With 63 state parks to choose from, there’s no camping like Georgia State Parks Camping. Even if you stay at one a week, it would take you more than a year to experience all that Georgia State Parks have to offer. And if you’ve never camped and would like to, but don’t want to invest a lot of money until you know if you’ll like it, the Georgia Department of Resources will loan you a tent and camping stove and gear as part of their “First-time camper,” program.
Georgia State Parks Camping First Time Camper Program
If you’ve always wanted to try camping but weren’t sure how to begin? We can help! Through our First-Time Camper program, you’ll get borrowed gear, expert advice, two-night accommodations and more. Regular camping rates apply. Use of equipment and ranger guidance is provided with the program. Anyone who has never camped in a Georgia State Park may participate.
Georgia park rangers are always eager to share their love for camping and the great outdoors. When you arrive, someone will guide you on how to set up camp and provide insider tips. You’ll even get an emergency phone number to call during the night if you have concerns.
Gear from REI & Coleman
Test out great gear provided by REI & Coleman. Both companies offer lots of helpful expert advice to get new campers on the road to a lifetime of camping (please bring your own sleeping bag or blanket, and a pillow). You’ll get:
- 1 Six-Person Tent
- 4 Sleeping Pads
- 1 Camp Stove with Fuel
- 4 Roasting Forks
- 1 Lantern
- 2 Camp Chairs
- Regular camping rates apply. You’ll still have to pay for campground fees.
- $5 ParkPass for the duration of your stay.
- Many park activities are free, such as hiking, geocaching, and fishing. Some activities have a fee, such as mini-golf, boat rental or swimming.
State Parks participating in the first time camper program:
- H. Stephens State Park (Crawfordville) 706-456-2602
- Don Carter State Park (Gainesville) 678-450-7726
- Fort Mountain State Park (Chatsworth) 706-422-1932
- Fort Yargo State Park (Winder) 770-867-3489
- Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park (Reidsville) 912-557-7744
- Indian Springs State Park (Flovilla) 770-504-2277
Georgia State Parks Camping – Civil War Related Parks
Whether you’re a history buff, or just like learning new things, Georgia’s state parks have a rich past and many are connected to the Civil War or contain Civil War Battlefields. Some of the most popular historic state parks with campgrounds include:
Picketts Mill Battlefield – Georgia State Parks camping
Pickett’s Mill is one of the best preserved Civil War battlefields in the nation. Visitors can travel roads used by Federal and Confederate troops, see earthworks constructed by these men, and walk through the same ravine where hundreds died. An authentic 1800s pioneer cabin is furnished and open for tours during certain events.
Fort McAllister – Georgia State Parks Camping
For Civil War buffs or those who simply like camping and playing near historic sites, the 1,725 acre McAllister Historic Park is a good destination. Nestled among giant live oaks, Spanish moss and salt marsh, this park is a beautiful location for camping, fishing, boating and picnicking. It’s on the banks of the Ogeechee River 40 minutes from downtown Savannah. The park has a well-preserved Confederate earthwork fort which withstood several Union attacks during the war. The fort finally fell at the end of Gen. William T. Sherman’s “March to the Sea.” Along with a 65-site campground with sites for RVs, tents and trailers.
There are rental cottages and plenty of battlements worth exploring. For groups, there are two picnic shelters and a group shelter. For those interested in learning more, there is a Civil War museum and a gift shop. Campers can learn about the American Civil War, soldier life, medicine, infantry, weapons and more from staff historians during their stay.
Seven cottages, surrounded by palm trees and palmettos, sit on stilts near the marsh. The campground is well shaded, and bordered by tidal Redbird Creek, a boat ramp, fishing dock and nature trail. A large picnic area offers river views and playgrounds, while another boat ramp provides access to the Ogeechee River.
Lake Allatoona State Park Camping – Georgia State Parks Camping
Lake Allatoona is one of the nation’s most frequently visited Corps of Engineers lakes. Known for the Battle of Allatoona Pass, the conflict was fought in October of 1864 on a battlefield within what is now the state park. It’s a popular destination for Civil War and history buffs. The Battle of Allatoona Pass was one of the most dramatic, tragic and bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The casualty rate had been high, with 1,603 men from the two sides killed or injured.
The Confederate Army suffered 27% casualties and the Union Army suffered 35% for a combined percentage of casualties equaled only by the Battle of Gettysburg. Brigadier General French later said, about this almost forgotten battle, that it had been “a needless effusion of blood.” It took almost three weeks to bury the dead from both sides. The 1864 Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War is commemorated by the Allatoona Pass Civil War Interpretation Trail located in the park.
