Take Your Dad Outside 2

Nearby Hikes to Call Your Own

Sure, brunch and bow ties are grand, but this year, why not grab your favorite man and head outside? Father’s Day shares the month of June with National Trails Day and the 85th anniversary of Georgia’s State Park System. Park rangers are saying “hike with us on Father’s Day” as a way to honor our country’s largest public trail event. Sponsored by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day is held the first Saturday of each June and highlights 200,000 miles of trails that crisscross America.

Programs included ranger-led hikes, kayak tours, caving, geocaching and even the kickoff of a new dog walking club. While most are set for Saturday, June 4, a few will happen throughout the month.  A partial listing of National Trails Day events is below and more can be found at GeorgiaStateParks.org.  To make reservations for camping, cottages or yurts, visitors can go online or call 800.864.7275.  Georgia’s state parks and historic sites are operated by the Department of Natural Resources. To learn more about the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, visit AmericanHiking.org.

Northern Georgia

Wild Cave Tours

Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Sunday, June 5, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Cloudland Canyon State Park – Rising Fawn, GA

You will get muddy and wet on a family friendly underground adventure. Our guides will educate you on cave formations, bats, and geology while you have fun getting muddy and wet climbing and crawling your way through a wild cave. GeorgiaGirlGuides.com. Reservations required. $30-$60. $5 parking. 800.979.3370.

A Walk Through the Mining Industry

Saturday, June 4, 1 – 3 p.m.

James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park – Summerville, GA

The hills of northwest Georgia use to be rich with mining operations in the 1960s and 1970s. Join a ranger-led hike to the old Marble Mine and discover the history that lies in these hills. $5 parking. 706.857.0826.

National Trails Day Hike to Hemlock Falls

Saturday, June 4, 9 – 11 a.m.

Moccasin Creek State Park – Clarkesville, GA

Take a ranger-led, 2.2-mile hike to Hemlock Falls. Please bring water and be prepared to walk on uneven and sometimes muddy terrain. Park and meet at the Hemlock Falls Trail Head. 706.947.3194.

Metro Atlanta Area

Tails on Trails — National Trails Day Dog Hike

Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m.

Sweetwater Creek State Park – Lithia Springs, GA

Bring your four-legged hiking companion and join a ranger on our 4-mile Red Trail. Dogs must be leashed at all times. We’ll explore areas of whitewater rapids (up to class IV) and see the ruins of the Civil War-era New Manchester Mill, as seen in Hunger Games. Two people per dog max. Register in advance.  $7 plus $5 parking. 770.732.5871.

New Moon Kayak Tour

Friday, June 3, 8:30 p.m.

Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA

Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, star-gazing and a relaxing time on the water. A new moon means that many stars will be visible on the nighttime paddle. The program will proceed if it is cloudy or lightly drizzling. Register in advance. Meet at the lake beach. $15 plus $5 parking. 706.557.3001.

Civil War Battle Commemoration and National Trails Day Hike

Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site – Dallas, GA

The Battle of Pickett’s Mill was one of the few Confederate victories during the Civil War. Witness artillery and musket firing demonstrations. Learn what it was like to be a soldier at this battle, and see how civilians were affected by this battle. Finish the afternoon with a guided hike on the actual battlefield. $3.00 – $5.50. 770.443.7850.