COVID-19 and Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

Parks With Limited Access

The parks below are experiencing high visitation and are currently restricting access for new visitors to allow for social distancing and protect the health of the public and our employees. The times each site becomes restricted are listed below. Please understand that admission may be limited for several hours and will reopen once there is available capacity. This applies to day-use, not guests with reservations. 

Saturday May 30 temporary access restrictions:

  • Tugaloo State Park, beach area - 5:00 p.m.
  • Red Top Mountain State Park, beach area - 5:30 p.m.

Some parks are experiencing large crowds on weekends. Park staff may temporarily limit access to ensure social distancing and protect the health of the public and our employees. Please understand that admission may be limited for several hours and will reopen once there is available capacity. Check individual park webpages or Facebook pages for updates.

Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites is actively monitoring COVID-19 and its impact on our state. Below are the most updated steps we are taking to protect visitors, staff, and all Georgians.

Governor Kemp’s Executive Order 04.02.20.01 identifies outdoor activity as an essential activity, so long as visitors maintain proper social distance and follow established CDC Guidelines.


Last updated 05/21/20 9:35 am

State Parks Remain Open

We know being in nature is comforting, so most State Parks and Historic Sites remain open. Trails, boat ramps, fishing docks, campsites, cabins and golf courses remain open, allowing you to enjoy being outside. However, we need everyone’s help in social distancing and following guidelines. Please consider staying in your community and visiting your local park. Visiting Georgia’s most well-known state parks is not recommended at this time. We are fortunate to have a large State Park System covering more than 84,000 acres, so we recommend exploring lesser-known or close-to-home parks and historic sites.

Visitor Centers and Museums Temporarily Closed

Visitor centers, museums, and other buildings are closed to the public. Rangers will continue to staff the Visitor Centers and Museums and provide assistance over the phone and through web-based resources. Most historic site grounds and walking trails remain open.

During this period, picnic shelters and group shelters are limited to reservations with 10 or less people. All other group reservations have been rescheduled or canceled and refunded through May 31.

Reservations

Overnight guests may pay remaining balances online and enjoy convenient self check-in using the RA Camping App (Apple Devices or Android Devices) before going straight to their cabin, campsite or yurt. If checking in to a locked facility, call park offices to receive additional instructions. If you prefer, you may also contact the park office to pay your balance.

Trails, Boat Ramps and Other Day-Use Activities

Visitors can still enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, disc golf, fishing, camping and most other outdoor recreation. Parks may temporarily limit access for several hours on busy days if capacity is reached. Some parks may limit access to trails in order to maintain social distancing. Some boat ramps may also limit access if parking reaches capacity. Beaches are open but social distancing is strictly enforced. Some restrooms and campground bathhouses may be closed. Help us keep parks open by following CDC guidelines for social distancing, as well as park rules and regulations.

Playgrounds, Splash Pads and Rentals

Playgrounds, splash pads and exercise stations are closed. Recreational equipment rental is suspended, including bikes, kayaks, fishing boats, mini golf and disc golf equipment.

Swimming Pools

All swimming pools at Georgia State Parks will be closed for the entire Summer 2020 operating season.

Social Distancing Required

Georgia State Parks strongly requires guests to practice social distancing and follow guidelines for hygiene while visiting the parks. When planning a trip to a state park, we encourage you to visit one near your home.

This applies to our Park Rangers as well. They are passionate about their jobs and providing opportunities for people to recreate in but their health and well-being is important too. Most of our staff will be patrolling by vehicle and be available by phone.

Daily $5 ParkPasses can be purchased online, on mobile devices using the QR at self-pay stations located throughout every park.

Purchase daily ParkPass online

Sanitation

Safety is our utmost priority, so we want to assure you that facilities are being properly sanitized and restrooms are well stocked with soap. Our staff and volunteers have significantly increased the number of times that public areas are cleaned. We are sanitizing bathrooms, door handles, railings, and other high traffic areas in accordance with public health guidelines.

