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Your State Parks Day: September 29, 2012

Parking Fees and Museum Admission Fees Waived

ATLANTA, GA, September 2012 -- Put away your wallet and pull out your fishing pole. Visitors to Georgia's State Parks & Historic Sites will not pay for parking or admission on Saturday, September 29 as part of National Public Lands Day. Sponsored by the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, the celebration brings attention to ways that parks enrich communities, plus the importance of local volunteerism. Parking is normally $5 at state parks, and admission ranges from $2.50 to $10 at state historic sites. Activity fees (such as boat rental) will still apply.

“We’re calling this celebration ‘Your State Parks Day’ to remind Georgians that state parks and historic sites belong to them,” said Andy Fleming, executive director of the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites.  “Parks add so much to our lives.  We’re hoping more people will visit the state park closest to their homes, and that they’ll join one of the service projects happening that day.”
The statewide event includes numerous volunteer projects and family-friendly programs.  At Fort Yargo, mountain bikers will work on trails, at Hard Labor Creek, rangers will lead a wildlife kayaking expedition, and at Unicoi, visitors can help clean up Smith Creek.  A full calendar is posted at
Friends is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Georgia’s state parks and historic sites in many ways.  Some members serve as campground hosts, others lead programs such as guided hikes, and some help with basic maintenance. Most members support the organization simply by purchasing annual memberships.
“It’s no secret that state park systems across the country are struggling with limited funds and resources,” said Fleming.  “We’re helping fill that gap.  And regular park visitors can help too, by visiting more often, by staying overnight more often and by volunteering when they can.”
Georgia is known for its exceptional state park system that provides a variety of outdoor recreation while also protecting natural and cultural resources.  Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, boating, geocaching, picnicking, golf and numerous other activities.  Historically significant places such as Etowah Indian Mounds and Roosevelt’s Little White House tell the story of Georgia’s rich past. 
Cabins, lodges, campgrounds and yurts let visitors spend short getaways and longer vacations within the parks, putting hiking trails and fishing lakes right outside their door.  Reservations can be made online at and by calling 1-800-864-7275. 
Free parking and admission during “Your State Parks Day” is available to all Georgia residents and visitors.  Participating locations can be found on, including Cloudland Canyon, Skidaway Island, Victoria Bryant, Dahlonega Gold Museum, Kolomoki Mounds and dozens of other destinations.  Because Stone Mountain, Jekyll Island, Lake Lanier, Jefferson Davis Memorial, Lapham-Patterson House, Sprewell Bluff, John Tanner Park, Sapelo Island and Robert Toombs House, are not operated by the State Parks Division of the Department of Natural Resources’ State Parks Division, they are not included in the free day. 
“We are thankful for the support that our Friends members give us,” said State Parks Director Becky Kelley.  “We wouldn’t be able to offer this free day to Georgians without their help.  Hopefully, more people will take this opportunity to explore parks that are right in their own communities.”

The day-long celebration is also in honor of National Public Lands Day and is a Georgia SHAPE initiative.

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List of Participating State Parks and Historic Sites by County

Fort Yargo State Park             Barrow
Red Top Mountain State Park            Bartow
Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site   Bartow
Fort McAllister Historic Park               Bryan
Indian Springs State Park                   Butts
Crooked River State Park                  Camden
Stephen C. Foster State Park                        Charlton
Skidaway Island State Park               Chatham
Wormsloe Historic Site                       Chatham
James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park Chattanooga
George T. Bagby State Park & Lodge           Clay
General Coffee State Park                 Coffee
Mistletoe State Park               Columbia
Reed Bingham State Park                  Cook
Georgia Veterans State Park             Crisp
Cloudland Canyon State Park            Dade
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge           Dawson
Panola Mountain State Park               Dekalb
Sweetwater Creek State Park            Douglas
Kolomoki Mounds Historic Park         Early
Bobby Brown Outdoor Recreation Area        Elbert
Richard B. Russell State Park            Elbert
George L. Smith State Park               Emanual
Tugaloo State Park                 Franklin
Victoria Bryant State Park                  Franklin
Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site     Glynn
New Echota Historic Site                    Gordon
F.D. Roosevelt State Park                  Harris
Hart Outdoor Recreation Area           Hart
Chattahoochee Bend              Coweta
Magnolia Springs State Park              Jenkins
High Falls State Park              Lamar
Fort Morris Historic Site          Liberty
Elijah Clark State Park                       Lincoln
Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site          Lumpkin
Watson Mill Bridge State Park            Madison
Fort King George Historic Site            McIntosh
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site   Meriwether
Hard Labor Creek State Park             Morgan
Fort Mountain State Park                   Murray
Chief Vann House Historic Site          Murray
Pickett's Mill Battlefield Historic Site  Paulding
Tallulah Gorge State Park                  Rabun
Black Rock Mountain State Park       Rabun
Moccasin Creek State Park               Rabun
Seminole State Park               Seminole
Travelers Rest Historic Site                Stephens
Florence Marina State Park               Stewart
Providence Canyon Outdoor Recreation Area          Stewart
A.H. Stephens Historic Park               Taliaferro
Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park        Tattnall
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site             Twiggs
Vogel State Park                     Union
Laura S. Walker State Park                Ware
Hamburg Outdoor Recreation Area   Washington
Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge          Wheeler
Smithgall Woods State Park               White
Unicoi State Park and Lodge              White

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