The 15 Best North Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial & privacy policies.

[Updated on 7/14/21] Growing up in a lower middle class family in metro Atlanta, the North Georgia mountains were our playground.

My parents led the youth group at our church when I was a young boy, and I can recall countless trips hiking and camping on Blood Mountain, Springer Mountain, and Brasstown Bald (the highest point in the state of Georgia).

As an adult, I honed my skills as a budding photographer in the north Georgia State Parks, hiking there often with my dogs.

Long before we became world travelers, Unicoi State Park, Amicalola Falls, and Cloudland Canyon were my weekend stomping grounds.

So here’s a look at our picks for the 15 Best North Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, including an overview of our favorite activities and attractions and the available accommodations in each.

READ MORE: 101+ Things to Do in North Georgia

 

North Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites Guide

  1. Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge
  2. Black Rock Mountain State Park
  3. Cloudland Canyon State Park
  4. Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site
  5. Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site
  6. Fort Mountain State Park
  7. Fort Yargo State Park
  8. James H. Floyd State Park
  9. Moccasin Creek State Park
  10. New Echota State Historic Site
  11. Red Top Mountain State Park
  12. Smithgall Woods State Park
  13. Tallulah Gorge State Park
  14. Unicoi State Park & Lodge
  15. Vogel State Park

Want to explore more of the best North Georgia State Parks?

Check out these great guides!

Things to Do at James H Floyd State Park in Summerville GA

Things to Do in Moccasin Creek State Park

Things to Do in Black Rock Mountain State Park

Things to Do in Unicoi State Park and Lodge

Things to Do in Vogel State Park

New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun GA

The Unique Unicoi State Park Barrel Cabins

Cloudland Canyon State Park Cabins Review

 

Amicalola Falls in Dawsonville, GA

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge

418 Amicalola Falls Road

Dawsonville, GA 30534

Reservations: 1-800-573-9656

Entry Fee: $5 GA State Park Pass or $50 Annual Park Passes are available

Check Rates for Amicola Falls Lodge at Booking.com

Amicalola Falls State Park is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, just eight miles away from the southern end of the Appalachian Trail.

It’s home to the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River, and has no shortage of beautiful scenery.

Things to Do in Amicalola Falls State Park

The park has 10 different hiking trails, with three of them giving you the best views of the 729-foot Amicalola Waterfall.

These include the wheelchair accessible West Ridge Falls Access Trail, the one-mile East Ridge Trail, and the popular New Appalachian Approach trail.

This includes a 1-mile hike to the falls overlook, and then 7.5 miles to Springer Mountain– the southernmost point of the Appalachian Trail.

Aside from taking in the breathtaking views of the north Georgia mountains, the Amicalola Falls Lodge also offers visitors a multitude of activities (for an additional charge).

These include birds of prey demonstrations, live reptile exhibits, guided hikes, and some of the best ziplining in Georgia.

Amicola Falls State Park Cabin Rentals via GaStateParks.org

Amicalola Falls State Park Lodging

Amicalola Falls State Park offers some of the coziest cabins in north Georgia, each of which are pet-friendly and include their own living and kitchen areas.

The cabins are located at two sites, Wooded Mountain Top and Creek Side Below the Falls.

The Amicalola Lodge offers accommodations ranging from mountain view lofts to several suite options, all of which provide modern amenities such as central air, Wi-Fi, and spectacular views. Check Rates for Amicalola Lodge at Booking.com.

There are also 24 wooded campsites located on the state park’s premises, accommodating tent camping and RVs. Water, power, and picnic tables are all offered as well as a grill and fire ring at each campsite.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Places to Live in the Georgia Mountains

Sunrise at Blue Ridge Overlook in Black Rock Mountain State Park

Black Rock Mountain State Park

3085 Black Rock Mountain Parkway

Mountain City, GA 30562

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

https://gastateparks.org/BlackRockMountain

Standing tall on the Eastern Continental Divide, Black Rock Mountain reaches altitudes of 3,640 feet, making it Georgia’s highest state park.

