Kim Hatcher with GA State Parks

Kim Hatcher, the Public Affairs Director of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, joins co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick in the studio for the Around Atlanta segment of the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio Podcast to talk about hidden gems and activities in Georgia’s state parks.

As a Smyrna native and graduate from the University of Georgia, Hatcher has deep ties to Georgia. Growing up, she and her family were avid campers and hikers and spent most of their free time outdoors. Now Kim gets to explore her passion for Georgia’s parks by sharing all the must-see places and activities the parks have to offer.

“If we have learned anything from the pandemic, it is how important parks are for people’s wellbeing,” said Hatcher. “Being outdoors is good for the mind, body and soul, and luckily we have over 84,000 acres in Georgia to explore.”

Tips for enjoying Georgia State Parks

  • Many popular parks in Georgia like Tallulah Gorge get crowded on the weekends. Try going during the week to enjoy the space of nature.
  • yurt Ft YargoMany parks offer overnight stay opportunities, so nature is just outside the door and activities are all around. Parks offer RV camps and hookups, private campsites with showers, as well as a variety of recently renovated and newly built cabins. A new available experience is the “glamping” yurt, which is a combination of a cabin and camping experience. They feature locking doors, furniture, back porches with seating, picnic tables, fire rings, grills, futons and bunk beds and bathhouses with hot showers. This is a great option for families who want to enjoy camping in style!
  •  Georgia State Parks are known for hiking and fishing, but they also offer other recreational activities like mini-golf, birding, archery, kayaking, paddle boarding and biking.

Enjoy nature without all the crowds by visiting some lesser-known, activity-filled parks.

  • a Don Carter kayak beachPanola Mountain Park is located in Stockbridge just southeast of Atlanta and is a great spot for those who enjoy biking and hiking along paved trails. They offer bike rentals and small lakes for fishing.
  • Don Carter State Park on Lake Lanier has great hiking trails, cabin rentals, camping grounds and access to lake recreations.
  • Hard Labor Creek is east of Atlanta and offers cabins as well as guided kayak tours, guided hikes, kids programs and a golf course.
  • Chattahoochee Bend in the Newnan area has hiking, camping and cabins along the Chattahoochee River.
  • Cartersville’s Etowah Indian Mounds State Park protects native mounds from over 1,000 years ago. They have artifact museums, ranger programs and great exercise trails.
  • Pickett’s Mill Battlefield in Dallas has over 4 miles of walking trails and a Civil War battlefield monument.

New opportunities in Georgia State Parks

  • Those up for a challenge can join different clubs across the state, the most popular being the Canyon Climbers Club. Memberships are $20 and climbers are encouraged to wear their club shirts when hiking. Canyon Climbers are challenged to go down into Cloudland Canyon and climb Tallulah Gorge, Amicalola Falls and many others. Once completed, members receive a certificate of completion. The newest club is called Tails on Trails which encourages hikers to bring their dogs.
  • Ft Mtn overlook fall State Park guests pay a $5 fee for parking when visiting, but more frequent visitors can purchase a $50 annual pass.

To learn more information about Georgia State Parks and all the activities they have to offer, visit GAStateParks.org or listen to the podcast above.

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Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and Georgia State Parks are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of the products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (July/2021)


New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit www.branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.

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1 thought on “Hidden Gems in Georgia State Parks”

  1. Thanks for the tips. I’ll be getting some fresh air this weekend!

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