As another school year begins, I have LOTS of things I still haven’t done this summer. In an effort to pack as much as possible into one last summer adventure, I headed out with the boys to visit friends in Tampa. On the way, we made a few stops including a night of camping at Reed Bingham State Park courtesy of the Ga. State Parks.
Reed Bingham State Park: An Outdoor Family Adventure
Camping is a wonderful and inexpensive way to enjoy the great outdoors and each other. Georgia State Parks offer diverse scenery and programs, so check out the website at http://www.gastateparks.org/ to determine the best place for your family.
Reed Bingham State Park is about three and a half hours from Atlanta and less than 6 miles off I-75. If camping isn’t your thing, it’s also a good place to just get off the road for a bit to stretch your legs, enjoy a picnic or even squeeze in a game of mini-golf. In addition to mini-golf, Reed Bingham has a nice playground, beach and boat docks. They also rent bicycles and canoes and offer pontoon boat tours. It’s an excellent place for bird watching or learning more about the resident gopher tortoises. The park staff rehabilitates various animals that are orphaned or left on the property. We were lucky enough to see a hummingbird, bluebird, red-headed woodpecker and even a bobcat kitten!
Similar to our visit to Sweetwater State Park, the boys worked together to catch minnows, frogs and even a huge tadpole. I wish we had brought a net with us. If I had, the boys could have spent hours finding wildlife in and around the water. If you go, pick up a Junior Ranger booklet. My boys did the water study at the park, then spent the first hour of our car trip the next day discussing what else they had already accomplished.
In addition to the park activities, the campfire was a big draw for my boys. They started the fire themselves, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks and the oldest even cooked dinner – “hobo food” a recipe from sleep-a-way camp.
The only downside to our park visit was the gnats. I know anyone from South Georgia is laughing right now at the thought that I would go tent camping the end of July. One piece of advice on the gnats from a park attendee – get a bounce dryer sheet and put it in your hat. The gnats will leave you alone.