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


  • Night Hike

    Night Hike

    09/30/2016 - 09/30/2016

    Let's look for phosphorescent organisms, listen for owls, and enjoy a frog chorus. You never know what we might find in the dark. Wear closed-toe shoes. Bring a flashlight, insect repellent, and water. Space is limited, pre-registration required. Meet at the boat use area.

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  • Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    10/02/2016 - 10/28/2016

    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 with an adult. Bring your own kayak/canoe or rent here, limited rentals available, so register in advance. Meet at the boat ramp, bring water and a flashlight.

    Saturday, September 10, 2016
    6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

    Friday, September 23, 2016
    6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

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  • Let’s Go Birdwatching - Silver in the Park (ages 50+)

    Let’s Go Birdwatching - Silver in the Park (ages 50+)

    10/05/2016 - 10/05/2016

    We will go for a short birdwatching hike, and then learn some local bird calls. No pets please. If you want, bring a lunch picnic and enjoy the park. Wear closed-toe shoes, bring water, and insect repellent. Meet at the trail-head parking (fish cleaning station).

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  • Introduction to Kayaking

    Introduction to Kayaking

    10/07/2016 - 10/14/2016

    Learn the basics of kayaking on a safe and peaceful section of the lake. 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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  • Flat Creek Kayak Adventure

    Flat Creek Kayak Adventure

    10/08/2016 - 10/08/2016

    Join in us on this 2 - 3 hour excursion to the one of the wildest parts of the lake! This rigorous trip will take us to Flat Creek Island, the northern-most island on Lake Lanier. Bring food and water for this trip. It takes a lot of energy.

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  • Reptiles of North Georgia

    Reptiles of North Georgia

    10/08/2016 - 10/08/2016

    Join us as "Ranger Nick" from the Georgia Farm Monitor TV show educates folks about Georgia's wonderful reptiles. We will have live non-venomous snakes, as well as live turtles. Learn the difference between venomous and non-venomous snake species of North Georgia. Meet at shelter 1.

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  • Huckleberry Loop Hike

    Huckleberry Loop Hike

    10/15/2016 - 10/15/2016

    Join our naturalist for a hike around Huckleberry Point Loop. This easy walk takes you to a wooded area which hugs the shoreline of the lake. Along the way, we will identify some native plants and look for wildlife. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, comfortable clothing, and bring water. Pre-registration is required, space limited. Meet at boat ramp parking.

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  • Full Moon Paddle

    Full Moon Paddle

    10/15/2016 - 10/15/2016

    Enjoy a relaxing paddle on Lake Lanier led by the naturalist as the full moon reflects off the water. Space is limited, so register in advance. No pets; kids must be 8 or older. Meet at the boat ramp. Bring a flash light, insect repellent, and water.

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