Above: For Valentine’s Day, take your sweetheart to a special event at one of the Georgia State Parks, like the Sunset Boat Tour at Stephen C. Foster State Park on February 16. Photos courtesy of Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has planned some special events for Valentine’s Day. There are date nights, hikes and more throughout the state that offer romance and adventure. Visit gastateparks.org for details, more events and updated information.

Valentine’s Day Couples Hike on Panola Mountain

Enjoy a guided hike through Panola Mountain’s conservation area. You’ll watch the sunset over downtown Atlanta and have an opportunity to have your photo taken. Finish up with some chocolate-covered-strawberry-inspired s’mores roasted over the campfire. Be sure to bring water, a flashlight and sturdy shoes!

If you miss out on the special Valentine’s Day Hike, sign up for one of the Moonlight Mountain Hikes, offered on Saturdays, Feb. 16 and March 23.

When: Saturday, Feb. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Where: Panola Mountain State Park, 2620 Highway 155 SW, Stockbridge 30281

Cost: Admission is $15, $5 for parking.

More info: Space is limited; call 770-389-7801 to reserve your spots.

Valentine’s Dinner and Dance

While you’ll be travelling to the Savannah area, the drive is well worth it for this special evening. It starts with a candlelit dinner in a beautiful, historic setting. After the meal, you’ll have the opportunity to share period music, dancing and fireside chats with the park’s historical interpreters.

When: Saturday, Feb. 9, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Fort McAllister State Park, 3894 Fort McAllister Road, Richmond Hill 31324

Cost: $50 per person, $5 for parking.

More info: Reservations are required; call 912-727-2339.

Astronomy Night with Your Love

Tallulah Gorge State Park

Look to the stars for a perfect Valentine’s Night. You’ll meet up in front of the Interpretive Center where you’ll have the opportunity to look through the telescope and learn about the sky. Please note that this program does depend on the weather.

When: Thursday, Feb. 14, 6:30-8 p.m.

Where: Tallulah Gorge State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Drive, Tallulah Falls 30573

Cost: Admission is $5, $5 for parking.

More info: Call 706-754-7981 for details.

Ole Fashion Date Night on the Park

What’s more romantic than Mistletoe…State Park? In honor of Valentine’s Day, the park is offering a date night at the campground. Food will be prepared on a cast-iron skillet and there’ll even be homemade hot cocoa at the end of the program.

When: Friday, Feb. 15, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Mistletoe State Park, 3725 Mistletoe Road, Appling 30802

Cost: $20 per couple, plus $5 parking.

More info: Save your spot by calling 706-541-0321.

Sunset Boat Tour of the Swamp

Maybe the thought of a swamp doesn’t ooze romance, but you may be surprised as you relax on Billy’s Lake to watch an Okefenokee sunset. The lake is surrounded by wildlife — sandhill cranes and barred owls, even alligators — and you can glimpse them before the sun drops below the horizon. The boat tour is also offered on Saturdays, March 16 and April 13.

When: Saturday, Feb. 16, 5:30-7 p.m.

Where: Stephen C. Foster State Park, 17515 Highway 177, Fargo 391631

Cost: $15 to $20, plus $5 parking.

More info: To learn more, call 912-637-5274.

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is a freelance writer and editor based in metro Atlanta.