George L Smith State Park: You’ll Love Paddling the Amazing Black Water

George L Smith State Park is about 3 hours from Atlanta, on the way to Savannah.  We spent three days and two nights here enjoying the peaceful and serene park. The cottages were well equipped, and the grist mill/dam offered a fun way to learn about the history of the area.  

We canoed the lake made by the dam; it was the boys’ first time.  My oldest loved it! Meandering the cypress and tupelo trees draped with Spanish moss was surreal. With hiking, fishing, geocaching, and picnicking, there was plenty to do at this Georgia state park!

Ready to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about visiting George L. Smith State Park in Twin City, GA.

George L Smith State Park: You'll Love Paddling the Amazing Black Water
Courtesy of Georgia State Parks


George L Smith State Park is best known for the refurbished Parrish Mill and Pond, a combination gristmill, saw mill, covered bridge and dam built in 1880. The dam creates a pond with pure water, which is home to stately cypress trees draped in Spanish moss and tupelo trees that touch the sky.  My boys and I spent several days here, taking in the peaceful, serene setting and natural beauty, hidden just an hour or so northwest of Savannah.

It’s a haven of serenity and peace, especially on the water.  The stately trees rising from the 412-acre lake are the perfect backdrop for canoeing or kayaking. The historical mills and covered bridge are wonderful additions, as well.  I highly recommend visiting this calming gem.


George Smith State Park holds a special place in our heart because it was the first time the boys ever canoed.  And what a glorious place to begin! The lake and cypress trees took our breath away! We relaxed in the cottage when the rains came, and made a magnificent dinner. I can still hear their belly laughs as we hiked the trails and as they played in the cottage yard.

One of the absolute best things to do here is to rent a canoe or kayak from the park and explore the waters among the cypress tress of George L. Smith State Park’s 412-acre mill pond. The calm blackwater trails are the perfect venue for kayakers of all ages and experience levels.  And the scenic vistas make for a relaxing day enjoying the great outdoors.  It’s a boatload of fun!

The exotic cypress trees growing like skyscrapers from Watson Pond were the main attraction for us.  We loved canoeing the lake.  While on the water, you can look for beaver dams, blue heron, white ibis and other wading birds. The park’s mill pond beckons anglers and paddlers to explore thick stands of cypress and tupelo trees.

You’ll also find seven miles of hiking trails here. During your hike, make sure to keep an eye out for Georgia’s state reptile…gopher tortoises!


At George L. Smith State Park, you’ll find 8 cottages, 24 tent and RV sites (including some that are right on the water), 4 primitive campsites, a primitive campground, and picnic and group shelters.

We loved our stay in the cabins at George L Smith. The cabins have everything you need for an amazing stay, including full kitchens, TVs, and screened porches inside, as well as a fire ring and picnic table outside. Cottages 1 and 4 are pet friendly.


Nearby is Magnolia Springs State Park, which I highly recommend.  See a Civil War POW museum, as well as a natural spring (with an alligator and about 100 turtles)!


Follow us here: Facebook | X | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | MSN | TripAdvisor | Flipboard | NewsBreak

All articles belong to 365 Atlanta Family LLC, and all photos belong to us as well, unless otherwise noted. It’s all copyrighted. Please don’t repost anything elsewhere without asking me first. All rights reserved. This site uses cookies to enhance your experience.

We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.

Posts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Several of our trips are also compensated by the respective tourism boards for the city or state we are visiting, restaurants, attractions or brands. This never impacts how we share the destination with you – opinions are always our own and we pride ourselves on that. We do not sell links or accept unsolicited guest posts under any circumstances. Don’t even ask.

United States Copyright, 365 Atlanta Family, LLC

View our Privacy Policy | Subscribe to our Newsletter | Contact Site Owner | View Terms & Conditions | About Us

George L Smith State Park: You'll Love Paddling the Amazing Black Water