Offering some of the most outstanding views of the Blue Ridge Mountains all year-round, this is truly a must-see north Georgia attraction.

Things to Do in Black Rock Mountain State Park

There are five main hiking trails in Black Rock Mountain State park, ranging in length from the .10-mile Norma Campbell Cove Trail to the 7.2-mile James E. Edmond Trail.

The most popular is the 2.2-mile Tennessee Rock Trail, which takes you through some of the park’s highest forests. The exceptional views there span nearly 80 miles into North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Fishing and kayaking/canoeing in Black Rock Lake, geocaching, and shopping at the Summit Visitor Center’s gift shop are also popular activities.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Hiking Trails in North Georgia Bucket List

Black Rock Mountain State Park Cabins

Black Rock Mountain Lodging

Cabin rentals are available in the state park that can hold a maximum of 8 to 10 people. Each of these north Georgia cabins offers 2 to 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living area.

There are also 12 walk-in campsites and 44 tent, trailer, and RV campsites, offering both pull-through and back-in driveways.

READ MORE: The Best Things to Do in Clayton, GA (the Gem of Northeast Georgia)

Cloudland Canyon State Park Waterfall Panorama

Cloudland Canyon State Park

122 Cloudland Canyon Park Road

Rising Fawn, GA 30738

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

https://gastateparks.org/CloudlandCanyon

Cloudland Canyon is one of the largest state parks in Georgia, with 3,538 acres of lush woodlands, thousand-foot-deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, and other breathtaking terrain.

Things to Do in Cloudland Canyon State Park

There is no shortage of activities in Cloudland Canyon, including 30 miles of biking trails (bike rentals are available), 16 miles of horseback riding trails, a fishing pond, and an 18-hole disc golf course.

Of course, the main attraction here is the massive canyon itself, as well as the park’s 64 miles of gorgeous north Georgia hiking trails.

Some of the most popular Cloudland Canyon hikes include the one-mile Overlook trail, the two-mile Waterfalls Trail (which leads to both Cherokee and Hemlock Falls), and the six-mile Sitton’s Gulch Trail, which is scattered with beautiful wildflowers in late March and early April.

READ MORE: A Guide to North GA Wildflowers (& Where to See Them)

Foggy morning at Cloudland Canyon State Park Cabins

Cloudland Canyon State Park Lodging

Cloudland Canyon State Park offers numerous cottages with 2 to 3 bedrooms that can house up to 8 people.

But if you’re looking for a more unique place to stay, they also offer 10 fully furnished Yurts that can hold up to 6 people.

The park has 72 tent, trailer, and RV campsites with pull-through and back-in driveways. There are also 30 tent-only walk-in campsites, 13 backcountry campsites, and 4 pioneer campsites.

For private events with larger numbers of people, there’s also a group shelter that seats 175 and a group lodge that sleeps up to 40 people.

READ MORE: The Top 10 Treehouse Rentals in the Georgia Mountains

Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site in Dahlonega GA
Photo courtesy GaStateParks.org

Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site

1 Public Square

Dahlonega, GA 30533

Phone: 706-864-2257

Entry Fees: Adults $8.50; Seniors: $8; Youth (ages 7–17) $6; Children (ages 6 & under) Free

https://gastateparks.org/DahlonegaGoldMuseum

In 1828, gold was discovered in Dukes Creek. That discovery, plus one in neighboring Lumpkin County, led to the Georgia gold rush of 1829 (which preceded California’s boom by 20 years).

Thousands of prospectors came to Georgia in search of their fortune. The city of Dahlonega thrived when a U.S. Mint opened there in 1838, coining more than $6 million in gold over the next 23 years. 

Today, the Dahlonega Gold Museum is housed inside the 1836 Lumpkin County Courthouse (one of the oldest in Georgia), offering visitors an in-depth look at the state’s 19th century mining history. 

Things to Do at the Dahlonega Gold Museum

The museum offers two levels of exhibits, including a complete set of locally minted gold coins, a large hydraulic cannon used to remove soil from the North Georgia mountains, and a gold nugget that weighs over 5 ounces. 

