Blairsville, GA

Outdoors Fans Vote These North Georgia Parks as Their Final Favorite Four


In a mock "Madness" event, outdoor fans voted four North Georgia State Parks into a fantasy final four, then selected one as their state champion.

Dreamed up by outdoors shop and online retailer Wander North Georgia to celebrate Georgia state parks, 16 North Georgia state parks were placed into a tournament-style bracket. Over the course of two weeks, outdoors fans voted on social media for their favorites in head-to-head competitions until only four remained. The event coincided with the NCAA basketball tournament, which owns copyrights to the terms March Madness and Final Four.
Home to Trahlyta Falls, Vogel State Park near Blairsville was voted state park champion by outdoors fans in 2022.Photo: DeanLand /

The four finalists included west Georgia parks Cloudland Canyon and Vogel, and east Georgia parks Black Rock Mountain and Tallulah Gorge. Fans voted Vogel and Black Rock Mountain into a final matchup of premier parks. Vogel State Park near Blairsville, GA, was selected by 52.1% of participating outdoor fans as the eventual champion. That final match-up was a rematch of 2021, which was won by Black Rock Mountain.
Hiking to mountaintop views is among the highlights at Blackrock Mountain State Park in Clayton, GA.Photo: DeanLand /

In recognition of the selection, Wander North Georgia is donating $500 to Friends of Georgia State Parks, a charitable service organization which supports and helps to promote Georgia's state park system.

Nearly 20,000 votes were cast through social media in the tournament "contests." Josh Brown, co-owner at Wander North Georgia, said the goal of the event was to "highlight some of the lesser known parks while shining a light on the awesome Georgia State Park system."

"The idea was to celebrate the many state parks we have in North Georgia. The best thing to come out of this is hearing so many people share that they learned about a new state park that they can't wait to visit now. Plus, everyone enjoyed hearing the stories from participants of what state park they love and their great memories associated with it," Brown added.

Wander North Georgia plans to return the event in 2023, perhaps opening it to all Georgia state parks.

More About Georgia State Parks

See the following NewsBreak articles for more on Georgia State Parks:

Georgia's Nationally-Ranked State Parks

Short Walks to Georgia's Tallest Waterfalls

RVing at FD Roosevelt

Hiking Red Top Mountain

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I'm Dean Landeche, a trained journalist, global marketing executive and experienced business leader who has run successful enterprises spanning five continents while serving customers who are among the world's best and largest restaurants. I've left the corporate business world behind, now living in Northwest Georgia and writing about avocations including outdoor excursions, family-friendly travel, road trips, exploration ideas for active seniors and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries, and I'm still counting up. I'm now a traveler, hiker, cyclist, blogger, marketing consultant, community volunteer and local high school band nerd who previously has lived in Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Mississippi. I'm a South Louisiana-born French Cajun whose great-grandparents were sugar farmers, bar owners and reputed bootleggers. My upbringing in food-rich Louisiana and my restaurant industry career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. That also inspired the name of my blog, There, I offer up a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA

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