ATLANTA, GA– This holiday season, walk off that extra slice of pie with a heart-pumping hike. All of Georgia's state parks are open Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day for visitors to enjoy peaceful scenery and active outings. State parks are a great way to showcase Georgia's natural beauty to out-of-town visitors as well. For just $5 parking, guests can take a stroll around a sunlit lake or enjoy mountain overlooks. While park entrances are open, most offices will be closed as staff enjoy the holidays with their families as well.
Georgia also has numerous state historic sites that make relaxed family outings. While closed on major holidays, most are open before and after these days. Dahlonega Gold Museum, Etowah Indian Mounds and Fort King George are just some of the locations that tell Georgia's rich past. For a list of Georgia's state historic sites, visit GaStateParks.org/AllHistoricSites
On Black Friday, you can join outdoor enthusiasts from across the country in exploring the great outdoors rather than shopping malls. The national #OptOuside movement is sponsored by REI. Choose from kayak rental, bike paths, nature trails, archery and many other activities. Then, on New Year's Day, nearly all Georgia State Parks will host guided First Day Hikes. Sponsored by American Hiking Society, the First Day Hike initiative encourages Americans to get healthy in the great outdoors. Find a list of #OptOutside events and First Day Hikes on Explore.GaStateParks.org/events
Finally, if you must get in a little shopping, stop by park gift shops during the holidays for nature-themed books, toys and gear. From November 27 until December 24, buy $50 in gift cards and you'll get a little something for yourself as well. Choose from Canyon Climbers, Park Paddlers, Muddy Spokes and Tails on Trails Club memberships. These heart-pumping challenges will get you exploring Georgia throughout the next year. Gift cards are also available online at GaStateParks.org/GiftCards
If the holidays find you needing a longer escape, spend a few days in a fully equipped cabin, glamping yurt or modern campsite. To find a site near you, visit www.GaStateParks.org/map
. Georgia's State Parks and Historic Sites are operated by the Department of Natural Resources. For a free brochure, call 1-800-864-7275.
Kim Hatcher, TMP
Public Affairs Coordinator
Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division
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GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
2600 Hwy. 155, Stockbridge, GA 30281