New Year, New Updates at Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 09:00

A new year means new changes, updates and additions to elevate visitors’ experiences at Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites.

With these new offerings guests to Georgia’s state parks will find new ways to get out, discover and explore. Below includes a list of the latest additions to Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites:

New Accommodations

Site-Specific Reservations at Select Parks

Five of Georgia’s State Parks now allow visitors to reserve their favorite campsite in advance. Called “site-specific,” the reservations are available for the entire campgrounds at Richard B. Russell, James H. Floyd and Amicalola Falls in northern Georgia, and select sections of Reed Bingham and Laura S. Walker state park campgrounds in south Georgia.

Hard Labor Creek State Park’s Renovated Campground

Renovations at this park near Rutledge include two new comfort stations, upgraded water and electrical service, and full-hookup sewer service at 12 sites. The road around the 51-site campground has been re-paved, and many campsites feature new landscaping.

New and Renovated Cottages 

Many of Georgia’s State Parks have renovated or built new cottages and cabins that reflect the setting of the park, whether mountain or coast. At Fort Mountain State Park near Chatsworth, renovations feature fresh, modern décor and updated kitchens and baths. Laura S. Walker State Park in Waycross recently opened six new Sportsman’s Cabins. Each Sportsman’s Cabin can accommodate six guests with two bedrooms and a sleeper sofa. Kitchens are furnished with dishes, and large screened porches sport rocking chairs. Eight rental cottages were added to Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park near Reidsville. These all face Brazell’s Creek Golf Course and include screened porches, fireplaces and televisions.

Outdoor Adventure

Ziplines at Amicalola Falls State Park and Unicoi State Park

At Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge and Unicoi State Park and Lodge, the parks have developed the perfect recipe for a great escape at their newly deemed Adventure Lodges. Amicalola Falls’ Aerial Adventure Course consisting of 11 ziplines that range from 75 to 2,000 feet and three suspended bridges, with varying heights and lengths to appeal to adventurers of all levels. Unicoi State Park and Lodge features more than 10 ziplines and is equipped with suspension bridges and a ropes course that vary in height and length. Both parks are in the north Georgia mountains.

Mountain Bike Trails

The newest mountain bike trails connect Cloudland Canyon State Park to outlier trails such as the Cloudland Connector Trail and the 5 Points Recreation Area. The Cloudland Connector Trail is accessible from the park, and extends 14 miles across Lookout Mountain to the Lula Lake Land Trust and to the 5 Points section. The 5 Points Recreation Area was a former coal mining site that now hosts miles of single-track mountain bike trails ranging in skill levels from easy to strenuous and technical.

“Dark Sky” Astronomy Award to Stephen C. Foster State Park

Stephen C. Foster is one of Georgia’s most remote state parks, and has been designated among the best spots in the world for star gazing. In December 2016, the International Dark Sky Association named the park in the Okefenokee Swamp as a gold-tier “International Dark Sky Park” – the first in Georgia. The prestigious designation means that Stephen C. Foster State Park’s skies have very little light pollution and that visitors enjoy exceptional views of the moon, stars, planets and comets.

Horse stables at A.H. Stephens State Park

A.H. Stephens opened 20 new horse stalls. The new horse facility is adjacent to the existing 10 stalls, and is near 21 miles of horse trails, 20 equestrian campsites and four cottages. The equestrian campground and stable area were designed to accommodate large trailers.

Private Tours at Roosevelt’s Little White House

President F.D. Roosevelt’s modest “Little White House” has been left much as it was when the president suffered a stroke and passed away April 12, 1945. Visitors are welcome to tour on their own, but for a deeper look into FDR’s life, sign up for a 90-minute tour with a historian. You’ll be fascinated by the president’s experiences in the little town of Warm Springs.

New Group Offerings

Group Shelters at Crooked River State Park

Perfect for family reunions and church picnics, two enclosed group shelters have opened at Crooked River in St. Marys. Group shelter one hosts up to 80 people and group shelter two hosts up to 135 people and is ADA accessible. Both group shelters have heat and air conditioning, and a large barbecue pit.

Conference Space Coming to Indian Springs State Park

Indian Springs State Park near Jackson broke ground in January 2017 on a new conference facility. The new venue will have a capacity for 500 people, welcoming visitors for family reunions, parties, meetings, weddings and other large gatherings. It will be located in the park’s day-use area with views of 105-acre Lake McIntosh.

Beyond the new, Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites has been getting people outside for 85 years, with ranger-led hikes and programming; rentals on kayaks, paddleboards, etc; geocaching and archery; and miles of trails for hikers, equestrian riders and mountain bikers. Accommodations include campsites, lodges, cabins and yurts, and can be booked by visiting or by calling 1-800-864-7275.