The trail is an easy 1-1/4 mile hike that starts at Allatoona Pass Battlefield, off I-75 at Old Allatoona Road. It begins on the old Western and Atlantic railroad bed, which ran through the pass during the Civil War. The trail then turns right onto part of Old Tennessee Road. Oddly enough, There is no Georgia monument because no troops from Georgia fought in the battle.
There are eight campgrounds at Allatoona State Park:
Clark Creek North Campground – Georgia State Parks Camping
Clark Creek North is conveniently located on the south end of Lake Allatoona, near Acworth, on the Etowah River. It is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Clark Creek North Campground has 24 premium sites, each with hookups for water and 50-amp electric for your camper or RV.
McKaskey Creek Campground – Georgia State Parks Camping
McKaskey Creek Campground is on the Etowah River, a tributary of the Coosa River, which flows into Lake Allatoona. The campground has 51 campsites. Thirty-two sites have electric and water hookups; some are premium and have water views. Nineteen primitive sites (with no concrete pad) are also available.
McKinney Campground – Georgia State Parks Camping
McKinney Campground is one of the larger campgrounds on Lake Allatoona. There are 150 campsites, each with water and 50-amp electrical hookups (139 with standard electric and 11 RV electric). Premium campsites offer beautiful water views. The campground is open year-round and is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Old Highway 41 #3 Campground – Georgia State Parks Camping
Old Highway 41 #3 Campground on Lake Allatoona has 44 campsites (43 standard, 1 RV). They all have electric and water hookups. Lakefront sites are available, giving visitors sweeping views of this beautiful man-made lake.
Payne Campground – Georgia State Parks Camping
Payne Campground rests on the peaceful shores of Lake Allatoona. You will find 57 campsites near the dock and swimming beach. Eleven sites are for tents and have no electric service. Two spots are just for RVs. The remaining 46 campsites all have hookups for water and electric.
Sweetwater Creek Campground – Georgia State Parks Camping
Sweetwater Creek Campground is only an hour away from the world’s busiest airport—in case you’re planning to fly in or out of Georgia to camp. Sweetwater Creek Campground has 151 spacious campsites on Lake Allatoona, including 43 tent sites that don’t have electricity. Don’t worry. You can survive without power for a day. If you can’t, there are 108 other sites with water and electric hookups. One is reserved for RVs.
Upper Stamp Creek Campground – Georgia State Parks Camping
Upper Stamp Creek Campground has 20 sites; 18 have electric and water hookups. Lake Allatoona is annually restocked with bass, crappie, bream, gar, and catfish, making it a popular destination for anglers. Fishing jetties are available at numerous shoreline fishing locations, and a dock is provided at the campground.
Victoria Campground – Georgia State Parks Camping
The US Army Corps of Engineers maintains 74 campsites with water and electric at Victoria Campground. Two others are perfect for RVs. Nearly seven million visitors each year enjoy relaxing along Victoria’s 270 miles of shoreline. The lake is annually restocked with bass, crappie, bream, gar, and catfish, making it a popular destination for anglers, as well as campers.
A.H. Stephens State Park – Georgia State Parks Camping
A.H. Stephens State Park is named after the VP of the Confederacy and governor of Georgia. The park features a Confederate museum with one of the finest collections of Civil War artifacts in Georgia, including uniforms and documents. Stephens’ home, Liberty Hall, is renovated to its 1875 style, fully furnished and is open for tours.
Beautiful outdoor facilities make this park a treat for nature lovers and history buffs and the lakeside group camp is a popular location for overnight gatherings.
Park Amenities include:
- 22 tent, RV and trailer campsites
- 1 pioneer campground
- 1 group campground
- 4 cottages including a dog-friendly cottage (fee per dog, max 2)
- 3 picnic shelters
- 1 group shelter that sleeps 100 people
- 12 horse campground sites with power and water hookups and vault toilets
- 10 horse stalls Bullet14-mile horseback riding trails (on weekends only)
- 3 miles of walking nature trails
- ADA accessible hiking trail
- 2 fresh-water fishing lakes
- Seasonal fishing and pedal boat rentals
- Private, electric-motor boats only allowed – 10 HP motor limits
- Bicycle Rentals
- Teacher’s Resource for Touring Historic Sites
- Historic Site Amenities
Georgia State Parks Camping: Parks with Waterfalls
Georgia is home to thousands of great waterfalls—most are up a trail or alongside a river, but all of them beautiful. If you love waterfalls, here are a few Georgia State Parks with camping and waterfalls.
