Georgia’s scenic mountains, lakes, rivers, and coastal areas offer a wide range of recreational opportunities. Many of the recreational facilities are located in the numerous state parks. There are also a number of historic places of interest in Georgia, many of them associated with the American Civil War (1861-1865). Other tourist attractions include the picturesque Sea Islands, the Blue Ridge, and the health resort of Warm Springs.
The National Park Service administers several units in Georgia. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park lies in northwestern Georgia and in southeastern Tennessee. The Georgia section marks the site of the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga in 1863. Another Civil War engagement, the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, in 1864, is commemorated in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, near Atlanta.
Fort Pulaski National Monument, near Savannah, contains the restored walls of a Confederate stronghold. Andersonville National Historic Site, in west-central Georgia, commemorates the thousands of Union soldiers who were imprisoned and died at the infamous Andersonville prison during the Civil War. In 1998 the National Prisoner of War Museum was opened at the Andersonville National Historic Site. The new museum examines the experiences of prisoners in the Civil War as well as many other conflicts.
In Ocmulgee National Monument, near Macon, are the ruins of Native American villages and prehistoric ceremonial mounds. Fort Frederica National Monument, on Saint Simons Island, one of the Sea Islands, contains the ruin of an early 18th-century British military post. The Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, in Atlanta, contains the birthplace, church, and grave of the civil rights leader.
A visitor center at the site offers films and exhibits on Dr. King and his involvement in movements for racial justice. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, in Plains, contains the 39th president’s residence, boyhood home, and high school in addition to exhibiting rural southern culture.
Other areas within the state that are administered by the federal government include the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, a wilderness tract 1,600 sq km (620 sq mi) in area in Okefenokee Swamp. Seven wildlife refuges are administered under the umbrella of the Savannah Coastal National Wildlife Refuges, protecting wildlife environments from Hilton Head, South Carolina, to Wolf Island near Darien, Georgia. Wassaw Island and Little Wassaw Island, situated at the mouth of the Savannah River, is a wildlife refuge restricted to those doing scientific observation. Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, near Round Oak, is a reforested tract near the center of the state containing a complex environment of wetlands. The Cumberland Island National Seashore, accessible only by tour boat, preserves a large section of coastal island, including unspoiled beaches, marshes, and freshwater lakes. "Georgia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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