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 — #1 is dog friendly ($50/dog, max 2)
• 44 RV Campsites
• 12 Primitive "Walk-in" Tent Sites
• 4 Picnic Shelters
• 38,000-Acre Lake Lanier
• 10.4 Miles of Shoreline
• Boat Ramps
• Docks
• Fish-Cleaning Station
• Sand Beach
• Outdoor Fitness Equipment

Things To Do & See:

• Kayak, Stand-Up Paddleboard & Aquacycle Rentals — seasonal
• Fishing
• First Time Camper Program
• Boating
Educational Programs
• 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
Fishing by Aquacycles
Friday, Jul 28, 2017 6 PM
Friday, Aug 11, 2017 6 PM
An aquacycle is a paddleboat for up to 4 people much like a mini pontoon with pedals. Let’s fish from it and get some exercise at the same time! Poles and bait provided. Fishing license required. Call for more info and to pre-register. Limited participation. Meet at concession stand (beach area). Wear light clothes, sunscreen, and bring water.  $10 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Soak It In
Scorpion Night Hike
Friday, Jul 28, 2017 9 PM
Friday, Aug 18, 2017 8:30 PM
Using UV lights we will look for phosphorescent scorpions in the dark. We will also listen for frogs and watch the stars. This is an easy / moderate hike (3/4 of a mile) better suited for kids 4 years and older. Bring a flashlight and wear closed-toe shoes. Call to register in advance. Space is limited. Meet at the boat ramp parking.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
First Time Fishing
Saturday, Jul 29, 2017 5 PM
Saturday, Aug 5, 2017 5 PM
Saturday, Aug 19, 2017 5 PM
Learn the basics of fishing from the pier or the bank. Poles and bait provided. Open to anyone new to fishing. Fishing license required only for adults. Limited participation, pre-registration required. Meet at the boat ramp parking 15 min before the program starts. Wear light clothes, sunscreen, and bring water.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors GeorgiaSoak It In
Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle
Saturday, Jul 29, 2017 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Saturday, Aug 5, 2017 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Saturday, Aug 19, 2017 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Join a ranger-led sunset outing to look for wading birds and raptors. Open to anyone who can swim. No pets, kids must be 8 or older and with an adult. Meet at the boat ramp, bring water, flashlight, and binoculars (optional). Bring your own kayak/canoe or rent here, limited rentals available. Pre-registration required.  $15 with personal kayak/canoe - $25 with rental. $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Soak It In
Intro to Kayaking
Friday, Aug 4, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 4:30 PM to 6 PM
Friday, Aug 18, 2017 6 PM to 7:30 PM
More Dates...
Learn the basics of kayaking on a safe and peaceful section of Lake Lanier. Open to people 16 years and older who can swim and are new to kayaking. Equipment provided. Bring water, sunscreen, water shoes, and quick drying pants. Meet at the boat ramp. Pre-registration required.  $25 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Soak It In
S’mores Over the Fire
Saturday, Aug 5, 2017 9 PM
Saturday, Aug 19, 2017 9 PM
Come roast marshmallows over a crackling fire to make your own yummy s’mores and listen to the ranger share stories about Lake Lanier. Pre-register at the Visitor Center (open 8 am - 6 pm on Fridays). Meet at the RV Picnic shelter.  $3 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Full Moon Paddle
Sunday, Aug 6, 2017 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 call to register in advance. No pets; kids must be 8 or older. Meet at the boat ramp. Bring a flash light, bug repellent, quick drying pants, and water.  $15 with personal kayak $25 with rental $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors GeorgiaSoak It In
Animals and Their Signs Hike
Friday, Aug 11, 2017 4 PM
Friday, Aug 25, 2017 4 PM
Ranger-led short hike looking for local reptiles, mammals, insects and birds and the signs that they leave while living in the park. If we can, we will cast an animal foot print. Meet at the boat ramp parking. Call to pre-register in advance.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Volunteer Work Day
Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 9 AM
Saturday, Sep 9, 2017 9 AM
Saturday, Oct 14, 2017 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. Bring water, gloves and wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Campground Nature Crafts
Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 3 PM
Saturday, Aug 26, 2017 4 PM
A naturalist will help you create your own park souvenir. Every week there will be a different nature-based theme. Pre-register at the Visitor Center (open from 8 am to 6 pm on Fridays). Meet at the RV Picnic shelter.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Geocaching - School Supplies
Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 5 PM
Enjoy exploring nature with family while finding Don Carter’s seasonal treasures. Bring a GPS device or smart phone. Wear closed-toed shoes, bring water, and insect repellent for this off-trail program. Call to pre-register. Limited registration. Download the Geocache mobile app at: www.geocaching.com/play/mobile (trail-head parking)  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Get Outdoors Georgia
Glowlight Lake Paddle
Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 8 PM to 10 PM
Saturday, Aug 26, 2017 8 PM to 10 PM
Decorate your kayak/canoe and yourself with glowing items (bracelets, glow sticks) or anything that lights up the night. A ranger will guide you on the water under the cover of darkness. Open to anyone who can swim. No pets, kids must be 8 + and with an adult. Meet at boat ramp, bring water, flashlight, and watershoes. Pre-registration required.  $15 with personal kayak/canoe - $25 with rental. $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Soak It In
Bark in the Park
Sunday, Aug 13, 2017 6:30 PM
Hike through the park with your furry companions. We will enjoy a guided hike on Huckleberry trail alongside Lake Lanier. Any dog brought to this event must play well with other dogs, and must remain on a leash. Pre-registration required. Meet at the boat ramp parking. Wear closed-toe shoes, and bring water for you and your four legged friend.  $5 plus $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Solar Eclipse by Kayak /Canoe
Monday, Aug 21, 2017 1 PM to 3 PM
Join the naturalist as we paddle up the northern part of Lake Lanier looking for the best spot to enjoy the epic solar eclipse. Enjoy the changes in tones as the landscape turns darker during mid afternoon. Limited pairs of protective glasses provided, bring water and water shoes. kids 6+. REGISTRATION OPENS AUG 1st. Meet at the boat ramp.  $20 with personal kayak - $30 with rental. $5 parking $5 parking. 678-450-7726.
Soak It In
Orienteering: Be a Nature Navigator
Saturday, Aug 26, 2017 6 PM
Using the skills we teach you, a map and compass that we provide, find 10 species of native trees in the park and get 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
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