Visitors can view a 23-minute film about the prospector lifestyle and mining techniques, which includes some entertaining interviews with members of local mining families. 

You can also explore the historic courthouse (which is on the National Register of Historic Places), including gorgeous wooden chapel seats from 1889 and the judge’s chambers. Mine tours and gem mining attractions are located nearby. 

READ MORE: The Top 20 Blue Ridge Mountain Towns in GA & NC

Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site in Cartersville GA

Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site

813 Indian Mounds Road SE

Cartersville, GA 30120

Phone: 770-387-3747

Entry Fees: Adults $6; Seniors (ages 62+) $5; Youth (ages 6–17) $4; Youth Groups $3.50;
Children (under age 6) $2

https://gastateparks.org/EtowahIndianMounds

If you have any interest in Native Americans or the history of the state of Georgia, a visit to the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site in Cartersville is simply a must. 

Although it might not look like much at first glance, this 54-acre archaeological site on the north shore of the Etowah River was once home to thousands of indigenous peoples of the South Appalachian Mississippian culture– the ancestors of the Muscogee Creek Indians.

Built in three phases, from 1000-1550 AD, Etowah (derived from the Muskogean word for “town”) is a sacred site among both the Creek and Cherokee peoples, who inhabited the area by the 19th century. 

Things to Do at the Etowah Indian Mounds

As its name would suggest, the #1 thing to do at Etowah is visit the ancient Indian mounds. There are 3 large platform mounds, one of which (known as Mound A, or the Temple Mound) is taller than a 6-story building and covers 3 acres. Mound B measures 25 feet high, while Mound C (the only one that has been completely excavated) is 10 feet high.

In addition to stairs climbing to the tops of these mounds, visitors can view the “borrow pits” that were dug out to create the mounds, follow the moat that provided protection from invaders, and hike a short nature trail to see wildflowers and a v-shaped fish trap constructed in the Etowah River. 

Only 9% of this National Historic Landmark has been excavated. But a 1925 dig unearthed a treasure trove of artifacts that you can see at the informative Etowah Indian Mounds Museum.

The rich historical displays there include hand-carved stone effigies weighing 125 pounds, ornamental copper plates and tools, clay figurines, and myriad other objects made of wood, seashells, and stone.

READ MORE: 40 Fascinating Facts About Cherokee Culture & History

Fort Mountain State Park in North Georgia via GAStateParks.org
Photo via GAStateParks.org

Fort Mountain State Park

181 Fort Mountain Park Road

Chatsworth, GA 30705

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

https://gastateparks.org/FortMountain

Situated on land that belonged to the Cherokee Indians for hundreds of years, Fort Mountain State Park is encompassed in magnificent natural beauty, offering some of the most beautiful and historical hiking trails in north Georgia.

Things to Do in Fort Mountain State Park

One of the most notable parts of Fort Mountain State Park is the ancient, 855-foot-long stone rock wall located near the crest of the mountain.

It is believed to have been built by early indigenous Americans as a defense fortification, and/or possibly for spiritual and ceremonial purposes.

Another piece of Georgia history located within the park is the stone fire tower that was first built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which allowed rangers to see fires from up to 40 miles away.

It can be reached by hiking the one-mile CCC Fire Tower Trail. An open house of the tower is available every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 pm.

Mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, kayak/canoeing, and miniature golf are also popular activities, and there’s a lakeside beach for swimming during summer.

Fort Mountain State Park Cabin Rentals via GaStateParks.org
Fort Mountain State Park Cabin Rentals, via GaStateParks.org

Fort Mountain State Park Lodging

Overnight lodging in Fort Mountain State Park is available at fully furnished 2- to 3-bedroom cottages, as well as walk-in, platform, pioneer, and backcountry campsites.

There are also 70 tent, trailer, and RV campsites with pull-through or back-in driveways (some of which are seasonal), as well as one group shelter that seats 80 people.

