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Head for the Hill for All Your Coastal Outdoor Activities

Coastal Georgia is paradise for adventure seekers and outdoorsy types. Whether you’re looking for the historic charm of Fort McAllister State Historic Park, a collection of stunning gardens or a day on the water, Richmond Hill is your regional headquarters for outdoor activities. Check out these suggestions to keep you and your family outside and active, 365 days a year.

Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens/Bamboo Farm

We are fortunate in Coastal Georgia to have a climate perfect for horticulture. Plenty of sun, warm temperatures and fertile soil make Richmond Hill the ideal place for a showpiece garden. The University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension agrees with us, which is why it operates the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens just minutes from the heart of Richmond Hill.

The botanical gardens are an oasis of coastal flora that features several gardens showcasing the variety of flowers, trees and shrubs that thrive in our local habitat. The sprawling 46 acres of gardens create a tranquil escape, a living classroom and a horticultural masterpiece that attracts more than 100,000 visitors annually. The garden’s mission is to educate and study horticultural and environmental sciences and offers visitors a chance to gather ideas to make their own gardens burst with life and color. Learn more by visiting the gardens’ website at www.coastalgeorgiabg.org.

Fort McAllister State Historic Park

For McAllister is a can’t-miss destination in Richmond Hill. It is the best preserved earthwork fortifications left by the Confederacy after the Civil War. It was so well built, it was attacked by Union Ironclads seven times before finally falling in 1864 to Gen. William T. Sherman, ending his infamous “March to the Sea.” Visitors can enjoy the beauty of giant live oaks, hanging Spanish moss, and the surrounding salt marshes while they learn about the history of the Civil War and Richmond Hill’s place in its history

Fort McAllister is among the state’s only State Historic Park, meaning it operates a state park as well as a historic site. The park covers 1,725 acres, includes ample tent and RV camping opportunities, two backcountry camp sites, picnic shelters and seven cottages available for rent. The park also features a boat ramp, dock and fishing pier, a playground and a museum and gift shop at the fort site. Go to the park’s website for more information.

JF Gregory Park

Welcome to Richmond Hill’s premier park. JF Gregory Park is 335 acres of greenspace and amenities to enjoy year-round. The park is perfect for picnics, outdoor sports, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking – basically everything you can think to do outside.

Bring the family and fish in the lake. Climb the birding tower to see the splendor of Coastal Georgia’s wildlife, or tour two restored Henry Ford-era homes also on the property. JF Gregory Park is also home to many of Richmond Hill’s community events, including the Ogeechee Seafood Festival, set for Oct. 16 at the park. Go to the Richmond Hill website for more information.

Richmond Hill Archery Range/Shooting Range

Coastal Georgia is a sporting paradise. Whether it’s fishing or hunting, there are ample opportunities to get out on the water or in the woods in search of game. Every good hunter needs to practice shooting skills, and Richmond Hill has just the places to do it.

The Richmond Hill Archery Range at the Richmond Hill Wildlife Management Area has everything you will need to be ready for bow season. The facility features four static archery range target stations, an archery tower with six 3D targets and a 3D archery trail with 15 targets. Avid hunters and archery enthusiasts will find plenty to have fun and improve their skills at the range. Learn more at the WMA’s website.

Also at the WMA, the Richmond Hill Shooting Range features indoor and outdoor classrooms, a 50-yard pistol range and a 100-yard rifle range. If you need to hone your skills, sight-in your rifle for deer season or just like shooting sports in a safe and controlled environment, the shooting range at the Richmond Hill WMA is the place for you. Learn more at the WMA’s website.

For a more complete shooting experience, call 17 South Rod & Gun Club in Richmond Hill. The club can be booked for private events. The family friendly shooting club covers 300 acres and includes multiple outdoor ranges, a .22 caliber range just for kids and a 500-yard rifle range, among other options. To learn more about 17 South, go to www.17southrngclub.com.

Fishing

The Richmond Hill WMA is also a great place to access the unparalleled fishing opportunities that present themselves in Coastal Georgia. A boat ramp and canoe launch provide anglers with access to the Ogeechee River, a river known for its great fishing.

For a guided experience, there are numerous charter captains ready to take the family out for a day on the water and a chance to reel in the big one. David Newlin Fishing Charters, at Fort McAllister Marina, offers a variety of trip options for folks looking to reel in the big ones. Newlin has been a charter captain since 1979 and takes customers on one of the best fishing experiences on the Georgia coast. Contact Capt. David at 912-756-4573 or learn more at www.captaindn.com.