Local News

June 7, 2013

Forest Service celebrates National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday

National Get Outdoors Day, created in a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, will include a wide variety of opportunities on Saturday to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun.

As part of Get Outdoors Day, the Forest Service offers a “fee-free” day. The first fee-free day this year was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Other fee-free periods will be on Sept. 28 for National Public Lands Day and Nov. 9-11 for Veterans Day Weekend.

Most day-use recreation areas in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests that are open for the season and operated by the Forest Service will waive their normal day-use fees. Concessionaires who operate campgrounds and other amenities may choose whether to participate in the fee-free days. All sites with fee-free days in effect will post notice at the fee stations. Forest visitors may check with their local Forest Service office to find out in advance if fee-free days will exist at their favorite sites:

• Blue Ridge District Office, Blairsville, (706) 745-6928

• Chattooga River District Office, Lakemont, (706) 754-6221

• Conasauga District Office, Chatsworth, (706) 695-6736

• Oconee District Office, Eatonton, (706) 485-7110

The Annual Kids Fishing Rodeo near Eton in the Conasauga Ranger District and Hemlock Day near Helen in the Chattooga River Ranger District are opportunities to enjoy the outdoors on Saturday. Contact the appropriate Ranger District for complete information on these events.

The Fishing Rodeo for ages 15 and younger is scheduled for 8 to 11 a.m. at Johnny Peeples’ pond on CCC Camp Road in Murray County, 3.5 miles east of Eton. The event is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Forest Service in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. The event is free, but participants should bring their own pole, bait and tackle. To learn more, call the Conasauga Ranger District office at (706) 695-6736 or the Georgia DNR Game Management office at (706) 295-6041.

Go Day, as it is often called, was launched in 2008 through a partnership between the Forest Service and the American Recreation Coalition. Built on the success of More Kids in the Woods and other efforts, Go Day connects Americans — especially children — with nature and active lifestyles. To find more Go Day activities, visit NationalGetOutdoorsDay.org.

And don’t forget to get the kids involved by starting with DiscovertheForest.org, which among other things features The Book of Stuff to Do Outside. It’s free to download and offers ideas about how to keep a nature journal, make a water scope and go on a scavenger hunt.

Wherever you choose to go, be sure to check your local weather forecast and with your local forest for safety alerts.

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests provide the finest outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources in Georgia. Featuring nearly 867,000 acres across 26 counties, hundreds of miles of clear-running streams and rivers, approximately 850 miles of recreation trails, and dozens of campgrounds, picnic areas and other recreation activity opportunities, these lands are rich in natural scenery, history and culture.

The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of current and future generations. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests is part of the Southern Region, with the Forest Supervisor’s office in Gainesville managing four district units in Blairsville (Blue Ridge District), Lakemont (Chattooga River District), Chatsworth (Conasauga District) and Eatonton (Oconee District).

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