Dallas, GA
The Battle of Pickett’s Mill was one of the few Confederate victories during the Civil War. Witness artillery and musket firing demonstrations. Learn what it was like to be a soldier at this battle, and see how civilians were affected by this battle. Finish the afternoon with a guided hike on the actual battlefield. $3.00 - $5.50. 770-443-7850.
Middle & Southern Georgia
Hidden Gem Nature Hike
Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. - Noon
George L. Smith State Park - Twin City, GA
Walk with us along our 3-mile nature trail to look for gopher tortoise habitat. Bring your camera for the chance to take a picture of Georgia's State Reptile. We suggest bringing comfortable shoes, water and bug spray. No pets please. $5 parking. 478-763-2759.
History Trail Geocaching Tour
Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site - Juliette, GA
In honor of National Trails Day, we challenge visitors to complete our special History Trail GeoTour. Never geocached before? This is a great way to get started. All you need are good walking shoes and a prize/keepsake to trade when you unlock the geocache box. No GPS required. $4-$6.50. 478-986-5172.
Coastal Region
National Trails Day Hike
Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m.
Fort McAllister State Park - Richmond Hill, GA
Help us make one of our biggest goals become a reality. After a morning hike on Redbird Creek Trail, we need volunteers to help work on new trails inside this low-country park. $5 parking. Free for volunteers. 912-727-2339.
National Trails Day Boardwalk Hike
Saturday, June 4, 9 - 10 a.m.
Stephen C. Foster State Park - Fargo, GA
Celebrate National Trails Day with a ranger-led hike on our Trembling Earth Boardwalk trail to see a portion of the Okefenokee Swamp. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.