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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  • Cabin porch overlooking lake.

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  • Picnic Shelter

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  • Cabin

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  • Camping

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  • picnic shelter

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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

    04/01/2017 - 05/27/2017

    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. Equipment provided. Meet at the boat ramp, bring water and a flashlight. Bring your own kayak/canoe or rent here. Limited rentals are available. Pre-registration required.

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  • Bilingual Family Hike

    Bilingual Family Hike

    04/01/2017 - 08/05/2017

    Join our bilingual naturalist for a hike along a wooded area of the park. Learn interesting facts about native plants and wildlife explained in both English and Spanish. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, comfortable clothing, and bring water. Pre-registration required. Meet at the boat ramp.

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  • Chattahoochee River Paddle

    Chattahoochee River Paddle

    04/02/2017 - 04/30/2017

    Join the ranger for a fun-filled paddle trip where the Chattahoochee River meets Lake Lanier. We will look for wading birds and raptors. Kids must be 6 or older and with an adult. Meet at the boat ramp. Wear quick drying pants, sun screen, and bring water. Call to pre-register. Bring your own kayak or rent one here.

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  • Intro to Orienteering

    Intro to Orienteering

    04/08/2017 - 04/08/2017

    Using the skills we teach you, a map and compass that we provide, find 10 species of native trees in the park. The winner gets a prize. Wear closed-toe shoes, bring water, and insect repellent for this off-trail program. Meet at the visitor center. Pre-registration required.

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  • Easter Geocache Hunt

    Easter Geocache Hunt

    04/08/2017 - 04/22/2017

    The Easter bunny hid some of his eggs too early. Bring a GPS device or smart phone to help find them. Wear closed-toed shoes, bring water, and insect repellent for this off-trail program. Meet at the trail-head parking. Pre-registration is required.

    Saturday, April 8, 2017
    4:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

    Saturday, April 15, 2017
    3:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

    Saturday, April 22, 2017
    2:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

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  • Flat Creek Kayak Adventure

    Flat Creek Kayak Adventure

    04/15/2017 - 04/15/2017

    Join us on this 2 - 3 hour excursion to 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. 2 single kayaks and 6 tandem kayaks are available for rent if needed.

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  • Almost Full Moon Paddle

    Almost Full Moon Paddle

    04/17/2017 - 04/17/2017

    This month, enjoy a naturalist-led paddle on the lake as the waxing gibbous 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, and water.

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  • Full Moon Paddle

    Full Moon Paddle

    04/18/2017 - 04/18/2017

    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, quick drying pants, and water.

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  • Walking in Lady's Slippers

    Walking in Lady's Slippers

    04/22/2017 - 05/06/2017

    The Pink Lady's Slipper is an orchid native to north Georgia and can be found at Don Carter State Park. Join us to learn about this unique wildflower, its role in the environment and some of its traditional uses. We will also go on a hike to try and spot Lady's Slippers in bloom.

    Saturday, April 22, 2017 
    10 a.m.
    Saturday, April 29, 2017 
    3 p.m.
    Saturday, May 6, 2017 
    10 a.m.

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  • Volunteer Work Day

    Volunteer Work Day

    05/13/2017 - 10/14/2017

    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 park's visitor center. Bring water, gloves and wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty.

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  • Junior Ranger Summer Camp

    Junior Ranger Summer Camp

    06/19/2017 - 06/23/2017

    Want something fun to do this summer? Children learn about nature, history, and animals while playing games and making new friends. Children will earn badges to take home. This 5-day camp will include tons of outdoor recreational, educational opportunities including hiking, fishing, canoeing, nature art, and more.

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