With spring break approaching, Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites offer 10 ways for families to spend the off week without traveling too far or spending too much money. Here are suggestions posted on gastateparks.org:
• Glamping – Families who enjoy being in nature but prefer a soft bed at night can visit Cloudland Canyon, which recently added 10 yurts atop Lookout Mountain. Yurts are a blend between a tent and cabin, with furniture inside and hot showers nearby. Yurts at Cloudland Canyon rent for $70 per night. There are also yurts available at Red Top Mountain, High Falls and Fort Yargo state parks. For more information, call 706-657-4050 or visit GeorgiaStateParks/yurts.
• Geocaching – Kids can hunt for treasure and learn about Georgia’s rich history by joining the History Trail GeoChallenge, which takes them to 14 state historic sites. Geocaching is the worldwide sport of using handheld GPS units to locate hidden caches. For more information, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/geocaching.
• Golfing – Georgia has eight state park golf courses, surrounded by sparkling lakes and scenic forests. Rates start at $25 for weekdays. For tee times, visit GeorgiaGolf.com or call 800-434-0982.
• Fishing – Fishing in lakes, rivers and streams is free, but a fishing license is required for ages 16 and older. More than 20 parks rent motorized fishing boats by the hour.
• Biking – Georgia State Parks offer miles of paved and off-road trails perfect for every skill and age level. Families with smaller children will especially enjoy the bike paths at Red Top Mountain, Tallulah Gorge and Panola Mountain.
• Paddling – Families who enjoy exploring the Georgia waterways can choose from a variety of paddling adventures at Georgia’s state parks. From the small mountain lakes of Fort Mountain and Unicoi to the coastal waterways of Fort McAllister and Crooked River, there are paddling opportunities for all skill levels. Families can bring their own equipment or rent a canoe or kayak at more than 20 state parks. For a challenge, join the Park Paddlers Club which takes explorers to six state parks as they earn a members-only T-shirt.
• Camping – Camping encourages the entire family to reconnect and enjoy the simple pleasures of cooking s’mores over a campfire and telling stories. Rates start at just $23 per night. For a complete list of campgrounds, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/campsites.
• Cozy – Families interested in a cozy staycation will find cabins starting at just $85 per night. Cabins come with fully equipped kitchens, comfortable furnishings and screened porches, plus a wide range of outdoor activities. Some allow dogs with advance notice and a pet fee. To book a cabin getaway, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/reservations.
• Hiking – There are miles of hiking trails for every ability, plus a calendar of ranger-led hikes that introduce children to Georgia’s native animals. Energetic hikers can join the Canyon Climbers Club and earn a members-only T-shirt.
• Go Back in Time – Spend a few days touring Georgia’s 18 historic sites. Children can enjoy exploring forts and learning about Colonial Georgia at the popular coastal sites of Fort Morris, Fort McAllister and Fort King George. Or, to learn about Georgia’s Native American history, Kolomoki Mounds, New Echota and Etowah Indian Mounds provide ancient Indian mounds, museums and Cherokee buildings. For more information, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/historic.
For more information on many of these activities visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/outdoors.