For vacationers seeking outdoor adventure, whether they're interested in backpacking, camping, or scenic mountain drives and picturesque waterfalls, a visit to the numerous Georgia state parks can provide you with all that and more. The expansive network of Georgia parks includes wildlife refuges, historic sites, and state and national parks located from the southern region of the state bordering Florida to the northern mountainous region bordering South Carolina. The eastern and western portions of the state have a fine selection of Georgia parks that highlight the diverse ecological makeup of the state, including swamps, wetlands, and sculptured canyons.
In the north, Georgia State Parks are abundant providing ample locations for camping, hiking, picnicking, and sightseeing among the diverse scenery in the area. Whether you are visiting a national park in Georgia and viewing the Blue Ridge Mountains from atop Brasstown Bald's observation deck, sightseeing along the Richard B. Russell scenic highway near the alpine city of Helen, or taking your first step on the famous Appalachian Trail, there is always something to do and see in Georgia parks.
The list of Georgia State Parks is impressive and includes such popular destinations as Amicalola Falls State Park, Unicoi State Park, Stephen C. Foster State Park, the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge, and Tallulah Gorge State Park. Red Top Mountain State Park in Cartersville, Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville, and Unicoi State Park and Lodge in Helen provide travelers exceptional lodge accommodations atop picturesque mountain settings. For travelers interested in individual and remote accommodates Red Top and Amicalola Falls offer campsites, cottages, and private cabins along with miles of hiking trails.
Vogel State Park is one of Georgia's oldest and most frequently visited parks. Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest at the base of Blood Mountain, Vogel provides panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Neel Gap and at Brasstown Bald, which is the highest point in Georgia. Remote camping, cottages, and backpacking sites provide accommodations for those who enjoy hiking. The variety of trails accessible at Vogel range from easy hiking trails to more challenging terrain, such as the thirteen-mile Coosa backcountry trail.
Black Rock Mountain State Park, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the highest state park in Georgia at an altitude of 3,640 feet. Scenic overlooks located throughout the park provide views of the southern Appalachians for miles, and hiking trails through the forested park take visitors past cool mountain streams and waterfalls lined with native plants and flowers.
A similarly striking park is Providence Canyon State Park, located on the western border of Georgia and resembling a miniature Grand Canyon with its colorful gully walls of orange, red, and gold hues. The main rim trail provides visitors a view of the gullies and during July and August, a look at the rare Plumleaf Azalea native to this area of Georgia. At nearby Florence Marina State Park located on Lake Walter. F. George, cottages, and campsites are available.
One of the most famous options for a national park in Georgia is Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, which borders north Florida and encompasses more than 400,000 acres. Birdwatchers, nature, and wildlife enthusiasts visiting this environmentally important park can take guided tours through the swamp and see a sampling of the more than 400 species of animals, including alligators, that live in the swamp.
Another national park in Georgia that's in the area is the Laura S. Walker State Park, near the Okefenokee Swamp. Like so many parks around Georgia, this destination is a delight for visitors who enjoy the outdoors. The park features trails along the lake shore, and throughout the park visitors will see native plants, flowers, birds, and turtles. Visitors can take advantage of the lake with boat rentals, skiing, and fishing or play a round of golf at the championship 18-hole course. Georgia's parks offer endless activities for visitors, and during a trip to the southeastern US, it's worth making the effort to visit at least one.