Let nature become your classroom on a field trip to Cloudland Canyon State Park!
Based on your students’ needs, our park naturalists will work with each group leader to create a fun and engaging educational experience.
Programs last 1 hour and typically involve a presentation at the Interpretive Center + a brief guided hike along the Overlook Trail or Waterfalls Trail.
We can work with any age group, grades 3-12, but please see a list below for specific Georgia Standards that are great to study at the park.
To schedule a ranger-led field trip, please fill out and submit an Educational Request Form Group Contract. For more information call 706-657-4050.
Earth Science Programs (Geology)
Cloudland’s Interpretive Center has fossils and rocks for students to examine and the naturalists have basic and in-depth presentations on the geological history of the Cumberland Plateau. On a walk into the Canyon, concepts such as weathering and erosion come alive as students experience the wind, rocks, and water with all the senses…except taste!
- Program length: 1 hour
- Program cost: $4/student
- GSE: S3E1, S3E2, S5E1, S6E5, SG2, SG3, SG5, SES3,
Life Science Programs (Ecology, Zoology, Entomology, & Conservation)
Programs can take place inside, outside, or both!
Inside the Interpretive Center we have many examples of native animals (taxidermy) and often hold programs on the role of: turtles, snakes, lizards, squirrels, bats, birds, and butterflies in the ecosystem.
Outside is an outdoor classroom area next to our carnivorous plant bog garden- all surrounded by native trees and flowering plants. A short walk on the Overlook Trail let’s students see the effects of the wooly adelgid on native Hemlock Trees.
- Program length: 1 hour
- Program cost: $4/student
- GSE: S5L4, S7L4, SEV4, SEN1
Q: What comes included with the program cost?
A: In addition to the ranger led program, groups will be provided with a picnic shelter (upon request) at no additional cost ($70 value) for lunch or snacks.
Q: Do you offer a discount to Title 1 schools?
A: Title 1 schools receive a $1 discount per child.
Q: How many students can come on a field trip?
A: Any number of students up to 200 can come on a field trip. We require that teachers and chaperones make a combined adult/student ratio of 1/10. Groups of more than 2 classes or 60 students will need to plan for additional time with the naturalist.
Q: Is there a cost or limit for chaperones?
A: There is no limit for the number of chaperones that can come to the park. Any chaperone who drives a personal vehicle must have a ParkPass tag displayed in their vehicle. Cost for a ParkPass is $5 per vehicle and can be purchased with cash at the park kiosk or with a card in the visitor center.
Q: How early in advance do I need to book our program?
A: We require at least one month’s notice to book any ranger-led programs.
Q: How far is a walk on the trails?
A: The Overlook Trail is mostly level and is about a mile roundtrip from the Interpretive Center. A walk down into the canyon to Cherokee Falls is about 2 miles roundtrip and includes going down and coming back up 200 stairs. Comfortable shoes, hydration, and vigilant chaperones are key!
Ranger-Led Additional Information
- Educators and group leaders will be responsible for the behavior of their students at all times.
- To ensure a quality visit for all visitors, please clean up after your group. This is especially important in picnicking and group camping areas.
- Groups larger than 2 classes or 60 students may require more than 1 hour. Discuss your group size with park staff to ensure that we can plan a program rotation.
- Please be on time for your scheduled program. If running late, call to let us know. We try to keep to schedule so that you may return to school on time. Occasionally, we have groups scheduled back-to-back and late arrivals may either shorten or possibly forfeit their program.
- Please check in with us one week ahead of your program about the weather forecast. We can go out rain or shine, as long as there isn’t thunder or lightning.
Educators and group leaders have the opportunity to experience Cloudland Canyon on a self-guided basis. Large groups that wish to visit the Interpretive Center must contact the park before visiting because the building is compact and we host other public programs here throughout the day.
Self-guided groups can make use of the Overlook Trail and the Waterfalls Trail in the main day-use area. If picnic shelters aren’t rented by other visitors, school groups can use these at no cost.
Parking is free for official school vehicles (school bus, van, etc.). Any personal vehicle must display a valid ParkPass. Parking fees for self-guided explorations are:
- $5.00 for vehicles with less than 13 passengers
- $30.00 for vehicles with 13-30 passengers
- $70.00 for vehicles that can hold 30 or more passengers
Helpful links for Educators
- Get familiar with Cloudland Canyon by watching this fantastic View Finders video on GPB!
- Learn about natural plant communities in the Cumberland Plateau.
- Learn about Hemlock tree conservation.
- Learn about the park’s Geology with this New Georgia Encyclopedia Article.
For any questions, visit the Visitor Center or call us at 706.657.4050.