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Tusquitee National Forest, NORTH CAROLINA

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Camping North Carolina Tusquitee National Forest
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North Georgia park with Mountain Lake

Fort Mountain State Park We visited this park in early/mid November for 10 days. Keith and I hiked and played hard every day here- despite the early winter storm 🌨, gusty breezes 💨and freezing temperatures ❄️that finally gave way to beautiful crisp days☀️. The park is rich in history but we are not history buffs so we will leave you to get that info from your friend, Google. . 🥾The trails: Get a trail map!! These are awesome trails and varied trails with lots of elevation. The Gahuti is the most known hiking trail here and we never saw another hiker on the trail except each other when our solo hiking excursions crossed paths. The most popular trails here would be the trails to the CC C Tower and overlook and the “wall”- just know these are not easy hikes due to them going up hill. The most stroller/limited mobility friendly trails are the lake trail and the Cool Springs overlook. . Most of the trails except the Gahuti are multi use and there is a strong community of mountain biking here. We didn’t bike the trails here with our hybrid specialized bikes because we felt the trails (other than the lake trail and the park roads) to be too technical for us due to the major elevation changes, loose gravel and rocks. . *Sidenote .

  1. You do NOT need a permit or notify park office to hike the mountain bike trails anymore.
  2. If you hike a lot- be aware that some of the double blazes signaling trail split ahead actually already happened by the time you see the blaze. In addition, some trail signage is only on one side of trail or in one direction. (We are one of those couples that creates new hiking loops using existing trails so the signage was a little confusing at times.)
  3. The bike trails are not blazed. We suggest everyone wear a helmet not just the required 16 years and younger group. . ⛱🛶🏊🏼‍♀️The lake area- a small 17 acre spring fed lake is here for your fishing, paddling and swimming pleasure. The area also has putt putt, the only playground,seasonal concession and rentals, beach area and a super nice walking trail for everybody. . 🚍The campground consists of large spacious gravel sites that are well maintained. In the winter, you have lost a lot of privacy foliage but still nicely spaced apart. All sites are 30/50 amp with water. Grey water drains are located around the campground. There is a dump station. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring too. Remember, there are a lot of hills here so expect this when walking to bathouses from most campsites. We had inconsistent cell coverage even with a Winegard booster with AT&T and Verizon. Mornings were best reception and evening were not so good.
    . 🏕Other camping options include, walk in tent camping, pioneer campground for groups, backcountry campsites and super cool and private platform (aka squirrel’s nest 🐿) campsites. . 🏡There are also beautiful cabins with lovely views on the mountain side. Most have mountain/forest views and a very few are near the lake. Realize that most of these are on large hills 🏔 so there will be a nice walk to the lake/recreation area. . We really enjoyed the hiking here so much we never kayaked or fished the lake…(also due in part to the cold temperatures). Our 10 days went super fast and we were never at a loss for something to do. You will truly enjoy this park with its history, mountain and lake views. Happy Camping! Pamela and Keith
Not too bad

They have quiet time at 11pm but no end time. People were laughing and yelling all the way up to 11pm. The sites are really close together. People were packing up and playing music at 6am an hour before daylight. In the RV area there were 2 bathrooms for 50 sites so it was a walk to get there at night. You can’t check out before 9am so we waited around until Wanda got there. Very clean. Not complaining just informing.

Online Reservation 2 hrs Before Arrival

Didn’t make it to our destination so had to improvise. This place allowed me to make an online reservation and complete check in the next morning. For $30 (roughly) we had access to a bathroom and a great clean camp site.

Edit to add: if there is a chance you will stay at another state park within a year get the adventure pass for $105. It comes with 3 free nights. I spent $62 on another camp site the next day.

Very nice

Very clean, very spacious and very friendly staff

Fisherman's Paradise

Situated on Lake Burton, beside the trout hatchery, this small, yet busy campground offers fishermen a good supply of trout, and they are delicious! Moccasin Creek's staff is superior. The setting is peaceful. Hiking to Hemlock Falls is a must. Even in the hottest days of summertime, the trail is cool. The majority of the trail is right by the bubbling stream. The hike is a mile in, mile out, but can be a little tricky in spots, especially in wet weather. The Falls are well worth the trek.