Amicalola Falls State Park – Georgia State Parks Camping
This 829-acre park is in the northeast Georgia Mountain area. It has the tallest state park waterfall, the spectacular Amicalola Falls Waterfalls, which are the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. These stunning falls plunge 729 feet in seven cascades. Designated as one of the seven wonders of Georgia. There are also 12 miles of hiking trails, including an entrance to the Appalachian Trail.
At the campground, there are 25 tent, RV and trailer campsites, and 14 cottages for rent. Some cottages are pet-friendly. There are lodge rooms, a conference center, a restaurant, a 20-room inn, a visitor center, an amphitheater, four picnic shelters, a group shelter, a trout fishing stream, ranger programs, picnicking, playground, and GeoCaching.
Ammons Branch Campground – Georgia State Parks Camping
The Ammons Branch Campground is a 5 campsite, primitive camping campground w/ tent pads, picnic tables, lantern posts, fire pits, and a pit toilet. With the exception of a small Ammons Branch creek that runs alongside the campground, there is no running water and it’s highly advised that campers filter all water that comes out of the stream. This very small campground is located just off Bull Pen Road outside of Highlands, N.C. There is a pit toilet, and it’s close to the Ammons Holcomb Creek Waterfalls
Lake Rabun Beach Recreation Area – Georgia State Parks Camping
The Lake Raburn Beach Recreation Area has 81 Campsites, 21 with electricity and most with water. There is an on-site camp host, two restroom facilities with hot water showers. Two private restrooms that are ADA accessible and two bathhouses. Standard campground amenities at each site include a grill, picnic tables, and a lantern post. There is a dump station. Campers also have access to Lake Rabun Beach and the Lake Rabun Boat Ramp. Reservations are not required. Campsites are on a first come, first serve basis. Lake Rabun Beach is a short distance (hike or drive) to Angel Panther Falls and the 100-foot Minnehaha Falls
The Minnehaha Falls are reported to be one of the most picturesque in Rabun County. Like many of Georgia’s waterfalls, Minnehaha Falls are a series of cascading falls. This is an easy walk, making it a perfect fall to visit for children, and those who can’t manage long hikes. Natural rock benches provide an intimate view of the water as it cascades down a stair rock formation.
DeSoto Falls – Georgia State Parks Camping
There are five beautiful waterfalls along the 3-mile section of the DeSoto Falls Trail located in this 650-acre recreation area. Three of these falls are maintained for the Hiker’s viewing convenience and are designated as the lower, middle and upper DeSoto Falls. The lower falls cascades 20 feet, the middle falls about 80 feet, and the upper falls about 200 feet. Click on the link above for video, pictures and more.
Vogel State Park – Georgia State Parks Camping
Vogel State Park is one of Georgia’s oldest and most popular state parks. It’s a or 94 hectares state park located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest and has a 22-acre lake that is open to non-motorized boats. During the summer, visitors can swim and cool off at the mountain-view beach on the lake. The Vogel campground has 149 campsites, including, 90 sites with electric, 34 cottages, a group shelter, a pavilion, 4 picnic shelters, 1 site for pioneer camping, 1 tent only site, and 18 walk-in campsites. It’s also located about 20 minutes from Dick’s Creek Falls.
Dick’s Creek Falls – Georgia State Parks Camping
Dick’s Creek waterfall is about 60 feet high and makes a sheer drop over a granite mound into the Chattooga River. If the idea of a hike along a gentle creek with a beautiful waterfall at the end of it is on your agenda, then this is your destination. You not only get the payoff of Dick’s Creek Falls at the end of an easy to walk 1.4 mile trail, you’re greeted with smaller falls on either side of the trail as you hike.
Cloudland Canyon State Park – Georgia State Parks Camping
Cloudland Canyon State Park is located on the western edge of Lookout Mountain. It is one of the most scenic parks in the state, offering rugged geology, exceptional hiking and of course, amazing waterfalls. The park straddles a deep gorge cut into the mountain by Sitton Gulch Creek, and elevation differs from 800 to 1,980 feet. There’s a 137 site campground here.
