Bank and water flowing at Rice Creek

Rice Creek

Hidden in the rolling hills of Georgia’s Piedmont is one of the Peach State’s best kept secrets that includes a beautiful stream rushing downward through lush hardwood trees and a perfectly groomed and challenging golf course!

Victoria Bryant State Park (706-245-6270) provides a perfect setting for hikers to see wildlife while passing food plots along the perimeter trail or enjoy two small ponds that are open for public fishing. Campers can stay overnight in the small, comfortable campground and golfers can enjoy the park’s superbly-maintained Highland Walk Golf Course with full amenities and reasonable rates. The course is built on steep, rolling hills with broad, crowned Bermuda fairways leading to generous, sloping Bermuda greens.

In 2020, Highland Walk Golf Course was named one of Golf Now’s “Top 25 Courses in Georgia” and received the Georgia State Parks 2021 Outstanding Golf Course of the Year Award. It experienced its most successful year while making numerous improvements, including repaving cart paths, accessible parking, a concrete pad at the driving range, clearing underbrush and more. The course also hosted 25 events including their junior golf camp.

Though a bit small and shallow for fishing, Rice Creek flows through the park, providing a lovely setting for a stroll, a family picnic or a place where children can slide safely down a short waterfall over some flat boulders for great fun! This area is extremely photogenic and always memorable to all visitors!

This area had been owned by the Bryant family for a long time, and they had a home here where Paul Bryant was raised in the early 1900s. He was a generous and well-respected gentleman who was well known and valued in the community. Therefore, during the 1950s, he gave the State of Georgia a donation of the 45 acres of land he had inherited from his mother (Virginia Bryant, who had died when he was just an infant), so that a state park could be built and named in her memory.

The nearby village of Royston is also the hometown of famous baseball player Ty Cobb. He was born in 1888, about 20 years after the end of the War Between the States, and passed away in 1961. Nicknamed the Georgia Peach, he played outfield with the Detroit Tigers for 22 seasons and retired with the Philadelphia Athletics. Though somewhat of a hell-raiser, he is considered to be one of the greatest offensive players in baseball history and generally regarded as the fiercest competitor of his era. The Ty Cobb Museum is located on the site of the home where Cobb grew up and was constructed in 1988.

From a great golf outing at Highland Walk Golf Course to driving through the ford in Rice Creek, sliding down the slick rocks with the rushing water or camping under the stars, you can spend days relishing in the historic landscape and roaming through the rolling hills of the beautiful and picturesque Victoria Bryant State Park. It is a special place secret place that every visitor will cherish and remember for a lifetime!