Christmas and New Year events at Georgia State Parks within 30 miles

Below is a list of events offered at Georgia state parks that are within 30 to 40 miles of East Gwinnett and Walton County. Click or tap on any link for more information or the facility.

New Year’s Day adventures offered in Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites

ATLANTA, November 30, 2021 – On New Year’s Day, park rangers across the country are inviting Americans to start 2022 with inspiring First Day Hikes.  In Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites, more than 40 guided treks will encourage friends and families to connect with nature and each other. Outings range from a kid-friendly stroll through Mistletoe State Park’s campground, a three-mile hike through Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon,” and even a night hike at Reed Bingham State Park.

During winter, hikers will notice interesting tree shapes, small streams and rock outcrops that are normally hidden by summer’s foliage. Many guided hikes are dog-friendly, and visitors are welcome to bring picnics to enjoy before or after their adventure. First Day Hikes are listed on GaStateParks.org.

For guests who want to celebrate New Year’s Eve surrounded by fresh air rather than fireworks, Georgia’s State Parks offer cozy cabins, heated yurts, lodge rooms and modern campsites. Fireworks and sparklers are not allowed in state parks, making them a peaceful choice for the holiday. For reservations, call 1-800-864-7275 or book online at GeorgiaStateParks.org.

Thursday, December 2, 2021
Homeschool Days
Thursday, Dec 2, 2021 9 AM to 11 AMPanola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge, GA(29 Miles)
Stockbridge, GA Join our Interpretive Ranger for our monthly homeschool program on the first Thursday and second Wednesday of each month at 9am and 2pm. Designed for children ages 6-12 to introduce them to a variety of nature-themed topics. Cost is $8/child. Call 770-389-7801 to register as advanced registration is required. Limited to 12 students. $8 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.
Friday, December 3, 2021
Campfire S’mores and Stories
Friday, Dec 3, 2021 6 PM to 6:40 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA Roast marshmallows and swap stories with friends and family. Ask the ranger about the ghosts at the park, or simply enjoy the warmth of the fire. Please wear warm clothes and bring a flashlight. We will meet at picnic shelter 5. Limited to12 people. Pre-register at the park office or call in advance. $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Dirty Spokes Cannonball Run
Saturday, Dec 4, 2021 8 AM to 4 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA Dirty Spokes Good Dirt “Fort Yargo Cannonball Run” – 8.75 or 3.10 Mile Trail Run. Visit www.dirtyspokes.com to register. $5 parking. 404-310-3628.
Beginner Archery Class -Pumpkin target-
Saturday, Dec 4, 2021 12 PM to 1 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA Want to shoot an arrow in archery, but don’t know how? Here’s your chance to learn some archery skills. Soon you’ll be hitting the bullseye (or the pumpkin). Program geared to participants 10 years and above. Call the park office to register. Space limited to 10 participants. Social distancing required. $10 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Wilderness Survival (shelter building, fire building, knot tying)
Saturday, Dec 4, 2021 3 PM to 5 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA Work by yourself or as a family team to create your very own shelter using the forest around you (surrounding sticks, branches, vines). Then, learn helpful skills about fire building and tying knots. All supplies provided. Geared toward ages 6 years and older. Pre-registration and social distancing required. $10 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Sunday, December 5, 2021
Reptile Creature Feature
Sunday, Dec 5, 2021 2 PM to 3 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA Reptiles are interesting creatures and there are so many in Georgia! Learn about different species and some fun reptile facts. At the end, get the chance to meet our very own animal ambassadors! Meeting at Interpretive Center. Space is limited! Please call the Visitor Center to pre-register! $3 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.
Accessible Event 
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Homeschool Days
Wednesday, Dec 8, 2021 9 AM to 11 AMPanola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge, GA(29 Miles)
Stockbridge, GA Join our Interpretive Ranger for our monthly homeschool program on the first Thursday and second Wednesday of each month at 9am and 2pm. Designed for children ages 6-12 to introduce them to a variety of nature-themed topics. Cost is $8/child. Call 770-389-7801 to register as advanced registration is required. Limited to 12 students. $8 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.
Saturday, December 11, 2021
Wood Ornament Craft
Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 11 AM to 12 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA Start off the holiday season right! Join us in making ornaments by painting wood slices. Then take it home and add it to your decorations! Space is limited. Meet at Interpretive Center. Please call the Visitor Center to preregister! $5 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.
Accessible Event 
Beginner Archery Class -Pumpkin target-
Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 12 PM to 1 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA Want to shoot an arrow in archery, but don’t know how? Here’s your chance to learn some archery skills. Soon you’ll be hitting the bullseye (or the pumpkin). Program geared to participants 10 years and above. Call the park office to register. Space limited to 10 participants. Social distancing required. $10 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Wildlife Bingo
Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 2 PM to 4 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA BINGO! This classic game has a slight twist to it, the bingo sheets are wildlife themed. Enjoy a fun game of bingo and try to win some fun Fort Yargo prizes! This is fun for friends and family. Space is limited. Meet at Interpretive Center. Please call the Visitor Center to preregister. $5 parking. 770-867-3489.
Accessible Event 
Wilderness Survival (shelter building, fire building, knot tying)
Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 3 PM to 5 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA Work by yourself or as a family team to create your very own shelter using the forest around you (surrounding sticks, branches, vines). Then, learn helpful skills about fire building and tying knots. All supplies provided. Geared toward ages 6 years and older. Pre-registration and social distancing required. $10 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Sunday, December 12, 2021
Reindeer Crafts
Sunday, Dec 12, 2021 2 PM to 3 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA Try your hand at making cool and unique reindeer out of different nature objects! Bring them home to use as decorations around the house. Space is limited. Meet at Interpretive Center. Please call the Visitor Center to preregister. $4 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.
Afternoon Hike and Build a Fire
Sunday, Dec 12, 2021 2 PM to 4 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA Explore the flora and fauna surrounding Brantley trail on this ranger led hike. This is an easy to moderate hike along a 1 mile unpaved trail. After the hike, learn how to build a fire without matches. Please bring water and wear closed-toed shoes. Call to pre-register in advance. Social distancing required. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Friday, December 17, 2021
Campfire S’mores and Stories
Friday, Dec 17, 2021 6 PM to 6:40 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA Roast marshmallows and swap stories with friends and family. Ask the ranger about the ghosts at the park, or simply enjoy the warmth of the fire. Please wear warm clothes and bring a flashlight. We will meet at picnic shelter 5. Limited to12 people. Pre-register at the park office or call in advance. $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Saturday, December 18, 2021
Friends of Panola Mountain Extended Hike
Saturday, Dec 18, 2021 9 AM to 2 PMPanola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge, GA(29 Miles)
Stockbridge, GA Take a guided hike with a trained “Friends of Panola” volunteer, through the restricted Conservation Area and up to the summit of Panola Mountain. This is a 5-mile, semi-off trail, strenuous hike that offers a variety of beautiful views and unique perspectives on the park. Must call to register in advance, space is limited to 20 hikers. $10 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.
Tracks, Furs, and Skulls
Saturday, Dec 18, 2021 1 PM to 2 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA Come and see some interesting tracks, feels some cool furs, and look at some unique skulls! Learn about some of the different animals that call Fort Yargo home. Space is limited. Meet at Interpretive Center. Please call the Visitor Center to preregister. $3 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.
Accessible Event 
Visit with Santa and Candy Cane Trail
Saturday, Dec 18, 2021 3 PM to 6 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA Get into the holiday spirit by joining us for a variety of festive activities including a visit from Santa. Hike the nature trail for a sweet treat or play a round of mini golf ($3-$5). Enjoy yard games, hot cocoa, and more! Mini golf: $3-$5, all other programs free $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Nature Senses
Tuesday, Dec 21, 2021 11 AM to 12 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA How do you use your senses in nature? In this program, learn how to enjoy nature in a whole new way! Get the chance to feel the fur of a fox or hear a bird sing. (This program is best for younger children). Space is limited! Meet at Interpretive Center. Please can Visitor Center to preregister. $3 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.
Accessible Event 
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Winter Crafts
Wednesday, Dec 22, 2021 11 AM to 12 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA Last chance to make some fun winter crafts to bring home! Get into the holiday spirit and find your creativity an make some cool crafts. Space is limited. Meet at Interpretive Center. Please call the Visitor Center to preregister. $5 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.
Sunday, December 26, 2021
Afternoon Hike and Build a Fire
Sunday, Dec 26, 2021 2 PM to 4 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA Explore the flora and fauna surrounding Brantley trail on this ranger led hike. This is an easy to moderate hike along a 1 mile unpaved trail. After the hike, learn how to build a fire without matches. Please bring water and wear closed-toed shoes. Call to pre-register in advance. Social distancing required. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Home School at Hard Labor Creek
Wednesday, Dec 29, 2021 10 AM to 11:30 AMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA The last Wednesday of every month, join our naturalist for a variety of nature oriented, hands-on activities. Programs designed for children ages 6-12. Call the park office to register. Advanced registration and social distancing required. Limited to 12 students $8 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Saturday, January 1, 2022
First Day Hike – Follow in the steps of the CCC
Saturday, Jan 1, 2022 11 AM to 4 PMHard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA(26 Miles)
