GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER PARK and PINE ACRES RETREAT
George Washington Carver Park on Lake Allatoona was established in 1950 as the first state park for African Americans in Georgia. This beautiful 345-acre property includes a manmade beach, picnic facilities, fishing docks, a boat ramp, playgrounds and a large event space great for family reunions, corporate meetings and wedding receptions. In 1956, a portion of the land was set aside for a black Girl Scout Camp and became known as Pine Acres Retreat. Currently, it is managed by the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The lodging facilities are available for renting and range from platform tent sites to cabins for small and large groups. The camp has a swimming pool and buildings for eating and meeting. Reservations must be made for the cabins and the event venue, but the rest is open to the public.
This historically-significant park has hosted Mrs. Coretta Scott King for church activities, Reverend Andrew Young and his family for skiing on the lake and Little Richard and Ray Charles for concerts. It is a contributing factor in the Civil Rights Movement.
TELLUS SCIENCE MUSEUM
If you’ve traveled on I-75 between Atlanta and Chattanooga in recent years, the large building housing the Tellus Science Museum likely caught your eye. It is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is well worth the effort to find the nearest exit and pay the museum a visit.
The Bentley Planetarium supports the museum’s emphasis on space and astronomy, but other main areas of focus include transportation, minerals and fossils.
Also, on the grounds is a solar house which is open for tours Thursdays through Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00. Tellus recently celebrated 10 years of operation and welcomed its 2 millionth visitor. It is a source of great pride for Bartow County and is a wonderful resource for area schools.
ETOWAH INDIAN MOUNDS STATE HISTORIC SITE
Near the Etowah River, you can see (and actually climb to the top of) three large mounds, the largest of which is 63 feet high and spans 3 acres. A tour of the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site will take you to some original Native American fish traps and a wattle and daub house showing typical home construction by the Native Americans between 900 and 1550 AD.
Before reaching the mounds, you will use a bridge to walk over what were called the “borrow pits.” Dirt was shoveled from these areas to form the mounds, and the resulting deep ditches or pits were used as defensive tools against invaders or unwelcomed influences.
The visitors center presents a range of exhibits with artifacts used prominently in that time period. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Come back next week for a look at a luxury resort near Cartersville that will have you making plans and reservations soon.