Take advantage of Georgia’s warm summer weather and explore the state’s national parks! With as many as 50 parks, Georgia offers plenty of options for hikers with varying skill levels and handicaps. From easy strolls down a dirt road to rugged fitness trails that line mountain peaks, these state parks offer a plethora of fun for outdoor enthusiasts.
Find the perfect spot from our list below:
Amicalola Falls is situated in north Georgia near the Appalachian Trail. To find scenic views of Georgia’s tallest waterfall, visitors can hike the Amicaola Falls Loop Trail which is a two-mile round trip, accomplished by walking up stairs and bridges. At the end of the journey, hikers experience the stunning view of the 730-foot waterfall cascading over rocky cliffs. While this may seem easy, be sure to look the the trail’s difficulty rating as many travelers recommend this location to more experienced hikers.
A family favorite, Kolomoki Mounds features eight Native American mounds, one playground, a sand beach, museum and gift shop, miniature golf, two lakes and boat rentals. The park allows families and friends the opportunity to explore one of the oldest and largest Woodland mound sites in southeastern United States and also learn about the land’s predecessors at the park’s museum. For those seeking gorgeous nature views, take a stroll down one of the park’s many trails and enjoy the tranquil forest that surrounds it.
Visit Georgia’s own version of the Arizona Grand Canyon, Providence Canyon, also known as “Georgia’s little Grand Canyon.” The state park offers views of the canyons and deep gullies from the safety of the trail, and it is encouraged that visitors refrain from steering off the cleared path. Backpackers, campers and families looking for a history lesson focused in agriculture enjoy the park and its various trails.
Tallulah Gorge State Park is the perfect place for hikers looking for a workout that involves navigating slick rocks and staircases. It is advised to stay hydrated during this strenuous expedition since hikers will encounter a natural gorge and lake while exploring the park. Tallulah Gorge also offers a walk over a suspension bridge to view the natural phenomenon below.
Don Carter is one of Georgia’s newest state parks located on over 38,000 acres of land on Lake Lanier. The park offers amenities for the whole family. Water lovers can enjoy kayaking, paddling, fishing, boating and other aquatic rental activities. The 15 miles of trails can be used for both bikers and hikers to explore the forest and horseback riders can explore the trails seasonally. The park also offers playgrounds, four picnic shelters, sand beaches, outdoor fitness activities and a gift shop. Reservations can be made to stay in one of the parks eight cottages, five of which offer a breathtaking view of the lake.
Surrounded by rural Georgia and the Chattahoochee National Forest sits this quiet park in northwest Georgia. Visitors can enjoy fishing from two stocked lakes. Hikers will enjoy the three mile trail that surrounds the lakes, but for more experienced hikers, the 60-mile Pinhoti Trail is only a 1.6-mile hike away. Kids can explore the two playgrounds and abundance of wildlife that roam the park. Reservations can be made for the small campground and four cottages that sit on the hillside.
Jack Hill State Park and Brazell’s Creek Golf Course
This southeast Georgia park is a family favorite for picnicking, events and golf. During the warmer months, visitors can enjoy fishing and aqua cycles on the lake or picnic at the park’s four shelters. Guests can enjoy the park’s Brazell’s Creek Golf Course which offers a pro shop and junior/senior discounts. The course was expanded a few years ago into an 18 hole Par 71 course that is challenging yet fun for all members of the family. Ten rental cottages overlook the course all with screen porches, fireplaces and televisions to wind down after a long day of golf.
While many say the journey is more important than the destination, be sure to call ahead to check park capacity. Many people will be excited to explore Georgia’s wilderness during the summer, so plan ahead!
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