January 2013 Calendar for Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

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Below is the January 2013 calendar from Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites. More information on events, accommodations and recreation can be found at GeorgiaStateParks.org or 1-800-864-7275. For a complete calendar, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/events. You can also become a fan on Facebook , follow us on Twitter and sign up for our monthly newsletter. Thank you for helping promote Georgia’s natural and historic resources!

January 2013 Events – Divided By Region

NORTHERN GEORGIA

New Year’s Day Hike at Amicalola Falls
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge – Dawsonville
Start 2013 off with a brisk walk full of winter views to the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Meet at the West Ridge Falls Access Trailhead, 0.6 of a mile roundtrip. $5 parking. (706) 265-1969.

First Day Hike at Cloudland Canyon
Tuesday, January 1
Cloudland Canyon State Park – Rising Fawn
Join our outfitter guides for a short but challenging hike to Hemlock and Cherokee Falls to learn about the unique geology and history of the park. All participants staying in the campground will receive a 25% discount off their stay. Register in advance. $10 plus $5 parking. (706) 913-7170.

First Day Hike
Tuesday, January 1, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Fort Mountain State Park – Chatsworth
Come celebrate the first day of 2013 at with a short hike guided by our naturalist. $5 parking. (706) 422-1932.

Black Bear Plunge
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Fort Mountain State Park – Chatsworth
See how brave you are as we race and plunge into Fort Mountain’s cold mountain lake. Start a great New Year’s tradition with us. Register in advanced. $20-$25 plus $5 parking. (706) 422-1932.

First Day New Year Hike
Tuesday, January 1, 1 p.m.
Fort Yargo State Park – Winder
Start off the New Year by going for a moderate, 2.5-mile excursion along the lake and our new trail, Turtle Creek. Bring water and snacks. Meet at the Nature Center. $5 parking. (770) 867-3489.

New Year’s Camp
Tuesday, January 1 through Wednesday, January 2, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen
Kids ages 6-12 can ring in the New Year with fun holiday traditions, indoor and outdoor games, hikes, and more. Dream about the New Year and plant seeds to grow those dreams. $55 if paid by December 21; $65 after. $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

First Day Hike at Smithgall Woods
Tuesday, January 1, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen
Hike 2.6 miles with Smithgall staff to the park’s beautiful cottage facility where hot cider will be waiting. Let the First Hike be your first step toward good health, and then continue through the year with progressively longer hikes. “A Walk in the Park” brochure offers guidance for hike distance and difficulty. $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

First Day Hike at Tallulah
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls
What a great way to start the New Year – Go for a Hike! Join a ranger on a moderate 3.5-mile hike along the rim and through the woods. Children must be 8 yrs. or older. Bring water and snacks. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 754-7981.

First Day Hike at Vogel
Tuesday, January 1, 9:15 a.m.
Vogel State Park – Blairsville
Join members of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club for a healthy hike on New Year’s Day. We’ll explore the 4-mile Bear Hair Gap Trail, which has a beautiful overlook with Lake Trahlyta in view. Vogel Volunteers will provide lunch afterward. $5 parking. (706) 745-2628.

First Day Along with a Little Luck Hike
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
Welcome the New Year with a 2 1/2-mile moderate hike around Unicoi Lake. Finish the trail at our campfire ring where hikers can add a little luck to their year by enjoying a small meal of black eyed peas, greens, and pork cooked in Dutch ovens over an open fire. Register in advance. $5 parking. (706) 878-2201 ext. 305.

Growing Up Wild
Thursday, January 10, 17, 24 and 31
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
Bring your child age 3-7 to experience “Growing Up Wild,” an early childhood education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature, plus invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-2201 ext. 305.

Beginning Bee Keeping
Saturday, January 12, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen
Learn about basic bee keeping and how to start a hive. Professional honey producer Berry Wright will discuss assembling equipment and installation of bees. A trip to the apiary will be included, weather permitting. Register in advance. $10 plus $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

Bear Creek Guided Hike
Monday, January 21, 10 a.m.
Cloudland Canyon State Park – Rising Fawn
This is a strenuous hike, but we will go slow and enjoy the beautiful scenery on this 9-mile trail. Bring water, lunch, sunscreen, and a hiking stick if you have one. Meet at the G3 Building near the tennis courts. Reservations required. $15 plus $5 parking. (706) 913-7170.

Survival Skill Series at Buck Shoals
Saturday, January 19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen
The first part of the series is Basic Land Navigation, including an explanation of the compass and how it works, true north vs. magnetic north, bearing/azimuth, terrain features and contour lines, application of the compass to the map and map to the compass, and more. Register in advance. $20 – $95. Call for details. $5 parking. (706) 878-3087.