Rutledge, GA This Ranger –Led hike will take visitors along gentle ridges and cascading creeks. Start the New Year off right with this 2 mile, moderate to rigorous, scenic hike (11am and 2pm). Bring a camera to record the scenery. Hikes geared toward active adults and children over 8 years old. Limited to 20. Preregistration required by 5 PM the day before. $3 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Fort Yargo First Day Hike
Saturday, Jan 1, 2022 1 PM to 3 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA Enjoy the new year by starting it off with a beautiful views! This guided hike will start at the beach near Picnic Shelter 3. It will be about a 2-3 mile hike, so make sure to bring water, wear comfortable shoes, and wear warm clothes! Please call the Visitor Center to preregister, space is limited. $5 parking. 770-867-3489.
First Day Hike
Saturday, Jan 1, 2022 1 PM to 4 PMPanola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge, GA(29 Miles)
Stockbridge, GA Start the New Year off with a brisk hike up our beautiful mountain, a registered National Natural Landmark. Trek to the top to symbolize all the great things you will accomplish in 2022. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call the Park Office at 770-389-7801 to register and pay. $10 registration fee, plus $5 park pass fee $10 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.
Saturday, January 22, 2022
Friends of Panola Mountain Extended Hike
Saturday, Jan 22, 2022 9 AM to 2 PMPanola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge, GA(29 Miles)
Stockbridge, GA Take a guided hike with a trained “Friends of Panola” volunteer, through the restricted Conservation Area and up to the summit of Panola Mountain. This is a 5-mile, semi-off trail, strenuous hike that offers a variety of beautiful views and unique perspectives on the park. Must call to register in advance, space is limited to 20 hikers. $10 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Dirty Spokes Thrill in the Hills 50K, 21K, 5 Mi Trail Run
Saturday, Feb 12, 2022 7 AM to 4 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA This half marathon and marathon will be an off-road course following the park’s scenic mountain bike trails. To register, please go to www.dirtyspokes.com. $5 parking. 404-310-3628.
Friends of Panola Mountain Extended Hike
Saturday, Feb 12, 2022 9 AM to 2 PMPanola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge, GA(29 Miles)
Stockbridge, GA Take a guided hike with a trained “Friends of Panola” volunteer, through the restricted Conservation Area and up to the summit of Panola Mountain. This is a 5-mile, semi-off trail, strenuous hike that offers a variety of beautiful views and unique perspectives on the park. Must call to register in advance, space is limited to 20 hikers. $10 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.
Saturday, March 12, 2022
Friends of Panola Mountain Extended Hike
Saturday, Mar 12, 2022 9 AM to 2 PMPanola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge, GA(29 Miles)
Stockbridge, GA Take a guided hike with a trained “Friends of Panola” volunteer, through the restricted Conservation Area and up to the summit of Panola Mountain. This is a 5-mile, semi-off trail, strenuous hike that offers a variety of beautiful views and unique perspectives on the park. Must call to register in advance, space is limited to 20 hikers. $10 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.
Saturday, April 2, 2022
Driven 10K Trail Race
Saturday, Apr 2, 2022 8 AM to 4 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA The Trail Driven 10k is the first of 3 qualifying events for the Driven Games. Visit www.driven2perform.com for details and to sign up. $5 parking. 412-607-6931.
Saturday, April 16, 2022
Don’s Backyard BBQ 20K Trail Run Challenge
Saturday, Apr 16, 2022 7 AM to 4 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA We’re excited to present the 2nd Annual Don’s Backyard BBQ 20K Trail Run Challenge at Fort Yargo State Park! Your Race Registration will include (but not limited to) a BBQ Meal and Beverage! Please visit www.dirtyspokes.com for more information. $5 parking. 404-310-3628.
Saturday, April 23, 2022
Friends of Panola Mountain Extended Hike
Saturday, Apr 23, 2022 9 AM to 2 PMPanola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge, GA(29 Miles)
Stockbridge, GA Take a guided hike with a trained “Friends of Panola” volunteer, through the restricted Conservation Area and up to the summit of Panola Mountain. This is a 5-mile, semi-off trail, strenuous hike that offers a variety of beautiful views and unique perspectives on the park. Must call to register in advance, space is limited to 20 hikers. $10 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Dirty Spokes 6/3 Hour Mountain Bike Race
Saturday, May 7, 2022 7 AM to 4 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA We are in our 17th year of putting on the Dirty Spokes Fort Yargo State Park Endurance Mountain Bike Race and as enthusiastic as when we started it (thanks to racers and riders like yourselves). We appreciate the support you all have given our events for the last 16 years and look forward to seeing you out there again this year! $5 parking. 404-310-3628.
Saturday, June 4, 2022
AR Premier Events / Fort Yargo Ultra
Saturday, Jun 4, 2022 7 AM to 4 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA The Fort Yargo Ultra is a 50K trail race with a 15.6-mile loop through one of Georgia’s most beautiful State Parks, Fort Yargo. Visit https://www.argeorgia.com/fortyargoultra to register. $5 parking. 706-286-4008.
Saturday, December 3, 2022
Dirty Spokes Good Dirt “Fort Yargo Cannonball Run” – 8.75 or 3.10 Mile Trail Run
Saturday, Dec 3, 2022 7 AM to 4 PMFort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA(17 Miles)
Winder, GA We´re excited to present the Dirty Spokes Off The Grid Fort Yargo Cannonball Run Trail Running Race! $5 parking. 404-310-3628.

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