|The Burnham House at General Coffee State Park in Georgia.|
One of the best ways our tax money is spent is on the large network of state park cabins. Nestled in scenic areas throughout the country, they offer a great way for an inexpensive family vacation. The accommodations are basic but comfortable; they’re in beautiful natural areas and the prices can’t be beat. Generally there are two or more bedrooms, private bathrooms, equipped kitchens, linens and towels, pull out sofas, picnic tables, fire pits and grills. There is also AC and heat. Right outside, are all the amenities the parks have to offer: everything from swimming to guided boat rides. They were begun by the conservation minded president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public works program that operated from 1933 to 1942. Three million men constructed trails, built lodges and facilities in remote areas that continue to provide recreation today.
|The cabin at Laura Walker State Park.|
|Our view at Laura Walker State Park.|
My husband and I just returned from a stay at
Park in . Walking trails around a picturesque lake
started at our back door and the Folkston,
Georgia Okefenokee Swamp,
just up the road, filled our days with exploration by bike and boat. From the rockers on our large screen porch,
all we could hear were woodpeckers. It
was so enjoyable we stayed a fifth day. On
another Okefenokee exploration, we stayed at a cabin near the
swamp’s main entrance where a memorable encounter with bears at our picnic
table surprised us. Stephen Foster
|Our granddaughter's guest book entry|
A favorite family memory is our staycation at
one December weekend. Despite a relative in a wheelchair, the cabin
accommodated us well. Many of the state
parks offer handicapped accessible cabins. How exciting to be there when the
light show was going on! Especially on
Christmas Day when we had it all to ourselves.
It was magical. James
When our extended family vacationed in
we rented the historic Burnham House at . This is not a rustic, basic cabin. The 19th century house features
chandeliers, Queen Anne furniture and four comfortable bedrooms set within a park
known for its agricultural history displays and farm animals. Three generations of family members fished,
made bonfires, hiked and relaxed in a beautiful setting. General Coffee
Another historic stay was at the fabulous Lodge at Walkulla Springs in
. This meticulously restored 1930’s Spanish
style inn sits amidst the world’s largest and deepest freshwater spring
surrounded by cypress swamps. The rooms
are small but the lodge is full of history.
As we walked along the park’s boardwalks, we were excited to spot
several massive manatees lolling. Florida
|The cozy indoor lounge at Len Foote Lodge.|
One of the Southeast’s greatest adventures is the Len Foote Inn. It can only be reached by hiking about five miles through the foothills of northerneducation.
near Dahlonega. Before heading up the mountain, a stay at Georgia
is convenient. A couple of days enjoying the park’s paddle board courses, fly
fishing classes and guided hikes will get you in the mood for the next phase of
the adventure. The path to Len Foote starts nearby. Backpacker Magazine called this trek one of
the best hikes in Amicalola Falls State Park .
Len Foote is a state park facility nestled in the America .
Their mission is to make experiencing nature easy while protecting it
through recreation and It’s a
pleasant, gently uphill walk through strands of mountain laurel and
rhododendron, across streams and ridges.
It took us about three hours. After
we stashed our gear in a small private bunk room, we explored the wonderful
common spaces including indoor and outdoor lounges and a dining hall where filling
communal meals are served twice a day. Hot showers and Chattahoochee National
chairs with mountain views welcomed us after a day of hiking. Some visitors
were planning to walk another 4 miles to the beginning of the Appalachian
Trail and keep the adventure going for months!
When our family was in
in March, the weather was cold. Out our
window we could see a few hardy campers in tents and RV’s shivering around
meager campfires. I was afraid we might
be besieged by families begging for shelter in our warm, cozy cabin but we had
it to ourselves. We snuggled up and made
a toast: Thanks FDR. Myrtle Beach
If You go: