One Of The Georgia State Parks Claims To Be The Oldest In America
There are 41 State Parks in Georgia as well as a number of historic sites and recreation areas.
The parks system in Georgia dates back to 1931 when Indian Springs State Park and Vogel State Park became the first two sites in their system.
In fact Indian Springs has been a park operated by the state of Georgia since 1825 and therefore claims to be the oldest state park in the whole of America.
Their system continues to grow with new parks being added during the 2000`s.
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Georgia State Parks
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Atlanta Skyline In The Early Morning Sunlight
In terms of size, Georgia is the 24th largest state in the Union but has the 9th largest population. Over five million of its 9.5 million people live in the one metropolitan area of Atlanta.
The state of Georgia was established in 1732 and was one of the original states in the Union, on the 2nd of January 1788 it became the fourth state to ratify the Constitution.
The history of Georgia involves a great deal of conflict, both with the Native Americans who lived there and between the European nations who fought to gain control in the region.
Spain, France and Britain all wanted to create colonies in the region. Eventually in 1752 it became a royal colony under British rule and was named in honor of King George 2nd.
However, British rule did not last very long as Georgia was one of the thirteen colonies which fought for independence during the American Revolutionary War
The population of Georgia underwent a huge increase in 1829 when gold was discovered in the mountains of the northern part of the state.
This inevitably led to disputes with the local Native Americans of the Cherokee Nation.
The eventual outcome was the forced relocation of all tribes in the east to reservations in Oklahoma.
This relocation was to become known as "The Trail Of Tears" as thousands died during the journey.
The hardships in the state of Georgia did not end there!
Georgia Is The Peach State
On January 18th 1861 Georgia took the side of the Confederacy and the state became the site for major battles during the Civil War.
Atlanta, Chickamauga and Kennesaw Mountain were all battlefields and a large part of the state was laid to waste during General William Sherman`s infamous "March to the Sea."
Today, the Georgia State Parks and its historic sites division, celebrate the history of this great state.
From the mountains in the north where Black Rock Mountain State Park is located to Crooked River State Park on the southern coast, every aspect of the state, its history and culture is integrated into the state parks Georgia system.
The Georgia State Parks system grew quickly during the 1930`s due to the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps.(CCC) This was a program initiated by President Roosevelt to create jobs during the Great Depression.
The CCC built dams, planted trees, cut trails in the wilderness and helped to build parks. During this time the land managed by the Georgia State Parks grew from 500 acres to over 5,000.
The part the President played in this growth is remembered at the F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Harris County, Georgia.
Fall Foliage At F.D. Roosevelt State Park
The CCC were instrumental in the creation of places such as Fort Mountain State Park, Little Ocmulgee State Park, and Hard Labor Creek State Park.
Georgia State Parks have continued to grow, both in numbers and in their size and the facilities that they offer.
During the 1960`s a few had golf courses added and in the 1980`s lodges were built at Amicalola Falls State Park, George T. Bagby State Park, Little Ocmulgee State Park, Red Top Mountain State Park and Unicoi State Park. These provided first class accommodation for visitors wishing to stay and enjoy everything the parks had to offer.
Savannah Riverboats At Sunrise
The authorities are not afraid to examine new ways to fund and manage parks. A partnership between Georgia State Parks and Georgia Power led to the creation of Tallulah Gorge State Park in 1992.
It is estimated that most people live within an hour of one of the state parks in Georgia and their popularity is shown by the fact that over thirteen million visitors a year make a visit.Here is a list of Georgia State Parks
Here is a map showing the 159 counties in Georgia - more than any other state apart from Texas.