All Aboard in Southern Georgia

GeorgiaStateParksAs a follower, you know several things: One, my family and I enjoy traveling, often to “off-the-beaten path” places. Two, we are enthusiastic supporters of state parks; Georgia has one of the most-awarded state park systems in the USA. While living in the south, we’d take an annual trip to one. This particular June, we booked a room in Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club in Georgia Veterans State Park Cordele, GA. The park itself is worth at least a day’s exploration-a museum with aircraft, disc golf, a sandy swimming beach, boating, 18-hole golf course and plenty of walking trails. We stayed 3 nights. One day we hopped aboard the SAM Shortline Excursion TrainSAM Shortline Train right inside the park and took the 6 hour and 25 minute Presidential Flyer tour, which included stops in Americus and Plains, Georgia and at Jimmy Carter’s boyhood home in Archery, Georgia. Plenty of information is provided to allow passengers to decide what they’d like to do or visit during the stopovers. We ate lunch in Plains, visited museum shops, toured a church and stood on the platform where former President Carter announced his candidacy MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAfor president. We freely wandered around the farm, enjoying the sights and the animals. Snacks and restrooms were on the train. Each of us got hooked on train travel and looks forward to planning another train trip -this one days-long rather than hours-long.

Chehaw’s Wild Animal Park in Albany, Georgia was the next stop on our family trip. This park was designed by Albany native, Jim Fowler, host of popular television show, Wild Kingdom. We visited on Father’s Day and for a short time we were the only park visitors. The lay-out is ideal for those with small children or those with mobility challenges. Keep in mind this location is in Southern Georgia and it gets hot. The playground is amazing and the park itself is worth a stroll or drive.


The diversity of this trip pleased all. Lake Blackshear inside Georgia Veteran’s State Park was a jewel. The train ride was new and exciting. The stopovers fun-filled. The Wild Animal Park and playground pure enjoyment. Overall, a Father’s Day long-weekend to cherish and remember.

Have you traveled in this area? If so, what else can be added to a trip itinerary? What did you enjoy? Did you discover any new restaurants or sites that all should see?

Do comment and share.

Linda Leier Thomason is a former CEO who writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Find out more about Linda by clicking the “Meet Linda” tab above. Interested in working together? Complete this form below.

Copyright. May 2015. Linda Leier Thomason

All Rights Reserved.

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