Every Georgia State Park.
Got my Annual ParkPass.
Got my Annual ParkPass.
I did it!
In the very beginning, I didn't have the notion to complete the quest of all Georgia State Parks within one year - it had been a past inkling of a thought, but when I bought my annual parking pass in April 2019 it wasn't on my mind. The idea rooted and sprouted in May. Next, I began planning to see if I could. Then, I made sacrifices to insure I would. Toward the end, a worldwide pandemic had me doubting I should. Sprinting toward the finish line with the help and encouragement of family and friends, I scrambled with protective measures in place to make sure I did, and with minimal impact to the communities I was traveling through and in.
Every Georgia State Park April 2019 through April 2020, with the exception of Reynold's Mansion on Sapelo Island, due to COVID19 closures and the needs of the small island community.
My list to complete did not include Georgia State Historic Sites, most Outdoor Recreation or Historic Areas, or Partner Attractions. I copied my list from the state park website in May or June of 2019. Hart was a state park then. As of April 1, 2020, Hart was no longer a state park, so I did not visit it especially considering the COVID19 caused time crunch I was in.
The thing I gained most is confidence and a sense of freedom. What do I wish I'd known at the start? It is ok to push beyond what you think you are capable of. What would I change? Nothing. I love that I was a beginner and then grew over the year. Regrets? That I didn't keep better record of names of folks I spoke with at each state park so that I could give a better blog story.
I would encourage anyone to do this or a similar challenge - getting out in nature is always a win. During COVID times, it does flavor the park experience differently - you feel more solo through lack of exposure to staff/volunteer and even other park patrons due to social distancing or masks. Solo isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just different.
Will I go back to Georgia State Parks? Well, I've already purchased my 2020 Annual Parking Pass. I've already been to Vogel for camping so I could complete the trail to Blood Mtn. I plan on some more trips, especially ones that include challenging or fun hike or water opportunities. I look forward to post COVID measures when events and activities resume regularly.
What do I plan to do with my Junior Ranger Lapel Pins I collected? I'm going to make a wall hanging probably similar to the picture below of the state with each pin in the vicinity of the park. I'll post when it is complete!
Leave a Reply.
herbalist, locavore, engineer, mom, traveler