F. D. Roosevelt State Park

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Pine Mountain State Park
Dowdell knob.JPG
View from Dowdell's Knob.
F. D. Roosevelt State Park is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
F. D. Roosevelt State Park
F. D. Roosevelt State Park is located in the US
F. D. Roosevelt State Park
Nearest city Pine Mountain, Georgia
Coordinates 32°49′55″N 84°48′29″W / 32.83194°N 84.80806°W / 32.83194; -84.80806Coordinates: 32°49′55″N 84°48′29″W / 32.83194°N 84.80806°W / 32.83194; -84.80806
Area 4,568 acres (1,849 ha) (landmarked area)
Built 1934
Architectural style Bungalow/Craftsman, Other
NRHP Reference # 97001273[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP September 25, 1997
Designated NHLD September 25, 1997[2]

F.D. Roosevelt State Park is a 9,049 acre (35.91 km²) Georgia state park located near Pine Mountain and Warm Springs. The park is named for former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who sought a treatment for his paralytic illness in nearby Warm Springs at the Little White House. The western portion of the park, formerly named Pine Mountain State Park, was named a National Historic Landmark in 1997. F.D. Roosevelt State Park is Georgia's largest state park.[3]

Several structures in the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Great Depression, including a stone swimming pool and Roosevelt's favorite picnic spot at Dowdell's Knob, overlooking the valley below. President Roosevelt would take polio patients suffering from depression along on picnics at Dowdell's Knob.[4]


The region containing the modern-day park was inhabited by the Creek Nation until ceded under the Treaties of 1825 and 1826, which granted the territories between the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers to the State of Georgia. An influx of settlers established the town of Kings Gap, named after King's Trading Post located near the modern-day Liberty Bell Pool. The town eventually vanished by the 20th century.[5]

In 1924, Franklin Delano Roosevelt first visited the warm springs located near the towns of Warm Springs and Bullochville. He came to the springs seeking relief from the symptoms of the paralytic illness he had contracted some years earlier.[5] In 1927, Roosevelt and others established the Warm Springs Foundation, later known as the Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, which established therapeutic programs utilizing the area's mineral springs. Since then, the Institute has developed into a complex of facilities helping those with disabilities.

Just prior to being elected president of the United States in 1932, Roosevelt built a residence nearby which would come to be known as the Little White House. After his election to the presidency, he spearheaded the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps, known as the CCC. It was this organization which, in 1935, established a camp near the modern-day park entrance on Highway 354. From this camp, the young men of the CCC constructed much of the present state park, including the Liberty Bell Pool, the Roosevelt Lodge, several cabins, the 15-acre (61,000 m2) Lake Delanor and its companion, the 25-acre (100,000 m2) Lake Franklin.[5] Because of the well-preserved CCC design, layout, and buildings of the western half of the park, and for its association with Roosevelt, that area was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1997.[6]

Geology and geography[edit]

F.D. Roosevelt State Park is Georgia's largest state park.[3] The park is located on the Pine Mountain Ridge, which is Georgia's southernmost mountainous area (and the southernmost mountainous area in the United States east of the Mississippi River). The Pine Mountain Ridge, which extends into Alabama, is composed of quartzite rock formations.[7] It is geologically a feature of the Piedmont Plateau, not the Appalachian Mountains farther north.

Dowdell's Knob is the highest point in F. D. Roosevelt State Park, at 1,395 feet. The knob was named for two pioneer Harris County settlers: Lewis & James Dowdell.[8][9]

Because of the park's size, the park contains the 23 mile (37.01 km) long Pine Mountain Trail, a scenic nature path that winds through both hardwood and pine forests, featuring hickory and several species of oak; forest undergrowth includes buckeye, pawpaw, azalea, blueberry and huckleberry.[3][7] The trail has thirteen primitive back country campsites for backpackers.[7] The Pine Mountain Trail is wholly maintained by the volunteers of the Pine Mountain Trail Association. In addition, the park contains two stocked fishing lakes and a historic trading post. There is a clump of surviving resistant chestnut trees in the park.

Recent events[edit]

On April 12, 2007, the 62nd anniversary of Roosevelt's death, a 1,200-pound bronze statue was unveiled at Dowdell's Knob. The statue depicts Roosevelt sitting on his removable car seat and wearing his leg braces. The statue, commissioned by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, was created by Atlanta sculptor Martin Dawe.[10]

During the April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak, an EF2 tornado caused severe damage to the park, especially in the campgrounds. It was estimated that 30% of the structures in one of the park's group campground areas were destroyed.[11]


  • 105 Tent/Trailer/RV Campsites
  • 16 Backcountry Campsites
  • 22 Cottages
  • 2 Picnic Shelters
  • 2 Group Camps
  • 1 Group Shelter
  • 1 Pioneer Campground

Annual events[edit]

  • Spring Backpacking Trip (March)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Pine Mountain State Park". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  3. ^ a b c F.D. Roosevelt State Park. Georgia State Parks. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  4. ^ Alter, Jonathan: The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope. Simon & Schuster, New York: 2006, p62.
  5. ^ a b c Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park Historical Background. Pamphlet published by the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources.
  6. ^ "NHL nomination for Pine Mountain State Park" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
  7. ^ a b c Pfitzer, Donald. Hiking Georgia: A Guide to Georgia's Greatest Hiking Adventures. Morris Book Publishing LLC, Guilford: 2006, p326.
  8. ^ Dowdell's Knob State Historical Marker. University System of Georgia. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  9. ^ Trails at F. D. Roosevelt. Georgia State Parks. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  10. ^ Presidential Landmark to be Unveiled on Georgia Mountaintop. 3 April 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  11. ^ Summary of North and Central Georgia Tornado Outbreak April 27th and 28th. NOAA. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.

External links[edit]