A new fishing pier, bridge and trails are just some of the improved amenities that Reed Bingham State Park is offering its visitors this summer. During the past year, park staff and volunteers have been hard at work to make sure that south Georgians have a great place to spend their weekends and staycations.
Anglers will be excited to find a new aluminum pier on the Colquitt County side of the park, as well as a new bridge to an island. The tiny island near the boat ramp has long been a popular spot for picnics and bank fishing, but park staff hope it will become a favorite location for weddings and parties as well.
Earlier in May, the park treated its 375-acre lake for invasive aquatic plants, which is why the water level had to be lowered. As soon as rains fill the lake to higher levels, the park will be able to run a weed harvester to further remove plants. Soon, fishermen will have a much better experience when trying their luck with bream, bass, catfish and crappie. Beachgoers will be able to swim in clearer water and play on cleaner sand.
“We realize how much of an impact that hydrilla and other plants have had on swimming, fishing and boating,” said Park Manager Suzanne Passmore, “so I’m really excited that we received funding to make these improvements. We’re looking forward to the lake filling up enough to run the harvester this summer.”
Hikers and bikers will find expanded trails to explore, including a one-mile Gopher Tortoise Bike Trail, one-mile Yearling Trail and .6-mile loop at Red Roberts Landing. One of the most popular nature hikes is the .9-mile Little River Trail, winding through wetlands, along the river and crossing boardwalks. Visitors can choose from several paths, totally more than five miles throughout the park.
“Many people don’t realize that Reed Bingham has some of the most diverse habitat in the United States,” said Passmore. “We have 80 percent of the plant species found in a Coastal Plain community. Commonly seen animals are herons, egrets, alligators, deer and raccoons. Some of our visitors are lucky enough to see gopher tortoises and bald eagles while on the trails or out in the lake.”
Reed Bingham State Park is a popular spot for picnics, so families will be happy to discover that Group Shelter 2 has been completely renovated, with all the work being completed by campground hosts and local volunteers. The screened building will hold 50 people for family reunions, birthday parties, receptions and other gatherings. The park has also repainted Group Shelter 1.
Finally, campers and other guests who stop in the expanded park office will find a larger retail area, with bait and other fishing supplies, souvenirs, food and camping supplies. Top selling items are t-shirts, snacks, worms and lures.
For many years, families have come to Reed Bingham State Park to join programs such as Junior Ranger camp, guided hikes, Buzzard Day, a Road Kill Run and children’s art camp. Over Memorial Day Weekend, visitors can enjoy the swimming beach, playground, animal programs, making paper lanterns and nighttime mini-golf. Bicycle rental, geocaching, canoe and kayak rental and pontoon boat tours are also popular activities.
Reed Bingham State Park is on Ga. Hwy. 37, six miles west of Adel and 14 miles east of Moultrie. To learn more, visit GaStateParks.org/ReedBingham or call 229-896-3551. Reservations for the 46 campsites, pioneer (group) camp, seven picnic shelters and four group shelters can be made online or by calling 800-864-7275. Reservations are accepted 13 months in advance.