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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  • 2 of 7
  • Cabin porch overlooking lake.

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  • Cabin

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  • Camping

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  • Picnic Shelter

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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


    Handicapped Accessible (Limited)

    Open Year 'Round


    Near Interstate Highway


    Payment Options

    American Express



    Site Information

    Cabin / Cottage Rentals

    Primitive Camp Sites Available

    RVs Permitted

    Suitable for Ages

    All Ages


  • Night Hike

    Night Hike

    04/20/2018 - 05/25/2018

    Come experience the natural wonder of our hiking night! A park ranger will lead the group through the park, offering a unique experience that will stimulate your senses when vision is limited. We will meet at shelter 4.

    Thursday, April 5, 2018
    8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

    Saturday, April 7, 2018
    8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

    Friday, April 20, 2018
    8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

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  • Dog Creek Stream Search Hike

    Dog Creek Stream Search Hike

    04/29/2018 - 04/29/2018

    While on this ranger-led hike, we will look for different water creatures that call Dog Creek home. This 2-mile moderate hike offers some of the best chances for encountering wildlife. Wear shoes that may get wet, but are also acceptable to hiking. Bring water. Meet at Primitive Parking. Open to ages 10+.

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  • Family Hike

    Family Hike

    05/06/2018 - 05/27/2018

    Family time is the best time! Join our naturalist for a hike along a wooded area of the park. Learn interesting facts about native plants and wildlife. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, comfortable clothing, and bring water. Call to register in advance. Meet at the boat ramp.

    Sunday, May 6, 2018
    4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

    Sunday, May 27, 2018
    3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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  • Volunteer Work Day

    Volunteer Work Day

    05/19/2018 - 05/19/2018

    Come join the Friends of Don Carter State Park every third 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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  • Animals and their Signs

    Animals and their Signs

    05/19/2018 - 05/19/2018

    Join our naturalist for a short hike looking for local reptiles, mammals, insects and birds. Not only will we be looking for these animals, we also will be looking for their signs. We will be casting animal footprints at the end of the hike. Meet at the boat ramp parking lot.

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  • Dog Creek Hike

    Dog Creek Hike

    05/20/2018 - 05/20/2018

    Join our naturalist for a ranger lead hike on our parks secret trail. This 2-mile moderate hike offers some of the best chances for encountering wildlife. Wear shoes that are acceptable to hiking, and bring water. Meet at Primitive Parking. Open to ages 10+.

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  • Beach Bash

    Beach Bash

    05/26/2018 - 05/26/2018

    School's out, scream and shout! We are so excited that summer is finally here, and we want to share this excitment with you. Join our staff for summertime fun on our beach. We will be having paddle board races, sand castle competitions, games and more. Prices vary.

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  • Bark in the Park

    Bark in the Park

    10/06/2018 - 10/06/2018

    Hike through the park with your furry companions. We will hike the Big Creek Nature Trail with our furry friends and then allow them to enjoy our enclosed dog park. Meet at the parking lot across from shelter 3 & 4. Dogs must be on a 6' leash and have rabies vaccination tags. Wear closed-toe shoes, and bring water for you and your four-legged friend.

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