We’re awfully biased but North Georgia boasts some of the best State Parks in the entire nation. From lake side camping in the shadows of the mountains to trails, waterfalls, fishing, and everything in between, North Georgia State Parks have something for everyone.
With March Madness kicking off, Wander North Georgia thought it would be fun to have their own little version of March Madness with the winning State Park getting a $500 donation going to their branch of the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites non-profit.
Cloudland Canyon is the #1 seed anchoring the northwest part of the state while James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park joins them in that part of the state. If you haven’t visited either park, you’re missing out. Cloudland Canyon boasts canyon views, multiple waterfalls, and yurt camping while Sloppy Floyd counters with good fishing and a waterfall that runs over and through an abandoned mine. ONE versus EIGHT matchups are always tilted to the frontrunner, but it’ll be interesting to see how this early matchup shakes out after the Chattooga Community rallies behind their local state park.
At time of publishing Cloudland Canyon is ahead 84% to Sloppy Floyd’s 16%.
The Selection Process
While Georgia boasts over 50 State Parks and Historical Sites, we intentionally chose to keep the selections to 16 for two reasons.
- In a bracket format, we had to make the math work by keeping it at 16, 32 or 64 without making it complicated with play-in matches, double elimination and all of that. Since we’ve never been good at math, 16 was an easy enough line to draw for the intents of this fun little bracket.
- While there are some amazing State Parks in middle and South Georgia, we don’t know those parks as well based on how little we get the opportunity to visit.
So we narrowed it down to 16 by picking our favorite North Georgia State Parks with Interstate 20 more or less serving as the dividing line. This means some great parks like Providence Canyon and Stephen C. Foster missed the cut for the purpose of this bracket. If it turns out people like this sort of thing, next year we’ll expand it.
This should go without saying but because the internet is a wild place sometimes we thought we’d take the time to give a few disclaimers.
- This is all in good fun. No one should take this list as super serious or definitive. Georgia has some amazing State Parks all across the state so just because we didn’t share any from South Georgia or middle Georgia or inadvertently left one off from North Georgia, it doesn’t mean that we don’t think you should check them out and visit them. They’re all great and we hope this silly blog on the internet inspires you to get out and visit more of them!
- The “seeding” was done based on Google reviews, feedback from our customers on Instagram, and our personal experiences at the parks. As a reminder this is a silly internet bracket. Take them with a grain of salt.
- Georgia State Parks don’t get near enough love for how beautiful they are and the free or affordable access they create to nature and the outdoors. Even more so, their staff, from the rangers to the hospitality team, are often under valued and under appreciated for the hard work they do stewarding these public lands. So the next time you’re in a State Park, remember to thank the staff, clean up after yourself, follow all postage signage, and generally mind your manners.
The Voting Schedule
Monday & Tuesday: Sweet 16
Wednesday & Thursday: Elite 8
Friday-Sunday: Final Four
And don’t forget to get your Annual Pass from Georgia State Parks which you gets admission to every park and historic site in the state for the entire year for only $50!