Don Carter State Park Has 64 Campsites:
- Campsite with Electricity: 44 RV Campsites
- Cottages: 8
- Picnic Shelters: 4
- Primitive Camping: 12
Wondering where to hold your next family reunion? Rent a cabin at Don Carter State Park. Just bring your family and your food. Everything else is provided. Everyone will love it.
The sandy white beach at Don Carter State Park ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland
Cant rest without the noise of a bustling city? Bring a recording of car alarms, gunshots and sirens with you. Or get used to an occasional owl hooting you to sleep.
While on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, I once saw one of the worlds most exquisite white-sand beaches.
Save yourself a gajillion dollars in airfare. Romp in the sand at Don Carter Parks beach.
Its just as pretty and its easier to drive to Don Carter State Park in your motor home than it is to drive to Hawaii.
My favorite fishing holes are along the rock-lined edges of the Chattahoochee River near Don Carter. You never known when youll get a hit. Its what fishing is all about.
Rick Hamby of Cleveland, Georgia, took Cody & Micah Hanson fishing at Don Carter State Park on opening day. ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland
If you land a few, youll appreciate the fish cleaning station that awaits your victory celebration back on land.
Dont have a boat? Pffft. No problem. Theres a family-friendly fishing pier near the boat ramps.
The parks delightful two-bedroom cabins have lake views, rocking chair porches and individual grills.
Trail Map And Information
There are miles of trails at the park. I was hoping explore all the trails so we could see views of Lake Lanier, but the kids were tired and everyone was hungry. So we took the shortest 3 mile loop and returned back to campsite.
Trail through the woods.
If you are planning your trip, its a good idea to review the parks Trail Map. We winged it and did not plan enough to maximize our hiking experience.
Don Carter State Park is located at 5000 N Browning Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30506. More information for the park can be found on the state park website.
Don Carter State Park
“The Chattahoochee River, flowing from the north Georgia Mountains, meets Lake Lanier at Don Carter State Park, creating a unique opportunity for recreation and outdoor appreciation on the northern edge of metro-Atlanta.”
Don Carter is the only state park on 38,000-acre Lake Lanier. Situated on the north end of the reservoir, the park offers outstanding recreation for water lovers. Boat ramps provide quick access to the lake and Chattahoochee River, while a multi-use trail welcomes hikers and bikers to explore the hardwood forest. Guests can stay cool at a large, sand swimming beach with bath house.
This park offers several choices for overnight getaways as well. Two-bedroom cabins are perched on wooded hillsides near the lake. One campground is designed specifically for RVs, while another primitive camping area is just for tents and hammocks. The campground and cottage loop is gated, providing access to overnight guests.
The park is named in honor of real-estate executive Don Carter who served on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources board for 29 years and worked to establish Lake Laniers first state park.
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Rv Camping At Don Carter State Park
There were only a couple options available on such short notice and thats when we came across Georgias newest state park, Don Carter State Park.
Check out the Video:
We share our experience RVing at Don Carter State Park in the video below, including a drive through the campgrounds, our favorite spots, and some photos from the hiking trails.
Duckie and Kobe certainly warmed up to Don Carter State Park.
The campground itself has a lot of pull through campsites which is nice, however it does make the first couple drives through the campground quite confusing. After a couple of trips through though you should have it down.
The campsites themselves were spacious though many of them seem to be pretty close together. If we were to make the trip to Don Carter State Park again wed try our best to get campsite #42. While spot #40 where we stayed was nice and not too claustrophobic site 42 seemed to be the most secluded while also having a lake view through the trees.
Here is our spot at #40.
Here is site #42.
There are other campsites that have better views of the lake, but our only concern with those sites was that the trailhead was in their back yards so to speak.
The lake that site 42 and the other sites have a view of is Lake Lanier, which is a popular spot in Georgia. There are multiple boat ramps located within the State Park if youre looking to get out to do some cruising or fishing.
Activities In The Park
Tips for Snagging a Campsite Reservation
When to Go
Don Carter State Park is open year-round. Summers are typically hot, and winters are relatively chilly. Summer is the peak visitor season here, with many Atlanta residents making the short trip to enjoy cooling off in the waterbe sure to make reservations in advance. If youre most interested in the trails, aim for a spring or fall visit to enjoy more comfortable temperatures.
Know Before You Go
- You can rent a kayak or paddleboard in the park, but only during peak season from early March to late November.
- Bringing your own firewood is prohibited, but you can pick some up at the main office in the park.
- All pets must be on a six-foot leash and continuously attended to. Pets are not allowed in swimming areas or in any buildings.
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Experience Don Carter State Park In Gainesville Georgia
Enjoy fishing, boating, lake swimming, hiking, biking, picnicking and so much more!
|Refresh yourself at the sandy lake beach.
|Have fun at this wonderful group area.
