By REBECCA HAZEN
Community members are invited to come out to Cloudland Canyon State Park on Saturday, Sept. 25, for Your State Parks Day.
Your State Parks Day is also known as National Public Lands Day, which occurs on the fourth Saturday of every September.
“The goal of this day is to promote the preservation of our parks and natural landmarks. Visitors are encouraged to explore the parks and to volunteer to help with the conservation of the public lands,” Juanita Wade, President of Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park organization, said.
The statewide focus for this year’s Your State Parks Day is “Blaze A Trail.”
“Our dedicated trails team will be leading hikes at 9, 10, and 11 a.m. During these hikes, the trails will be teaching our volunteers how to maintain a trail,” Wade explained.
The 9 a.m., hike will visit the West Rim Connector Trail and will focus on erosion control. The 10 a.m., hike will visit Hemlock and Cherokee Falls and look at the graffiti that is unfortunately present in the park. The 11 a.m., hike will explore the Overlook Trail, which is the park’s most traveled area.
The park will also be taking volunteers at the Interpretive Center to work on the areas surrounding it.
Lunch will be provided to all registered volunteers, so it is important to pre-register, or come to the tent outside the Interpretive Center to register. All volunteers interested in attending should pre-register with Dena Abell at email@example.com. Registered volunteers do not need to pay the $5 parking fee.
“Come see that it can take just a small amount of time to be able to greatly contribute to the preservation of this gem we have right in our backyard,” Wade said. “Volunteering in their local parks provides the park to be able to accomplish so much more.”
Wade encourages everyone in Dade County to come out to Cloudland Canyon State Park, and see what the park has to offer, much of it for free.
“We have picnic tables, playgrounds, programs at our Interpretive Center, a disc golf course, and so much more to explore. Local library card holders are able to check out a park pass and gain free admission to any of the Georgia State Parks,” Wade said.
Upcoming events and projects in Cloudland Canyon State Park include working with Park Manager Brad Gibson to create an outdoor classroom near the Interpretive Center. The Friends also hope to have an Easter Egg Hunt and other events in the spring.
“We are closely watching the COVID-19 numbers in the community for our Friends events in the park, and at this time we do not have events planned until next year,” Wade said.
However, the Interpretive Center is hosting weekly events, and people can contact the office to see what is on the schedule.
Monthly member meetings are on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Group Shelter. Trail workdays are every second Saturday of the month.
For more information visit friendsofcloudlandcanyon.org., or gastateparks.org.