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
  • Camping

    3 of 7
  • Picnic Shelter

    4 of 7
  • picnic shelter

    5 of 7
  • 6 of 7
  • Cabin porch overlooking lake.

    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

    Cabin / Cottage Rentals, Primitive Camp Sites Available, RVs Permitted

    Suitable for Ages

    All Ages


  • Orienteering: Be a Nature Navigator

    Orienteering: Be a Nature Navigator

    08/26/2017 - 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.

    Saturday, August 26, 2017
    6 p.m.

    Saturday, September 30, 2017
    3 p.m.

    read more

  • Scorpion Night Hike

    Scorpion Night Hike

    09/01/2017 - 09/01/2017

    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, bug repellent and wear closed-toe shoes. Call to register in advance. Space is limited. Meet at the boat ramp parking.

    read more

  • Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    Twilight Lake Lanier Paddle

    09/02/2017 - 09/30/2017

    Join a ranger-led sunset outing to look for wading birds and raptors. This event is 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

  • Labor Day Weekend Beach Fun

    Labor Day Weekend Beach Fun

    09/02/2017 - 09/03/2017

    Enjoy our "recreation station" on the beach for family fun.

    1 p.m.: Paddleboard Racing
    2:30 p.m.: Nature Scavenger Hunt 
    3:30 p.m.: Owl Pellets Dissection

    1 p.m.: Cast an Animal Footprint
    2:30 p.m.: Paddleboard Racing
    4 p.m.: Pretend to be a Deer and Learn What You Need to Survive

    read more

  • Volunteer Work Day

    Volunteer Work Day

    09/09/2017 - 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.

    read more

  • First Time Fishing

    First Time Fishing

    09/09/2017 - 09/09/2017

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

    read more

  • Fishing at the Lake (Silver in the Park - ages 50+)

    Fishing at the Lake (Silver in the Park - ages 50+)

    09/14/2017 - 09/14/2017

    Silver in the Park are outdoor programs that seek to enhance a lively aging community. Come to fish from the pier or the shore. No experience necessary. Fishing poles and bait provided. Fishing license required. Meet at the boat ramp parking 15 minutes before the program starts. Pre-registration required. Wear light clothes, sunscreen, and bring water.

    read more

  • Flotilla Race

    Flotilla Race

    09/16/2017 - 09/16/2017

    Make your own raft, gather your friends and join this fun race on Lake Lanier. Rafts can be powered by poles, paddles, wind or creative "people power." Life jackets and shoes required. Register in advance. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts pay half price and earn a badge. Chick-Fil-A lunch included.

    read more

  • 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.

    read more