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General Coffee State Park

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Douglas, GA – On the second day of my mini road trip to Douglas, I visited the General Coffee State Park located just east of Douglas on GA 32.  This is a beautiful park and although many trees are still bare, the Dogwoods and Eastern Redbuds were in full bloom.  The main features of the park in addition to its camping areas and cabins are a 4 mile nature trail and Heritage Farm.  The nature trail winds along 17 Mile River and it’s surrounding swamp land.  Heritage Farm shows off the area’s agricultural history with cabins, barns, and other exhibits.

Looking down winding John Coffee Rd inside the General Coffee State Park

Looking down winding John Coffee Rd inside the General Coffee State Park

I did not get to walk the entire trail on this trip but it was just as good because the conditions weren’t all that good for nature photography; it was a dismal, cloudy day and during the morning it frequently called for flash use.  Unfortunately I didn’t see much wildlife but I did see a lot of squirrels (it reminded me of hunting in “the bottom” of my Aunt Bertie May’s property with my father when I was younger!), some Canadian Geese, some Brown Thrashers, as well as a raptor and some ducks I couldn’t identify because they were silhoutted against the sky and I couldn’t see enough to ID them.  I definitely want to go back when I have a full day to walk the trail and there is better light for photography (and when the River-Swamp vista part of the trail is open, it’s currently closed – I’m guessing for maintenance reasons).

Dogwoods in bloom at General Coffee State Park.

Dogwoods in bloom at General Coffee State Park.

River-Swamp trail sign/map. The River-Swamp vista shown is currently closed.

River-Swamp trail sign/map. The River-Swamp vista shown is currently closed.

A boardwalk over one of the many swampy sections of the trail.

A boardwalk over one of the many swampy sections of the trail.

Looking down a section of the trail, keep an eye out for the blue flashes on the trees to help stay on the trail.

Looking down a section of the trail, keep an eye out for the blue flashes on the trees to help stay on the trail.

The 17 Mile River and surrounding swamp.

The 17 Mile River and surrounding swamp.

The 17 Mile River and surrounding swamp.

The 17 Mile River and surrounding swamp.

Looking up part of the trail, keep an eye out for the blue flashes on the trees to stay on the trail.

Looking up part of the trail, keep an eye out for the blue flashes on the trees to stay on the trail.

Eastern Redbud trees in bloom at General Coffee State Park.

Eastern Redbud trees in bloom at General Coffee State Park.

Eastern Redbud trees in bloom at General Coffee State Park.

Eastern Redbud trees in bloom at General Coffee State Park.

Eastern Redbud blooms.

Eastern Redbud blooms.

The Heritage Farm contains is something that children in particular would be interested in.  The cabin containing the museum opens at 1300 and I assume that various exhibits are probably manned and active after 1300 as well.  I took a walk around the farm and got some photos of the cabins and farm animals.  One of the cabins is the Meeks Cabin, which was built in 1832 in the Nicholls, GA area and moved to the park in 1978.  There is also a smokehouse, mule and hay barn, tobacco barn, syrup boiler/hog scalder and cane press, a blacksmith’s shop, and other tools/implements including a steam engine.  Among the farm animals, which they allow children to feed, are chickens, turkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys, mules, horses, and pigs.

Meeks Cabin

Meeks Cabin

Meeks Cabin

Meeks Cabin

Blooming Dogwood and outhouse behind Meeks Cabin

Blooming Dogwood and outhouse behind Meeks Cabin

The Heritage Farm museum at General Coffee State Park.

The Heritage Farm museum at General Coffee State Park.

The Heritage Farm museum at General Coffee State Park.

The Heritage Farm museum at General Coffee State Park.

Smokehouse

Smokehouse

Mule and Hay Barn

Mule and Hay Barn

Rooster wandering about around the Mule and Hay Barn

Rooster wandering about around the Mule and Hay Barn

Tobacco Barn

Tobacco Barn

Steam Engine and various farm implements

Steam Engine and various farm implements

Closer view of the A.B. Farquhar Steam Engine.

Closer view of the A.B. Farquhar Steam Engine.

Closer view of the A.B. Farquhar Steam Engine.

Closer view of the A.B. Farquhar Steam Engine.

Blacksmith's Shop

Blacksmith’s Shop

Inside the Blacksmith's Shop.

Inside the Blacksmith’s Shop.

Chickens and Turkeys

Chickens and Turkeys

Getting the once over from one of the goats.

Getting the once over from one of the goats.

Sheep resting inside the Mule and Hay Barn.

Sheep resting inside the Mule and Hay Barn.

After this Donkey realized I wasn't bringing the morning feed, he decided I was worth ignoring!

After this Donkey realized I wasn’t bringing the morning feed, he decided I was worth ignoring!

Greetings from one of the Heritage Farm Pigs.

Greetings from one of the Heritage Farm Pigs.

I’m looking forward to making more trips to General Coffee State Park because I really want to see more of the nature trail in better conditions and get some photos of the gopher tortoises and pitcher plants the park is known for.  This is a park you could truly spend an entire day at.


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