Yurt camping at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Photo by @ndb_1
Primitive Camping at Panola Mountain State Park
Get away from it all at Panola Mountain State Park’s new primitive hike-in campsites. Five tent sites are nestled under trees near a small fishing pond that few park visitors know about. Campers carry their gear a short distance to the sites, which are close to the paved PATH trail, perfect for those who enjoy running, walking and biking. The closest state park camping to Atlanta, Panola Mountain also offers archery, boat rentals, geocaching, orienteering, birding and tree-climbing programs.
Paddle-In Camping at Reed Bingham and High Falls State Park
Reed Bingham State Park, 20 minutes east of Moultrie, offers paddle-in camping on Eagle Island for up to 30 campers. Eagle Island sits in the middle of the park’s 375-acre lake, popular with boaters, anglers and skiers, and provides privacy from passing boaters. The island is only a 15-minute paddle from the shore, and campers may rent canoes or kayaks or bring their own.
High Falls State Park in Jackson has a primitive campsite that is reached only by boat and can sleep up to 25 people. Campers may rent canoes or kayaks, or bring their own, to reach this secluded peninsula. The park is known for great fishing and hiking trails.
Squirrel's Nest Camping at Unicoi State Park
Forget the bird’s eye view. Campers can have a squirrel’s eye view at Unicoi State Park, just north of Helen. The park’s 16 squirrel’s nest camping shelters feature raised and covered wooden platforms with open sides that allow campers to spend the night side-by-side with the local wildlife. Each nest sleeps four.
The Hike Inn near Amicalola Falls State Park
A five-mile hike from the top of Amicalola Falls will bring visitors to the backcountry Hike Inn. Guests have access to hot showers and gorgeous views. Cell phones are turned off, creating a disconnected vibe. The Hike Inn serves breakfast and dinner every day in a family-style setting and is perfect for Appalachian Trail hikers or families looking for a wilder kind of vacation.
Paddle-In River Camping and Adirondack Shelters at Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Luxury Cottage Camping at Smithgall Woods State Park
If you have never seen a chandelier in the middle of the woods, stay a night at Smithgall Woods State Park’s Smithgall Cottage. Rustically opulent and built of smooth Montana lodge pole pines, the cottage features immaculately decorated rooms, including a great room with a large stone fireplace, an exercise room, a kitchen, a dining room and four bedrooms (2 Kings; 1 Queen; 1 Double/Double) with private baths. Nestled at the heart of the park, the cottage’s large decks overlook the surrounding bubbling brooks and gorgeous forest scenery.
Suwanee River Eco-Lodge at Stephen C. Foster State Park
Run by Stephen C. Foster State Park, the Suwanee River Eco-Lodge in Fargo consists of 10 cottages and a conference room that can seat up to 100 people. Perfect for hunting or paddling vacations, business meetings, retreats, reunions and weddings, the eco-lodge sits just 18 miles from the beautiful Okefenokee Swamp.
Backcountry Camping at Fort Mountain State Park
Situated two miles apart from each other deep in the woods outside Chatsworth, Fort Mountain State Park’s four backcountry campsites offer visitors private and secluded campsites. While each campsite comes with a fire ring, visitors must bring all camping gear to these rustic sites. Fort Mountain’s backcountry sites number 3 (called Moonshine) and number 4 (called Rock Creek) offer visitors gorgeous seasonal views looking out over the Chatsworth valley area.
There is no need to pitch a tent when High Falls, Tugaloo, Red Top Mountain, Fort Yargo, Sweetwater Creek, Skidaway Island and Cloudland Canyon state parks offer the glamorous camping (“glamping”) option of yurts. Made of wood and canvas, yurts sleep up to six people and come with beds, futons, screened windows and locking doors, as well as an outside deck, picnic table and grill/fire ring.