Programs

Ranger-led programs have been rescheduled or postponed to comply with the CDC's guidelines for proper social distancing. Our Interpretive Rangers are working to create free education content to help school children continue learning from home.

Golf Courses

Golf courses are open. Our club houses and pro shops are closed to walk in traffic, but staff remain available on site and available by phone to assist you. You may reserve and pay for a tee time by calling the club house directly, or by booking online through each courses website. We require all golfers to follow CDC guidelines and use proper social distancing when playing. Our staff is taking all possible actions to make the course a safe place to play, including modified bunker rules, limiting tap-in requirements so golfers are not required to reach their hands in the cup, and cleaning the carts after each use.

Groups

Group shelters and picnic shelters may not have more than 10 people gathered as we cannot guarantee that there is adequate space for persons to remain 6 feet apart at all times.

Dining Facilities

Dining facilities at all Georgia State Park Lodges are closed at this time.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Responsibility

Think Twice

The potential impact on recreational waters, streams and natural areas. Keeping state water clean.

Safe Handling & Disposal

Safe disposal and cleaning wipe litter awareness. Guidance for people who are fear-based littering, an option for self-disposal of contaminated PPE’s.

Waste To Water

The impact of improperly disposed of PPE’s in parking lots and the effect they may have on the storm drain system.



View Previous Updates
May 6

Update: May 6, 2020
In regard to the status of Georgia’s beaches, the DNR Administrative Order signed by DNR Commissioner Mark Williams on April 29, 2020 will expire at 11:59pm on May 6, 2020. The order in a similar or current fashion has been in place since April 3. The department’s safety restrictions were established and implemented in concordance with the Governor’s office as a necessary step to protect the public and a way to help people stay in compliance with the COVID-19 response directives. Even as the administrative order expires and the beach usage restrictions along with it, DNR is continuing to ramp up Game Warden patrols to comprehensively monitor our beaches for compliance.

As we navigate this difficult time, should someone voluntarily leave their shelter, DNR is requiring that everyone on the beaches follow the social distancing directives of maintaining six feet distance from others and the prohibiting of gatherings of more than ten persons. The public is encouraged to report any observed noncompliance by alerting DNR Game Wardens, calling the DNR Ranger Hotline at 1-800-241-4113, or emailing rangerhotline@dnr.ga.gov.

April 15

April 15, 2020
The Department of Natural Resources Commissioner, Mark Williams, has signed an administrative order prohibiting the use of chairs, tents, umbrellas, and/or coolers on Georgia’s coastal beaches seaward of the ordinary high water mark. The order is effective from April 14 until April 30, 2020. The use of chairs, tents, umbrellas, and/or coolers is also prohibited on beaches at all state parks.

April 3
April 3, 2020

State Parks & Historic Sites Remain Open

During this difficult time, being in nature can be especially comforting. Per Gov. Brian Kemp’s Executive Order, outdoor activity is identified as an essential activity, as long as visitors follow recommended social-distancing guidelines. As a result, Georgia DNR-managed State Parks and Historic Sites remain open. We are fortunate to have a large park system covering more than 84,000 acres, however, please consider staying in your community and visiting your local park. Visiting Georgia’s most well-known state parks is not recommended at this time. Many historic sites have walking trails which are less crowded than parks.

Some Closures

Visitor centers, museums, southern Georgia lodges, playgrounds, some campground bath houses and laundries, and some other buildings are closed. Rangers are still on site, available to assist guests and answer phones. Trail access may be limited due to capacity. Park gates will close if parking reaches capacity.

Visiting Soon?

Parking fees ($5) should be paid at self-pay stations inside the parks or by QR codes on mobile devices or online. Overnight guests should use self check-in with the RA Camping app, going straight to their cabin, campsite or yurt. Call the park directly for specific instructions and check-in proceedures. Online Reservations.

