Panola Mountain State Park: 5 ways to climb a tree like a boss

Who loved climbing trees when they were a kid? I sure did. I had the chance to relive those moments last month when I was visiting  Henry County, Ga.

I made a stop at Panola Mtn State Park with Field Trips with Sue’s Sue Rodman, Caroline in the City’s Caroline Eubanks, LoriMacBrown’s Lori Brown (among others.) We didn’t have time to tour the great monadnock treasure, but we did tackle Naomi Ruth, the park’s beloved Southern Red Oak.panola mountain state park tree climbing

With helmet on and harness fastened, the instructors walked us through the process of inching up the ropes, which were already hanging from dear Naomi. I must admit that it took a little getting used to, but there was crazy satisfaction making my way up up up into the canopy.

I was a tad higher than Sue so I was able to see her finagle her way into a hanging cot called a “treeboat” that holds visitors  for special sky-high overnights.

While we were hanging out in the trees, our guide encouraged us to hang upside down!! Lori even stayed upside down while they lowered her to the ground…like a bat!

This was an amazing experience- it even made our list of 52 Adventures Every Kid Must Experience! Just be mindful that your kiddo needs to be 8 years old or so to have the strength necessary to climb.

For special needs climbers, call the nature center at Panola Park and they can arrange canopy assistance…there is no reason any kiddo (or adult) should miss out on the excitement of climbing trees!

So how do you get in on this action? There are five ways that you, too, can climb a tree #likeaboss with Tree Top Excursions at Panola Mountain State Park:

  1. Introduction Climbs – These occur once a month, primarily at Panola but sometimes at other locations. The cost is $15 per person, and it is two hours of fun much like I mention above.
  2. Group Climbs – If you have a group- a birthday party, scout group, homeschool co-op, etc- then you can schedule a private climb. The minimum fee is $200 and that covers up to 10 people. Each additional person is $20.
  3. Night Climbs – I’m really looking forward to my boys getting old enough for this! Nighttime climbs offer the opportunity to see florescent lichen, bright stars, and Barred owls. Night climbs are $25 per person.
  4. ZZZs in the Trees – If you want to sleep under the stars in the treeboat that Sue was testing, then tree ZZZs in the trees. It is $90 per person. You and your friends hang out in the canopy while a guide camps out below, available to lower you down upon request for the restroom, etc.
  5. Wild ClimbAfter you’ve gotten your bearings on Naomi, you can venture into the backcountry with a guide for a wild climb!


Check the GSP calendar for these events and more.

We’re not done exploring Panola Mountain! After our tree top climb we got a taste of the archery opportunities, which were fantastic!

  • There’s a new spin on archery coming in November…Archery Tag (11+ yo) with low-pound bows! Cool!!
  • There is also paddling, camping, GeoCaching, biking- this is a Muddy Spokes park…and hiking of course.
  • I’m looking forward to a guided hike on the actual outcrop…do you know that, unlike Stone Mountain and Arabia Mountain, Panola was never quarried!
  • Finally, Panola is connected to Arabia Mountain via the AMP, which makes for a fun weekend of adventure.


Disclosure: Special thank you to Henry County and Georgia State Parks for their hospitality and generosity. It didn’t sway my opinion in the least…ya’ll know how much I love GSP!

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