The last and furthest south of the original Thirteen Colonies, Georgia has over 2,000 places on the National Register of Historic Places and almost 50 national historic landmarks. Over 7 million visitors go to Georgia’s national and state parks every year. With 11 national parks, the state also is the site of 3 national heritage areas, 1 national natural landmark, and two national trails. The Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain system, are a hit with hikers and nature lovers every year.
The Appalachian Trail begins in Fannin County on top of Springer Mountain and you can start the 2,000-mile long trek up to Maine’s Mount Katahdin. Interested? Download a Trail Map Guide
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National Parks & Historic Sites
Andersonville National Historic Site
760 POW Rd, Andersonville, GA 31711
The Camp Sumter military prison at Andersonville was one of the largest Confederate military prisons during the Civil War. During the 14 months the prison existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here. Of these, almost 13,000 died here. Today, Andersonville National Historic Site is a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout the nation’s history.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Various – Maine to Georgia, CT, GA, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV; one site is Amicalola Falls State Park, 418 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd, Dawsonville, GA 30534
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
3350 Klondike Rd, Lithonia, GA 30038
For millions of years, granite monadnocks have stood watch over the rivers and forests of Georgia. These breathtaking landscapes are the cornerstones of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, which serves to protect & promote these outcrops and the surrounding region as a recreational wonder and national treasure.
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area
1450 Greene St #400, Augusta, GA 30901
The Augusta Canal helped usher the Industrial Revolution into the American South. Built in 1845 as a source of power, water, and transportation, the canal today is the only fully intact American industrial canal in continuous operation. By 1847 the first mills opened, followed by the massive Civil War era Confederate Powder Works and many more industries in the later decades of the 19th century.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
1978 Island Ford Pkwy, Sandy Springs, GA 30350
Today the river valley attracts us for so many reasons. Take a solitary walk to enjoy nature’s display, raft leisurely through the rocky shoals with friends, fish the misty waters as the sun comes up, or have a picnic on a Sunday afternoon. Get Outdoors and experience your Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area as you have never done before.
Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
3370 Lafayette Rd, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742
In 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought for control of Chattanooga, known as the “Gateway to the Deep South.” The Confederates were victorious at nearby Chickamauga in September. However, renewed fighting in Chattanooga that November provided Union troops victory and control of the city. After the fighting, a Confederate soldier ominously wrote, “This…is the death-knell of the Confederacy.”
Cumberland Island National Seashore
Plum Orchard Dr, St Marys, GA 31558
St Marys is the gateway to Cumberland Island, Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island. Here pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches and wide marshes whisper the stories of both man and nature. Natives, missionaries, enslaved African Americans and Wealthy Industrialists all walked here. Cumberland Island is also home to over 9,800 acres of Congressionally designated Wilderness.
Fort Frederica National Monument
6515 Frederica Rd, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
Georgia’s fate was decided in 1742 when Spanish and British forces clashed on St. Simons Island. Fort Frederica’s troops defeated the Spanish, ensuring Georgia’s future as a British colony. Today, the archeological remnants of Frederica are protected by the National Park Service.
Fort Pulaski National Monument
US-80, Savannah, GA 31410
For much of the 19th century, masonry fortifications were the United States’ main defense against overseas enemies. However, during the Civil War, new technology proved its superiority to these forts. The Union army used rifled cannon and compelled the Confederate garrison inside Fort Pulaski to surrender. The siege was a landmark experiment in the history of military science and invention.
Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
2817 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455; Various in FL, GA, NC, SC
Designated by Congress in 2006, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor extends from Wilmington, North Carolina in the north to Jacksonville, Florida in the south. It is home to one of America’s most unique cultures, a tradition first shaped by captive Africans brought to the southern United States from West Africa and continued in later generations by their descendants.
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site
300 N Bond St, Plains, GA 31780
Few U.S. Presidents have had such close ties with where they were born and raised. The rural southern culture of Plains, Georgia, that revolves around farming, church, and school, had a large influence in molding the character and in shaping the political policies of the 39th President of the United States.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr, Kennesaw, GA 30152
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is a 2,965 acre National Battlefield that preserves a Civil War battleground of the Atlanta Campaign. Opposing forces maneuvered and fought here from June 19, 1864 until July 2, 1864. Although most famous as a Civil War battlefield, Kennesaw Mountain has a much richer story.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
450 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
A young boy grows up in a time of segregation…A dreamer is moved by destiny into leadership of the modern civil rights movement…This was Martin Luther King, Jr. Come hear his story, visit the home of his birth, and where he played as a child. Walk in his footsteps, and hear his voice in the church where he moved hearts and minds. Marvel at how he was an instrument for social change.
Ocmulgee National Monument
1207 Emery Hwy, Macon, GA 31217
Welcome to Ocmulgee National Monument. This park is a prehistoric American Indian site. American Indians first came here during the Paleo-Indian period hunting Ice Age mammals. Many different American Indian cultures occupied this land for thousands of years. Around 900 CE, the Mississippian Period began. They constructed mounds for their elite, which remain today.
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
Various in AL, AR, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, OK, TN; one site is Cedartown Cherokee Removal Camp, 301 Wissahickon Ave., Cedartown, GA 30125
Remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839.
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