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Exploring rural Georgia: state parks

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

By Loren Lindler

From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the south Georgia pines, the state contains a number of canyons, forests, waterfalls and so much more. Through river bends and over mountains, there are endless opportunities for hiking, kayaking, camping and exploring the Peach State’s history.

Pictured: George L. Smith State Park, Emanuel County

As you wander throughout one of Georgia's 49 state parks, you are sure to find an abundance of wildlife, secret camping spots and a unique story with each step you take. Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites encompass 85,000 acres and more than 530 miles of trails, which means there is plenty of exploring to be done.

The state parks welcome more than 10 million visitors annually, and, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, state parks and historic sites contribute more than $1 billion to the state’s economy.

Each state park promises a unique experience. If you're looking for a mountainous journey, you may consider visiting Georgia's tallest waterfall at Amicalola Falls. Reaching a whopping 729 feet, the cascading waters are a favorite among Georgians. Providence Canyon, or Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon, is one of the most Instagrammed spots in the state. The red dirt gullies were formed by erosion caused by poor farming practices in the 1800s, and though they were not formed under the best circumstances, they now make up one of the most picturesque places in Georgia.

State parks are an excellent way to get outdoors and learn more about the state's natural resources, all while taking in a scenic view. As spring rolls around and you begin looking for outdoor activities, consider taking your next trip to a Georgia State Park.

Of the 49 parks scattered across the state, 41 are located in rural Georgia. The parks located in rural Georgia include:

  1. A.H. Stephens (Taliaferro County)

  2. Amicalola Falls (Dawson County)

  3. Black Rock Mountain (Rabun County)

  4. Cloudland Canyon (Dade County)

  5. Crooked River (Camden County)

  6. Dames Ferry Campground (Monroe County)

  7. Elijah Clark (Lincoln County)

  8. F.D. Roosevelt (Harris County)

  9. Florence Marina (Stewart County)

  10. Fort McAllister (Bryan County)

  11. Fort Mountain (Murray County)

  12. General Coffee (Coffee County)

  13. George L. Smith (Emanuel County)

  14. George T. Bagby (Clay County)

  15. Georgia Veterans (Crisp County)

  16. Gordonia-Alatamaha (Tattnall County)

  17. Hamburg (Washington County)

  18. Hard Labor Creek (Morgan County)

  19. Hart (Hart County)

  20. High Falls (Butts County)

  21. Indian Springs (Butts County)

  22. James H. Floyd (Chattooga County)

  23. Kolomoki Indian Mounds (Early County)

  24. Laura S. Walker (Ware County)

  25. Little Ocmulgee (Telfair County)

  26. Magnolia Springs (Jenkins County)

  27. Moccasin Creek (Habersham County)

  28. Providence Canyon (Stewart County)

  29. Reed Bingham (Cook County)

  30. Reynold's Mansion on Sapelo Island (McIntosh County)

  31. Richard B. Russell (Elbert County)

  32. Seminole (Seminole County)

  33. Smithgall Woods (White County)

  34. Stephen C. Foster (Clinch County)

  35. Suwannee River Eco-Lodge (Clinch County)

  36. Tallulah Gorge (Rabun County)

  37. Tugaloo (Franklin County)

  38. Unicoi (White County)

  39. Victoria Bryant (Franklin County)

  40. Vogel (Union County)

  41. Watson Mill Bridge (Madison County)

Other state parks, not located in rural Georgia, include:

42. Chattahoochee Bend (Coweta County)

43. Don Carter (Hall County)

44. Fort Yargo (Barrow County)

45. Mistletoe (Columbia County)

46. Panola Mountain (Henry and Rockdale Counties)

47. Red Top Mountain (Bartow County)

48. Skidaway Island (Chatham County)

49. Sweetwater Creek (Douglas County)

For more information on any of these parks, visit


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