418 Amicalola Falls State Park Road
Dawsonville, GA 30534
This mountain location is home to Amicalola Falls, a 729-foot waterfall that is the highest in the eastern U.S. Considered the southern gateway to the Appalachian Trail on Springer Mountain, amenities include 24 updated camping facilities, a lodge for meals, hiking trails and interpretive programs. The hike to the falls is steep and a hikers’ lodge requires a five-mile trip on foot. Celebrate New Year’s Day with a hike up to the falls starting at the Westridge Falls Access. Pets are welcome with leash requirements.
456 Alexander St. N.W.
Crawfordville, GA 30631
This park offers 12 miles of horseback riding trails and a special campsite for horse lovers, among traditional hiking and sleeping under the stars. A Confederate museum, boating, fishing and geocaching are also available. Learn about the park’s namesake, A.H. Stephens, the first Confederate vice president, and see the extensive collection of authentic Civil War artifacts. Tour Stephens’ original home, Liberty Hall, renovated to its 1875 features. The park is currently featuring a photo contest through January 13, 2013.
1788 Highway 356
Helen, GA 30545
With mountain bike trails, a three-mile hike to picturesque Helen and hiking to Anna Ruby Falls, this park is an outdoor favorite. Featuring 82 campsites, visitors can still indulge in a restaurant on site offering a trout buffet. New Year’s Day features a 2.5-mile hike around Unicoi Lake.
50 Lodge Road S.E.
Catersville, GA 30121
Situated on 12,000-acre Lake Allatoona, Red Top Mountain features hiking, fishing and “bring your own” boating. Demonstrations of using an iron furnace give visitors a look at historic iron production techniques and invite enthusiasts to participate. There is a paved trail for wheelchairs and strollers leading to an 1860’s homestead. A gravel trail is open to hikers and bikers with views of the lake shoreline.
61 Tsalaki Trail
Helen, GA 30545
With creekside cottages with private hot tubs, top-notch fishing and bat hikes by Bat Conservation International, you’ll find ample opportunities here to enjoy outdoor life. Pioneer camps feature the ultimate in outdoor sleeping with minimal amenities. Van tours take guests to a covered bridge and bicyclists can explore forests and wildlife areas.