Definitely come back!!!

Spacious campsite, clean, friendly people, the view is fantastic mountain, lake, water falls and lots things to do! Love!!!!!

Very nice

This campground is private and not very crowded. It has the best bathhouse that is very well maintained. It even has two very sweet campgrounds dogs. One of my favorites.

Awesome

We go ever year and have an awesome time. Park is well maintained and the people are very friendly.

Camp next to the river

Lovely campsite. Some space between you and your neighbors, but not the most private camp I’ve been at. About half the sites are along the river and the others are just a short distance away, so you can still hear the river. We were there in mid November and it was full. It was also cold, so people ran their generators all night long, which obscured the sound of the river. During the day, the camp was quiet and gorgeous.

Great place

Friendly staff and owners, veteran friendly 36 per night with ID. Site 42 is our favorite. Its perfect size for our 20' Jayco. Restrooms and bathhouse extremely clean. On site catch and release pond for those that like to fish. Waljing trail around pond with a couple of swings along the way to enjoy the mountain air

Another wonderful Georgia State Park!

Took advantage of the 1/2 price camping in August offered by the Georgia State Park System since we had already camped in June & July.  What a beautiful campground.  Lots of trees and 2 streams running through the sites on both sides.  Our site was level with plenty of room on gravel to spread out our floor mat.

Beautiful hiking to waterfall and around the lake.  There is a beach for swimming and paddle boats for rent.  We also enjoyed a day trip visiting wineries in the area and having breakfast in Blairsville.  If coming north on 129, there is a sharp hairpin turn into the main entrance of the park.

Details

No firepit but nice flat area above the Falls - just past the natural stopping point for tourists. May have day hikers hiking past your setup if you choose to leave it and go hike.

Very nice campground - great hikes!

This was our 1st time out with our new camper.  We choose it because it was close to the dealer.  I was inexperienced in selecting camp sites and we were in the middle of everything.  Site 24 isn't very private.  But the hiking was great and scenery was beautiful.  They don't call it Fort Mountain for nothing - there was quite a drive uphill to get here.

Fall Wonderland

The scenery of campsite was beautiful and from our campsite the bathroom was very accessible. The bathroom itself was clean and even had heaters in it due to the low temperatures overnight. It was a nice surprise that the bathroom area also had washer/dryers for those staying for a bit longer but unfortunately didn’t have a spot for one to wash their dishes. Each campsite really had a nice view but because this camping area was in the mountains the sites seemed stacked on top of each other and didn’t really give you much privacy. There was a small lookout accessible a short walk from the campground which overlooked the mountains and gave you an amazing view but beyond that the rest of the trails were not accessible on foot and required a short drive.

Perfect for families

Access to the campground is a narrow partially-paved but well-maintained single lane road with only one area to pull over, so be careful when entering and exiting because if you meet another vehicle one of you will be backing back the way you came!

The campground is very clean and well-maintained, with every site having its own fire ring, lantern pole, and at least one picnic table. Trash bins are located near the pit toilets (one at the entrance to the campground and one across the creek deeper in. 

Past about site 15 the road gets slightly rougher and you will need a vehicle that can cross the creek. 

All in all, the campground is perfect for family camping or for anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors without needing to backpack supplies in. Only a short drive from Clayton, GA if supplies are needed.

Has Everything you can Imagine.

Unicoi is a beautiful State Park and a great place to camp for a couple nights.

Only about 10 minutes away from the German-Style historic town of Helen, which also has the Chattahoochee River. Helen has two companies who rent out tubes that go through the city on the river. That is something everyone has to try if they go through this part of Georgia!

The Chattahoochee River also has some pretty good (freshwater) fishing, you just have to watch out for the tubers.

Enough about Helen, Unicoi is a truly awesome place to stay. It has everything you can imagine, with a little hiking, a river to dip your toes in, a lodge to stop and get some food or buy souvenirs, canoe/kayak rentals, zip lining and more.

This used to be my family’s summer vacation place to stay, and I would recommend you make it a tradition as well!

Nice site

Nice campground. Clean bathhouse. Sites are close together, but terraced off because it’s very steep terrain. Friendly hosts.

