Photo By MYRA THRIFT
Green grass and shade from pine trees are part of the new cabin appeal.
By MYRA THRIFT, Staff Writer
Picture this — you’re sitting in a comfortable old-fashioned rocking chair on a spacious screened-in porch, overlooking the cool waters of a big beautiful lake and drinking in the beauty of a lush green forest as a cool breeze gently kisses your temples.
Now imagine driving only a handful of miles to reach this relaxing respite while leaving the worries of the world behind.
This scene is not the shores of Destin Beach or Cape Cod — it is right in your back yard — Laura S. Walker State Park.
Nature lovers who enjoy camping are in for a treat at Laura Walker State Park where six new cabins have been constructed with all the comforts of home including air conditioning, running water, a private bathroom, comfortable new beds and, yes, even cable TV so you can keep up with the latest news or watch a favorite movie.
These cabins are newly finished and will be open in mid-September once the landscaping has been completed.
Suzanne Passmore, park manager at Laura S. Walker State Park, believes the addition of the cabins along with the new boardwalk being built across the lake will entice even those who normally would resist the notion of camping.
Each cabin has two carpeted bedrooms, a full bathroom, a kitchen and dining area, a commons area with a sleeper sofa and wide screen TV, screened in large back porch with picnic table and rocking chairs, offering a view of Laura Walker Lake and the pristine countryside. The cabins will sleep six people and will rent for $135 a night.
“These cabins are small but beautiful,” said Passmore. “And we have security to make sure you are safe while you are here.”
The park will begin offering golf packages at the nearby Lakes at Laura Walker state public golf course with a meal at the Laura Walker Lakes Diner, Passmore said.
And by the way — she reminds everyone that the diner at the golf club is open every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch.
One cabin is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant and one is “pet friendly,” Passmore said.
“I believe this is going to be a great addition to the park for everyone and we look forward to the opening,” said Passmore. “You can sit on the screened porch in a rocking chair overlooking the lake. And you will be comfortable whether it is cold or hot outside because they have climate control. These cabins are in great locations.”
Tall stately pines, green grassy yard and plants contiguous to the area.
Once the boardwalk is completed, it will offer access to both sides of the lake.
“Weather permitting, we will open the boardwalk in September and then we will allow the lake water to return,” said Passmore. “Visitors will be able to walk around the area on the boardwalk and through trails or even fish off the boardwalk when the water is up.”
The park offers a number of interpretive programs, craft classes on Saturday afternoons and hikes on Saturday evenings as well as bird watching and exploring, she said.
“We are open to having school groups or other groups who can experience the park and all that nature offers,” said Passmore. “We have bike rentals, kayak rentals and a gate that locks at 10 o’clock every night. This is a very safe park. We also have sheriff’s deputies ride through from time to time. We are also still part of the DNR and we have that arm of law enforcement. And two park staff members who live on site make frequent security rounds.”
Campers renting the new cabins will need to bring their own cooking and eating utensils, as well as linens, Passmore said. The opportunity to rent linens may be offered as well.
Passmore is enjoying her new job as park manager and is excited about the future, especially the coming fall season.
A native of Colquitt County, Passmore grew up in Moultrie and worked with the Department of Natural Resources and in the field of law enforcement for 11 years. She was last assigned to Reed Bingham State Park at Adel.
“I’ve been interested in this job for some time,” said Passmore, who started here about four months ago. “I love south Georgia and I want to stay in south Georgia. There are numerous possibilities here. It is giving me a chance to learn about the golf course operation and work with the staff here. We have a great staff. It has also given me the opportunity to learn the dynamics of park operations.”
Passmore reminds that a stay in the cabins or in other park camping facilities does not limit visitors to exploring only Laura Walker Park. They may also choose to visit nearby Okefenokee Swamp Park, Obediah’s Ok’fenok’ or play a round of golf on one of the finest, best-kept courses in the state.
Photo By MYRA THRIFT