COASTAL GEORGIA

First Day Hike at Crooked River
Tuesday, January 1, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys
Greet the New Year with a “First Day” hike. Meet at the Nature Center for a walk on the Bay Boardwalk trail. Vistas include wetland habitats plus our unique longleaf pine/saw palmetto ecosystem. Enjoy the great outdoors, camaraderie on the trail plus cookies, hot apple cider and party hats. $2 plus $5 parking. (912) 882-5256.

First Day Hike with a Ranger
Tuesday, January 1
Laura S. Walker State Park – Waycross
Hike with a Ranger on Big Creek Nature Trail to start the New Year off right by getting fit. Hike starts at 10:00 a.m. and finishes by 11:00 a.m. Meet at the park office by 9:45 a.m. Tuesday morning. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. $5 parking. (912) 287-4900.

First Day Hike on Billy’s Island
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Stephen C. Foster State Park – Fargo
Take a guided boat tour to Billy’s Island. See turtles and gators out basking on the logs. Keep your fingers crossed for a river otter sighting. Once we arrive, we will tour the island. You’ll see how the Hebbard Cypress Company once had their boomtown laid out. You’ll also be able to see the Lee Family Cemetery. $5 Refuge Parking. $15-20. (912) 637-5274.

Family Nature Quest
Saturday, January 5, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Mary’s
Want to learn about nature as a family? Come to our “fundana” activities each month and learn about a different topic. There will be 12 quests and at each program the family will receive one bandana about the topic. The family that completes the most quests will receive a bonus bandana for the entire family. Register in advance. $10 per family $5 parking. (912) 882-5256.

Wormsloe’s New Year’s Resolution Run
Saturday, January 5, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah
Wormsloe is partnering with Savannah’s NonStop Fitness for the first-ever 10K trail run through the historic site. Runners will pass through three centuries of history while enjoying some of the best natural scenery on the Georgia coast. Register at www.active.com or call 912-349-4902. $35 through Active.com. (912) 349-4902.

Solar Astronomy
Saturday, January 26, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys
View and explore our closest star, the sun, with The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project. Learn what the interior and surface of stars are like and what powers them. Look through specialized solar viewing scopes to see sunspots, calcium K images and more. $2 plus $5 parking. (912) 882-5256.

SOUTHERN & CENTRAL GEORGIA

First Day Hike at F.D. Roosevelt
Tuesday, January 1, 1 p.m.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Pine Mountain
Celebrate the NEW YEAR in the great outdoors! Bring the family and explore the woodlands along the Mountain Creek Trail with guides from Pine Mountain Trail Association and Roosevelt State Park. This 3.2-mile easy trail will begin at the Training Post in the Campground. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. $5 parking. (706) 663-4858.

First Day Hike at High Falls
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
High Falls State Park – Jackson
This staff-led 3.5-mile moderate hike will take you past several scenic and historic sites including the falls, the old powerhouse, and through a mixed pine/hardwood forest. You will learn about the park history and the local ecology. Meet at the park office, wear comfortable shoes, and bring water and a snack. $5 parking. (478) 993-3053.

First Day Hike at Reed Bingham
Tuesday, January 1, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Reed Bingham State Park – Adel
Start off the New Year in a healthy way by taking a ranger-led hike. Please wear appropriate walking shoes and bug spray, and bring water. Reservations required. The nature nook will be open from 10:30-11 before the hike. $1 for nature nook. $5 parking. (229) 896-3551.

First Day Hike at General Coffee
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
General Coffee State Park – Nicholls
Start your year off with a rousing guided hike along our new kids fitness trail. Great fun for all ages. $5 parking. (912) 384-7082.

New Years Day Hike
Tuesday, January 1, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Kolomoki Mounds Historic Park – Blakely
The New Year inspires reflection on the year past and hopeful resolution for the things to come. Start the New Year off right with a ranger-led hike on Trillium Trail. The hike will focus on the new beginnings in the natural world. Appropriate clothing is recommended. Meet at Picnic Shelter 3. Warm drinks and sweet treats will be provided. Sponsored by the Friends of Kolomoki. $5 parking. (229) 724-2150.

First Day Hike on Lake Brantley Trail
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Take this guided hike on the Lake Brantley Horse Trail and exercise off those holiday pounds. Bring a camera to record the scenery of Lake Brantley, rolling woodlands, and cascading creeks. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the walk. Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.

First Day Hike
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Mistletoe State Park – Appling
Come start the New Year off on the right foot. This ranger led hike will allow guests to discover natures winter wonder along the Cliatt Creek nature trail. We will meet at the nature center to begin this mile long hike. $5 parking. (706) 541-0321.