Take a view of the fabulous facilites and scenery at Don Carter State Park – Georgia’s newest state park. Opening on Monday, July 15, 2013, this first look video provides an idea of the new features that will be available. This advanced look was made even while final construction was taking place.
Things To Do At Don Carter State Park
Don Carter State Park has a lot to offer. The parks total size is over 1,300 acres with access to the 38,000 acre Lake Lanier. There are boat ramps and fishing docks in the park, making this a easy way to get onto the lake with a fishing boat, kayak or canoe.
Great spot to let the kids try to hook the big one!
Beyond the water sports on lake, there are 14.5 miles of trails to go hiking or you can even bring your horse for a nice walk on the trails.
Camping is another main draw to Don Carter State Park. There are 8 cottages you can rent, 44 tent and RV campsites and 14 primitive camp sites.
We reserved a primitive campsite. It was nice and flat, with spot to make a fire and a picnic table. If you are looking to make a reservation, check the parks reservation availably.
There is a beach on Lake Lanier at the park, but we did not visit because the weather did not cooperate on our trip.
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Don Carter State Park Location
The park is located at the very north eastern tip of Lake Lanier where the Chattahoochee river flows into the Lake.
The park is about 65 miles north east from Atlanta. Just follow 85 to 985 and take exit 24. Its only a few miles off the highway.
The address for the park is 5000 N Browning Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30506.
Don Carter State Park Campsite Photos
The primitive campsites are separate from the RV campsites.
For the primitive campsites, there is a bathroom accessible via the short walk back to the parking lot.
For a detailed look at the layout of Don Carter State Park, please check out this link to the campsite map.
Fully erected tent with views of the amenities at the campsite.
Here is a view of our fully assemble tent. It wasnt a perfect set up, but it got the job done.
Four of us slept rather comfortably in this Coleman tent. Even though it rained a little overnight, we all stayed dry.
We didnt use this firepit as our friends started a fire at the adjacent campsite. I used the small table to set up my Coleman grill. Next to the grill was a place to hang extra food and supplies.
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Things To Do Near Gainesville Georgia
Don Carter is Georgias newest state park, as well as the first state park on 38,000 acre Lake Lanier. Situated on the north end of the reservoir, the park offers outstanding recreation for water lovers. Guests can stay cool at a large, sand swimming beach with bath house. Boat ramps provide quick access to the lake, while a multi-use trail welcomes hikers and bikers to explore the hardwood forest.This new park offers several choices for overnight getaways as well. Two-bedroom cabins are perched on wooded hillsides near the lake. One campground is designed specifically for RVs, while another primitive camping area is just for tents and hammocks. The campground and cottage loop is gated, providing access to overnight guests.The park is named in honor of real-estate executive Don Carter who served on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources board for 29 years and worked to establish Lake Laniers first state park.
Don Carter State Park: Camping Hiking And Lanier Life
We recently wrapped up an amazing weekend at Don Carter State Park in Gainesville, Georgia. The park borders the northern tip of Lake Lanier.
Don Carter State Park is one of the great state parks near Atlanta and is easily accessible from the city. The drivetime is only a little over an hour.
On our overnight stay, we opted for renting a primitive campsite nestled in the woods amongst 12 other campsites.
There is so much to do at this state park, we could never get it all done in one trip.
So what did we do on our overnight stay at Don Carter State Park?
We arrived in the early afternoon and set up our campsite. Its been a while since we camped, as a family, so erecting the tent took more time than I anticipated.
After camp was set up, we took the kids for about a three mile hike. There are over 14 miles of trails at this park, which I normally would have tried to see it all, but with another family joining us on the trip and 6 kids of varying ages, 3 miles was about all we could muster.
After the hike, we made burgers and dogs for dinner. Followed with smores for desert. The kids finally settled down around 9:30 and I poured a little Woodford from my flask as a night cap and settled in for the night.
Early the next morning, I woke everyone up to the smell of bacon and eggs.
The view makes it taste even better!
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Can You See Tallulah Falls Without Hiking
6 answers. Parking is very close to the visitor center and a 5 to 10 minute walk to great views of the falls from the top. Its not necessary to trek to the bottom to see. You do not have to walk far but you do have to get out of the car and walk a path that is about 100 yards or so to see the falls.
Don Carter State Park Facilities
- 1,040 acres of pleasure
- 44 tent, trailer & RV campsites
- 12 walk-in tent sites
- Kayak, SUP and Aquacycle rentals seasonal
- Romantic sunsets
- Address: 5000 N. Browning Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA, 30506
- Reservations: 800-864-7275
- Woodland Loop 1 mile, paved
- Terrapin Cove Trail 1 mile, natural
- Overlook Trail 1/8 mile, paved
- Lakeview Loop Trail 1/2 mile, paved
- Huckleberry Trail 3/4 mile, natural
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