Georgia's scenic mountains, lakes, rivers, and coastal areas offer a wide range of recreational opportunities. Many of the recreational facilities are located in the numerous state parks.
There are also a number of historic places of interest in Georgia, many of them associated with the American Civil War (1861-1865). Other tourist attractions include the picturesque Sea Islands, the Blue Ridge, and the health resort of Warm Springs.
The National Park Service administers several units in Georgia. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park lies in northwestern Georgia and in southeastern Tennessee. The Georgia section marks the site of the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga in 1863.
Another Civil War engagement, the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, in 1864, is commemorated in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, near Atlanta. Fort Pulaski National Monument, near Savannah, contains the restored walls of a Confederate stronghold.
Andersonville National Historic Site, in west-central Georgia, commemorates the thousands of Union soldiers who were imprisoned and died at the infamous Andersonville prison during the Civil War. In 1998 the National Prisoner of War Museum was opened at the Andersonville National Historic Site. The new museum examines the experiences of prisoners in the Civil War as well as many other conflicts.
In Ocmulgee National Monument, near Macon, are the ruins of Native American villages and prehistoric ceremonial mounds. Fort Frederica National Monument, on Saint Simons Island, one of the Sea Islands, contains the ruin of an early 18th-century British military post.
The Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, in Atlanta, contains the birthplace, church, and grave of the civil rights leader. A visitor center at the site offers films and exhibits on Dr. King and his involvement in movements for racial justice.
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, in Plains, contains the 39th president's residence, boyhood home, and high school in addition to exhibiting rural southern culture.
Other areas within the state that are administered by the federal government include the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, which lies within a wilderness tract about about 620 sq. miles in area in Okefenokee Swamp.
Seven wildlife refuges are administered under the umbrella of the Savannah Coastal National Wildlife Refuges, protecting wildlife environments from Hilton Head, South Carolina, to Wolf Island near Darien, Georgia. Wassaw Island and Little Wassaw Island, situated at the mouth of the Savannah River, is a wildlife refuge restricted to those doing scientific observation.
Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, near Round Oak, is a reforested tract near the center of the state containing a complex environment of wetlands.
The Cumberland Island National Seashore, accessible only by tour boat, preserves a large section of coastal island, including unspoiled beaches, marshes, and freshwater lakes.
The two national forests in Georgia contain numerous recreational areas, many of them with facilities for swimming, picnicking, and camping.
Chattahoochee National Forest is a scenic area of mountains, lakes, and forests in northern Georgia. Within the park lies Brasstown Bald Mountain, which is the highest peak in the state. Oconee National Forest is situated in central Georgia.
Georgia has 59 state parks and historic sites. Most of the parks have been developed as recreational areas with picnicking sites, cottages, bathhouses, and playgrounds.
The largest state parks, each with an area of more than 5000 acres are Hard Labor Creek State Park in north central Georgia and Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in western Georgia. Vogel State Park, which is within Chattahochee National Forest, is crossed by the Appalachian Trail. It lies in a scenic area of the Blue Ridge that was once inhabited by the Cherokee. Indian Springs State Park in north central Georgia is the site of a mineral spring once used by the Creek and from which people still collect water daily.
Alexander H. Stephens Memorial State Historic Park, in north central Georgia, was named in honor of a famous Georgian statesman who was vice president of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Among other state parks are Magnolia Springs State Park, and Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park. Kolomoki Mounds State Park centers on a huge Native American mound and is the site of other mounds. There is also a museum in the park.
Next Page of Georgia Information