The Latest Newsworthy Events
"Workout Kid" Coming to Nickelodeon
Kids, you've seen "CJ the Workout Kid" in Georgia State Park videos, now see him on Nickelodeon. Watch "Figure It Out" on Tuesday, August 7 at 7 p.m. Haven't seen CJ yet? Check out his exercise videos just for kids. He'll show you how to take a mini-break in your own home or classroom, all while practicing how you can work up a sweat when you visit Georgia's State Parks.
Georgia Association of Physician Assistants Fun Run at Skidaway Island
More than 50 smiling faces gathered at Skidaway Island State Park this June for the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA) Fun Run. The event showcased how outdoor recreation in state parks can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Runners and walkers could choose from a one-mile or a three-mile trek.
GAPA members have been great partners in our Tons of Fun Fitness Challenge. Through our “Rx for Fitness” program, physician assistants can prescribe healthy hikes, and patients can redeem their prescriptions for free parking in a Georgia State Park.
Learn more at tonsoffun.org/Rxercise.aspx
You won't believe this weight-loss story!
First Day Hikes a huge success!
While the champagne and noise-maker crowd slept in, scores of hikers, dogs and rangers took to the trails at Georgia State Parks, celebrating the opening hours of 2012 with friends, family and nature.
More than 620 people took advantage of the warm weather on Sunday to join in Georgia's first ever New Year's Day Hikes, part of the inaugural nationwide state parks campaign aimed at rejuvenating minds and bodies through outdoor exercise. Across Georgia, rangers and volunteers led hikes through 15 state parks, including F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, where 113 hikers shared hot cocoa and homemade snacks around a campfire following their 3.4-mile hike.
Hikers stop for a nature lesson at Sweetwater Creek
State Park. Click here for more First Day Hike photos.
At High Falls State Park, northwest of Macon, participants ranging from age three to 74 got a great workout during their 3.5-mile hike, but said they had tons of fun in the process. According to Park Clerk Katherine White, comments included, "hiking a trail beats walking a circular track any day" and "you can't get the same views staring at a wall while on a treadmill." White said one woman was already planning next year's hike. "I'm going to bring my grandchildren next year,” she said.
Kicking off the New Year with an invigorating hike fits perfectly with the mission of our Tons of Fun Initiative: to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles through outdoor recreation. Hopefully, the First Day Hikes will be more than just an annual tradition and inspire people to continue exploring Georgia State Parks all winter long.
"Winter is a great time to go hiking because you'll see vistas normally hidden by foliage," said Georgia State Parks Director Becky Kelley. "You can really appreciate the magnificent shapes of trees, and you'll see rocks and streams that are normally out of sight. Plus, winter is a good time to look for wildlife like fox and turkey."
Georgia State Parks can make New Year's fitness resolutions fun. We're talking trails, not treadmills here! With so much beauty surrounding you, it's easy to forget that you're actually exercising! Click here
to find a state park near you and locate a trail.
Did you participate in one of this year's First Day Hikes? Share your story and photos on our Facebook
"Local Food, Local Fun Day" at Panola Mountain State Park
The Tons of Fun Fitness Challenge held its first community event, "Local Food, Local Fun Day" at Panola Mountain State Park on October 22nd. The event was attended by more than 400 local residents who participated in healthy outdoor activities such as guided hikes, geocaching, dog walking, rock wall climbing, and archery. Participants also learned about fresh, seasonal foods grown right here in Georgia. There was a local farmer's market, farm-fresh food sampling, healthy cooking demonstrations by Le Cordon Bleu cooking school students, and Georgia's "Healthy Picnic in the Park" created by celebrity chef Todd English. Holly Chute, Executive Chef of the Georgia Governor's Mansion supervised the healthy picnic, which was served – free of charge – to over 350 people.
By all accounts, the day was a tremendous success. Everywhere you looked, you saw families getting exercise, getting education and having tons of fun being outdoors in nature. As a true testimony to the exercise had by all, even the most spirited shelter dogs were dozing by the end of the day!
Local Food, Local Fun Day at Panola Mountain State Park was made possible by our generous sponsors: Big Green Egg, Springer Mountain Farm, FreshPoint, Honest Tea, Farmer D Organics, Lifeline Animal Rescue, and Wonderland Gardens.
"Tons of Fun" welcomes celebrity chef Todd English
To honor Food Day 2011, the Tons of Fun program celebrated a theme of "Georgia Grown." So who better to have on hand than the greatest, Georgia Grown celebrity chef, Todd English? Todd visited Atlanta on October 17th and introduced his "Healthy Picnic in the Park," a signature meal he created just for Tons of Fun. Todd unveiled his original creation in Sweetwater Creek before a live FOXAtlanta news camera. FOX made the Tons of Fun program the subject of their "Good Day Atlanta" morning broadcast. Later, Chef English served his meal to members of the media at a press luncheon held at The St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead, where Todd was awarded a ceremonial "wine key" to the city by Georgia Governor's Mansion Executive Chef Holly Chute. The Department of Agriculture, now an official Tons of Fun sponsor, gave Todd a "I am Georgia Grown" t-shirt, featuring the department's new logo.
The entire event was made possible by our generous sponsors, The St. Regis Atlanta, Big Green Egg, Springer Mountain Farms, FreshPoint, Honest Tea, Farmer D Organics and High Country Outfitters.
Holly Chute and Doctor Oz cook up Southern favorites with a healthy twist on Atlanta's FOX5
Dipping in at dusk – what a pretty picture
Sweetwater Creek State Park celebrated its recent addition of rental kayaks with a ranger-led paddle at dusk. The event was so successful that the park plans on conducting more of these evenings on its 215-acre lake. If this looks like fun to you, click here
and learn how to sign up for the next paddle. Sweetwater Creek is just west of Atlanta and a good spot to learn paddling basics.
"Tons of Fun" kicks off at the Governor's Mansion
The "Tons of Fun" kickoff luncheon receives great press from CBS
Summer Fun at Sweetwater Creek
Metro Atlanta families gathered at Sweetwater Creek State Park this June for “Summer Fun Day,” part of the Outdoor Nation Summit. A climbing wall, kayak “test paddles,” archery lessons, birds of prey and reptile shows, games and prizes kept everyone smiling throughout the day. Sponsors such as REI, Merrell, The North Face and Nantahala Outdoor Center set up booths for families to enjoy as well.
Sweetwater Creek State Park is just west of Atlanta and has great hiking trails and picnic facilities. Learn more at GeorgiaStateParks.org/SweetwaterCreek
Tuesday evenings bring fun and farming to Coffee County families
On July 19, General Coffee State Park near Douglas held an action-packed Tuesday evening with water games, a kids’ fitness course, mini disc golf, Zumba classes, healthy cooking demonstrations, martial arts demonstrations and an owl prowl hike. Known for its Heritage Farm which showcases old-timey ways of living, this park is now hosting healthy gardening and cooking classes on Tuesday nights.
To learn more about organic farming, cooking healthy and exercising on the park’s trails, call General Coffee State Park at 912-384-7082 or visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/GeneralCoffee
Seminole brings out runners for first Gopher Tortoise Trot. June 25, 2011
In honor of Georgia’s state reptile, Seminole State Park in southwest Georgia held a Gopher Tortoise Trot for runners of all ages. Visitors discovered that state parks are a fun alternative to treadmills and health clubs – and a lot more affordable too! This park on sparkling Lake Seminole also has a swimming beach where visitors can kick up some waves, plus canoe and kayak rentals to strengthen arm muscles.
Check out the campsites and cabins at this great weekend destination. Call Seminole State Park at 229-861-3137 or visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/Seminole