Staying Cool This Summer

Just For Fun, Seasonal

In Georgia during the summer the heat gets intense and with little kids and no community pools, it can be hard to stay cool during the hot days. These are some places that won’t break the bank and are kid-friendly to help keep the heat away.

Vogel State Park:

Vogel State Park is located on Blood Mountain on the Blairsville side. The options to stay cool and under budget at Vogel are the swimming beach or the lake trail. These both only require the basic $5 parking fee required by all State Parks. The park also allows individuals with fishing licenses opportunities to fish around the lake.

For a fee bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, pedal boats, and aqua cycles can be rented. The park also has a putt-putt course for kids. There are also five other hiking trails at the park.

If you enjoy camping there are cottages and campsites for both tents and campers. For just a day trip there are picnic tables spread all around the lake, however, because it is a State Park there is wildlife including bears so it is important to store and dispose of food properly.

Unicoi State Park:

Unicoi State Park is located right outside Helen City Limits. It offers a lot of the same amenities as Vogel. Including a swimming beach, lake trail, fishing, equipment rentals, picnic areas, and campsites.

Unicoi also offers zip-lining over the lake. They have an archery and gun range. Both of these options have to be paid for through the lodge.

Another free options the park offers are a playground located not far from the beach. They will also be hosting visiting artists throughout the summer.

The park has a summer camp for kids as well, called the Junior Ranger Camp. The camp is offered June 10-14, July 15-19, and July 22-26. The pricing for the camp is a 1-day fee of $20 per child, a 3-days fee of $60 per child, and a full week fee of $100 for the first child and $75 for the second child.

For more information on the State Parks visit For Unicoi specifically, visit

Riverside Park:

In Helen, there is another free option for families. The Riverside Park is across from Big Daddies. The park has a picnic pavilion, a playground, and swings.

There is also an open field where team sports can be played on. The park has a trail down to the cool Chattahoochee River. There is no parking fee if you are able to park directly at the park.

Lake Lanier Olympic Park:

This park is in Gainseville where the 1996 Summer Olympic Rowing contest was held. The park has a swimming beach, boating ramp, and fishing.

On July 15 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. the park is hosting a free Beach Bash. They are offering inflatable waterslides, games, food trucks, and a hula hoop and limbo contest.

These are just a few of the options available to stay cool in the summer heat in North Georiga. There are rivers and lakes everywhere but it is important to be mindful of the wildlife that can be encountered in any of those locations. There are also options that come at a fee such as one of the two tubing companies in Helen, the waterpark also in Helen, Lake Lanier Islands, and Six Flags White Water. There is also a splash pad at Yahoola Creek Park.

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