READ MORE: The 15 Best North Georgia Mountains for Hiking

Lake at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder GA
Photo by Michael Gonyea via Heavy Nature

Fort Yargo State Park

210 South Broad Street

Winder, GA 30680

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

https://gastateparks.org/FortYargo

Though Don Carter State Park on Lake Lanier may be the newest of the state parks in GA, Winder’s Fort Yargo State Park is more of a personal favorite due to my great childhood memories with my extended family there. 

Encompassing 1,816 acres about halfway between Atlanta and Athens, this family-friendly nature-lover’s haven is home to a 260-acre lake, 20.5 miles of trails, a forest disc golf course, picnic pavilions and more.

It’s also home to one of the oldest surviving 18th century log forts in the state of Georgia. 

Things to Do in Fort Yargo State Park

Fort Yargo Lake is the main attraction here. It boasts a large sandy beach for swimming, good fishing opportunities, two boat ramps, a 75-person Lake Pavilion, and a 150-person Beach Pavilion (call park for reservations). 

The fort for which this North Georgia park was named was one of four built in 1793 to help protect the state’s early settlers from the Creek and Cherokee Indians. The main building that remains is an 18 x 22 ft, two-story log blockhouse, where occasionally scheduled living history dates offer a chance to learn more about the site’s history.

The park’s 20.5 miles of trails include the 0.5-mile wheelchair accessible Bird Berry Trail, the 7-mile Lake Loop Trail (which is bike-friendly), and a 12-mile Mountain Bike Loop. There’s also a 1.2 mile trail to the Barrow County Recreation Department, playgrounds, and the aforementioned disc golf course (for an additional fee).  

READ MORE:The 20 Best North Georgia Waterfalls (& How to Get to Them)

Yurts at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder GA
Photo courtesy GAStateParks.org

Fort Yargo State Park Lodging

Overnight guests at Fort Yargo can choose from 16 fully equipped cottages, all of which offer full kitchens, heat/AC, picnic tables, BBQ grills, and fire ring. For a more unusual glamping experience, rent one of the six Fort Yargo Yurts, which are 20 feet wide, fully furnished, and have heat/AC and outdoor dining areas just like the cabins.

For more traditional camping options, the park features 46 Tent, Trailer & RV Campsites, as well as 12 Walk-In Campsites and a Pioneer Campground. 

There are also 5 Picnic Shelters, 2 Group Shelters (which seat 80 and 100 people, respectively), and a private event room that seats 62 people. 

READ MORE: Goats On The Roof: Family Friendly Fun Near Clayton GA

James Sloppy Floyd State Park Marble Mine by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park

2800 Sloppy Floyd Lake road

Summerville, GA 30747

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

https://gastateparks.org/JamesHFloyd

Named after former Georgia Representative James H. “Sloppy” Floyd (who grew up in the area), this serene state park is nestled in between gorgeous rural countryside and the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Things to Do in James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park

The park has two stocked lakes that are perfect for fishing and boating. There are rental services available for kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats, while private boats are allowed with electric motors only.

The park has five miles of hiking trails. These include the scenic Marble Mine Trail (which takes you to the entrance of the abandoned mine) and the Upper and Lower Lake Loop Trails (which follow the lake’s boardwalk and extend through elegant wooded hillsides).

Some of these trails connect with the 335-mile Pinhoti Trail, a long-distance trail through the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Alabama and Georgia.

READ MORE: The Appalachian Culture & History of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Cabin at James Sloppy Floyd State Park by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park Lodging

The park offers two-bedroom cottages (some of which are dog-friendly cabins) as well as a handful of backcountry campsites and tent, trailer, and RV campsites with pull-through or back-in driveways.

Picnic shelters by the lake are also available, as well as a pioneer campground that can be reserved through calling the park at the number listed above.

READ MORE: Barnsley Gardens Resort Ruins: The Tragic Story Behind the Adairsville, GA Landmark

Fisherman at Moccasin Creek State Park

Moccasin Creek State Park

3655 Highway 197

Clarkesville, GA 30523

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

https://gastateparks.org/MoccasinCreek

Known as the place where spring spends summer, Moccasin Creek State Park sits on the shore of Lake Burton.

