From Camping to Glamping: These State Parks Score with Families

Family enjoying camping under a sun shade ac_outdooor
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If you’re itching for a change of scenery, fresh air and wide open spaces, look no further than these fantastic Georgia State Parks. They go beyond camping basics, and as far as we’re concerned they are some of the best camping spots for families around. Kids will love spending their days on the lake, checking out a nearby waterfall or even splashing at the campsite’s water park (yep, we’ve got one on our list). Parents will love the comfy camping accommodations that include everything from glamping yurts to rustic lodges and everything in between. Ready for a new adventure with the kids? Keep reading for the scoop on our favorite camping spots for families that offer plenty of trails, outdoor recreation and campsites, too.

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge

Located in Dawsonville, Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge is one of two Adventure Lodges of Georgia. Like the name suggests, it’s an excellent camping spot for families who love adventure. Nestled within 829-acres of North Georgia mountain wilderness, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise and is a great place to start when it comes to camping in Georgia for families. The lodge provides easy access to a challenging hike to the top of Amicalola Falls, the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast at 729 feet. Additional adventure activities include ziplines, tomahawk throwing, 3-D archery and GPS scavenger hunts. The lodge has been renovated in the last few years and features an expansive outdoor veranda with panoramic views of the mountains, a firepit and rocking chairs to bask in the glorious outdoors. Cabins and campsites are also available, if that’s more your speed.

418 Amicalola Falls Rd.
Dawsonville, GA
Online: amicalolafallslodge.com

Related: National Parks That Atlanta Families Love (& Awesome Cabins Nearby)

F.D. Roosevelt State Park

At 9,049 acres—and over 40 miles of trails—Georgia’s largest state park is a hiker’s and backpacker’s haven. Wind through hardwoods and pines, over creeks and past small waterfalls on the 23-mile Pine Mountain Trail, and check out 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.

One cool thing: Several park amenities were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, including cottages and the Liberty Bell swimming pool fed by cool springs. In 1924, FDR came to this part of Georgia to swim in naturally warm springs that offered relief from 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.

2970 Georgia Hwy. 190
Pine Mountain, GA
Online: gastateparks.org

Related: Top 10 Places to Go RV Camping in Atlanta

kids point to something interesting in the forest as they are out for a family friendly, kid friendly hike
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Fort Yargo State Park

Located between Atlanta and Athens, this popular park features a 1792 log fort built by settlers, a 260-acre lake with a large swimming beach, fishing and boat ramps. Mountain bikers and hikers can test their endurance on 20.5 miles of trails. Overnight guests can choose from fully equipped cottages or cozy campsites. For a more unique experience, visitors can glamp lakeside in a yurt, which are permanent canvas and wooden tents. Each yurt has furniture and electricity inside and a fire ring, picnic table and grill outside. Park goers and pups will soon have the option to book one Fido-friendly yurt at Fort Yargo State Park—the first of its kind to be piloted by Georgia State Parks.

210 S. Broad St.
Winder, GA
Online: gastateparks.org

Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Cluib

Approximately two hours south of Atlanta in Cordele, visitors to Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club—situated within Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park’s 1,300 acres—offers outdoor activities as wells as the SAM Shortline Excursion Train and the Military Museum. As for being a top camping spot for families? The area’s activities include golf, archery and air rifle, biking, disc golf, hiking and a variety of water activities. Our suggestions? Check out the lakeside camping options to kick it up a notch.

2459-H US Hwy. 280 W.
Cordele, GA
Online: lakeblackshearresort.com

Related: Wade Into Atlanta’s Local Lake Scene

Stephen C. Foster State Park

This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp—one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface. Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Alligators, turtles, raccoons, black bears, deer, ibis, herons, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and numerous other creatures make their homes in the 402,000 acre refuge.

Insider tip: Stephen C. Foster Park in the Okefenokee Swamp, a certified Dark Sky Park, is a perfect location to start for awe-inspiring views of the stars and more.

17515 Highway 177
Fargo, GA
Online: gastateparks.org

Georgia State Parks

Little Ocmulgee State Park & Lodge

With new-ish renovations, Little Ocmulgee State Park Lodge is a charming destination among the peaceful pine trees of the South in Helena, Georgia. Ideally suited for a relaxing getaway, Little Ocmulgee State Park is home to 1,360-acres of activities, including first-class golf at Wallace Adams Golf Course, a children’s splash pad, a private pool and Little Ocmulgee Lake. Accommodations consist of a 60-room main lodge, 10 lakeside cabins and 54 campsites, so no matter what your vacation style, you’ve got options.

80 Live Oak Trl.
Helena, GA
Online: littleocmulgeelodge.com

Related: 16 Spots to Cool Your Jets: Atlanta’s Best Splash Pads

family enjoying the outdoors camping with kids
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Elijah Clark State Park

This park is located on the western shore of 71,100-acre Clarks Hill Lake, one of the largest lakes in the Southeast. With its boat ramps and accessible fishing pier, it is especially popular with anglers and boaters. A sandy swimming beach welcomes visitors to cool off during Georgia’s hot summers. Rental cottages are located on the lake’s edge, and the spacious campground is nestled into the forest. Tent campers will enjoy extra privacy in the walk-in section.

One cool thing: Elijah Clark State Park is named for a frontiersman and Georgia war hero who led pioneers 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.

2959 McCormick Hwy.
Lincolnton, GA
Online: gastateparks.org

a son and father fish from a canoe in one of georgia's camping family spots
Georgia State Parks

Unicoi State Park & Lodge

Located in the charming Alpine-Bavarian village Helen, Unicoi State Park & Lodge is the another Adventure Lodge in Georgia. Unicoi State Park is home to more than 1,000 acres of adventure activities, including Unicoi Lake, hiking trails, Anna Ruby Falls, ziplines, fly fishing, an archery and air rifle range and mountain biking. Families can experience the adventure of the outdoors and unwind in the posh lodge, one-of-a-kind barrel cabins or the primitive Squirrel’s Nest campsite to sleep beneath the stars.

1788 Hwy. 356
Helen, GA
Online: unicoilodge.com

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Located on the western edge of Lookout Mountain, Cloudland Canyon is one of the largest and most scenic parks in the state. Home to thousand-foot deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, wild caves, waterfalls, cascading creeks, dense woodland and abundant wildlife, the park offers ample outdoor recreation opportunities. Hiking and mountain biking trails abound, so be sure to bring yours. Guests seeking an overnight experience can choose from fully-equipped and comfortable cottages, quirky yurts or several different types of camping and backpacking options.

122 Cloudland Canyon Park Rd.
Rising Fawn, GA
Online: gastateparks.org

Black Rock Mountain State Park

Georgia’s highest state park encompasses some of the most jaw dropping scenery in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Roadside overlooks provide spectacular 80-mile vistas, and four hiking trails lead visitors past wildflowers, streams, small waterfalls and lush forests. Visitors enjoy the summit visitor center for its views, gift shop and picnic tables. Mountaintop cottages surround a small playground, and campsites are nestled under rhododendron and gnarled oaks. Tent campers will appreciate the walk-in sites that allow extra privacy.

3085 Black Rock Mountain Parkway
Mountain City, GA
Online: gastateparks.org

—Taylor Clifton & Shelley Massey

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