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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  • 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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  • Camping

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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

    09/22/2017 - 09/30/2017

    Join a ranger-led sunset outing to look for wading birds and raptors. This event isĀ open to anyone who can swim. No pets are allowed. 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.

    Saturday, Aug 19, 2017
    7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

    Saturday, Sep 2, 2017
    7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

    Friday, Sep 8, 2... read more

  • Whale Tail Paddle Adventure

    Whale Tail Paddle Adventure

    09/23/2017 - 09/23/2017

    Join us for a 2 to 3 hour scenic excursion to discover the northern Lake Lanier waters. This moderate to rigorous trip will go to Whale Tail Point, the park's largest peninsula. Bring food and water; it takes a lot of energy. 4 single kayaks, 4 tandem kayaks, and 5 canoes will be available for rent. Pre-registration required. Meet at the boat ramp.

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  • Lake Lanier Shore Sweep

    Lake Lanier Shore Sweep

    09/23/2017 - 09/23/2017

    This annual cleanup extends all the way from the upper Chattahoochee to our park. We will have volunteers walking the shoreline, a crew on a barge, and volunteers paddling. Bring your own kayaks if you sign up for that group. Meet at the overnight boat ramp (near the park's cottages). Call to register. VisitĀ for more information.

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  • Orienteering: Be a Nature Navigator

    Orienteering: Be a Nature Navigator

    09/30/2017 - 09/30/2017

    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 park 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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  • Storm Clean Up - Your State Parks Day

    Storm Clean Up - Your State Parks Day

    09/30/2017 - 09/30/2017

    Free admission to the park in exchange for volunteer work! Leave your wallet at home and put on your work gloves. Help the park staff and Friends of Don Carter SP beautify the park. We will install interpretive signs and do a storm clean up. Meet at the visitor center. Bring water, gloves and wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty.

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  • Volunteer Work Day

    Volunteer Work Day

    10/14/2017 - 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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  • Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival

    Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival

    10/21/2017 - 10/21/2017

    Join the Friends of Don Carter SP for an afternoon in the park with live traditional mountain music, arts, crafts, vendors, and good food. This will be Don Carter State Park's fourth annual Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival.

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