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New Don Carter State Park Opens on Lake Lanier

September 16, 2013
A kayaker heads out on Lake Lanier at Don Carter State Park.

On a quiet section of the normally busy Lake Lanier, Don Carter State Park stretches out over more than 1,300 acres, offering chances for camping, fishing and picnicking. Just opened, the park is the state's newest and its only on the lake.

This morning, Governor Nathan Deal will speak at the park's dedication ceremony, and guests can tour the park for free afterward. While swimmers will enjoy the large beach with sloped lawn and bath house, boaters will appreciate the new ramps, which provide quick access to the lake. Meanwhile, anglers can prepare their catches at a fish-cleaning station.  A 1.5-mile paved trail welcomes hikers, bikers and strollers to explore surrounding hardwoods, and families can trek another 2-mile trail on foot.

On routine days, you'll pay $5 for parking, and most activities — including swimming — are free. You're welcome to bring leashed dogs on trails, at campsites and in one of the cabins. You can also rent covered picnic shelters for family reunions, birthday parties and casual receptions.

The park offers overnight getaways as well.  A modern campground with hot showers accommodates RVs, while another camping area is reserved just for tents and hammocks.  If you prefer a soft bed to a sleeping bag, you can reserve 2-bedroom cabins up to 13 months in advance.

Georgia’s newest state park is named to honor Don Carter, the longest serving member of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources board. To learn more, visit, or call 678-450-7726. 

Photos Courtesy Georgia Department of Natural Resources, State Parks & Historic Sites.

About the Author

Kim Hatcher is the Public Affairs Coordinator for Georgia's State Parks & Historic Sites.  She has worked for the Department of Natural Resources for 20 years and enjoys sharing the great outdoors with others.