Don Carter State Park

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

 

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"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.
GeorgiaStateParks.org/DonCarter

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 & Aquacycle Rentals — seasonal
• Fishing
• Boating
• Swimming
• Hiking & 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


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Events
Night Hike
Saturday, Aug 27, 2016 8 PM
Friday, Sep 30, 2016 8 PM
Let’s look for phosphorescent organisms, listen for owls, and enjoy a frog chorus. You never know what we might find in the dark. Wear closed-toe shoes. Bring a flashlight, insect repellent, and water. Meet at the boat use area.  $3 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle
Friday, Sep 2, 2016 6:30 PM to 8 PM
Saturday, Sep 10, 2016 6:30 PM to 8 PM
Friday, Sep 23, 2016 6 PM to 7:30 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. Bring your own kayak/canoe or rent here, limited rentals available, so register in advance. Meet at the boat ramp, bring water and a flashlight.  $15 with personal kayak/canoe - $25 with rental. $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Labor Day Weekend Beach Fun
Saturday, Sep 3, 2016 1 PM to 4 PM
Sunday, Sep 4, 2016 12 PM to 4:30 PM
Enjoy our “recreation station” on the beach for family fun.  $1–$3 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Powerwalk – Silver in the Park (ages 50+)
Wednesday, Sep 7, 2016 10 AM
Seniors are People with Power! Join us for a guided power-walk along the Woodland paved loop trail (1 mile). Meet at the trailhead parking. Wear close-toed shoes and bring water. $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Introduction to Kayaking
Friday, Sep 9, 2016 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Friday, Sep 16, 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. Equipment provided. Bring water and sunscreen. Meet at the Boat Ramp. Pre-registration required.  $25 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Volunteer Work Day
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
Dog Creek Hike
Saturday, Sep 10, 2016 10 AM
Challenge yourself on a moderate to strenuous hike along one of the park's little known trails. This 2 mile hike will offer some of the best chances for encountering wildlife and enjoying what nature has to offer! Open to all ages. Call ahead to register. Wear closed-toe shoes, bring water, and insect repellent. Meet at the trail-head parking.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Let’s go Birdwatching - Silver in the park (ages 50+)
Wednesday, Sep 14, 2016 10 AM
We will go for a short birdwatching hike, and then, learn some local bird calls. No pets please. If you want, bring a lunch picnic and enjoy the park. Wear closed-toe shoes, bring water, and insect repellent. Meet at the trail-head parking (fish cleaning station).  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Handicapped AccessibleGet Outdoors Georgia
Almost Full Moon Paddle
Thursday, Sep 15, 2016 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Naturalist-led paddle on the lake as the waxing gibbous 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 with personal kayak/canoe. $25 with rental. $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Dendrology Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, Sep 17, 2016 10 AM
Learn orienteering and tree identification at the same time. Using the skills we teach you, a map, and a compass that we provide, identify 10 species of native trees in the park. The winner gets a prize. Wear closed-toe shoes, bring water, and insect repellent for this off-trail program. Meet at the visitor center. Pre-registration required.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Guided Geocache Hike
Saturday, Sep 17, 2016 2 PM
Enjoy hiking with family while finding Don Carter’s treasures. Meet at the visitor center. Bring a GPS device or smart phone. Wear closed-toed shoes, bring water, and insect repellent for this off-trail program. Pre-registration is required.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Fishing at the Lake - Silver in the Park (Ages 50+)
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 10 AM
Fish from the pier or the shore. Fishing poles and bait provided. No experience necessary. Fishing license required. Meet at the Visitor Center 15 min before the program starts. Wear light clothes and bring water.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Lake Lanier Shore Sweep - Your State Parks Day
Saturday, Sep 24, 2016 8 AM to 1 PM
Join Lake Lanier Association's annual Shore Sweep. This event is organized for the benefit of Lake Lanier and all who enjoy its beauty. In past years Shore Sweep has had over 1,000 volunteers. Wear gloves and clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Meet at the park office. 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.
Aquacycles (Paddleboats) - Silver in the Park (Ages 50+)
Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016 10 AM
Enjoy the lake and get some exercise at the same time using an aquacycle. Each boat holds up to 4 people (2 peddlers). Meet at beach kiosk. Bring water and sunscreen.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Address/Directions
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.


BLUE-A-1
Don Carter State Park
5000 North Browning Bridge Road
Gainesville, GA 30506 View Details


  34.387622
Don Carter State Park