It’s positioned on relatively flat ground compared to most north Georgia state parks, making it a great site for large RV navigation, biking, and people in wheelchairs.

Things to Do in Moccasin Creek State Park

The 2,800-acre Lake Burton is the main attraction at Moccasin Creek State Park, and is a perfect place for fishing and boating. Kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards can be rented at the lake as well.

There is also a unique fishing pier located above a creek that is ADA accessible. It’s only open to those aged 65+, 11 and younger, and people of any age with a Georgia disability fishing license.

Three miles of hiking trails wind through the park, offering beautiful views of the landscape. There’s also a wildlife observation tower, where you can try to catch a glimpse of the diverse array of animals that live in the park.

READ MORE: 30 Fascinating Blue Ridge Mountains Facts

Harley Davidson at Moccasin Creek State Park Campground by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

Moccasin Creek State Park Lodging

One of the best parks for RV camping in north Georgia (due to its flat terrain), Moccasin Creek has 53 campsites that are open to RVs, tents, and trailers.

There’s also a picnic shelter here that can fit 30 people and is ADA accessible.

READ MORE:  How to Get to Hemlock Falls at Moccasin Creek State Park, Georgia

Vann Tavern at New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun GA

New Echota State Historic Site

1211 Chatsworth Highway NE

Calhoun, GA 30701

Phone: 706-624-1321

Entry Fees: Adults (18–61) $7; Seniors (62+) $6.50; Youth (ages 6–17) $5.50; Children (under 6) free

https://gastateparks.org/NewEchota

New Echota, which was named the capital of the Cherokee Nation in 1825, is arguably the most important historical site in the Cherokee culture.

The town became home to the first Indian language newspaper, a legal case over land rights that went to the US Supreme Court, the signing of the New Echota Treaty (which relinquished all tribal lands east of the Mississippi), and the beginning of the Trail of Tears. 

An archaeological dig in 1954 found 1700+ historical artifacts there, including the remains of many buildings and the type syllabary once used to print the nation’s first indigenous tribal newspaper. 

Things to Do At New Echota

New Echota visitors have a chance to explore 12 original and reconstructed buildings, including the Cherokee Council House, Supreme Courthouse, the office where the Cherokee Phoenix was printed, Vann’s Tavern, the Worcester House, and two different Cherokee homesteads. 

There’s also a museum with excellent interpretive exhibits on Cherokee history and culture, the history of the town, the Treaty of New Echota, and the Trail of Tears. 

Lastly, there are two short, but lovely trails for hiking, including the 1.2-mile New Town Creek Nature Trail and the aptly-named Beaver Pond Trail.

READ MORE: Hiking the Blood Mountain Trail in Blairsville, GA

Bethany Bridge at Red Top Mountain State Park in Cartersille GA

Red Top Mountain State Park

50 Lodge Road SE

Acworth, GA 30102

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

https://gastateparks.org/RedTopMountain

Of all the state parks in North GA, Red Top Mountain State Park is BY FAR the one we’ve spent the most time in. That’s because we keep our pontoon boat docked at a marina on Lake Allatoona, on which the park is located! 

The closest major lake to Atlanta, Allatoona encompasses some 12,000 acres of land, 1,776 of which are protected by the park. It’s called Red Top due to the soil’s high iron ore content, which explains why this area was once a hotbed for mining. 

Things to Do in Red Top Mountain State Park

Though Red Top nods to this mining history via the 19th century Vaughn Cabin (which hosts occasional iron pour programs), most people visit this state park in the Georgia mountains for outdoor recreation and water sports.

Boating, kayaking, SUPing, fishing, and swimming at the public beach (which is currently being renovated for the 2021 season) are all popular here. Birds such as Great Blue Herons and Kingfishers are abundant, as are White-tailed Deer.

In terms of hiking, Red Top boasts 15 miles of trails. They range from the easy Paved Lakeside Trail (0.75 miles) and Visitor Center Loop Trail (0.75 miles), to the moderate Sweetgum Lodge Loop Trail (3.5 miles) and Homestead Trail (5.5 miles), to the 3.9 mile Iron Hill Bike Trail (which also allows hikers). All are lovely, especially when the Fall Colors peak.

