Posts Tagged ‘picnicking’

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.


The Tennessee Valley Authority’s 11 seasonal campgrounds on reservoirs throughout the Tennessee River watershed will open for the 2011 recreation season on Friday, March 18.

These are in addition to about 70 TVA day-use recreation areas located on dam reservations that are open year-round. Day-use recreation areas are used for hiking, fishing, boating, picnicking, wildlife viewing and swimming.

The season for most campgrounds runs through Nov. 14. Three sites will remain open a month longer through Dec. 12: Douglas Dam Headwater Campground, Douglas Dam Tailwater Campground and Pickwick Dam Tailwater Campground.

Campground opening times and additional information on recreation opportunities on TVA reservoirs are available by calling 800-882-5263 or visiting

TVA campgrounds that will open on March 18 are:

  • Cherokee Dam Campground – Cherokee Reservoir near Morristown, Tenn.
  • Douglas Dam Headwater Campground – Douglas Reservoir near Sevierville, Tenn.
  • Douglas Dam Tailwater Campground – Douglas Reservoir near Dandridge, Tenn.
  • Foster Falls Campground – Marion County, Tenn.
  • Melton Hill Dam Campground – Melton Hill Reservoir near Oak Ridge, Tenn.
  • Barton Springs Campground – Normandy Reservoir near Manchester, Tenn.
  • Loyston Point Campground – Norris Reservoir near Norris, Tenn.
  • Pickwick Dam Tailwater Campground – Pickwick Reservoir near Savannah, Tenn.
  • Watauga Dam Tailwater Campground – Watauga Reservoir near Elizabethton, Tenn.
  • Mallard Creek Campground – Wheeler Reservoir near Rogersville, Ala.
  • Wilson Dam Rockpile Campground – Wilson Reservoir near Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Camping with campfires is a traditional way of enjoying the outdoors. However, imported firewood can spread pest infestations that kill trees. To prevent the spread of these destructive pests, TVA recommends buying firewood that is cut locally, preferably within the same county where it will be burned.

Mark Case is bursting with pride for improvements to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ campgrounds around Norfork and Bull Shoals lakes.

Chief of recreation for the Mountain Home Corps Project Office, Case told The Bulletin Wednesday that most of the improved campsites can now accommodate 50-foot recreational vehicles and offer 50-amp electrical service in addition to the traditional furnishings for picnicking and cooking.

Along with the bigger, reconfigured campsites, 2011 parks visitors will find new toilet and shower facilities at the Corps’ major parks — Jordan, Cranfield, Robinson Point, Tucker Hollow and Lakeview.

April 1 is the official opening date for Corps parks. The Corps maintains campsites totaling about 800 on the two lakes.
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