Posts Tagged ‘Lake Lanier’

Aerial View Don Carter State Park

Aerial View Don Carter State Park

Lake Lanier fans can look forward to a new place to play this summer when Don Carter State Park opens July 15.  Georgia’s first state park on the 38,000-acre reservoir will feature camping, boat ramps, fishing, picnicking, playgrounds, hiking and a large swimming beach.  Parking is $5 and most day-use activities are free.

Situated on the north end of the reservoir, the 1,316-acre park offers access to a quiet section of the normally busy lake. Swimmers will enjoy the large beach with sloped lawn and bath house.  New boat ramps provide quick access to the lake, and anglers can prepare their catch at a fish-cleaning station.  A 1.5-mile paved trail welcomes hikers, bikers and strollers to explore surrounding hardwoods, while a two-mile trail can be explored on foot.

Don Carter State Park offers overnight getaways as well.  A modern campground with hot showers accommodates RVs, while another camping area is reserved just for tents and hammocks.  Although the park will soon accept reservations, campsites will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis during the first few weeks of opening.

Those who prefer a soft bed over a sleeping bag can look forward to the eight rental cabins, opening later this summer.  The two-bedroom cabins are perched on wooded hillsides near the lake, with rocking-chair porches and fully equipped kitchens.

Don Carter State Park offers a bargain getaway on Lake Lanier, said Kim Hatcher, with Georgia State Parks. Visitors pay $5 for parking, and most activities – including swimming – are free.  Campsites range from $15 to $29, and cabins will be $110 to $160.  Leashed dogs are welcome on trails and in the campground, but not in the visitor center and most cabins.  Covered picnic shelters rent for $45 and are perfect for family reunions, birthday parties and casual receptions.

Georgia’s newest state park is named in honor of Don Carter, the longest serving member (29 years) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources board.

Although the park officially opens July 15, the state will host a grand opening ceremony later this fall.

For more information, visit or call 678.450.7726 after July 15.


Higher lake levels and improved camping sites are expected to draw more campers this upcoming season at Lake Lanier.

The reservation phone line already is jumping, said Brian Johnson, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ campground program manager.

Early numbers show “we’ll have more people in the campgrounds,” he said. “This will be a busy year.”

Old Federal and Bald Ridge are scheduled to open March 26;. Duckett Mill, Bolding Mill and Sawnee campgrounds open April 11; and Van Pugh South, a former day-use park converted to a campground, could have a later start.

“We’ve got some things we need to get done there,” Johnson said. “Right now, we’re not taking reservations online because it may open a little later.”

For those eager to try out the new campground, check updates at, Johnson said.

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