Save money and get fit this spring break at Georgia’s state parks

Published 8:37 am Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Special to The Post-Searchlight

Spring Break can be easy on the waistline and wallet with budget-friendly adventures from Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. With more than 60 state parks and historic sites to choose from, families will find endless outdoor fun nearby, without paying hefty airplane fares or gas prices. From free days to overnight staycations under the moonlight, Georgia’s state parks offer five easy ways to get out, get fit, and have tons of fun this spring break:

 1. Tons of Free Recreation — Georgia’s state parks and historic sites offer endless recreation opportunities for every age and fitness level. Paddle across a lake or explore a canyon. Walk where soldiers once battled or where President Franklin D. Roosevelt pondered world affairs. A Georgia public library card is all you need to check out passes for state parks and historic sites. And if your family owns an RV, you can join the new Georgia State Parks RV Club where every 10th night of camping is free. Learn more at

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 2. Tons of Family-Friendly Events — With pleasing weather, plenty of wildlife and blooming wildflowers, spring is an opportune time to get the kids off the couch and enjoying the outdoors. Georgia’s state parks offer a wide variety of fun events nearly every weekend. From Easter egg hunts and wildflower hikes to paddling trips and music festivals, you are sure to find a program for all age levels. Most events are free with historic site admission or $5 daily parking fee. It’s a day of outdoor fun that costs less than a visit to the indoor playground, pizza parlor or video arcade. A full calendar listing can be found at

 3. Tons of Diverse “Stay”-cations — Families wanting to spend the whole spring break in nature can find affordable accommodations at Georgia’s state parks. Fall asleep under the stars and wake up surrounded by acres of forests and lakes. Camping rates start at just $23 per night and fill up quickly during spring break, so reserve early for the best selection.

For those who enjoy more comforts, book a cozy cabin starting at $85 per night. Cabins come with fully equipped kitchens, screened porches, an outdoor grill and fireplaces. You can even bring the family dog along to select cabins and all campsites. And, for those who enjoy the amenities of a hotel, four state parks offer lodges with restaurants. Rates start at $75 per night. All accommodations can be found at

4. Tons of Fun All Year-long — Forget the same old routine; families can enjoy unlimited outdoor recreation year-round by purchasing a Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. A Friends membership includes a free Annual ParkPass, Annual Historic Site Pass, a free night of camping or round of golf, and many additional perks. Membership levels begin at $50 for an individual and $75 per family. Learn more at Additionally, the park system’s new Tons of Fun Fitness Challenge offers fitness and health-related events and tools to help everyone in the family eat healthy, track calories, lose weight and exercise outdoors all year-long. For more information, visit

5. Tons of Golf Options — Skip the same old suburban courses and pricey greens fees. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy pristine settings, quality courses, affordable rates and a family- friendly atmosphere at Georgia’s eight state park golf courses. The state park courses are surrounded by sparkling lakes and scenic forests with rounds starting as low as $28 for 18 holes. For additional savings, a Golf Club Membership card provides discounts on greens fees, cart rentals, merchandise and food. A membership card is available for $25 and can be purchased directly at the golf courses. For tee times or more information visit or call 1-800-434-0982.

About Georgia State Parks

Georgia’s state parks and historic sites are operated by the Department of Natural Resources and offer pristine natural beauty from coastal marshes and midland swamps to piedmont plains and breathtaking mountains. For more information, including a full list of parks and accommodations, visit