Northeast Georgia Mountains / Gainesville

Don Carter State Park

5000 N. Browning Bridge Rd.
Gainesville, GA 30506

678-450-7726 | 800-864-7275
  • Beach

    1 of 7
  • Cabin

    2 of 7
  • 3 of 7
  • Camping

    4 of 7
  • picnic shelter

    5 of 7
  • Cabin porch overlooking lake.

    6 of 7
  • Picnic Shelter

    7 of 7

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

    Primitive Camp Sites Available

    Suitable for Ages

    All Ages


  • Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    08/26/2016 - 09/23/2016

    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.

    Friday, August 26, 2016
    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

    Friday, September 2, 2016
    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

    Saturday, September 10, 2016
    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

    Frid... read more

  • Night Hike

    Night Hike

    08/27/2016 - 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. Meet at the boat use area.

    read more

  • Introduction to Kayaking

    Introduction to Kayaking

    09/09/2016 - 09/16/2016

    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.

    read more

  • Volunteer Work Day

    Volunteer Work Day

    09/10/2016 - 09/10/2016

    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.

    read more

  • Dog Creek Hike

    Dog Creek Hike

    09/10/2016 - 09/10/2016

    Challenge yourself on a moderate to strenuous hike along one of the park's little known trails. This 2-mile hike will offer some of the best chances for encountering wildlife and enjoying what nature has to offer! Open to all ages. Call ahead to register. Wear closed-toe shoes, bring water, and insect repellent. Meet at the trail-head parking.

    read more

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

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

    09/14/2016 - 09/14/2016

    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).

    read more

  • Almost Full Moon Paddle

    Almost Full Moon Paddle

    09/15/2016 - 09/15/2016

    Naturalist-led paddle on the lake as the waxing gibbous 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.

    read more

  • Dendrology Scavenger Hunt

    Dendrology Scavenger Hunt

    09/17/2016 - 09/17/2016

    Learn orienteering and tree identification at the same time. Using the skills we teach you, a map, and a compass that we provide, identify 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.

    read more

  • Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival

    Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival

    09/24/2016 - 09/24/2016

    Join us for an afternoon in the park with live old time music, arts and crafts vendors and good food. This will be Don Carter State Park's third annual Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival.

    read more

  • Lake Lanier Shore Sweep - Your State Parks Day

    Lake Lanier Shore Sweep - Your State Parks Day

    09/24/2016 - 09/24/2016

    Join Lake Lanier Association's annual Shore Sweep. This event is organized for the benefit of Lake Lanier and all who enjoy its beauty. In past years, Shore Sweep has had over 1,000 volunteers. Wear gloves and clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Meet at the park office.

    read more