Atlanta Audubon Beginners Bird Walk
Saturday, January 5, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
This field trip is designed for anyone interested in learning more about birds, habitats critical to some species, and organizations like the Audubon Society, which are dedicated to bird conservation. Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post. $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.

High Falls Historic Walk
Saturday, January 5, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
High Falls State Park – Jackson
Join our naturalist on a 1.5-mile walk and learn about the history of the once-prosperous town of High Falls. Hike also includes a rare chance to tour inside the old powerhouse building, which provides great photo opportunities of the Towaliga River. Please wear sturdy shoes. Meet at the Visitor Center. $5 plus $5 parking. (478) 993-3053.

Winter Wonder Hike on Brantley Horse Trail
Saturday, January 12, 10 a.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Join a park ranger on this winter hike on the Brantley Horse Trail. This 5 mile guided hike is the perfect winter outing and a cure for the winter doldrums. Take a camera to record the scenery, and a light lunch to enjoy on the way. This hike is recommended for children over 10 years old, and adults that are in good walking shape. Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.

Winter Wonder Hike on Lake Rutledge Horse Trail
Saturday, January 19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge
Join a Park Ranger on this 4-mile hike on the Lake Rutledge Horse Trail. Enjoy the scenery of rolling hills, gentle streams, and lots of forest scenery. Bring a camera to record your journey, and a light lunch to enjoy on the way. This hike is recommended for children over 10 years old, and adults in good walking shape. Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post. $5 plus $5 parking. (706) 557-3001.

Dulcimer Jam
Saturday, January 19, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Mistletoe State Park – Appling
Join musicians from around the state as they play dulcimers, fiddles, banjoes, basses, and harmonicas. You can sit back and enjoy the music or join in with an instrument of your own. $5 parking. (706) 541-2146.

METRO ATLANTA

New Year’s Day Hike
Tuesday, January 1, 1 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Make a fresh start on the New Year. Join a park ranger on a journey by writing out, and then burning, last year’s burdens. Hike to the top of the mountain picturing all the great things you will accomplish in 2013. Finish around a campfire sharing hot chocolate and plans for the New Year. Register in advance. $7 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

First Day Hike at Sweetwater Creek
Tuesday, January 1, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Join us for a three-hour hike focusing on the first inhabitants of our area, the Native Americans or American Indians, as we explore some seldom visited areas on the eastside which includes a trip to the “Indian Cave.” $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

“Wagging Trails” Evening Dog Hike
Thursday, January 3, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Bring your dog and join us for a most enjoyable evening dog hike. We will cover approximately two miles including walking alongside the whitewater rapids and visiting the five story ruins of the Civil War-era New Manchester textile mill. Dogs must be leashed. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

Sun Over Panola Mountain
Saturday, January 5, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Have you ever wondered what the sun looks like up close? Take a look at the Earth’s closest star. Using special telescopes that are safe for your eyes, you will be able to see the sun’s surface and the fusion of hydrogen on the sun. Join us for some super solar system fun. We will meet at the Nature Center. $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Atlanta Audubon Society Bird Walk
Sunday, January 6, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Bring your binoculars for this gentle hike through the park’s Power of Flight area. Basic identification techniques and common birds will be discussed. Good for all ages. We recommend long pants and sleeves. Meet at the Alexander Lake Area. Register in advance. Donations of birdseed are appreciated. $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Candlelight Hike to the Mill
Saturday, January 12, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
This mile-long guided night hike is easy to moderately difficult and goes inside the Civil War era textile mill ruins of New Manchester. Candle lanterns will be provided. No children under 6 years or dogs permitted. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. Space is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Meet and register at the Interpretive Center. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

Backcountry Geology Hike
Sunday, January 13, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
Geologist and Friends member John Johnston will lead a moderate three-mile hike identifying rock types and explaining how they formed. Explore the beautiful Jack’s Branch area and the seldom-visited rock quarry of New Manchester. Meet in the Interpretive Center. $5 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

Full Moon Night Hike
Saturday, January 26, 5:30 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
Listen to whippoorwills and owls as the sun slowly sets and the moon begins to rise. Panola Mountain is one of the best places to see the wildlife of the night. Bring flashlights and hiking boots. Meet at the nature center 15 minutes before each program. Register in advance. $7 plus $5 parking. (770) 389-7801.

“Rapid to Ruins” Full Moon Hike
Saturday, January 26, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs
This 1.5-mile hike is moderately difficult and goes inside the Civil War-era textile mill ruins of New Manchester and follows the lovely rapids (up to class IV) of Sweetwater Creek. A flashlight and sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. No children under 6 or dogs. Meet inside the Visitor Center. Register in advance. $6 plus $5 parking. (770) 732-5871.

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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