Many Georgians aren’t aware that, in addition to hiking trails, rivers, lakes and mountains, Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites are home to several remnants of forts and earthworks that date back as early as the 17th century? History doesn’t just live on plaques and markers in these locations, it literally comes alive with re-enactments and special events throughout the year. In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, here are five Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites to visit that highlight the history of Georgia’s earliest battles. Find more about Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites’ history at GaStateParks.org/History.
Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site
In May 1864, the Confederate troops at Pickett’s Mill fought for victory on the battlefield against the Federal Army, resulting in a week delay of the Federal advance on Atlanta. Today, the Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site is one of the best-preserved Civil War battlefields in the nation. Travel roads used by Federal and Confederate troops, see earthworks, and walk through the same ravine where hundreds died. One of two original cannons used during this battle is now on display in the museum, on loan from the Atlanta History Center. Stay overnight nearby at Red Top Mountain State Park’s cabins or campground.
Admission: Adults (18–61) $5.50; Seniors (62+) $3.50; Youths (6–17): $3
For more information: GaStateParks.org/PickettsMillBattlefield
Fort King George Historic Site
Tour the oldest English fort remaining on Georgia’s coast at Fort King George, which was the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America from 1721 until 1736. The on-site museum offers a film detailing the 18th and 19th century history of Fort King George, including Guale Indians, the Santo Domingo de Talaje mission, Fort King George, the Scots of Darien and 19th century sawmilling.
Admission: Adults (18–61) $7.50; Seniors (62+) $7; Youth (6–17) $4.50; Children (under 6) Free
For more information: GaStateParks.org/FortKingGeorge
Fort Morris Historic Site
In the late 1700s, the Continental Congress fortified barracks on the Medway River at Sunbury to protect the seaport from the British. When the British demanded the fort’s surrender on Nov. 25, 1778, the defiant Col. John McIntosh replied, “Come and take it!” The British refused and withdrew back to Florida, but 45 days later, they returned with a superior force, and on Jan. 9, 1779, Fort Morris fell after a short but heavy bombardment. Stand within the earthwork remains and view scenic Saint Catherine’s Sound. A museum and film describe the colonial port of Sunbury and the site’s history.
Admission: Adults (18–61) $4.50; Seniors (62+): $4; Youth (6–17) $3; Child (under 6) Free
For more info: GaStateParks.org/FortMorris
Fort McAllister State Park
Located south of Savannah on the banks of the Ogeechee River, Fort McAllister State Park showcases the best-preserved earthwork fortification of the Confederacy. Despite being attacked seven times by Union ironclads, the fort didn’t fall until 1864 — ending General William T. Sherman’s “March to the Sea.” Explore the cannons, a furnace, bombproof, barracks, palisades and other remains of the battlefield, and admire artifacts in the Civil War museum. This scenic state park includes cabins, camping, walking trails and fishing piers.
Admission: Adults (18–61) $9; Seniors (62+) $8; Youth (6–17) $5
For more information: GaStateParks.org/FortMcAllister
For U.S. Veterans, Georgia Veterans State Park can’t be missed, as it was established as a memorial specifically to them. Visit the park’s museum that features armored vehicles, uniforms, weapons, medals and other items from the Revolutionary War through the Gulf War — including a Boeing B-29A aircraft.
No admission, but parking: $5, $3.75 for veterans
For more information: GaStateParks.org/GeorgiaVeteransSpecial Events going on for Veterans Day.
On Veterans Day, all veterans can play golf for free at the following State Park managed courses:
♦ Brazell’s Creek at Gordonia-Alatamaha
♦ Georgia Veterans Memorial at Lake Blackshear
♦ Highland Walk at Victoria Bryant
♦ The Creek at Hard Labor Creek
♦ The Lakes at Laura S. Walker
Veterans Day Guided Tour at Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic SiteCelebrate Veterans Day with a guided tour of the Little White House. Join the staff historian for a 90-minute guided tour of the Memorial Museum, Grounds and Historic Site at 9:30 a.m. Reservations required.
When: Monday, Nov. 11 (9:30-11 a.m. and 2-3:30 p.m.)
Where: 401 Little White House Road, Warm Springs
For more information: (706) 655-5870Veterans Appreciation Day at Hardman Farm Historic Site
In honor of Veterans Day, Hardman Farm is inviting all veterans, military service members and their families to enjoy free admission to Hardman Farm. Our last hourly guided tour of the mansion will begin at 3 p.m. Simply show your veteran, active or retired military ID and enjoy a free tour of Hardman Farm. Each tour is limited to 25 guests. Tours are on the hour beginning at 10 a.m.When: Monday, Nov. 11 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Where: 143 Highway 17, Sautee Nacoochee
For more information: (706) 878-1077