Fort Mountain State Park 83 No. 309
Cloudland Canyon State Park 2,877 No. 44
New Echota Historic Site 16 No. 813
Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park 85 No. 336
Sloppy Floyd State Park 8 No. 1,185
Chief Vann House Historic Site 3 No. 2,030
Enterprise South Nature Park 1 No. 3,077
Booker T. Washington State Park 2 No. 2,418
Harrison Bay State Park 11 No. 993
Red Clay State Park 11 No. 993
South Cumberland State Park 8 No. 1,185
Tims Ford State 3 No. 2,031
Fall Creek Falls State Park 42 No. 472
Cumberland Mountain State Park, Crossville 7 No. 1,269
Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River 3 No. 2,031
Great Smoky Mountains National Park 47,824 No. 6
Russell Cave National Monument 2 No. 2,418
Desoto State Park 20 No. 716
Little River Canyon National Preserve 40 No. 483
Visit www.LivePositively.com/americasparks by Sept. 6.
Three Georgia parks and one from Tennessee are at the top of the list of favorite parks across the country that Coca-Cola will use to determine who gets $175,000 in grants.
And one local park hopes to be the fourth from Georgia to crack the top tier.
The Coca-Cola Co. has launched a website for people across the country to vote on more than 4,000 parks. The top vote-getter will receive $100,000 to “restore, rebuild or enhance” places within the parks. The contest awards extra votes for photos and videos uploaded.
The leader through Monday is the Soudan Underground Mine State Park in Northeast Minnesota, but Georgia parks claimed the second and third spots.
Little Ocmulgee State Park west of Vidalia had 99,721 votes, and Amicalola Falls State Park near Dawsonville had 68,287 votes.
Florence Marina State Park south of Columbus ranked No. 7 on the list with more than 41,000 votes.
Sequoia National Park in California and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles Tennessee and North Carolina, are fifth and sixth on the leader board.
But over the weekend, one of the fastest climbers on the list was Cloudland Canyon State Park in Dade County, which hiked from No. 89 on the list with 700 votes Friday to No. 44 with 2,877 votes Monday.
Wesley Myers, assistant manager at Cloudland Canyon, said he’s surprised to see Georgia with three of the top 10 parks so far and hopes his park becomes the fourth.
“It would be tremendous,” he said.
Cloudland Canyon usually ranks about No. 5 in terms of visitation for the state, and Myers called the Dade County preserve “a flagship” within the system.
Georgia State Parks spokeswoman Kim Hatcher attributed the state park system’s early success to “passionate” supporters.
“Friends have called friends and called family,” she said.
Aside from the Smokies, Tennessee parks appear much lower on the list. Locally, the highest ranking park is Fall Creek Falls in Pikeville, which had 42 votes for 472nd place Monday.
But if the park rallied, Fall Creek Falls manager Jim Hall said the money would make an impact.
“That would be fantastic,” he said.
Voting lasts through Sept. 6.
Contact Andy Johns at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-757-6324.
Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...