About Outdoor Recreation in Georgia
Georgia offers many recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. The Department of Natural Resources manages more than one million acres of land available for public recreation at state parks, historic sites, public fishing areas and wildlife management areas. In addition, Georgia has more than 500,000 acres of man-made reservoirs, 12,000 miles of warmwater streams, 4,000 miles of trout streams, and 2,500 acres of tidal waterways as well as outstanding federal lands like the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge within our borders. Whether you enjoy casting a fishing line along a north Georgia trout stream, camping under the stars after a hike at a state park, or enjoying a summer afternoon boating on one of Georgia's reservoirs, there is something for everyone to enjoy outdoors.
DNR Recreational Facilities
State Parks & Historic Sites
With 63 state parks and historic sites, there's always a reason to get outdoors. Explore a Civil War battlefield or spend an afternoon hiking to the top of a waterfall. You can enjoy fishing, camping, biking, cabin rentals and more at one of Georgia's state parks and historic sites.
Public Fishing Areas
Public fishing areas offer great opportunities for both boat and bank fishing and are intensively managed by DNR to provide outstanding fishing opportunities. From small lakes to large impoundments, public fishing area lakes are the perfect place to wet your line.
Wildlife Management Areas
Over 90 wildlife management areas are open to public hunting and other outdoor recreation throughout the state. Many also include archery and firearm ranges. While these areas are designated primarily for hunting, they also offer outstanding opportunities for wildlife viewing, birdwatching, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. For more information on wildlife management areas, check the hunting regulations.
Outdoor Recreation Activities
Biking is available on paved roads at all Georgia state parks, as well as on designated bike trails at several parks. Opportunities are available for the casual biker as well as those who prefer the challenge of mountain biking. For more information on where to bike at Georgia state parks or sign up for the Muddy Spokes Club, which spans over 68 miles of trails on 11 state parks.
Birdwatching can be as easy as sitting at your kitchen table watching goldfinches and cardinals on your feeders or as adventurous as searching the pinewoods of Georgia for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Whatever your pleasure, be sure to check out the Colonial Coast Birding Trail and the Southern Rivers Birding Trail. For young birding enthusiasts, check out the Youth Birding Competition. The Wildlife Resources Division also has information on planting gardens to attract birds and butterflies, nest box plans and much more. Visit backyard wildlife for more information.
Boating is a popular pastime in Georgia. Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier both rank among the busiest Corps of Engineer lakes in the country. Thousands of boaters head to Georgia's rivers, reservoirs and the Atlantic Ocean during the peak boating season, which runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. To learn more about Georgia's boating regulations, boat ramp locations, boater education, or how to register your boat, visit the Wildlife Resources Division's boating information. In addition, more than 30 state parks have boats for rent by the hour, including motorized fishing boats, pedal boats or canoes.
State parks offer a wide range of camping opportunities, from RV pull-throughs to primitive backpacking sites, and from walk-in tent sites to yurts. For more information on camping opportunities, visit the Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division's activities and accommodations and plan your next trip to one of Georgia's state parks. Primitive camping also is allowed on wildlife management areas in designated campgrounds unless otherwise posted at the check station. Check the outdoor hunting regulations in the hunting regulations for more information on camping on wildlife management areas.
From pristine trout streams winding their way through the state parks, to bass fishing on one of the state's reservoirs, to casting a line in pursuit of redfish on Georgia's coast, Georgia has plenty to offer both the beginning and experienced angler. For more information on freshwater fishing regulations and licenses, public fishing areas, fishing predictions, maps and much more, check out Wildlife Resources Division's freshwater fishing information. For more information about fishing in Georgia's estuaries or at the offshore artificial reefs, visit the Coastal Resources Division for information on saltwater fishing. In addition, several state parks offer a fishing tackle loaner program so anyone interested in fishing can check out a pole, try their luck, then return the equipment when they are finished.
Georgia's seven state park golf courses provide award-winning golf with great variety and value. The courses are strategically designed and carefully maintained in picturesque, uncrowded settings to accommodate all skill levels. Golf Digest has regularly recognized several of these courses as subscriber favorites. State park golf courses also host the Georgia Junior Golf Tour for boys and girls age 6 to 18. For a more casual game, state parks also offer disc golf and miniature golf.
Hiking & Backpacking
Almost every state park and historic site has hiking trails that provide opportunities ranging from shorter nature trails to challenging backcountry trails. The famous Appalachian Trail begins its 2,175-mile journey from Amicalola Falls State Park. Hiking also is allowed on wildlife management areas unless otherwise posted at the check station. Check the outdoor hunting regulations for more information.
Hunting is a longstanding tradition in Georgia, and hunters enjoy long seasons and plentiful opportunities for species including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl and small game. To learn more about hunting regulations and licenses, hunter education, hunting seasons and bag limits, maps and more, visit the Wildlife Resources Division's hunting information.