A different kind of beauty unfolds at Georgia's state parks in the winter time. In the early mornings, the water is still, sunbeams radiate off the dew, the brisk wind twirls the leaves throughout the parks, and chirping birds can be heard singing the songs of winter, offering a new perspective for park goers.
Pack up the friends or family and venture to one of the many state parks perfectly spread out across the state of Georgia to relish in the spectacles and create lifelong memories during this magical season.
Find out why the suggested parks below are perfect to visit as the weather changes. For more information and to help plan a winter escape, visit GaStateParks.org.
Stephen C. Foster State Park
Well-known across the country because of its International Dark Sky Designation, this breath-taking park is the western entrance of the Okefenokee Swamp — one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. It is a can't-miss attraction for astronomy fans. As the temperature continues to drop, head for Stephen C. Foster State Park for the abundance of stars that illuminate the sky after the sun sets. Reserve a guided pontoon boat tour of the swamp, kayak out on your own or bundle up for a cool walk on 1.5 miles of hiking trails. You'll get an intimate look at the variety of wildlife that calls this park home. Visitors can stay overnight in a wooded campground or fully equipped cabins. GaStateParks.org/StephenCFoster
17515 Highway 177
Fargo, GA 31631
Reed Bingham State Park
Nature enthusiasts will find the perfect winter escape at Reed Bingham State Park, just six miles off I-75. Nesting bald eagles are sometimes spotted, while alligators sunbathe along the lake's edge. During winter, thousands of "buzzards," actually black vultures and turkey vultures, roost in the trees and soar overhead. The park's Coastal Plain Nature Trail showcases some of the country's most diverse plant habitat. Paddlers can rent kayaks to explore this beautiful lake lined with tupelo trees. Hiking and biking trails, fishing docks, camping and boat tours are available. GaStateParks.org/ReedBingham
542 Reed Bingham Road
Adel, GA 31620
Tugaloo State Park
Get cozy and make memories that won't soon be forgotten at this large park on popular Lake Hartwell. Choose from heated "glamping" yurts or cabins perfect for bundling up on these cooler months. Tugaloo offers something to do for everyone regardless of the season or outdoor skill level. Warm up with a round or two of mini golf, a game of tennis or a relaxing day of fishing for bass, channel catfish and crappie before winding down fireside or by watching the sun set over the serene 55,590-acre lake. GaStateParks.org/Tugaloo
1763 Tugaloo State Park Road
Lavonia, GA 30553
General Coffee State Park
Escape the colder weather with a trip down south to General Coffee State Park where you'll step back in time. Say hello to four-legged residents of the park's Heritage Farm, and check out winter events like moonlight madness and, Christmas fest. With the average winter weather in the mid-60s, winter is the perfect time for a brisk hike on four miles of trails. Gear up for Hunger Games-style archery with static ranges or realistic targets such as deer and turkey. Equestrians can gallop the day away on several miles of trails. GaStateParks.org/GeneralCoffee
46 John Coffee Road
Nicholls, GA 31554
Victoria Bryant State Park
A hidden north Georgia gem, Victoria Bryant State Park offers several exploration opportunities for adventurous guests. Bursting at the seams with family-friendly activities, this gorgeous state park has a scenic stream creating a relaxing setting perfect for a peaceful stroll. Other features include an 18-hole golf course and pro shop, archery, fishing ponds, nature trails, and scenic views after trees have shed their leaves. GaStateParks.org/VictoriaBryant
1105 Bryant Park Road
Royston, GA 30662
To capitalize on the winter adventure, make a night out of it and plan to stay at one of Georgia State Parks' many overnight accommodations. Guests can choose from fully equipped and heated cabins, "glamping" yurts offered at several state parks, and modern campgrounds with hot showers. Be sure to pack the blankets and s'mores to plan a cozy outdoor getaway. Reservations can be made at GaStateParks.org/Reservations.