Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites
  • ParkPass
  • 2016 Parks Guide
  • Madison, GA
  • Chateau Elan Golf
  • Blairsville, GA

Don Carter State Park

Don Carter State Park
Reservations 800-864-7275
Park 678-450-7726

Check Last Minute Availability
"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 Georgia’s 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 Lanier’s first state park.

$5 parking. Annual passes available.

Park Hours:

7 a.m.–10 p.m.

Office Hours:

8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Accommodations & Facilities:

• 1,316 Acres
• 8 Cottages ($200–$250) — #1 is dog friendly ($45/dog, 2 max)
• 44 RV Campsites ($30)
• 12 Primitive "Walk-in" Tent Sites ($20)
• 4 Picnic Shelters ($50)
• 38,000-Acre Lake Lanier
• 10.4 Miles of Shoreline
• Boat Ramps
• Docks
• Fish-Cleaning Station
• Sand Beach

Things To Do & See:

• Kayak, Stand-Up Paddleboard and Aquacycle Rentals — seasonal
• Fishing
• Boating
• Swimming
• Hiking and Biking — 4 miles of trails
• Picnicking
• Playgrounds

Nearby Attractions:

• Chattahoochee Golf Club
• Chattahoochee River
Dahlonega Gold Museum & Historic Downtown
• Elachee Nature Science Center
• Flowery Branch Historic Downtown Shops & Dining
• Francis Meadows Aquatic Center
• Gainesville Main Street & Historic Downtown Square
• Jaemor Farm Market
Lake Lanier Area Attractions
• Lake Lanier Islands Resort
• Lake Lanier Olympic Venue
• Lakeshore Mall
• North Georgia Canopy Tours
• Northeast Georgia History Center
• Quinlan Visual Arts Center
• Road Atlanta
Smithgall Woods State Park

Make a Reservation
View by date
Volunteer Work Day
Saturday, Jul 9, 2016 9 AM
Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 9 AM
Saturday, Sep 10, 2016 9 AM
Come join the Friends of Don Carter State Park every second Saturday of the month to participate in a variety of volunteer projects. Meet at park's visitor center. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle
Saturday, Jul 9, 2016 7:30 PM to 9 PM
Saturday, Jul 30, 2016 7:30 PM to 9 PM
Join a ranger-led sunset outing to look for wading birds and raptors. Open to anyone who can swim. Kids must be 8 or older and with an adult. Meet at the boat ramp, bring water and a flashlight.  $15 - $25 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Bats of the Night
Saturday, Jul 16, 2016 8:30 PM to 10 PM
Learn about these often misunderstood, yet fascinating, creatures of the night. A bat specialist will try to capture and release the little brown bats of Georgia. Short hike to the site. Pre-registration required. Meet at the RV campground area. Bring flashlight, insect repellent and wear closed-toe shoes.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Full Moon Lake Paddle
Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 7:45 PM to 9:45 PM
Friday, Aug 19, 2016 7:45 PM to 9:45 PM
Enjoy a relaxing paddle on Lake Lanier led by the naturalist as the full moon reflects off the water. Space is limited, so register in advance. No pets; kids must be 8 or older. Meet at the boat ramp. Bring a flash light, insect repellent, and water.  $15 - $25 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Introduction to Kayaking
Friday, Jul 22, 2016 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Friday, Jul 29, 2016 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Learn the basics of kayaking on a safe and peaceful section of the lake. Open to people 16 years and older who can swim and are new to kayaking. Pre-registration required  $25 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival
Saturday, Sep 24, 2016 12 PM
Join us for an afternoon in the park with live old time music, arts and crafts vendors and good food. This will be Don Carter State Park's third annual Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival. $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Don Carter State Park
5000 North Browning Bridge Road
Gainesville, GA 30506
Hall County

GPS Coordinates:
N 34.3876220 | W -83.7464620

Located northeast of Gainesville, on the north side of the lake. From Clarks Bridge Road, go south on N. Browning Bridge Road. At the “Y,” take the left fork and continue for one-half mile to the park entrance.

Don Carter State Park
5000 North Browning Bridge Road
Gainesville, GA 30506 View Details

Don Carter State Park

 Georgia State Park's Twitter Georgia State Park's Facebook Georgia State Park's Instagram Georgia State Park's PinterestGeorgia State Park's YouTube Georgia State Park's eNewsletter Georgia TourismAmerica's State Parks