Category Archives: Recreation

Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Releases Boating Stats for Operation Dry Water and July 4th

On Monday, July 23, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division released the boating enforcement statistics for Operation Dry Water and for the July 4th holiday reporting period.

Operation Dry Water, a nationwide initiative of heightened enforcement targeting boating under the influence, took place June 29 – July 1. The mission of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water.

During the weekend, 145 Georgia Game Wardens patrolled 51 different waterways and contacted over 3,500 boaters. They issued 142 boating citations and 235 warnings, and removed 10 drunk boaters from the state’s waterways.

From July 3 – 5, Game Wardens across the state were patrolling Georgia’s waterways for the Independence Day holiday. The numbers were better this year than last year, likely due to the 4th falling on a Wednesday and the heavy afternoon thunderstorms in various parts of the state. This year the officers reported no drownings, 11 BUI arrests, eight boating incidents with four injuries and no boating fatalities. The July 4th holiday weekend in 2017 yielded one drowning, 34 BUI arrests, nine boating incidents (one involving alcohol) with five injuries, and no boating fatalities.

As the Summer boating season continues, the Division is committed to educating boaters about safe boating practices, which includes boating sober, and enforcing the state’s boating under the influence laws.

Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths, and a major contributor to accidents. Boaters are encouraged to enjoy the boating season by boating sober, wearing a life jacket, and taking a boating education course.

Visit operationdrywater.org or gadnrle.org for more information about boating under the influence.

Georgia State Parks and Georgia Public Library Service Celebrate 10 Years of Partnership with Special Programming Through December

 Georgia’s State Park System and Georgia Public Library Service are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their collaborative Library Loan Program. The partnership allows library patrons to check out free ParkPasses and historic sites passes, similar to checking out a book. To celebrate, special events will take place at libraries, state parks and state historic sites from June through December.

Don Carter State Park Beach at Lake Lanier

Since its inception in 2008, the partnership has saved Georgians more than $1 million in parking and admission fees, and has enabled more than 120,000 people to explore beautiful attractions such as Cloudland Canyon and Magnolia Springs, and historic sites like Etowah Indian Mounds and Fort King George.

“We are so proud of our wonderful partnership with Georgia’s Public Libraries,” said Georgia State Parks Director Becky Kelley. “The Library Loan Program not only ensures every citizen can visit our sites for free, but it also encourages people to explore new getaways. This helps us showcase our beautiful natural resources and rich history to citizens who might not otherwise learn about. And of course, we hope they’ll tell their friends and come back again.”

Special events will include library visits from Scout, the State Parks’ mascot; programming at the parks for libraries and programming at libraries with parks; park rangers reading to kids at library events; Scout stickers; and a chance to win a co-branded Discovery Backpack containing wildlife guides and binoculars.

“Our partnership with the State Parks and Sites is one of our most popular and enduring statewide collaborations. It has a very special place within the hearts of libraries and patrons,” said Georgia State Librarian Julie Walker. We hope families throughout the state will enjoy two of Georgia’s greatest resources, their state parks and public libraries, this summer​.”

With a valid library card from a participating library system, patrons can check-out the Georgia State Park ParkPass which is good for free parking at 46 state parks, plus admission for up to four people at 17 state historic sites. Along with the ParkPass, patrons are also welcome to check out a Discovery Backpack to use while camping, hiking, fishing, or a day of picnicking on a mountain or lakeside. State Park parking is normally $5 per vehicle, and historic site admission typically ranges from $2 to $12.

Because of the program’s popularity, families interested in borrowing a ParkPass from their local public libraries are advised to plan early, as supplies of the passes are limited to four per library facility.

Participating Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites can be found on GeorgiaStateParks.org. To learn more about the Library Loan Program, visit GaStateParks.org/LibraryLoan. For more information on Georgia’s 407 public libraries and the Discovery Backpack, visit georgialibraries.org or your local library.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with Mother Nature

If Mom’s perfect day includes being outdoors, treat her to Mother’s Day with Mother Nature. Georgia’s State Parks provide plenty of places where families can celebrate the holiday surrounded by springtime scenery.  Below are six ideas for a Mother’s Day that will make outdoorsy moms smile. To find more family friendly outings, visit GaStateParks.org.

Go On An Adventure

If Mom likes a thrill, try something new and adventurous. Choose from archery classes, kayaking, stand-up paddleboard classes, ziplining or even mountain biking. Many parks offer rentals and classes for all abilities. Check explore.GaStateParks.org/events and GaStateParks.org/ParkActivities to find something that will get Mom’s heart racing.

Picnic in the Park

Give Mom a break from packing lunches by packing a picnic basket just for her.  All of Georgia’s State Parks have picnic tables with pretty views. This is the perfect gift for families on a budget since picnic tables are free and parking is just $5. Larger families can rent enclosed group shelters or open-air shelters for an all-day potluck or family reunion. Find a picnic spot near you at GaStateParks.org/map.

Go “Glamping”

Adventurous moms will get a thrill out of “glamping” in a yurt. Six Georgia State Parks offer these accommodations which are like a combination between a tent and a cabin. After toasting s’mores by the campfire, everyone will sleep cozy on soft beds inside, then wake to the sounds of songbirds outside. Reserve yurts, cabins or campsites at GaStateParks.org/reservations.

 Stroll Through History

Georgia’s State Historic Sites offer not only a look into our past, but also educational walking trails. Explore the salt marsh around colonial Fort Morris, scout for wildlife at New Echota’s beaver pond or climb to the top of an ancient mound at Etowah. Not only will Mom learn about Georgia history, she’ll enjoy beautiful scenery as well. Discover Georgia’s historic sites at GeorgiaStateParks.org/history.

Take a Walk in the Woods

Keep an eye out for birds, butterflies and blooms while on a nature hike. Families can set out on their own along well-marked trails or join ranger-led hikes. Find stroller-friendly paved paths, lakeside loops and challenging treks at GaStateParks.org/ParkActivities. A calendar of ranger-led excursions is listed at explore.GeorgiaStateParks.org/events.

 Let Mom Choose

If you can’t resist wrapping a present, consider a gift card, annual ParkPass or membership to Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites.  Gift cards can be used on cabins, yurts, gift shops, kayak rental, bike rental, golf green fees, historic site admission and many other outdoor activities.  Annual passes are $50 and provide free parking at more than 40 state parks. Friends membership begins at $55 and provides an annual pass plus additional discounts.  Find details at GaStateParks.org and www.FriendsofGaStateParks.org.