You've probably heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, but did you know each state has their own set of natural wonders, too?
The first list of Georgia's wonders was compiled by a librarian and published in The Atlanta Georgian newspaper in 1926.
The list has changed over time as the populace decides which areas of the state are the most physically spectacular or unusual. Which of these wonders have you visited, and what would you add to the list?
Amicalola Falls. Located within Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia's tallest waterfall cascades from over 720 feet onto the rocks and brush of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Visitors can easily view the falls via a short hike from the parking lot at the middle of the cascade. For a more challenging and memorable experience, follow the stair path from the top of the falls to the bottom, with breathtaking views the entire way.
Okefenokee Swamp. The Okefenokee is the largest un-fragmented freshwater and black water wilderness swamp in North America. It covers over 600 square miles, most of which are in southeast Georgia, but a small portion spills across the Florida border. Paddle along one of the many waterways, or explore on a guided eco-tour. Adventurous souls can reserve an overnight camping paddle permit, allowing you to slumber under the stars at one of several hammocks and shelters along the water trails.
Providence Canyon. Georgia's "Little Grand Canyon" shows the impact man has on Mother Nature. Gullies up to 150 feet reveal a rainbow of color in the earth, shining red, pink, orange and purple like a painter's masterpiece. Hikers and campers can explore the area, created by poor farming practices in the 1800s. Visit the canyon's bottom to see magnificent fossils in what used to be the ocean's floor.
Radium Springs. Radium Springs pumps 70,000 gallons of 68-degree water per minute from an underground cave. Visitors can enjoy foliage-draped surroundings and flora both indigenous and exotic to the area, but can no longer swim in the crystal clear waters. The springs derive their name from traces of radium found in the water, once thought to provide healing properties.
Stone Mountain. At 825 feet high, our monstrous monadnock is nothing short of spectacular, and the park housing this behemoth is Georgia's most popular attraction. The dome of quartz monzonite is thought to have been formed at the same time as the Blue Ridge Mountains. The exposed rock is five miles in circumference and continues underground an additional nine miles. Visitors can reach the summit by taking the walk-up trail on the west side or by the Skyride aerial tram.
Tallulah Gorge. Tallulah Gorge, located at Tallulah Gorge State Park, plummets to over 900 feet deep, and it is the deepest gorge this side of the Mississippi. Visitors must get a permit to hike to the bottom, though there is no charge. In the late 1800s, the now defunct Tallulah Falls Railway was built, quickly making the gorge one of the first tourist attractions in the North Georgia Mountains.
Warm Springs. Warm Springs is an historic district that includes FDR's Little White House and the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, where Roosevelt indulged in its warm springs to help with his polio. The Warm Springs Institute currently treats about 5,000 patients each year, but the waters are not open to the public.
Looking for more ways to explore Georgia's outdoors? Here's an outdoor checklist for nature-lovers.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.