Kayak at George L Smith State Park

Rate this Adventure 3 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Spencer Williams

Spend a day paddling through a majestic forest of cypress and tupelo trees draped with Spanish moss while keeping on eye out for osprey, blue heron, white ibis, tortoises and possibly even an alligator or two.

George L. Smith is a Georgia State Park located about an hour west of Savannah in the town of Twin City, GA. Originally the site of a combination gristmill, saw mill, covered bridge and dam built in 1880, the now refurbished and still working Parrish Mill and “pond” boast a multitude of new facilities. These include a group shelter near the bridge used for family reunions and parties, a full hookup RV park, primitive tent camping sites, 8 rentable cottages with screened porches and fireplaces, and even 7 miles of hiking trails.

However, the crown jewel of the park is the 412 acre “pond” filled with cypress and tupelo trees, draped with Spanish moss, that makes George L Smith State Park truly special. The "mill pond" is very well set up for kayakers of all levels. For those with their own boat there is ample parking located next to a tailor made kayak launching dock and roller ramp which allows you to sit in your boat and launch yourself into the water.

For those looking to rent kayaks and possibly needing a guide, Mill Pond Kayak Tours offers a wide range of boats including both single and tandem kayaks while also offering guided tours and photography packages for your family's trip through the forest. 

The "pond" has three different blackwater kayak trails, each marked with colored signs attached to the trees to help you to follow and experience the different sections of the lake. 

The YELLOW TRAIL is the longest of the three kayak trails. Starting at the park office it heads north following the western shore. As you paddle up this trail you will see the developed portion of the park to your left as you parallel the RV park, primitive tent campsites and even a couple of the rentable cottages. On the north side of the lake the BLUE and RED trails merge with the YELLOW trail and continues into Fifteen-mile Creek. The YELLOW trail follows the creek for another few hundred yards before ending at the GA 80/26 bridge.  

The BLUE Trail follows along the eastern shore of the lake. This side is the more primitive and secluded area and can be very dense with trees making it sometimes difficult to maneuver.

The RED trail goes straight up the middle of the lake. This is the most popular of the three trails, providing a more primitive and secluded scenery like the BLUE trail while still being a little more wide open making maneuvering easier like the YELLOW trail. About 500 yards into the RED trail you will come upon a large Osprey nest at the top of a free standing Cypress tree providing a great wildlife photography opportunity. 

Whether you choose to follow a single trail or paddle aimlessly through the prehistoric forest a day on the calm waters of George L Smith is sure to impress anyone with an appreciation for the outdoors. 

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Tags

Stand Up Paddle
Chillin
Fishing
Photography
Kayaking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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