Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites
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Hike all four parks and earn a Canyon Climbers Club t-shirt!

The 729-foot Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascade east of the Mississippi River. A paved, one-mile Base of Falls Trail begins at the bottom and climbs up the mountain while following the water’s edge. Overlooks and staircases with a total of 604 steps provide excellent views, and thankfully a few benches offer places to rest. Club members must hike this red-blazed trail to get their card punched. Amicalola Falls State Park is near Dawsonville in the middle of north Georgia. Overnight accommodations include a mountain-top lodge, rental cottages and campground.

Park volunteer Jack Fussell is proof that hiking waterfall trails can be good for both your heart and happiness. In 2002, he weighed 272 pounds and suffered from a bleeding ulcer. After hiking the Base of Falls trail several times a week, he had lost 86 pounds in nine months. Today he weighs a healthy 172.
 


On the edge of Lookout Mountain in northwest Georgia sits Cloudland Canyon State Park. The rugged gorge has more than six miles of hiking trails, including the one-mile Waterfalls Trail with a 600-step staircase. During very dry summers, the park’s two waterfalls can shrink to a trickle, yet the rugged scenery of this park remains some of the best in the state. Club members must hike down the Waterfalls Trail, and back up of course, to get their card punched.
 

Tallulah Gorge State Park in northeast Georgia is one of the most spectacular canyons in the South. The 1,000-foot-deep gorge was crossed twice by high wire acrobats – Professor Leon in 1886 and Karl Wallenda in 1970. Today, visitors can hike from one side to the other via a suspension bridge swaying 80 feet from the bottom. The staircases leading to the bridge include 310 steps from the north rim and 340 from the south rim – quite a workout for visitors who complete the whole journey. However, Canyon Climbers Club members need walk only up and down from the north rim’s overlook 2.
 

One of Georgia’s most photographed landscapes is Providence Canyon State Park in the southwest. The beautiful multi-hued soil of these canyons was originally exposed after farmers used poor erosion control during the 1800s. Today, the area is a protected state park with 10 miles of trails and backpacking sites. A surprising feature of the park is the perpetually wet canyon floor. The exposed water table creates a pretty pattern in the sand, called a “braided stream.” Club members need to hike the loop trail, with a side trip into scenic canyon 5, to complete their 1.5-mile quest.  Because the park's visitor center is now closed, membership cards are punched at Florence Marina State Park, a short drive away.


For overnight reservations, call the Georgia State Park Reservation Center at 1-800-864-7275.


 

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