There are 10 campsites with electricity, 62 rental cottages, 16 group lodge sites, 1 group shelter 5 picnic shelters, 4 pioneer camping sites, 28 walk-in, tent-only campsites, and 10 Yurts.
The most spectacular view into the canyon is an easy walk from the picnic area. Two waterfalls cascade over layers of sandstone and shale into pools below. Their flow depends on recent rains, but they’re still beautiful any time of the year. This Waterfalls Trail is part of the popular Canyon Climbers Club. http://gastateparks.org/CanyonClimbersClub
Georgia State Parks Camping: Parks On the Beach, Fishing
Elijah Clark State Park – Georgia State Parks Camping
2959 McCormick Highway
Lincolnton, GA 30817
Phone: (706) 359-3458
Reservations: (800) 864-7275
Elijah Clark State Park is located on the western shore of 71,100 acre Clarks Hill Lake, one of the largest lakes in the Southeast. It’s particularly popular with anglers and boaters because of its boat ramps and accessible fishing pier. There’s a sandy swimming beach with rental cottages located on the lake’s edge for easy access to those staying in the cabins.
The spacious, 447 acre campground is nestled into the forest. Tent campers will enjoy extra privacy in the walk-in section. There are 20 rental cottages, 165 tent, trailer, and RV Campsites including:
- 10 Walk-In Campsites
- 1 Pioneer Campground
- 4 Picnic Shelters
- 2 Group Shelters (seats 70 & 175)
- Sand Beach
- 4 Boat Ramps
- Log Cabin Museum — seasonal
The park is named for a frontiersman and Georgia war hero Elijah Clark. Clark was an American Military officer who led pioneers into battle during the Revolutionary War. A log cabin replica of the Clark home displays furniture, utensils and tools circa 1780 and is open weekends April through November. Visitors can also view the graves of Clark and his wife, Hannah.
Skidaway Island State Park – Georgia State Parks Camping
Only 25 minutes from the historic section of downtown Savannah, Skidaway Island State Park (gastateparks.org) provides a wonderfully quiet setting to take in marsh vistas from trails, a boardwalk and an observation tower. Bring binoculars for spotting wildlife from the tower and trails, especially the migratory birds and waterfowl that show up in abundance at certain times. An 87-site campground in a forest filled with live oaks and plenty of hanging Spanish moss allows tent, trailer and RV camping. If you’re craving the beach, Tybee Island, one of the most popular beach areas in Georgia, is 40 minutes away. It makes for an affordable day trip if you’re staying in the park — you won’t have to pay Tybee prices for accommodations and can still get in some beachy fun.
Georgia State Parks Camping: Popular Parks
Red Top Mountain State Park – Georgia State Parks Camping
Located northwest of Atlanta on Lake Allatoona, Red Top Mountain State Park is a 12,000 acre man-made, family and adult playground with boat ramps, hiking trails, a nifty visitors center, camping and interesting educational programs by park rangers who share their love and knowledge of wildlife and nature.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park – Georgia State Parks Camping
At 9,049 acres, F.D. Roosevelt State Park is the largest state park in Georgia. It’s also a hiker’s, campers, and backpacker’s haven. With more than 40 miles of trails, including the popular 23 mile Pine Mountain Trail, this park has it all: camping, lakes, waterfalls, mountains, hiking and biking trails, fishing, boating, bird watching, and camping.
Above King’s Gap is Dowdell’s Knob where President Franklin D. Roosevelt sometimes picnicked and pondered world affairs. A life-size sculpture of the president now welcomes visitors to the overlook.
The Civilian Conservation Corps built many campgrounds and ammenties, like cottages, during the Great Depression. This park was the recipient of many of those projects including cottages and the Liberty Bell swimming pool that’s fed by cool springs. A wooded campground sits near the edge of a small fishing lake, and privately operated stables offer guided horseback rides. In 1924, FDR came to this part of Georgia to swim in naturally warm springs that offered him relief from his polio. Today, nearby Roosevelt’s Little White House State Historic Site invites visitors to see his modest home, a museum and the pools that first drew him here.
- 21 Cottages
- 140 Tent, Trailer & RV Campsites
- 1 Pioneer Campground
- 2 Picnic Shelters
- 1 Group Shelter (seats 85)
- 16 Backcountry Campsites
- 1 Group Camp (capacity 75)
- Liberty Bell Swimming Pool — seasonal, pool party rentals & swimming lessons available
- Gift Shop
- Outdoor Fitness Equipment
- Wi-Fi — available in the park office