5 Epic and Incredible National Parks and Forests in Georgia (2022)
When it comes to nature and outdoor grounds, Georgia falls short in none. Georgia, or as people lovingly call it, ‘Peachy State’, boasts an array of National Parks and Forests. The State of Georgia is home to 11 National Parks and two huge National Forests. These regions are home to Appalachian Plateaus, outstanding canyons, majestic monuments, coastal plains, stunning pristine beaches, rugged rock formations, archaeological sites, and astounding ecosystems. With dozens of accessible spaces and legendary trails, exploring Georgia’s National Parks and Forests becomes easier and more fun.
The outdoor protected lands and areas in Georgia feature panoramic sceneries and natural views all around. No matter whatever you find here, being in one of the National parks and forests land of Georgia is an experience on its own. With that said, it is time to plan your next outdoor vacation in the Southern U.S. state.
5 Epic and Incredible National Parks and Forests in Georgia
And for that, here are our choicest recommendations for the most popular Georgia National Parks and Forests.
1. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area comes under National Park services, offering the incredible natural beauty of Georgia. It preserves an array of sites from Atlanta city to Lake Sidney Lanier along the Chattahoochee River. The entire recreational area stretches 48 long miles covering natural sites, historic landmarks, and several adventure opportunities. Since the area is based along the popular Chattahoochee River, opportunities for water-based recreation here are truly endless. One can go kayaking, canoeing, river rafting, swimming, and other exciting sports. The recreational area also boasts multiple riverside parcels of shoreline for picnicking and nature walking. All the roads within the region are open for cyclists; however, there are limited trails in specific areas.
The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area operates year-round, hosting millions of people during different seasons.
2. Cumberland Island National Seashore
One of the most epic and incredible National Parks in Georgia, the Cumberland Island National Seashore is a must-visit. It is home to the southernmost and the largest barrier island in Georgia. The seashore features multiple beautiful elements, including dunes, marshes, freshwater lakes, and astounding and popular beaches. Besides that, it also preserves many historic sites and structures. The entire region is the most untouched by civilization; thus, every single element one finds here appears raw and authentic. However, back in time, the National Seashore did welcome some settlers and ruins of whom are still to be found. The region is also known for its wildlife, including wild turkeys and wild horses, sea turtles, shorebirds, and armadillos. Reaching this mesmerizing National Seashore is only possible via ferry. Individuals can take the ferry ride from St. Mary’s, which will ultimately get them into the island itself.
If you are looking for days of peace and tranquillity, the Cumberland Island National Seashore is definitely for you.
3. Ocmulgee National Mound Monument
The only known spiral mound in North America, Ocmulgee National Mound Monument is incredible and must-explore. Anyone can explore this National Park region and make the most out of it with no entry fee. The region is a part of Macon and is home to millions of years of history and culture of the Native Americans. A visit here transports visitors back to 14000 years ago and allows them to walk in the footsteps of Paleo-Indians. Visitors can observe the burial mounds, defensive trenches, and ceremonial grounds. The park is also home to an archaeological museum that exhibits over 2000 artifacts. The museum also plays a short movie interpreting the life and culture of Native Americans who once settled here. In addition to that, there are 6 miles of hiking trails that open up wildlife viewing opportunities. It even hosts one of the longest ADA-accessible paved trails.
Ocmulgee National Mound Monument has definitely something that nowhere else is found in entire North America.
4. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
One of the most visited historic sites in Georgia and definitely the best National Park in Georgia, this is an incredible spot to spend your vacation. This popular tourist place in Atlanta is home to history and information about civil rights. The historic site features Reverend King’s boyhood home along with the original Ebenezer Baptist Church. It is the same church where the Reverend was a pastor. Besides exploring them all, visitors also choose to visit the King’s final resting place at the King’s center. Park’s chief administration states that visitors a lot of time simply come here, sit in the pews and listen to the sermons. People love spending time at the church where so much history has happened.
The National Historic Site further contains a museum chronicling the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King’s leadership. In addition, there are multiple historic structures, an exhibit on desegregation in the Atlanta Fire Department, a visitor’s center, and a gift shop.
5. Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
Last but not least on our list is the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. Though amongst the only two, it is a must-visit National Forest in Georgia that one must not miss. The forest is home to the highest peak in Georgia and some of the best hiking trails in the state. From wanderers to weekend vacationers and first-time Georgia visitors, Chattahoochee-Oconee is one of the prime choices amongst them all. However, since the forest is huge and it has so much to do, the options might confuse many. Thus, here is the list of popular and must-try things in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. Have a look:
- Anna Ruby Falls Recreation Area
- Scull Shoals Historic Site
- Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Byway
- Dyar Pasture Recreation Area
- Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain
- Amicalola Falls
- Brasstown Bald Visitor Center
- Track Rock Gap Petroglyph Site