For Home Magazine
Paddle through 24 miles of waterways, walk seven dog-friendly trails, mountain bike on more than 68 miles of terrain, hike and climb thousands of feet in elevation or search for treasure in more than 30 state parks.
With Georgia State Parks’ clubs, find endless opportunities to explore Georgia’s great outdoors. Set fitness goals, check items off the list and win bragging rights by joining and completing the experiences in Georgia State Parks’ five clubs. All park club cards can be bought at participating parks or online.
Tails on Trails – Dog-Walking Club
Complete with backcountry trails and cascading waterfalls, Georgia State Parks are characterized by many diverse and scenic hiking trails across the state. Dogs and their owners are always welcome at Georgia State Parks, and now the Tails on Trails club offers a way to accomplish designated hikes, making their visit not just another walk in the park. Those who would like to join can purchase a $15 membership card at any of the seven participating parks’ including Don Carter, For McAllister, Fort Mountain, F.D. Roosevelt, High Falls, Red Top Mountain and Sweetwater Creek state parks. Upon completing all seven trails, owners will receive a t-shirt with a matching bandana for their pup. GaStateParks.org/TailsOnTrails
Park Paddlers – Paddling Club
From the tidal marshes of Fort McAllister to the serene Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia has paddling experiences for all skill levels. Canoes and kayaks may be rented seasonally at more than 20 state parks, and visitors may also bring their own boats. The Park Paddlers Club engages all skill levels to kayak, canoe or stand-up paddle board (SUP) the waterways. With an abundance of scenic waterways to explore, both seasoned paddlers and beginners enjoy exploring the lakes and rivers at the parks. Paddle the 24 miles of water trails at the six participating state parks including Chattahoochee Bend, Crooked River, George L. Smith, Reed Bingham, Stephen C. Foster and Sweetwater Creek State Parks. The member card is $10, and those who paddle the six water trails earn a Park Paddler t-shirt and bragging rights. GaStateParks.org/ParkPaddlers
Muddy Spokes – Mountain Biking Club
First-timers and advanced riders will find an array of trails to dirty up their tires. With gravel paths and single tracks, Georgia State Parks has options for all riders, with more than 68 miles of mountain bike trails in the Muddy Spokes Club. The club highlights designated trails at 11 state parks: Fort Mountain, Fort Yargo, Magnolia Springs, Mistletoe, Panola Mountain, Red Top Mountain, Richard B. Russell, Tallulah Gorge, Unicoi, Victoria Bryant and Watson Mill Bridge. Trails range in difficulty from easy, predominantly gravel paths to difficult, single-track technical trails. To join the Muddy Spokes Club, mountain bikers buy a $10 membership card which they will get punched at the park visitor center after completing each trail. After completing all trails, mountain bikers receive a “mud-splattered” Muddy Spokes Club t-shirt. GaStateParks.org/MuddySpokes
Canyon Climbers – Hiking Club
Scale to the top of Amicalola Falls, explore the depths of Providence Canyon, brave the swinging bridge in Tallulah Gorge and master the staircase in Cloudland Canyon in the Canyon Climbers Club. Complete with backcountry trails and cascading waterfalls, Georgia State Parks are characterized by many diverse and scenic hiking trails in the state. Join the Canyon Climbers Club by purchasing the $10 membership card. Hike all four parks, get a card punched by rangers, and redeem it for a t-shirt and unlimited glory and self-accomplishment. GaStateParks.org/CanyonClimbers
Geocaching – GeoTour
There are several geo-adventures awaiting in Georgia State Parks, so the fun can be different each time. Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites have offered the game since 2010, with more than 35,000 documented “finds” by players. Inside each hidden box – or cache – are trinkets for players to trade, as well as log books. Caches at historic sites require players to answer questions about Georgia history before they can unlock the box, making them a fun educational tool. More than 40 State Parks participate in the Parks GeoTour, and more than a dozen historic sites are on the History Trail GeoTour. The History Trail features indoor boxes with combination locks that can only be opened after learning about the site’s history, solving clues and discovering the combination; it is a new twist on some of Georgia’s oldest attractions. GaStateParks.org/Geocaching
No matter the club, spend more time by staying overnight in the parks. Accommodations include campsites, cabins, lodges, even yurts, and vary by park. GaStateParks.org/Reservations