PADDLING CLUB LAUNCHES IN GEORGIA'S STATE PARKS
Georgia’s State Park System offers a club just for canoe and kayak enthusiasts. The Park Paddlers Club includes six state parks with waterways ranging from tidal rivers to the celebrated Okefenokee Swamp. Members can earn a bragging-rights t-shirt by paddling all 22 miles at Crooked River, George L. Smith, Chattahoochee Bend, Reed Bingham, Stephen C. Foster and Sweetwater Creek state parks.
To join, park visitors buy a $10 membership card at any of the six participating parks. After completing the trails and getting their card punched at each park office, members can sport a bragging-rights t-shirt.
Most participating parks are in middle or south Georgia, while Sweetwater Creek is just 14 miles west of Atlanta. At this metro park, club members will explore three miles of a scenic reservoir. At George L. Smith State Park near Swainsboro, paddlers can explore a pretty mill pond dotted with Spanish-moss draped trees. Visitors to Reed Bingham State Park in Adel will complete more than three miles, floating past lily pads and a bald eagle nest. The most difficult is a four-mile loop on a tidal river at Crooked River State Park near St. Marys. Finally, at Stephen C. Foster State Park in Fargo, paddlers can look for alligators, bears and other wildlife in the mysterious Okefenokee Swamp.
Other clubs offered through the Georgia State Park System’s “Get Outdoors Georgia” initiative include the Canyon Climbers Club for hikers and the Muddy Spokes Club for mountain bikers. To learn more, visit www.GeorgiaStateParks.org or call 770-389-7401.