Beat the Summer Heat at Georgia State Parks | Features


From the crystal clear springs of Magnolia Springs to the serene landscape of Elijah Clark, Georgia State Parks offer paddling experiences for all skill levels. Canoes, kayaks, stand-up boards, water bikes, etc. Paddle!

Chattanooga curvature: Chattanooga Bend State Park has a fascinating river with a great paddling scene and paddle campsites. Located on a graceful bend in the Chattanooga River at 2,910 acres, it is one of Georgia’s largest state parks. The park, a paddler’s paradise, has 5 miles of river frontage to explore.

Twisted river: Scenic marshland views and abundant coastal wildlife, Crooked River is located at the southern end of Georgia’s Colonial Coast. This park is the perfect place to enjoy the Intercoastal Waterway and the Maritime Forest. Paddlers can bring their own boats to Crooked River for the shortest route to Cumberland Island National Seashore. Strong currents and wind make coastal kayaking difficult.

Elijah Clark: In the beautiful scenery of Elijah Clark State Park, enjoy year-round rentals for paddling.

George L. Smith: This secluded park offers a quiet escape – where a small-town atmosphere offers recreational and historical experiences. On the water, George L. Smith’s Mill Pond invites paddlers to explore trees covered in Spanish moss.

Sources of Magnolia: Paddle along the 40 acre lake, crystal clear springs with cool water and wildlife. Less than a mile long, there is a canoe and kayak trail perfect for beginners or seasoned paddlers.

Moccasin Creek: BYOP! Bring your own paddle for an adventure in Moccasin Creek. Paddling with rentals is also available.

Reed Bingham: Reed Bingham State Park spans 3 miles on the Little River. There are tons of paddle board, canoe, and kayak rentals available to enjoy the lakes.

Tugaloo: Tugaloo offers exceptional recreational opportunities including kayaking and canoeing, boating and fishing.

Park Paddler’s Club: Sometimes the road less traveled isn’t a road at all. Join the paddle club to explore an abundance of scenic waterways and lakes. For experienced paddlers and beginners. Paddle at 12 of the participating parks to earn a certificate. Rent paddles in season at over 20 state parks.

Don Carter: The Chattahoochee River empties into the mountains of North Georgia and meets Lake Lanier at Don Carter State Park. A huge reservoir for all water lovers, Don Carter is the only state park on 38,000 acres of Lake Lanier. At the northern end of metro Atlanta, guests can cool off on a large, sandy beach with a bathhouse.

Strong Mountain: After hiking the majestic viewpoints on the 8-mile Gahuti trail, enjoy a refreshing swim. In the summer, visitors can cool off on a lakeside beach or laze in the sand at Fort Mountain.

Stream of Hard Work: Although best known for its golf course, Hard Labor Creek offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities. During the summer months, you’ll find swimmers on the popular lakeside beach of this beautiful wooded setting. Hard Labor Creek is one of the quieter state parks.

Red Summit Mountain: At Red Top Mountain State Park, you’ll find Lake Allatoona, the perfect park for swimming. Surrounded by shady trees, a sandy beach is nestled in a cove. It’s a great place to cool off during Georgia’s peak heat.

Richard B. Russell: Cool off on the classic Richard B. Russel sand lakeside beach. Picnic all day or spend the night enjoying the waterfront.

Tallulah Gorge: Bridal Veil Falls in Tallulah Gorge offers a unique experience – slippery rock. Its beauty and challenging course make it one of the most popular outdoor spots in the Southeast. Slip into this summer season. Gorge floor permits are required to access the sliding rock and be picked up quickly, so arrive and get one early at the Interpretive Center on the day of the scheduled visit.

Although there are many whitewater rivers in northern Georgia, Tallulah Gorge is the only state park to offer whitewater kayaking. The first two weekends in April and the first three weekends in November are when the water flow from the dam is high enough for this activity. Boaters must be skilled enough to tackle Oceana, Bridal Veil and the other falls. Spectators will find the best views from the new Inspiration Point Lookout, Lookout #1 North Rim and Lookout #9 South Rim.

Victoria Bryant: One of Georgia’s best-kept secrets: Victoria Bryant State Park. Nestled in the hills of the northern fishing state you will find a swimming pool.


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