State parks offer new adventures - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State parks offer new adventures

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

COOK COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Georgia's state parks are offering a variety of new experiences to keep visitors coming.  Though the parks have been hit with state-wide budget cuts, they're utilizing their natural resources to offer new adventures.

At Reed Bingham State Park, visitors are already buzzing about the newest opportunity: The Paddlers' Club.

Jack White, a frequent visitor to Reed Bingham, says, "It's just a quiet time to enjoy the tranquility of nature and the chance to see wildlife."

To earn membership in the Paddlers' Club, one must complete six water trails at six different state parks.  Reed Bingham boasts the longest canoe trail of 4.5 miles. 

Reed Bingham's course through the Little River offers paddlers the opportunity to view wildlife up close.  Alligators, waterfowl, turtles, and otters are frequently spotted.

Upon completing the six courses, members earn an exclusive t-shirt and, of course, bragging rights.

Jennifer Glover, Interpretive Ranger at Reed Bingham, says, "It's really safe, it's fun, and most of the time, kids and parents alike enjoy it."

Paddlers' Club is open to oarsmen of all skill levels.  "You can make it tough if you want to paddle in a really direct time, but I float and paddle and just take my time. It's delightful," explains Whit. 

Rangers at Reed Bingham hope the club will spark new interest.  "Hopefully, with us being on a list for Paddlers' Club parks, we'll be able to encourage people to come out and bring in more revenue since we're in such a crunch right now," Glover says. 

After completing each course, paddlers will receive a punch on their card.  The other five paddling trails are located at Crooked River, George Smith, Stephen Foster, and Sweet Water Creek Parks.

From the animals, to the adventure, to the idyllic scenery, it's safe to say that membership into the Paddlers' Club is well worth the tired arms.

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