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State Park: What’s New for 2017

Black Rock Mountain State ParkA new year means new changes, updates and additions to elevate visitors’ experiences at Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. With these new offerings guests to Georgia’s state parks will find new ways to get out, discover and explore.

• Site-Specific Reservations at Select Parks
Five of Georgia’s State Parks now allow visitors to reserve their favorite campsite in advance. Called “site-specific,” the reservations are available for the campgrounds at Richard B. Russell, James H. Floyd and Amicalola Falls in northern Georgia, and select sections of Reed Bingham and Laura S. Walker in south Georgia.

• New and Renovated Cottages
Many of Georgia’s State Parks have renovated or built new cottages and cabins that reflect the setting of the park, whether mountain or coast. At Fort Mountain State Park near Chatsworth, renovations feature fresh, modern décor and updated kitchens and baths. Laura S. Walker State Park in Waycross recently opened six new Sportsman’s Cabins. Eight cottages were added to Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park near Reidsville.

• Ziplines at Amicalola Falls State Park and Unicoi State Park
At Amicalola and Unicoi, the parks have developed the perfect recipe for a great escape at their newly deemed Adventure Lodges. These parks both have multiple ziplines and three suspension bridges.

• Mountain Bike Trails
The newest mountain bike trails connect Cloudland Canyon State Park to outlier trails such as the Cloudland Connector Trail and the 5 Points Recreation Area. The Cloudland Connector Trail is accessible from the park, and extends 14 miles across Lookout Mountain to the Lula Lake Land Trust and to the 5 Points section. The 5 Points Recreation Area was a former coal mining site that now hosts miles of single-track mountain bike trails ranging in skill levels from easy to strenuous and technical.
• “Dark Sky” Astronomy Award to Stephen C. Foster State Park
Stephen C. Foster is one of Georgia’s most remote state parks, and has been designated among the best spots in the world for star gazing. Recently, the International Dark Sky Association named the park in the Okefenokee Swamp as a gold-tier “International Dark Sky Park” – the first in Georgia. The prestigious designation means that Stephen C. Foster State Park’s skies have very little light pollution and that visitors enjoy exceptional views of the moon, stars, planets and comets.

• Horse stables at A.H. Stephens State Park
A.H. Stephens opened 20 new horse stalls. The new horse facility is adjacent to the existing 10 stalls, and is near 21 miles of horse trails, 20 equestrian campsites and four cottages. The equestrian campground and stable area were designed to accommodate large trailers.

• Private Tours at Roosevelt’s Little White House
President F.D. Roosevelt’s modest “Little White House” has been left much as it was when the president suffered a stroke and passed away April 12, 1945. Visitors are welcome to tour on their own, but for a deeper look into FDR’s life, sign up for a 90-minute tour with a historian.

The newly published “2017 Guide to Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites” is a handy resource for planning a spring break, summer vacation or family reunion.

Produced annually by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the travel guide features colorful photos from all across the Peach State. For a free copy, call 770-389-7286 or stop by any Georgia State Park or State Historic Site. On online version can be found on