READ MORE: Fall in the Mountains of North Georgia (Where to See the Best Fall Colors)

Red Top Mountain State Park Cabins in Cartersille GA

Red Top Mountain State Park Lodging

We were shocked during our latest visit to realize that the park’s lodge had been replaced by a new-to-us Visitor Center, which features a gift shop and 30-person event room.

But there are still 20 Red Top Mountain State Park cabins available for rent, 5 of which are currently being rebuilt for the 2021 season. These include 17 two-bedroom cabins and 3 three-bedroom cabins, all of which include kitchens, lake views, picnic tables, charcoal grills, and fire pits. 

In terms of camping, the park has 93 tent, trailer and RV campsites, as well as one lakeside yurt and a pioneer campground. There are also 7 picnic shelters and 2 group shelters that seat 100 and 250 people, respectively. 

READ MORE: The 15 Best Lakes in the North Georgia Mountains

Smithgall Woods State Park, North Georgia Mountains
Photo via GAStateParks.org

Smithgall Woods State Park

61 Tsalaki Trail

Helen, GA 30545

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

https://gastateparks.org/SmithgallWoods

Originally used for hydraulic gold mining during the 19th century, the land that is now protected as Smithgall Woods State Park was gifted to the state of Georgia by conservationist Charles A. Smithgall, Jr.

Today it’s considered one of the best north Georgia parks, offering beautiful hiking trails, great fishing, and all kinds of outdoor activities.

Note that all visitors must register at the Visitors Center before entering the park.

Things to Do in Smithgall Woods State Park

Dukes Creek, which runs through Smithgall Woods State Park, is considered one of north Georgia’s best trout streams. It’s a prime location for catch-and-release fishing.

The park offers 28 miles of hiking trails. These include the Ash Creek Trail, which takes you wading through Dukes Creek, and Wetland Loop Trail, which passes by a boardwalk and deck that are perfect for bird watching (another popular activity within the park).

Archery and hunting are also available (with advance reservations) during specific days and times.

READ MORE: How to Get to Dukes Creek Falls Near Helen GA

Smithgall Woods State Park Cabin Rentals, North Georgia Mountains
Photo via GAStateParks.org

Smithgall Woods State Park Lodging

Along with picnic shelters and a pioneer campground that can be reserved for youth and conservation groups, the park has six fully furnished cottages.

Each of these Smithgall Woods cabins comes with a full kitchen, picnic table, BBQ grill, and fire pit, and is positioned along a gorgeous one-mile trail leading to Dukes Creek.

READ MORE: How to Get to Anna Ruby Falls Near Helen, GA

Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls, GA

Tallulah Gorge State Park

338 Jane Hurt Yarn Drive

Tallulah Falls, GA 30573

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available. Free permits are also required to visit the gorge floor, and are limited to 100 per day.

https://gastateparks.org/TallulahGorge

Tallulah Gorge State Park is home to some of the most spectacular waterfalls in north Georgia.

It also offers hiking trails across rugged terrain and a stunning, 1,000-foot canyon carved by the Tallulah River.

In short, this park is filled with plenty of awe-inspiring natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Things to Do in Tallulah Gorge State Park

There are 20 miles of hiking trails throughout the park, including the Gorge Floor Trail, which requires a permit and takes you to the bottom of the Tallulah Gorge.

If you do take this remarkable trek, be sure to carry plenty of water, as the bottom of gorge can get extremely hot on sunny days.

Hikers can also follow rim trails to scenic overlooks and cross a suspension bridge that is 80 feet high, offering some of the best views in the park.

The Tallulah River is known as a prime location for kayaking and canoeing. During specific times of the year, they open to dam to offer excellent white-water rafting opportunities!

Tallulah Gorge State Park Camping, North Georgia Mountains
Photo via GAStateparks.org

Tallulah Gorge State Park Lodging

In terms of Tallulah Gorge lodging, there are 50 campsites for tent, trailers, and RVs that have pull-through or back-in driveways.

