I mentioned earlier this week that the state of Georgia has no National Parks, but it’s adjacent to Tennessee, the state that has one of the 10 most popular National Parks. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is #1 if number of visitors is taken into consideration. It had 12.5 million of them in 2019, more than twice as many as #2, Grand Canyon National Park. This does not mean that Georgia is a less active participant in sponsoring National Park Service properties. It has 1 Biosphere Reserve, 15 National Park Service Managed Sites, 1 National Forest, and 8 Wildlife Refuges. Ruth and I have visited 2 of the 15 NPS Managed Sites in Georgia, Ocmulgee Mounds near Macon and Chickamauga, which is 15 miles south of Chattanooga, TN in Georgia. It’s the National Park Service’s oldest and largest National Military Park. I wrote about it in November, 2017 under a title containing the word Chickamauga. We saw Ocmulgee 2 years later.
Ocmulgee, a prehistory American Indian site, is similar to Cahokia Mounds in Illinois. Other managed sites in Georgia include 2 National Monuments, Fort Pulaski and Fort Frederica. Such monuments sometimes become national parks. Other well-known managed sites in this state include the National Historical Park celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta. It includes his birth home, and he is buried there. Another National Historic Site is in Plains, GA and honors the only US President so far who hailed from Georgia, Jimmy Carter.
When I wrote about Pennsylvania earlier this week, I focused on its portion of the Appalachian Trail. This National Scenic Trail that has been around since 1937 when it was completed begins in Georgia on Springer Mountain This state has 76 miles of it as it winds north through 7 counties.
The National Park Service manages a lot of wildlife refuges. The 8 in Georgia include the famous Okefenokee Swamp, which is also on the World Heritage Tentative List. Near Georgia’s border with Florida, the huge Okefenokee is the source of 2 rivers, one of which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The state of California has the most wildlife refuges with 39. The #2 state was a surprise to me. North Dakota has 33. Alaska has 16 and Florida has 29. Kentucky and Vermont have one each.