Social Distancing Required

Trails, boat ramps, fishing docks, campsites, cabins and most golf courses remain open. All guests must follow CDC social-distancing guidelines. Help us remain open by staying more than 6 feet from other guests at all times. Parks will close trails, parking lots, boat ramps, and outdoor areas if they reach capacity.

Explore from Home

To help school children continue learning, check our free eRanger lessons. More educational materials are available on individual parks’ Facebook pages. Kids can even earn Junior Ranger stickers while at home.
 
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in helping parks to remain open while keeping guests and staff safe. Please enjoy your visit.
 
March 30
March 30, 2020

State Parks Remain Open

We know being in nature is comforting, so Georgia DNR-managed State Parks and Historic Sites remain open. However, we need everyone’s help in social distancing and following guidelines. Please consider staying in your community and visiting your local park. Visiting Georgia’s most well-known state parks is not recommended at this time. We are fortunate to have a large State Park System covering more than 84,000 acres, so we recommend exploring lesser-known or closer to home parks and historic sites.

Trails, boat ramps, fishing docks, campsites, cabins and golf courses remain open, allowing you to enjoy being outside. Safety is our utmost priority, so playgrounds are closed while visitor centers, museums and other buildings are limiting walk-in access. Rangers are still on site, available to assist guests and answer phones.

Visiting Soon?
Daily parking fees can be paid by QR codes on mobile devices and annual ParkPasses are available online. Overnight guests are encouraged to use self check-in and the RA Camping app, going straight to their cabin, campsite or yurt.

Social Distancing
We remind all citizens or the importance of following CDC guidelines by staying in one place and maintaining a safe distance of at least six feet from others. Help us remain open by following these recommendations. Park Rangers and Game Wardens will be enforcing proper social distancing. Ranger programs have been rescheduled. Group picnic shelters are limiting the number of guests allowed. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in helping parks to remain open while keeping guests and staff safe. Please enjoy your visit.
 
March 27
March 27, 2020

Georgia DNR’s State Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division confirmed that an employee at Sweetwater Creek State Park in Douglas County has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was tested on March 23 and received the positive notification on March 25. The employee worked only inside the Visitor Center and was last at the park on March 20. It is not known how the employee contracted the virus. Staff members that had contact with the employee are now at home under public health recommended self-isolation protocols. The Visitor Center at Sweetwater Creek will be closed until it can be properly cleaned and sanitized. Sweetwater Creek State Park continues to be open and operational.

All Georgia State Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites’ visitor centers, museums, golf pro shops, and nature centers are now restricting access to comply with the Governor’s directive to reduce gatherings to 10 people or less while maintaining social distance. Staff still remain on site and available via phone and email to assist visitors with their needs.

March 27, 2020 - Lodge Parks (managed by Coral Hospitality)

Coral Hospitality which manages the five lodge parks for Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites is modifying some operations beginning this weekend. Dining facilities at all lodges are closing Friday, March 27. The lodges and cabins at Lake Blackshear Resort, Little Ocmulgee, and George T. Bagby state parks will be closing Sunday, March 29 at 12pm. Meadow Links Golf Course at George T Bagby State Park will close Saturday, March 28 at 6pm. Marina operations at George T Bagby State Park will close Sunday, March 29 at 12pm. The lodges and cabins at Amicalola and Unicoi state parks remain open as well as day use and campgrounds at all lodge parks. Please continue to practice proper social distancing while enjoying trails, fishing docks, and other open spaces.
 
March 26
March 26 - Thank you to everyone for your cooperation in helping us keep our properties open by continuing to maintain proper social distance while enjoying trails, fishing docks, and other open spaces.

Our site managers are using staff and volunteers to significantly increase the number of times that public areas are cleaned. We are sanitizing bathrooms, door handles, railings, and other high traffic areas in accordance with public health guidelines. Our state parks and historic site grounds are open, however visitor centers and museums are closed to walk in traffic. We have staff on site to assist guests and answer phones. To help maintain safe social distance with our staff, we recommend our overnight guests utilize our online self check-in and payment system. Individual parks are taking additional specific safety precautions. For example, Tallulah Gorge is limiting traffic on the trail to the bridge to reduce social density on the stairs. Out of an abundance of caution, we are closing playgrounds. Instead, we are encouraging visitors to explore the many trails and other recreational activities at the parks.

Because parks near the metro area, such as Red Top Mountain are typically busier, we are asking visitors to take this opportunity to explore lesser known parks and historic sites around the state. Find other parks on our website at GaStateParks.org/Map.

Because this is a fluid situation, we will continue to post updates and operational changes as they arise. We recommend anyone planning a visit should check the website or call the property before arriving.
 
March 23
March 23 - Safety is our utmost priority, so visitor centers, museums, golf pro shops and other buildings will be limiting access. Rangers are onsite and available to assist guests. Rangers are also available by phone and email. Facilities are being properly sanitized and restrooms are well stocked with soap. Help us follow CDC guidelines by maintaining a safe distance of at least six feet from other guests and our rangers.

Overnight guests may pay remaining balances online and enjoy convenient self check-in using the RA Camping App before going straight to their cabin, campsite or yurt. If checking in to a locked facility, call park offices to receive additional instructions. If you prefer, you may also contact the park office to pay your balance. We are waiving cancellation fees and offering full refunds or transfers for arrival dates through April 7. For this reason, many high-demand parks may have new vacancies for those planning last-minute getaways.

Ranger programs have been postponed or rescheduled. Rental group facilities are limited to 10 or fewer attendees. Day-use areas remain open.

We recognize being in nature is especially comforting at this time and we appreciate your understanding and cooperation to help us to remain open and keep our guests and staff safe. Please enjoy your visit.
 
March 20
March 20 - We fully recognize being in nature is especially comforting at this time, so DNR-managed Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites remain open. Some partner-operated sites may have reduced hours and closures, which can be seen on each site’s respective website.

Safety is our utmost priority, so we want to assure you that facilities are being properly sanitized and restrooms are well stocked with soap. Ranger programs are being modified and limited to 10 participants or less. Visitor centers and museums are limiting the number of people inside, moving check-in stations outside and making other modifications to keep everyone safe. Help us follow CDC guidelines by maintaining a safe distance of at least six feet from other guests and our rangers.

Overnight guests may pay remaining balances online and enjoy convenient self check-in using the RA Camping App before going straight to their cabin, campsite or yurt. If checking in to a locked facility, call park offices to receive additional instructions. If you prefer, you may also contact the park office to pay your balance. In-person check-in stations are being moved outside park offices. We are waiving cancellation fees and offering full refunds or transfers for arrival dates through April 7. For this reason, many high-demand parks may have new vacancies for those planning last-minute getaways.

Thank you for your understanding. Your cooperation will help us to remain open and keep our guests and staff safe, so we can continue to provide outdoor recreation and natural beauty to you, our favorite visitors. Please enjoy your stay at Georgia State Parks!
 
March 17
March 17 - All DNR-managed Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites remain open. Some partner-operated sites may have reduced hours or closures. Safety is our utmost priority, so we want to assure you that facilities are being properly cleaned and restrooms are well stocked with soap. Our hiking trails, fishing docks, campsites, accommodations, golf courses and other amenities are available for those seeking quiet time in nature. Some Ranger programs have been modified in accordance with public health recommendations and extra precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of our guests.

To reduce check-in times, you may pay remaining balances online through your account and enjoy the convenience of going straight to your campsite, cabin or yurt. If checking in to a cabin, yurt or other locked facility, call the park office directly to receive additional check-in instructions. If you prefer, you may also call the park office to pay your balance.

As always, our park staff will be onsite to assist if needed. We sincerely thank you for choosing to spend your getaway time in Georgia’s State Parks. Please enjoy your stay!
 
