Northeast Georgia Mountains / Gainesville

Don Carter State Park

5000 N. Browning Bridge Rd.
Gainesville, GA 30506

678-450-7726 | 800-864-7275
  • Beach

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  • Camping

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  • picnic shelter

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  • Cabin porch overlooking lake.

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  • Picnic Shelter

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  • Cabin

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Don Carter is Georgia's newest state park and the first state park on 39,000-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 paved, 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 accommodates RVs, while another camping area is reserved just for tents and hammocks. 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.

Info & Amenities

  • Hours of Operation

    Sunday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Monday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Tuesday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Wednesday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Thursday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Friday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM
    Saturday: 7:00AM - 10:00PM

    Admission & Fees

    Admission Call for rates

    Parking $5


    Nature Trails

    Facility Amenities

    Boat Launch, Lodging On Site, Parking on Site, Picnic Area, Picnic Shelter, Public Restrooms

    General Information

    Family-friendly, Handicapped Accessible (Limited) , Open Year 'Round, Pet-friendly

    Near Interstate Highway


    Payment Options

    American Express, Mastercard, Visa

    Site Information

    Cabin / Cottage Rentals, Primitive Camp Sites Available, RVs Permitted

    Suitable for Ages

    All Ages


  • Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    10/28/2016 - 11/11/2016

    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 be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own kayak/canoe or rent here. There are limited rentals available, so register in advance. Meet at the boat ramp, bring water and a flashlight. Veterans paddle for free on Nov 11.

    Friday, October 28, 2016
    6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    Saturday, November 5, 2016
    5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

    Fri... read more

  • Glow in the Dark Hike

    Glow in the Dark Hike

    10/29/2016 - 10/29/2016

    On this spooky night, decorate yourselves with glow bracelets, glow sticks or anything that would light up the trail. We will provide extra glow sticks. We will meet at the boat ramp parking. For safety, bring flash lights. Wear close-toed shoes, and insect repellent.

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  • Introduction to Kayaking

    Introduction to Kayaking

    11/04/2016 - 11/04/2016

    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 and sunscreen. Meet at the Boat Ramp. Pre-registration required.

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  • Fall Color Paddle

    Fall Color Paddle

    11/06/2016 - 11/18/2016

    Join the ranger to see the changing fall leaves from the water on scenic Lake Lanier. We will look for wading birds and raptors. Kids must be 8 or older and with an adult. Meet at the boat ramp. Wear quick drying pants and bring water. Call to pre-register. Veterans paddle for free on Nov 13.

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  • Volunteer Work Day

    Volunteer Work Day

    11/12/2016 - 11/12/2016

    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 the park's visitor center.


    Saturday, Jul 9, 2016
    9 a.m.

    Saturday, Aug 13, 2016
    9 a.m.

    Saturday, Sep 10, 2016
    9 a.m.

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  • Almost Full Moon Paddle

    Almost Full Moon Paddle

    11/12/2016 - 11/12/2016

    This month, enjoy a naturalist-led paddle on the lake as the waxing gibbous Supermoon reflects off the water. Space is limited, so register in advance. No pets; kids must be 8 or older and with an adult. Meet at the boat ramp. Bring a flash light, quick drying pants, warm clothes, and water. Veterans paddle for free on Nov 12.

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  • Intro to Kayak Fishing

    Intro to Kayak Fishing

    11/20/2016 - 11/20/2016

    Learn the basics of fishing from your kayak with our expert Lee Carpenter. Bring your own equipment or rent here. Fishing license required. Wear quick drying pants and bring water. Meet at the Visitor Center 15 minutes before the program starts. Call to register in advance.

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  • Hike Those Extra Pounds Off

    Hike Those Extra Pounds Off

    11/25/2016 - 11/25/2016

    Work off those extra pounds you acquired over Thanksgiving. This is a moderate to strenuous hike along one of the park's little known trails. This 2 mile hike offers the best chances for encountering wildlife. Meet at the trail-head parking. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and bring water. Call for more information and to pre-register.

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  • Snakes of North Georgia

    Snakes of North Georgia

    11/26/2016 - 11/26/2016

    Join us as our naturalist educates folks about Georgia's wonderful reptiles. We will have live non-venomous snakes. Learn the difference between venomous and non-venomous snake species of North Georgia. Meet at shelter 1.

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  • Guided Geocache Hike

    Guided Geocache Hike

    11/26/2016 - 11/26/2016

    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.

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