With so many activities that Georgians can enjoy right in their own state while still social distancing, why not take a local road trip and make Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites your base camp for exploration? Below are six social distancing activities available at lesser-known destinations. Stay overnight in cabins or a campsite and make a weekend escape in the mountains, by the swamp, or by a lake.
Stargazing at Stephen C. Foster State Park
Pack your binoculars and head down south for blackwater and dark skies. This remote park is not only the primary entrance to one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders, the Okefenokee Swamp, but is also a certified “Dark Sky Park” by the International Dark Sky Association. With minimal light pollution, guests to Stephen C. Foster can experience some incredible stargazing. During the day, cruise through the black waters and cypress trees while watching alligators and wildlife cruise by. At night, when the day winds down, enjoy the serene sounds of nature and take in the light show above. GaStateParks.org/StephenCFoster
Swimming at Kolomoki Mounds State Park
Dive into both history and a lake at Kolomoki Mounds Historic Site. The oldest and largest Woodland Indian site in the Southeast, Kolomoki was occupied by native Indians from 350 to 750 A.D. Take 82 stairs up the great temple mound, which stands 57-feet high. From the top, look out over the surrounding land where communities lived in thatched homes and thrived more than 1,000 years ago. Afterward, take a dip in the park’s lakeside swimming beach. This is one of the lesser-known beaches in Georgia’s State Parks, making it easy to social distance and relax in the sand. GaStateParks.org/KolomokiMounds
FootGolf at Gordonia-Altamaha State Park
Try your hand, or foot, at a new sport while remaining distant from others. Similar to golf, with a soccer twist, FootGolf involves kicking the ball into a larger-sized hole in as few kicks as possible. Gordonia-Altamaha State Park is home to a new 18-hole FootGolf course that is perfect for families or small groups to enjoy. So, get out, stretch those legs, and stay distant from others while having fun and learning a hands-free sport. Or, trade the soccer ball for a disc and take the family out for a fun day of disc golf at Cloudland Canyon, Fort Yargo, Georgia Veterans, or Richard B. Russell state parks. This socially distant activity allows participants to throw a Frisbee-style disc into a metal basket or the “hole.” GaStateParks.org/GordoniaAlatamaha
Farm Life at General Coffee State Park
Luckily, for us, social distancing does not apply to barnyard animals. At General Coffee State Park, visitors can feel free to get up-close-and-personal with goats, chickens, pigs, and a donkey at the Heritage Farm. Known for agricultural history, General Coffee is also filled with uncrowded outdoor adventures including the Seventeen-Mile River and a boardwalk that winds through a cypress swamp. Bring the camera and binoculars and keep an eye out for carnivorous pitcher plants, rarely seen indigo snakes and gopher tortoises, as well as plentiful birds above. This park is a nature and animal lovers paradise! GaStateParks.org/GeneralCoffee
Fishing at Hamburg State Park
This little-known state park may be one of Georgia’s smallest, but it is big on spaces to spread out. Cast a line in the 225-acre lake and reel in largemouth bass, crappie, and bream, then cook up dinner at your lakeside campsite. Photographers will want to capture the restored 1921 water-powered gristmill that still grinds corn occasionally. Visitors can also walk shaded nature trails or try geocaching, which is like a scavenger hunt using a GPS. GaStateParks.org/Hamburg
Explore at Fort Morris Historic Site
Established in 1776, Fort Morris was built to protect the growing seaport town of Sunbury from the British. As one of the few remaining Revolutionary War-era earthwork fortifications in the United States, guests can learn the history of the fort and colonial life. Earthworks show the size of the fortification that once defended the thriving town of Sunbury. After walking back in time, take a stroll along the beautiful Medway River lined with Live Oaks and Spanish Moss. GaStateParks.org/FortMorris
August 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm
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