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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  • picnic shelter

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  • Cabin porch overlooking lake.

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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


  • Scorpion Night Hike

    Scorpion Night Hike

    07/28/2017 - 08/18/2017

    Using UV lights, we will look for phosphorescent scorpions in the dark. We will also listen for frogs and watch the stars. This is an easy / moderate hike (3/4 of a mile) better suited for kids 4 years and older. Bring a flashlight and wear closed-toe shoes. Call to register in advance. Space is limited. Meet at the boat ramp parking.

    Friday, July 28, 2017
    9 p.m. - 12 a.m.

    Friday, August 18, 2017
    8:30 p.m. - 12 a.m.

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  • Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    07/29/2017 - 08/19/2017

    Join a ranger-led sunset outing to look for wading birds and raptors. Open to anyone who can swim. No pets, kids must be 8 or older and with an adult. Meet at the boat ramp, bring water, flashlight, and binoculars (optional). Bring your own kayak/canoe or rent here. Limited rentals available. Pre-registration required.

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  • First Time Fishing

    First Time Fishing

    07/29/2017 - 08/19/2017

    Learn the basics of fishing from the pier or the bank. Poles and bait provided. Open to anyone new to fishing. Fishing license required only for adults. Limited participation, pre-registration required. Meet at the boat ramp parking 15 minutes before the program starts. Wear light clothes, sunscreen, and bring water.

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  • Family Hike

    Family Hike

    08/05/2017 - 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. Call to register in advance. Meet at the boat ramp.

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  • Volunteer Work Day

    Volunteer Work Day

    08/12/2017 - 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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  • Bark in the Park

    Bark in the Park

    08/13/2017 - 08/13/2017

    Hike through the park with your furry companions. We will enjoy a guided hike on Huckleberry trail alongside Lake Lanier. Any dog brought to this event must play well with other dogs, and must remain on a leash. Pre-registration required. Meet at the boat ramp parking. Wear closed-toe shoes, and bring water for you and your four legged friend.

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  • Solar Eclipse by Kayak

    Solar Eclipse by Kayak

    08/21/2017 - 08/21/2017

    Join the naturalist as we paddle up the northern part of Lake Lanier looking for the best spot to enjoy the epic solar eclipse. Enjoy the changes in tones as the landscape turns darker in the middle of the afternoon. Limited pairs of protective glasses provided. Pre-registration required. This is for kids 6 and up. Meet at the boat ramp. Bring water and water shoes.

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  • Orienteering: Be a Nature Navigator

    Orienteering: Be a Nature Navigator

    08/26/2017 - 08/26/2017

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

    Saturday, July 22, 2017
    5 p.m. - 12 a.m.

    Saturday, August 26, 2017
    6 p.m. - 12 a.m.

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