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Georgia State Parks

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Georgia Coast Region
Waycross State Forest
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Waycross State Forest, located in southern Georgia, is a pristine natural sanctuary characterized by its sprawling landscape of towering pine trees, lush wetlands, and diverse wildlife. Stretching over thousands of acres, the forest offers an idyllic escape for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Its well-maintained trails wind through the verdant forests, providing opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting. The forest also boasts several picturesque lakes and rivers, offering a tranquil setting for fishing and boating activities. With its serene beauty and abundant recreational opportunities, Waycross State Forest is a haven for those seeking a rejuvenating and immersive experience in the heart of Georgia's natural wonders.
Nature of the Area
The Waycross State Forest, located in Georgia, is a magnificent natural oasis characterized by its diverse ecosystem and captivating landscapes. Stretching across vast expanses of rolling terrain, this forest showcases a harmonious blend of towering pines, lush hardwoods, and captivating wetlands. Its dense forest canopy provides a serene ambiance and a refuge for various wildlife species, including deer, turkeys, and migratory birds. The forest offers numerous recreational opportunities, such as hiking, camping, and wildlife observation, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its stunning beauty and experience the tranquility of the wilderness. With its rich biodiversity and picturesque scenery, Waycross State Forest is a true treasure for nature enthusiasts and a testament to the unspoiled natural splendor of Georgia.
History of the Area
Waycross State Forest is a forested area located in Georgia, United States. While there is no specific state forest named "Waycross State Forest," there are several state forests and wildlife management areas in the vicinity of Waycross, Georgia. One such area is the Dixon Memorial State Forest.

The Dixon Memorial State Forest is located approximately 9 miles northwest of Waycross in Ware County, Georgia, and covers an area of around 4,450 acres. The forest was named in honor of the late Roy R. Dixon, Jr., who served as Georgia's Commissioner of Department of Natural Resources from 1968 to 1970.

The establishment of the Dixon Memorial State Forest dates back to the early 1970s. In 1973, the Georgia General Assembly approved the acquisition of the land for forest management and outdoor recreational purposes. The primary objective of the forest was to provide habitat for wildlife, promote sustainable timber management practices, and offer recreational opportunities to the public.

The forest offers various recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, and camping. It is managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division.

The area surrounding Waycross and Ware County, in general, has a rich history rooted in the timber and railroad industries. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the region witnessed a significant boom due to the lumber industry, thanks to its vast forests. The construction of railroads, including the Satilla and Southwestern Railroad, paved the way for the transportation of timber to other areas.

Over time, the lumber industry declined, and the emphasis gradually shifted towards conservation and public recreational use of these forested lands, giving rise to the establishment of state forests and wildlife management areas like Dixon Memorial State Forest.
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Waycross State Forest is located near Blackshear, Folkston and Waycross

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1. Start by heading southeast on US-23 S/US-1 S/US-82 E.
2. Continue to follow US-82 E for approximately 41 miles.
3. Take the exit toward County Rd 52/S Arcadia Church Rd.
4. Turn right onto County Rd 52/S Arcadia Church Rd.
5. After 0.8 miles, turn left onto US-82 E/Okefenokee Pkwy.
6. Continue on US-82 E for about 9 miles.
7. At the traffic circle, take the first exit onto Knight Ave.
8. After 0.4 miles, turn right onto Elizabeth St/StateRd 4/StateRd 520.
9. Keep right to stay on Elizabeth St/StateRd 520.
10. After approximately 3 miles, the entrance to the Waycross State Forest will be on your right.

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Georgia State Parks