March 14
March 14 - All DNR-managed Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites remain open. Some partner-operated sites may have reduced hours. Safety is our utmost priority, so we want to assure you that facilities are being properly cleaned and restrooms are well stocked with soap. Our hiking trails, fishing docks, campsites, accommodations, golf courses and other amenities are available for those seeking quiet time in nature. Ranger programs are being evaluated to be consistent with public health recommendations.

To reduce check-in times, you may pay remaining balances online through your account and enjoy the convenience of going straight to your campsite, cabin or yurt. If checking in to a cabin, yurt or other locked facility, call the park office directly to receive additional check-in instructions. If you prefer, you may also call the park office to pay your balance.

As always, our park staff will be onsite to assist if needed. We sincerely thank you for choosing to spend your getaway time in Georgia’s State Parks. Please enjoy your stay!
 
March 13
March 13 - Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are reminding citizens that all DNR-managed properties are open and welcoming visitors during normal operating hours. These properties include state parks, lodges, historic sites, WMAs, PFAs, archery ranges, shooting ranges, education centers, golf courses, and battlefields, along with those not directly mentioned here that are under the management of DNR. In addition, all DNR administrative offices throughout the state are open and operating during normal business hours.

The only DNR property currently affected by the Coronavirus response is a small, wooded, and very isolated section within Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, which was recently selected as a temporary location to house Coronavirus patients for monitoring. Less than one acre of the park’s 5,800 total acreage is being used, and security is in place to ensure there is no public access. At the request of the Department of Public Safety; Lake Rutledge Road, CCC Camp Loop Road, and the park’s boat ramp will be closed until further notice. The beach area remains closed for the winter season.

For the latest updates related to any Coronavirus impact on DNR operations and locations, visit https://gadnr.org/recent-press-release-dnr
 
March 12
March 12 - Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are reminding citizens that all state parks and historic sites are open and welcoming visitors. With many Georgians avoiding crowds and canceling travel plans, parks provide nearby places to enjoy nature and solitude. Amenities such as campsites, cabins, hiking trails, picnic areas and golf courses remain open. A small, wooded section within Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge was recently selected as a temporary location to house Coronavirus patients. At 5,800 acres, Hard Labor Creek is Georgia’s second largest state park. Less than one acre is being used, and security is in place to ensure there is no public access.

“We want to do all we can to help health and emergency officials prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites Director Jeff Cown. “The safety of all citizens is of utmost importance to the Georgia State Parks team. With this being a fluid situation, we are monitoring it closely and making whatever decisions necessary to ensure the health and well-being of the public, our guests and employees.”
 
March 10
March 10 - The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which operates state parks, is working closely with Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA) to ensure public safety. A remote portion of Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge has been identified as an overflow site for quarantine facilities. This area is less than 1 acre of the approximate 5800 acres contained within park boundaries and is isolated from public areas such as the campground, cottages and golf course. The area is secured by law enforcement and public access is not allowed.

All primary amenities at the park remain open to the public including all public campgrounds, cabins and the golf course. At the request of The Department of Public Safety; Lake Rutledge Road, CCC Camp Loop Road, and boat ramp will be closed until further notice. The beach area remains closed for the winter season.

The DNR and GEMA encourage Georgians to prepare for and stay informed about the developing coronavirus situation. For preparedness information, go to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov and www.gema.ga.gov.

For the notice concerning the monitoring location please see the news release from March 9, 2020. https://madmimi.com/s/93cd501.

Other Information

Self Check In

Learn more about online self check-in
More Info

Daily ParkPass

Purchase a daily ParkPass online
More Info

E-Ranger

Learn from home with online lessons
More Info

Zoom Backgrounds

Background images to use in Zoom meetings
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Closures

Visitor centers, museums, playgrounds, splash pads, swimming pools and exercise stations are closed. Recreational equipment rental is suspended, including bikes, kayaks, fishing boats, mini golf and disc golf equipment.

  • Roosevelt's Little White House - CLOSED.
  • SAM Shortline - CLOSED.
  • Travelers Rest - CLOSED.

RESOURCES

  • COVID-19 Information Hotline 1-844-442-2681