Georgia's state parks and historic sites offer stunning natural scenery combined with plenty of outdoor activities like fishing and hiking. But you'll also find some more unique and offbeat things to do at the parks.
Try the following five unexpected activities when you're visiting one of Georgia's state parks:
Take a ghost tour.
Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site, 5556 U.S. Highway N, Brunswick. $15 admission. 912-264-7333.
Hofwyl-Broadfield served as a rice plantation from the early 1800s, when it was carved out by African-American slaves, to 1913. A Ghosts and Legends presentation lets you walk beneath live oaks that are centuries old and take a lantern tour of the main antebellum house. You'll hear ghost stories and folklore tales that include some of the plantation's tragic history. Tours are held on Fridays; they are one-and-a-half hours long, and you'll walk about a mile.
Learn and practice American Sign Language.
Red Top Mountain State Park at the Iron Hill Trail, 50 Lodge Road SE, Acworth. Held on the first Wednesday of the month from 1-3 p.m. Free event with $5 parking. Call to register or get free tickets on Eventbrite. 770-975-0055.
Learn and practice American Sign Language as you take a leisurely 1.5-mile walk led by a ranger. Along the way, you'll learn and use ASL signs for the things you and the group discover.
Try cosmic archery.
Panola Mountain State Park, 2620 Highway155 SW, Stockbridge. Held the third Friday of the month from 7:30-9 p.m. $25 per person with $5 parking fee. Register by calling 770-389-7801.
Even if you've tried your hand at archery, you've probably never done it with the help of black lights, glow-in-the-dark targets and glow sticks. Your aim may or may not improve, but you're likely to have a good time.
View the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Hard Labor Creek State Park, 5 Hard Labor Creek Road, Rutledge. 706-557-3001. Monday, Aug. 12-Thursday, Aug. 15 at specific times for kayak tours. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10-Sunday, Aug. 11 for a view from the beach. $20 per person for kayaking with half-off discount for overnight guests, plus $5 parking. $5 per person admission and $5 parking. Kids 5 and under get to beach view for free.
Check out the Perseid Meteor Shower, which is known as the year's best and most visible. If you'd like to see it on a ranger-led kayak tour, bring a change of clothes, bug repellent and water, and meet at the beach area. Or if you'd rather stay on land, bring a chair or blanket and bug repellent, and enjoy the view from the beach. Admission and parking are cash only, and you'll need to pre-register if you'd like to kayak.
Celebrate Georgia's First 4th.
Wormsloe Historic Site, 7601 Skidaway Road, Savannah. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. $2-$10. 912-353-3023.
The Declaration of Independence didn't make its way to Georgia until it reached Savannah in August of 1776. Celebrate the occasion by listening to a reading of the Declaration of Independence as it was read in 1776 and participating in a Loyalist vs. Patriot debate.
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