Parking lot

Sites are super close together. There was construction on the hatchery dam that started at 8:00 am M-F while we were there. Bathhouses were very clean. Everything was tidy, just could use about 30% less spaces.

A delightful surprise!

Vogel State Park, Blairsville, GA

https://gastateparks.org/Vogel

$32 a night with water/electric, walk-in tent sites$30…as of this review. 

Arriving in the dark for the first visit, is a bit confusing in the labyrinth of roadways(some One-way) throughout the campground…but for the normal camper it would be no problem. 

After the visitor center is closed, a list of available sites are posted and a sign-in Sheet for the site you choose. 

After experiencing 12 hours of straight rain(9-9)…the sun broke through for a beautiful fall mountain day. The campground sits at 2500 ft.so it was comfortably cool.

Campsite are spaced reasonably, but with tall, mature trees, although you do see and hear your neighbors. In fact, you see and hear your neighbors half a dozen sites away. During my visit, it was almost entirely retirees from out of state…so other than a random yappy terrier, it was quiet. 

There are several loops offering more or less “privacy.” Had I known about the incredible tent “walk-in” sites before arrival, I would’ve stayed there. They are tucked away on their own loop on a wooded hillside. 

Bathroom/showerhouses are strategically located in each loop. They are modern, bright, well-stocked and clean! Also provided are individual “family/unisex” bathroom/shower facilities. 

Numerous very nice cabins are available for rental, from efficiency to 3 bedroom interspersed throughout the park…and appear moderately priced. 

Available State Park Activites: Two separate children’s playgrounds exist, not too far from one another. One near a small kids ball field…the other near a very nice volleyball court, permanent corn hole pit and state of the art outdoor exercise machine area…the likes of which I have never-ever seen. Two 9 hole miniature golf courses next to the visitor center are reminiscent of the old Putt-Putt courses of yesteryear. Bicycle and boat rentals are available during summer months for reasonable hourly, half and full day rates. A swimming beach also exists on the park’s 22 acre picturesque lake.

 A gravel walking trail circumnavigates the lake and at the far end, a trail leads down to lovely Trahlyta Falls. If you are a waterfall chaser, this immediate area boasts numerous worthy falls. The closest being the upper and lower Helton Creek Falls. The upper and lower Desoto Falls are 7 miles away in one direction and several in the opposite direction. 

Terri Tucker, manager of the visitor store, and her staff are excellent and knowledgeable about not just their park but also the surrounding area and nearby parks. They are pleasant, cheerful and helpful. Additionally, Terri has outfitted this visitor center store about the best I’ve seen in all my years of camping. For a state park visitor center, it has a unique balance of food items, camping comfort foods, park specific knick-knacks, souvenirs, and practical clothing items, along with a fantastic assortment of camping, hiking related necessities. Shoot…they even sell Eno hammocks and slap straps! Did I mention two bookshelves of outdoor books and maps?! For as small as it is, it is masterfully stocked. Well done! 

Several creeks meander through the campground, notably Burnett Branch, Wolf Creek…so the rushing water noise is both soothing and assists in drowning out neighborly conversations. 

In most advertisements, the phrase “one of the oldest and most beloved state parks” is used and frankly, I see why. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay.

The hiking both from Vogel State Park and nearby are incredible. Take half a day and climb Blood Mountain along the Appalachian Trail. Views from the summit are breathtaking…doing the hike is also a little breathtaking too. It is worth stopping and shopping at Mountain Crossings just a few miles away (turn right out of the park)…you just can't leave the area without buying some souvenirs.

I am planning next fall's return already!…I do wish GA state parks were a tad cheaper though.

Woodall, wildlife, and whitewater

Primitive camping. One portapotty at the parking lot. Numerous paths to hike down to the wild and scenic Chattooga River. No RV sites or dump sites. Multiple campsites surrounding the parking lot, and no camping/fires within 10[?] feet of the river itself. It is regularly checked by forest service, they'll give you a friendly reminder, usually. Lots of rafting/kayaking, fishing, hiking, swimming. Check local laws for fishing and boating permits. Beautiful, wooded camping; easy gravel road in. No trash bins, take it in, take it out.

