Top events to enjoy at Georgia State Parks this winter

Exploring Georgia State Parks is top of mind for summer adventurers, but the winter programs also offer a compelling reason to visit. From craft shows to kayak tours, and tree climbing to archery lessons, here are 10 exciting ways to enjoy Georgia State Parks this winter.

Beginner’s Bird Walk with Atlanta Audubon.  Flock to Hard Labor State Park for a guided birding field trip designed to promote conservation of our feathered friends. Catch a glimpse of winter species visiting the south - Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker and Golden-Crowned Kinglets. Donations of birdseed for the park feeder are welcome. Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/birdwalk

Fireside Arts and Crafts Show. The Lodge at Unicoi State Park hosts an annual arts and crafts show, known for high quality fine wares and a judged exhibition.   Take a break from browsing, and warm up by the massive stone fireplace. Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/firesideartscrafts

Geology Day. Poor farming practices of the 1800s created the phenomenon called Providence Canyon, with sunset hues of pink, orange, red, and purple painting the gulley walls.  Travel with an interpretive ranger to the canyon floor of Providence Canyon State Park to learn about the geological history of Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon.” Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/geologydays

Heritage Days. Scottish Heritage Days at Fort King George Historic Site showcase the Scottish and colonial history of Georgia with battle reenactments, weapons demonstrations, and more. North of the city, Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site remembers the Creek and Cherokee cultures of Georgia with Native American Heritage Day. Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/scottishheritage and events.accessatlanta.com/NativeAmericanHeritage

History Hikes. Stroll along Sweetwater Creek toward the Civil War-era New Manchester ruins. Before they were the remnants of District 13 in Mockingjay: Part 1 this textile mill produced 700 pounds of cotton each day, and then was burned on orders from Sherman. Learn more about the history of Atlanta’s most popular park, and relish the opportunity to photograph it from within the chain-link fence. Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/historyhikes

Indoor Archery Lessons. Channel your inner Robin Hood at Panola Mountain State Park. Learn the basics with a certified instructor, inside the nature center and safe from winter’s chill. Bring your own equipment or use the park’s gear. Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/indoorarchery

New Moon Kayak Tours. Hard Labor State Park’s reduced light-pollution married with a new moon create near perfect conditions for stargazing. A ranger-led tour of Lake Rutledge via kayak is an exceptional way to experience nature’s heavenly production. Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/newmoonkayak

Suspension Bridge Hike. This challenging 2-mile hike at Tallulah Gorge State Park is not for the faint of heart. You’ll travel a near-vertical decent on pavement and metal stairs to a destination that sways 80 feet above the gorge’s raging water, with only the light of a full moon to guide you. Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/suspensionhike

Treetop Excursions. Adrenaline junkies, head to Panola Mountain State Park’s introductory climbing class. A rope and harness carry you through the canopy of “Naomi Ruth,” the park’s Southern Red Oak that tops out around 100 feet tall. Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/treetopclimb

Colonial Faire and Muster. Those up for a Savannah road trip will enjoy a celebration of 18th century Colonial Georgia featuring blacksmithing, cooking demonstrations, and period dance and music. Wormsloe Historic Site presents the mustering of militia and a game of colonial cricket during this annual gathering. Event details at: events.accessatlanta.com/colonialfaire

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