Saturday, June 27, 2009
Summer Escapes #3 - FDR State Park, Georgia
From the time my parents carried me there when I was around four years old, Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park at Pine Mountain, Georgia, has been one of my favorite summer destinations.
From its beautiful views, waterfalls, rock formations, Liberty Bell shaped swimming pool, cabins, campground, picnic areas and hiking trails to its proximity to such other destinations as Callaway Gardens, Warm Springs and FDR's Little White House, the park is a magnificent place to escape for an afternoon, a few days or even a week during the summer.
FDR State Park is steeped in America's Presidential history. Future President Franklin D. Roosevelt fell in love with the sweeping vistas and natural beauty of Pine Mountain when he first arrived in nearby Warm Springs in 1924 to try the pools of natural warm water as a possible treatment for his disabling polio. Over the years that followed, he purchased a farm at the mountain and his Little White House became the only home he ever owned.
Roosevelt often drove the then rocky and rough roads atop the mountain in his famous hand-controlled car, stopping to talk to neighbors and viewing the scenery. Dowdell's Knob, within today's state park, was the President's favorite picnic area during the difficult days of the Great Depression and World War II. A statue of Roosevelt can be seen there today and visitors can still picnic near the President's stone barbeque grill.
Today's state park was a favorite Depression era works project of the President. He told sometimes skeptical neighbors that he could envision a day when Pine Mountain would become a great destination for residents of the coastal plains. His prediction was prophetic. More than 750,000 people visit the mountain and other area attractions each year.
To learn more about Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park and other points of interest in the area, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fdrstatepark.