Find Your Park at Georgia’s National Parks


Find Your Park at Florence Marina SP

Florence Marina State Park | Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Natural Resources

This year, the National Park Service celebrates its 99th birthday. Since its start in 1916, the Service has grown to include 403 parks across the 50 states. Georgia is home to 14 of those properties and many of them are celebrating the anniversary with Find Your Park events including:

Butterfly Bio Blitz (August 22) – From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., guests are invited to Ocmulgee National Monument help count as many butterflies as possible with their camera/smartphone. Participants will receive a free t-shirt, backpack, water bottle and much more. In addition to the hunt, children can paint a butterfly jewelry box or sun catcher to take home with them.

While you’re in town, be sure to visit The Allman Brothers Band Museum, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and the Hay House.

“Find Your Park” Centennial Bike Ride (August 28-30) – Grab your bike and get ready to ride… or not. It’s totally up to you and there are options for everyone during this family-friendly Find Your Park experience. Registration, route maps and the itinerary for the ride are available online at Activities are also offered for non-cycling family and friends of participating cyclists who would like to visit the parks, camp overnight at Florence Marina State Park or Lake Blackshear Resort and ride the SAM Shortline train.

If you’re heading to the event through Columbus, look into their whitewater rafting experiences. If you’re driving through Albany, take your family to see visit the Flint RiverQuarium

Fort Pulaski Candlelantern Tours (December 18 & 29) – At six times each evening, Fort Pulaski National Monument will commemorate the 154th anniversary of the Confederate Nog Party of 1861 with the family-friendly candlelantern tours. The event includes hot cider, cookies, music, caroling and historic weapons firings.

Want to experience more Savannah history? Take a Savannah Haunted History Tour, visit the Savannah History Museum and stay in a historic hotel like the River Street Inn.

Stay tuned to and for additional Find Your Park activities throughout the autumn and winter.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

Hiking Tallulah Gorge for Canyon Climbers Club

Canyon Climbers Club, set forth by Georgia State Parks, challenges hikers to conquer four scenic trails in a quest to earn a commemorative t-shirt. Tallulah Gorge State Park is a great starting point for beginning the quest. The Canyon Climbers hike at Tallulah follows along the North rim, before descending into the gorge on plunging staircases. Hikers begin the journey with a short walk from the Interpretive Center to a couple overlooks that offer amazing views of L’Eau d’Or Waterfall. This is the perfect opportunity to snap some before hike photos, because what comes next is the descent into the gorge.Canyon Climbers Club

The trail keeps hikers in a cool, damp shade for most of the hike. It’s made up entirely of stairs and platforms until visitors reach the slightly bouncy suspension bridge. The bridge spans the gorge and hikers have the options to either turn back, continue down 200 more stairs to view Hurricane Falls, or climb the 300+ steps to hike the south rim. Before heading back up to check out the interpretive center, we munched a picnic on a bench we found hidden beneath the north side of the bridge. Climbing the 300 steps out of the gorge is the most strenuous part of this adventure. But, there are plenty of benches to stop and take breaks if needed.Tallulah Gorge

The interpretive center at Tallulah Gorge is a must see and a great place to cool down after the hike. A self-guided tour of the building is designed to resemble the gorge, with ramps that lead visitors to different floors of the building and a rocky model of the gorge floor on the lower level. You will need to visit the interpretive center after your hike to either purchase a Canyon Climbers membership card or have your current card marked for completion of the hike.Tallulah Interpretive Center

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Dahlonega Gold Museum. Photo by Morgan Lytle. Submitted via Facebook.

Dahlonega Gold Museum. Photo by Morgan Lytle. Submitted via Facebook.

Jekyll Island, Georgia. Photo by @lovelyamara. Submitted via Instagram.

Jekyll Island, Georgia. Photo by @lovelyamara. Submitted via Instagram.

Indian Springs State Park. Photo by kennyfan63. Submitted via Flickr.

Indian Springs State Park. Photo by kennyfan63. Submitted via Flickr.