When the sun retreats and the stars align, guests to Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites will now be able to experience the previously unseen side of the parks. From now until December 2018, a multitude of events will be offered to park visitors that tie into this year’s annual program theme, “Parks After Dark.”
Hosted by the Georgia State Parks Recreation & Historic Sites Division, the events will feature over 150 programs that highlight nocturnal wildlife and unforgettable nighttime (some are new moon) experiences, suitable for all ages. Programming will take place at select parks throughout the state. A list of event times and pricing can be found by visiting GaStateParks.org/ParksAfterDark.
Each year, the Parks staff chooses a new theme to garner excitement and educate visitors about the various offerings, activities and natural resources that are located right in their backyard. While some night offerings were available at parks in the past, the new program encourages all state parks to get involved and to develop creative programming designed to heighten the senses.
Interpretive Rangers will teach guests about nocturnal wildlife and explore the symphony of natural sounds while on Owl Prowls, Full Moon Hikes, Sensory Awareness Night Hikes and a Starlight Symphony Hike. Historic Sites are offering candlelight tours of historic homes and lantern tours of forts. Many recreational programs provide fun and entertainment such as campfires, full moon paddles, evening yoga, movie nights, evening concerts, stargazing and astronomy, nighttime egg hunts, campfire cooking, hayrides and more.
With such a robust program filled with evening events focused on the Parks After Dark program, guests will have an easy time customizing an experience to fit their need for the perfect after-hours adventure.
Among the notable events offered during this year’s program, a can’t miss stop includes experiencing the darkest skies in Georgia at Stephen C. Foster State Park. Located in the Okefenokee Swamp, this park is listed as one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders. Because of the very low light pollution seen here, this park is a gold-tier “International Dark Sky Park,” and is ranked among Big Bend and Death Valley national parks as one of the best spots in the world to star-gaze.
To capitalize on the late venture, make a night out of it and plan to stay at one of Georgia State Parks’ many overnight accommodations. Guests can choose from fully equipped cabins, “glamping” yurts and modern campsites. Reservations can be made at GaStateParks.org/Reservations.