Don’t let the summer slip away – it’s time to put your finger on the map and pick a location (or two), and make a few day trips to public land. Or, for the more adventurous, make it an overnight camping trip! Georgia Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and Public Fishing Areas (PFAs) provide a multitude of opportunities to get outdoors and be active.
Excursion Tips Before You Go:
- Be sure to stay safe and follow state public health guidelines, such as washing your hands throughout the day or using hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to running water.
- While all Georgia PFAs have comfort facilities, most WMAs do not, so be sure to do a little research on the area you select to plan accordingly for your adventure.
- Fish and wildlife are more active early in morning/late in evening during hot summer months.
Hike a Wildlife Management Area.
Did you know Wildlife Management Areas are also available to hike? Marked loop trails and unpaved roads allow access to some of Georgia’s wildest places, allowing a great chance to connect with nature. All you need is a valid hunting or fishing license or Georgia Lands Pass and you’re free to explore. If you’re out during hunting season though, wear hunter orange and be respectful of others using the area for other recreational activities.
Kayak public land.
When you think of exploring Wildlife Management Areas or Public Fishing Areas, dropping a kayak in the water may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Try exploring Georgia from a different perspective! Kayaking is a great way to see a variety of wildlife, get some fresh air, exercise outside and is an opportunity open on most areas. Check out https://garivers.org/for more water trails and information about paddling Georgia!
Fish at a Public Fishing Area.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned angler or the new fish on the block, there’s no shortage of fishing or outdoor fun at Georgia’s Public Fishing Areas (PFA). If you’re looking for a weekend fishing getaway, your Georgia fishing license is an all access pass to 11 intensely managed and family-friendly fishing holes right in your own backyard.
Camp on a WMA or PFA.
Heading to the woods? Extend your trip and spend some time in touch with nature and out under the stars. Primitive camping is available at a number of our Wildlife Management Areas, Public Fishing Areas, and most State Parks. Always be sure to camp in designated areas.
TIP: If you’re planning to camp at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, Evans County PFA, McDuffie PFA, or Paradise PFA, the campground registration system will streamline your trip with just the click of a button.
Set up a family outdoor challenge.
What family doesn’t love a little competitive fun? Come up with a list of fun things to accomplish like who can catch the most or the biggest fish? Who can spot the most birds or wildlife? Or who takes the best nature “selfie” during a hike? Whatever your style, just remember to have fun and if you win a challenge – don’t brag for too long.
Stay safe out there, and remember in areas that have more people than your family group (such as a boat dock or trailhead), be sure to wear a mask and social distance.
Need some more ideas? Give this Wild Bucket List a shot.