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State parks host several area hikes
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As summer weather starts to fade away, Georgia state parks are hosting various outdoor activities this month including a handful in North Georgia.

Kicking things off will be the Dirty Spokes Race on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Unicoi State Park and Lodge in Helen. The trail race includes four state parks: Red Top Mountain, Unicoi, Fort Yargo and Victoria Bryant. Dates and distances vary.

Runners will earn points for awards.

Registration fees range from $25 to $45 and include chip timing, "dry-fit" shirts, post-race drinks and fruit.

Visit for more information and call 706-878-2201 ext. 305 to register.

Next up will be Winder Fire Department’s 9/11 Memorial XC 5K.

The race will be from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder.

The run/walk will raise money for the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation. The XC 5K will take place in Fort Yargo State Park. The course will be on the roadway as well as through the trails of Fort Yargo.

Parking is $5.

For more information, visit or call 706-680-7223.

The third choice will be Women for the Woods at Buck Shoals from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen

Like-minded women may choose between classes in canoeing/kayaking, hiking, fly-fishing and firearms.

Cost $50 and includes a fire-cooked lunch. Parking costs $5.

Call 706-878-3087 for information.

Next up is the Mountain Music and Arts & Crafts Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Vogel State Park in Blairsville.

The popular event includes Appalachian, bluegrass and gospel music. Art and craft booths will have handmade items for sale. Food concessions will be provided by Vogel Volunteers/Friends of Georgia State Parks.

Cost is $2 to $5 plus $5 for parking.

Call 706-745-2628 for more information.

Five days later, a Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike will be from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, and 8:15-10:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls.

Participants may take a mile and a half hike under the full moon. Cost is $5 plus $5 for parking.

Call 706-754-7981.

To wrap up activities in North Georgia, Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 21 at Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen

Children and their special "big person" can fish in a lake stocked with catfish, bass and bream. Fish caught can be kept.

Participants need to bring their own bait (no corn) and rods.

The event is not at Smithgall Woods, but at Buck Shoals, a nearby-unopened state park. Call 706-878-3087 for directions.

Cost is $5 for parking.

Regional events