Fort Mountain State Park

Fort Mountain State Park

Camping, Hiking, Biking, Kayaking, Fishing

Fort Mountain State Park has it all for a family camping trip.  Situated in North Georgia between Elijay and Chatsworth, you can enjoy a choice between pull-in camping, cottages, or pioneer camping sites.  The lake offers swimming and playing on a sandy beach, fishing, canoeing / kayaking, and lots of great trails for biking and hiking.

 

Big Rock Nature Trail

This 3/4 mile loop takes you to a fantastic cascading water fall.  The kids had a blast playing around the falls.  It was a good trail for the family, moderate in hiking difficulty.

Fort Mountain Lake

Come prepared to cool off by the lake.  The kids will love the sandy beach and playgrounds.  We were lucky enough to have a couple kayaks on hand to enjoy the water; and although we didn’t get a chance to fish, we witness a fisherman pull a huge largemouth bass from the lake.

Biking Trails

There are plenty of fun, curvy, paved roads for biking, and also several off-road biking trails through the woods.

The View

Don’t miss out on the overlooks.  The views are amazing!

Dukes Creek Falls

Dukes Creek Falls

Five Star Waterfall Hike

Dukes Creek Falls is a really, really nice hike for a family.  About 1:45 away from Woodstock, it makes for a nice weekend day trip.  The hike is about 1 mile in and 1 mile out, fairly level and easy walking.  Part of the path is paved, then turns into a wide dirt trail leading up to the falls.  There are several falls in the area that you can see from the trail as you get to the main overlook.

 

Amicalola Falls State Park

Amicalola Falls State Park

Amicalola Falls

At least once per year we visit Amicalola Falls State Park to hike to the waterfall and picnic.  It is perfect in the fall with the leaves changing colors and the view at the top.  Be prepared for a lot of stairs when do you this hick.  Going up to the top and back is around 1200 steps round trip.  But the view is spectacular and the falls are beautiful.

 

Burt’s Farm

If you go to Amicalola in the fall, make a point to visit Burt’s Farm.  It is just a minute down the road from the park, and has a fantastic pumpkin patch.  See more about Burt’s Farm.

Tips:

  • There are bathrooms and picnic tables / grills around the base of the trail, so it is worth bringing up a picnic for after the hike
  • If you visit Burt’s Farm in conjunction with your trip, make sure you go to Burt’s Farm first thing in the morning (to beat the crowd).  It is a huge attraction, so get that done first then go to Amicalola for the rest of the day.
  • There is a small trout pond in the upper parking lot area before the trail if you want to fish with kids.

 

Toccoa Falls, GA

Toccoa Falls, GA

Perfect Sunday Drive & Stroll

Toccoa Falls is about 90 miles north of Atlanta but makes a great Sunday afternoon drive with a nice stroll on a gravel path to the waterfall.  It is located in the campus of Toccoa Falls College and to access the trail there is a small fee paid in the Toccoa Falls Book & Gift store.  The falls is 186 feet which they boast is higher than Niagara Falls, and makes a perfect place to picnic and enjoy on a nice afternoon.

Address:
Forrest Drive
Toccoa Falls, GA 30598

Phone:
706-886-6831 ext. 5219

Website:

Toccoa Falls

Providence Canyon State Park – Lumpkin, GA

Providence Canyon State Park – Lumpkin, GA

A Must-See for Anyone Who Lives in Georgia

Providence Canyon State Park may not be close enough for a day-trip, but it is certainly worth the weekend to visit this piece of Earth-Art.  Dubbed the “Little Grand Canyon” for it’s massive gullies formed by poor farming practices in the 1800’s, it makes for a hike you’ll never forget.

The park is about a 3 hour drive from Atlanta, you may want to consider finding a place to stay in Columbus.  I’d recommend getting to Providence Canyon State Park with most of the day ahead of you so you can spend time hiking around the canyon gullies. When we visited the park we didn’t realize how much time we would have wanted there.  The park closes at dusk and gates get locked, so make sure you have ample time to explore when you go.

Address:
8930 Canyon Road
Lumpkin, GA 31815

Website: Visit Park Website

Things to Do

  • Hiking in 1,003 acres
  • Canyon Climbers Club
  • Backpacking – 7 mile backcountry trail
  • Astronomy Night
  • Picnicking
  • Photography

Public Astronomy Night

We planned our trip to Providence Canyon during the public astronomy night.  The Coca-Cola Science Center brings their telescopes and astronomers for a public presentation and viewing of the stars when the sun sets and the stars come out.  A schedule is published with the dates of the astronomy nights, so if you can’t find it on Google, you can contact the Georgia State Parks office for Providence Canyon for more information at 229-838-4244.

Allatoona Pass – Walk by the Lake

Allatoona Pass – Walk by the Lake

Shady Stroll by the Lake

The trail follows the original railroad grade of the Western and Atlantic Railroad into Allatoona Pass, running through a scenic stretch along the lake.  With trails going off the main railroad you can hike around Civil War entrenchments at the top of both ridges on either side of the pass.  The main trail is flat and easy for a nice, shady Sunday stroll.  And the trail is only moderately used so it doesn’t feel too crowded.