"The Chattahoochee River, flowing from the north Georgia Mountains, meets Lake Lanier at Don Carter State Park, creating a unique opportunity for recreation and outdoor appreciation on the northern edge of metro-Atlanta."
Don Carter is the only state park on 38,000-acre Lake Lanier. Situated on the north end of the reservoir, the park offers outstanding recreation for water lovers. Boat ramps provide quick access to the lake and Chattahoochee River, while a multi-use trail welcomes hikers and bikers to explore the hardwood forest. Guests can stay cool at a large, sand swimming beach with bath house.
This park offers several choices for overnight getaways as well. Two-bedroom cabins are perched on wooded hillsides near the lake. One campground is designed specifically for RVs, while another primitive camping area is just for tents and hammocks. The campground and cottage loop is gated, providing access to overnight guests.
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.
Reservations, Accommodations & Facilities
- 1,316 Acres
- 38,000 Acre Lake Lanier
- 8 Cottages
- 44 Tent, Trailer & RV Campsites
- 12 Primitive Tent Campsites
- 4 Picnic Shelters (Before making reservations, call park for capacity limits.)
- Boat Ramps
- Fish Cleaning Station
- Sand Beach
- Outdoor Fitness Equipment
- Gift Shop
Things To Do & See
- Boating — private boats permitted
- Educational Programs
- Hiking — 14.5 miles of trails
- Horseback Riding (trail fee, weather permitting, check for availability) — 14.5 miles of trails
- Paddling — 8 miles of trails
- Water Skiing
- Kayak, Paddleboard & Aquacycle Rentals — seasonal
- Chattahoochee Golf Club
- Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site
- Elachee Nature Science Center
- Flowery Branch, GA
- Gainesville, GA
- Hardman Farm State Historic Site
- Jaemor Farm Market
- Lake Lanier Islands Resort
- Moccasin Creek State Park
- Northeast Georgia History Center
- Quinlan Visual Arts Center
- Road Atlanta
- Smithgall Woods State Park
- Lula Bridge WMA
- Wilson Shoals WMA
Casting Animal Footprints
Be a nature detective. Learn about the different clues that animals leave behind such as fur, footprints, scat, and others. Identify different footprints of some common Georgia animals. Make a plaster cast mold of a footprint to take home! Appropriate for all ages.
Owl Pellets Dissection
Kids will explore the contents of owl pellets, small packages of fur and bones coughed up by owls after they hunt. Using bone charts, they will identify various types of prey, and then explore an owl’s food chain. Appropriate for all ages.
Oh Deer (Animal Habitat)
A fun game that will introduce students to the components of habitat and the limiting factors that influence the carrying capacity of deer populations. Explore predator-prey relationships through data collection and analysis. Appropriate for all ages.
How Many Bears Can Live in This Forest?
During this physical activity, students will become "bears" to look for one or more components of habitat. Students will discover how a limiting factor can affect bear populations. Appropriate for all ages.