Nature and Outdoor Activities
Upson County is home to a Boy Scout camp, a state park, a 5900 acre hunting area, and multiple golf courses. Potato Creek and the Flint River are well suited for canoeing and fishing, and Big Lazer WMA has a 190 acre boating and fishing lake. Here are our natural sites:
A little-known park on the Flint River, Sprewell Bluff is a great spot for fishing, swimming, canoeing, and picnicking. The cool, gently-flowing river is normally about waist deep and is ideal for tubing, wading or just cooling off. The Flint is good for both fishing and canoeing, as it is one of the forty rivers in the U.S. to go undammed for over 200 miles, keeping the water high and fresh, and the fish plentiful. Lunch can be served on the picnic tables next to the horseshoes on the shore. There is a three-mile-long looping trail going up over the bluff for excellent views. Sprewell Bluff is accessible by driving to the end of Sprewell Bluff Road southwest of Thomaston. (The address above links to a map of the route.)
Skydive Atlanta, located at the Thomaston Airport, is one of only three skydiving locations in Georgia. It has been located here for fourteen years and offers tandem skydiving for beginners as well as solo jumps for licensed skydivers. They book Saturdays and Sundays on the hour from 8am to 4pm.
Big Lazer WMA
Big Lazer (pronounced “Liza”) is a 7,200 acre State Wildlife Management Area and Public Fishing Area on the Flint in Talbot & Upson counties. It is open for hunts, both archery and firearms , throughout deer, turkey, and small game seasons. It is also home to a 193-acre lake, great for boating and fishing. (Fishing is best near the submerged trees in the center of the lake.) There are primitive camping grounds and numerous hiking trails through the wilderness and to the river. (The trails are complicated, so it is best to bring a map.) The area also provides access to the Flint River. Entrance to the WMA is free, however a WMA stamp is required for hunting and fishing, in addition to a Georgia hunting/fishing license.
Canoeing on the Flint
The Flint River is a great location for canoeing for many reasons. The river is mostly calm, and flows past beautiful bluffs, woods, and shoals. There are light to medium rapids scattered throughout the river, depending on the water level. In Upson county, the best place to get started canoeing the Flint River is the Flint River Outdoor Center, which is located at 4429 Woodland Rd. The Outdoor Center offers equipment rental and shuttle service. Contact them by phone (706-647-2633) for information on weather, river conditions, and canoe rental. In addition to various bridges crossing the Flint River, put in and take out access for canoes is also located at Sprewell Bluff State Park….
Raintree Golf Club, an eighteen-hole semiprivate golf course, is located in south of Thomaston on 1495 Hwy. 19 S. First built in 1935 as the Thomaston Country Club, Raintree was renovated and expanded in 1999 to provide a full 18 holes. It is a well-maintained, attractive tree-lined course with water features and a driving range. For more information, contact Raintree Golf Club at (706)647-7358.
Camp Thunder, or the Gerald Lawhorn scouting base, is Georgia’s largest camp affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. It consists of 2,500 wooded acres on the Flint River in Upson County It has been providing wonderful outdoor activities for Boy scouts and other lovers of the outdoors since 1938. One of the newest features of the camp is the Gerald Lawhorn Canoe Base, which is home to a pavilion for meetings, a ropes course, and various canoeing and tubing facilities. Although the facilities are primarily for the Boy Scouts, they will rent to other groups as well. Information about rental reservations and other activities can be found here.
Thomaston’s current courthouse was built in 1908 in the Neoclassical Revival style. It sits atop a Washington-style square decorated with various monuments, including a pedestal to General John B. Gordon, the famous Confederate general (more about him here and here). Of unique interest is a monument consisting of the first cannonball shot during the Civil War, brought there from Fort Sumter by a reporter who saw it being fired on December 26, 1860.
The Archives are the official repository of the governmental and historical documents of Upson County. It also contains much of the Upson Historical Society’s collection along with documents and items donated by private individuals. Its library contains county and city census and court records, newspapers from 1833 to today, school records, and a large amount of genealogical books,records and manuscripts. The basement contains a meeting hall seating ninety people. The Archives are open weekdays, with the exception of certain holidays, and the head Archivist, Penny Cliff, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for events and special information.
Glenwood Cemetery is the resting place of many of the founders and important men and women of Upson County and the surrounding area with graves dating from the 1830’s to the present day. Also of interest is a section with the graves of 54 Confederates who died in Thomaston between July-October 1864. A marker over the graves reads:
Here rest 54 Confederate soldiers, all of whom died in the Confederate hospitals located in Thomaston. These men came from seven of the Confederate states. Only six are in “unknown” graves. Hospitals located here were the Newsom, Frank Ramsey and several temporary hospitals. The remains of these men were moved to this spot … from their first resting place. The grave of Dr. Edward A. Flewellen, noted Confederate surgeon, is near this spot.
Glenwood Cemetery is open during daylight hours, and is located on S. Hightower Street in Thomaston.
Auchumpkee Creek Bridge
First constructed in 1892 by famed bridge builder, Dr. J. W. Herring, this beautiful bridge served travelers for more than a hundred years before it was destroyed in a flood in 1994. In 1997 FEMA and the Upson County Historic Preservation Commission provided over $200,000 to hire Arnold Graton, a professional bridge builder, to reconstruct the bridge using the same exact design as the original. The bridge now stands fully restored on Allen Rd. It is currently closed to motorized traffic. There is a picnic area nearby.