Hardman Farm Historic Site
Supported by a local Friends chapter, the 173-acre Hardman Farm is located in historic Sautee Nacoochee, just south of Helen. Best recognized by its gazebo-topped Indian mound and cow pasture, this is a favorite landmark in north Georgia. Visitors can make reservations for guided tours of the house and dairy barn.
Richard B. Russell State Park
Located on a 26,650-acre lake, Richard B. Russell State Park offers some of the state’s finest fishing and boating. The park’s campground and fully equipped cottages are located on or near the water’s edge for a relaxing getaway. Most park facilities are designed for wheelchair accessibility, including the swimming beach. A nature trail follows the shoreline to one of the oldest steel pin bridges in the area, loops through the adjoining woods and returns to the beach. This park is known for its well-kept disc golf course, where Frisbee-style discs are thrown into metal baskets.
Moccasin Creek State Park
Supported by a local Friends chapter and sitting on the shores of lovely Lake Burton, Moccasin Creek prides itself on being “where spring spends the summer.” Despite its mountain location, the park is relatively flat, offering easy navigation for large RVs, children’s bicycles and wheelchairs. A fully accessible fishing pier sits above a trout-filled creek open only to physically challenged visitors, senior citizens and children. At 2,800-acres, Lake Burton is a prime spot for skiing, boating and fishing. Canoes can be rented during warmer months.
Don Carter State Park
Don Carter is Georgia’s newest state park, as well as the first state park on 38,000-acre Lake Lanier. Situated on the north end of the reservoir, the park offers outstanding recreation for water lovers. Guests can stay cool at a large, sand swimming beach with bath house. Boat ramps provide quick access to the lake, while a paved, multi-use trail welcome hikers and bikers to explore the hardwood forest. This new park offers several choices for overnight getaways as well. Two-bedroom cabins will open soon and are perched on wooded hillsides near the lake.
Bobby Brown State Outdoor Recreation Area
This pretty Outdoor Recreation Area offers water sport enthusiasts easy access to Clarks Hill Lake, the second-largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi River. The 71,100-acre reservoir is nestled on the Georgia-South Carolina border, north of Augusta. A boat ramp is open year-round, and the self-reservation campground is open seasonally. Park visitors can explore nearly two miles of wooded trails and take a self-guided land navigation/compass course. Located where the old town of Petersburg thrived during the 1790s, the park is named in memory of Navy Lt. Robert T.
Watson Mill Bridge State Park
Supported by a local Friends chapter, Watson Mill Bridge contains the longest covered bridge in the state, spanning 229 feet across the South Fork River. Built in 1885 by Washington (W.W.) King, son of freed slave and famous covered-bridge builder Horace King, the bridge is supported by a town lattice truss system held firmly together with wooden pins. At one time, Georgia had more than 200 covered bridges; today, less than 20 remain. The park is an ideal spot for an afternoon picnic or overnight stay in the quiet campground.
Vogel State Park
Supported by a local Friends chapter known as the "Vogel Volunteers," Vogel is one of Georgia’s oldest and most beloved state parks and is located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Driving from the south, visitors pass through Neel Gap, a beautiful mountain pass near Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. Vogel is particularly popular during the fall when the Blue Ridge Mountains transform into a rolling blanket of red, yellow and gold leaves.
Victoria Bryant State Park
Supported by a local Friends chapter and nestled in the rolling hills of Georgia’s upper Piedmont, this is one of northern Georgia’s best kept secrets. A beautiful stream flows through the park, providing the perfect setting for an after-picnic stroll. Hikers can follow either the short nature trail or the longer perimeter trail that travels through hardwoods and crosses creeks. Animal lovers should keep an eye out for wildlife while passing food plots along the perimeter trail. Two small ponds are open for public fishing, and a swimming pool is open during summer.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge
Supported by a local Friends chapter and nestled in the north Georgia mountains just outside Helen, Unicoi is one of Georgia’s most beloved state parks. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking and mountain biking on scenic mountain trails, including an easy lake loop, challenging trek to Anna Ruby Falls, pretty three-mile trail to downtown Helen and rugged 7.5-mile singletrack for bikers. The cool mountain lake offers a swimming beach and canoe rental during summer.
Tugaloo State Park
Supported by a local Friends chapter and situated on a wooded peninsula, Tugaloo’s cottages and most campsites offer spectacular views of 55,590-acre Lake Hartwell in every direction. Some cottages even have private boat docks for overnight guests. Tent campers can choose between the developed campground or primitive sites located a short walk from the parking area. During summer, the lake is a popular destination for swimming, water skiing, sailing and boating. Both the Sassafras and Muscadine hiking trails wind through oak, walnut, mulberry and cherry trees.