Hidden little gem

This is an awesome little dispersed campground alongside a beautiful stream and extremely secluded! If you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path this is your spot. I’d imagine it only fills up during hunting season if ever. I read that the steam is good for trout fishing but I didn’t have any luck. Probably some of the larger pools up or down steam hold fish but right along the campground it wasn’t very deep when we were there. There is not much to this campground at all so make sure you bring everything you need. There is nowhere to purchase anything and you are a good 20 minute drive away from any stores. The bathroom was borderline unusable for anything other than the worst of emergencies and even then I would prefer to venture off into the woods and take my chances. Bathrooms were beyond disgusting. This is not a campground that gets maintained daily. I would imagine maybe once every 2 weeks at most they have a park Ranger role through there and that is probably being generous. It is not trashed by any means and it is a beautiful spot tucked away in the woods. Definitely give this place a shot if you are looking for some seclusion in the north Georgia area and maybe some decent trout fishing.

Hidden little gem

This is an awesome little dispersed campground alongside a beautiful stream and extremely secluded! If you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path this is your spot. I’d imagine it only fills up during hunting season if ever. I read that the steam is good for trout fishing but I didn’t have any luck. Probably some of the larger pools up or down steam hold fish but right along the campground it wasn’t very deep when we were there. There is not much to this campground at all so make sure you bring everything you need. There is nowhere to purchase anything and you are a good 20 minute drive away from any stores. The bathroom was borderline unusable for anything other than the worst of emergencies and even then I would prefer to venture off into the woods and take my chances. Bathrooms were beyond disgusting. This is not a campground that gets maintained daily. I would imagine maybe once every 2 weeks at most they have a park Ranger role through there and that is probably being generous. It is not trashed by any means and it is a beautiful spot tucked away in the woods. Definitely give this place a shot if you are looking for some seclusion in the north Georgia area and maybe some decent trout fishing.

Convenient location

Tucked away in quiet town of Townsend TN on Hwy 73, the campground has tent sites and RV hookups. There are toilets and a shower for each restroom. The restrooms were clean and plenty of hot water. It is just off the main hwy and there is plenty of traffic noises, but that dies down at night and you wake up to the birds chirping and the sound of the nearby stream. Staff is friendly. Had an enjoyable stay

Wonderful place!

We just spent 4 months here. Nice sized lots, good water pressure and power. Cable and wifi were great. Nice club house and pavilion. Small but very clean laundry. One half mile to beautiful golf course. One mile to clay county park. 3 fishing piers within 4 miles. Walmart in Blairsville Ga and Murphy NC about 15 miles away.Monthly price is very reasonable. Joyce and Phil (owners) are very nice and helpful. 4 miles to hayesville NC and 7 miles to Hiawasse GA. We are going back next year!

Beautiful

We are here in October and the leaves are gorgeous as well as the park and camping facilities. Great hikes with fun little towns nearby. Next time we’ll stay longer so we can explore more.

Pretty but Alcohol Not Allowed

Pretty but don’t plan on taking any alcohol. It isn’t allowed at this campground and it’s the same with most campgrounds or sites in this area.

First to Review
In the middle of nowhere

NIce and peaceful

Great tent sites; loud neighbourhood across lake

*FYI: This is in a dry country. My wife was disappointed.

The tent sites here are nice, clean and tucked away from the general RV spots, and the showers aren't bad as long as a couple daddy long legs in the corners don't freak you out. 

Here's the downside: just across the lake is the "town" of Lake Santeetlah, which consists of a bunch of vacation homes for a bunch of loud, rich assholes who love to blare their music over their massive, outdoor sound systems, and somehow manage to scream sing even louder. Listen, Karen and Larry, I really don't need to hear your awful, off-key rendition of "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" at 11pm on a Monday. Also, thanks for ruining "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".

Great Trip

Very convenient

Great site close to Blue Ridge

We lucked out and got site 33 (it’s a first come, first serve site). It’s close to the water and we visited in late October so there was no one else nearby. We had the beach to ourselves for a meteor shower. The main bathrooms and showers were nice (even heated). They drive firewood and ice out to your site.