Hiking Diva ..
Atlanta , GA
Joined July 2016
First to Review
A neat retreat

Sarah's Creek has a lot of campsites, but some require water crossings that would not be recommended for lower-clearance vehicles. Some sites are more private and spacious than others. Some are in the vicinity of pit toilets. Sites have tent pads, picnic table, fire ring. Most are along Sarah's Creek. Bring your own water. Never had a bear bother me there, but seen bear activity. No cell service in campground but can get signal at higher spots on drive in. Gravel road can have some sketchy spots from season to season, especially in the last descent into campground. Can have some late night people driving through and trash has been evident from time to time. There are trash receptacles on site.

Some wilderness fields behind campsites 1-5 across creek, up hill, where you can see deer grazing on occasion, as well as some of the other fields throughout the area.

Campsite 1 has a really small waterfall/swimming area - great spot but lots of people can walk thru your site to access it, so keep that in mind.

Amazing campsite views

Huge campsites, most private-ish, and many have both east and west views - meaning sunrises and sunsets. Bathrooms clean. Staff great. Plenty of hiking and activity options for all ages and experience levels.

Dispersed Camping above Upper Chattahoochee

I admit, I'm not a fan of most established campgrounds - the "official" campground is $16/night. It has potable water. Opens April -October. Sites vary from tent-walk-in, to some spots that are spacious and more private to others tiny, out in open with little shade in summer. Some sites are along the creek. I walked thru the closed campground to access Horse Trough Falls in March - a lot of trees had come down, so the FS had been chopping up the trees - many sites had lots of wood piled up!

However, if you are a bit more rustic, there are a number of dispersed sites before you get to the Upper Hooch. Bring your own tables, water - but there are large (free!) spaces to camp.

Regardless, be bear aware. I saw 2 cubs and fresh scat on my last visit. They ran from me - but no need in tormenting them.

Camping at Tallulah is Horrible!

I love Tallulah Gorge Park, but you could not pay me to endure another night camping there. From the sound of the 18wheelers' air brakes going ALL NIGHT LONG, to the "picturesque" power lines overhead, to the campsites on top of one another, to the camp hosts who did nothing about a group of high school seniors screaming and running around btwn 2-3 am…

Do yourself a favor and drive 20mins north to Black Rock Mountain State Park - highest elevation of a state park in GA - many of the sites offer BOTH east/west views meaning sunrises and sunsets from same site.

A Wonderful Uncrowded Gem

As a native Atlantan, I had never heard of Russell Lake but saw a sign and dropped by. Color me impressed…

2 different loops with 42 sites of varying sizes from tiny to monsterous - assume itncould accommodate RVs. Some sites overlook the lake - which includes a cacophony of frogs, crickets, and deer, Each site includes tent pad, fire ring. picnic table, lantern post. Trash, potable water, and bathhouses accessible on both loops.

I prefer the lower loop bc it is a quick 3 min walk to the large beach and swimming area. No motorized boats are allowed, so the lake is wonderfully peaceful. There are very few people who are at the lake - even on 4th of July wknd!

There are quite a few hiking trails from the easy Russell Lake Loop, to more challenging trails like Ladyslipper.

The campground has had some wear and tear. I spent more than an hour picking up cig butts from one campsite and the bathrooms aren't the greatest… but the Civilian Conservation Corps has been working on cleaning stuff up.

Hint: the bathroom at the beach is MUCH nicer if you don't mind cold showers (hot ones in camp loop). Another bonus is that there is a convenience store just outside the entrance to stock up on ice, etc.