Don Carter State Park popular for water and other pursuits
With the 38,000-acre Lake Lanier, Hall County offers plenty of outdoor and water activities. One place to enjoy those activities is Georgia’s newest state park, and the only one located on Lake Lanier: Don Carter State Park.
In its fifth year, the 1,316-acre Don Carter State Park offers a plethora of opportunities for water lovers. The property includes a sand swimming beach with bath house and boat ramp and eight miles of paddle trails, with seasonal kayak, paddleboard and aquacycle rentals. Boaters can also water ski.
For those who prefer dry land, the park offers four miles of hiking trails, a playground and outdoor fitness equipment.
Guided hikes at Don Carter, led by a ranger or naturalist Julie Dyer, are “a big draw,” said Assistant Park Manager Lori Hamby.
Guided hikes include the popular, 2-mile Pooch on the Hooch. Hamby said Pooch on the Hooch is a moderate hike that goes along the quiet shores of Lake Lanier.
“You’re able to take your canine companions with you on this hike,” Hamby said. “A lot of people really enjoy it. We get a lot of good feedback on this hike.”
Pooch on the Hooch hikes will be held the last Saturday of each month, from 1-3 p.m. Cost for the hike is $5 per person, with a daily or annual park pass required.
Don Carter also offers several choices for overnight getaways, including eight cottages near the lake, a 44-space tent, trailer and RV campground, and a primitive camping area with 12 campsites for tents or hammocks.
If nature education is what you’re after, Don Carter park personnel will provide a variety of programs to your classroom, and programs are provided at the park as well. Topics include casting animal footprints; owl pellets dissection; animal habitats and snakes.
Don Carter State Park is located at 5000 North Browning Bridge Road, Gainesville. For additional information about the park, visit gastateparks.org/DonCarter or call 678-450-7726.