There is also a pioneer campsite that can hold up to 25 people, as well as three backcountry Adirondack shelters scattered throughout the park.

READ MORE: The Best Things to Do in Blue Ridge, GA

Hiking the Unicoi Lake Trail in Helen GA

Unicoi State Park & Lodge

1788 Highway 356

Helen, GA 30545

Reservations: 1-800-573-9659

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

Check Rates for the Unicoi State Park Lodge at Booking.com

Surrounded by magnificent Georgia mountains, lovely towns, and countless adventures, the Unicoi State Park & Lodge promises an expansive outdoor recreation experience.

The park offers everything from kayaking in the Chattahoochee River to some of the best hikes in north Georgia.

Things to Do in Unicoi State Park & Lodge

The Unicoi hiking trails are open all year-round, taking you through some of the most scenic parts of the park.

Some of the most popular include Bottoms Loop Trail (which passes by remnants of an old homestead), the Lake Trail (which winds around Unicoi Lake), and the Smith Creek Trail (which stretches from the state park campground to the Anna Ruby Falls Recreation Area).

Other fun activities in the park include archery, an air gun range, a GPS scavenger hunt, guided nature hikes, fly fishing classes, guided kayaking, and paddle boarding classes.

For more info, contact the park’s activity department.

READ MORE: Unicoi State Park & Lodge: Camping & Hiking Near Helen, GA

Exterior view of Unicoi State Park Barrel Cabins in North Georgia

Unicoi State Park Lodging

The Unicoi State Park & Lodge offers top-of-the-line north Georgia cabin rentals, each of which offer easy access to the park’s hiking trails, streams, and lake.

These cozy cabins boast 1 to 3 bedrooms and are pet friendly. Certain cabins are also  ADA accessible.

The Unicoi Lodge has guest rooms available ranging from King rooms to double Queen  and loft rooms. Each offers amenities such as Wi-Fi and cable TV. Check Rates for the Unicoi State Park Lodge at Booking.com.

The park also has many campsites for RV and tent camping, each of which includes water, power, a fire ring, grill, sewer, and dump station nearby.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Helen GA

Trahlyta Falls in Vogel State Park, North Georgia Mountains

Vogel State Park

405 Vogel State Park Road

Blairsville, GA 30512

Reservations: 800-864-7275

Entry Fee: $5 State Park Pass or $50 annual Park Passes are available

https://gastateparks.org/Vogel

Established in 1931, Vogel is one of the oldest North Georgia State Parks. Many of its buildings were constructed during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

With its dynamic landscapes and gorgeous views, Vogel is still thriving today. Nearly 90 years after its creation, it remains one of the most visited parks in north Georgia.

Things to Do in Vogel State Park

Vogel State Park offers 17 miles of hiking trails.

The popular Trahlyta Lake Trail crosses an earthen dam created by the CCC in 1935, while the Bear Hair Gap Trail takes you through the lower ridges of Blood Mountain and one of our favorite north Georgia waterfalls, Trahlyta Falls.

Other fun activities in the park include visiting the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum and renting kayaks, stand up paddle boards, pedal boats, and bikes.

Vogel State Park Cabin Rentals, North Georgia Mountains
Photo via GAStateParks.org

Vogel State Park Lodging

There are plenty of options for overnight stays in Vogel Park, including 1 to 2 bedroom cottages, walk-in campsites, and RV-accessible campsites with pull-through or back-in driveways.

There is also a pioneer campsite that holds up to 50 people. Christina Maggitas & Bret Love; photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett unless otherwise noted

 

Growing up in rural south Georgia, Christina Maggitas developed a love for nature at a young age and spent the majority of her formative years outdoors. Since first visiting the Great Smokey Mountains with her family as a child, she has always admired the beauty of the Blue Ridge region and spends as much time as she can hiking north Georgia. She has a passion for writing and storytelling with the hopes of inspiring others to enjoy the great outdoors. Currently, Christina is a senior at Kennesaw State University where she is studying Journalism and Emerging Media.

41 thoughts on “The 15 Best North Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites”

Comments are closed.