The surge of visitors longing for outdoor fun who discovered Georgia’s only state park on Lake Lanier is coming back this summer. As of mid-May, cottages and campsites at Don Carter State Park were fully booked every weekend through August. The sandy beach, fishing pier, hiking and equestrian trails and boat ramp beckon metro Atlanta dwellers, locals, and out-of-staters to the 1,316-acre park on the calm north end of the lake.

“Last summer we were busier than probably we ever have been,” said Park Manager Steven Emery. When surrounding states shut down their parks during the coronavirus outbreak, people flocked to Georgia parks for outdoor outings and camping. As a result, many discovered the jewel on Lake Lanier.

“I’m glad we remained open. People had an outlet for outdoor recreation,” Emery said. “People that never heard of us before had the opportunity to get to know this park.”

This season the visitors center is open and the park has hired a new naturalist for weekend programming. Last year, guests checked in for campsites and cottages on the park website. There were no interpretive programs.

“So far, it’s busier this summer than last,” Emery said. He urged folks seeking campsites or cottages to make reservations for weekdays or to check the website for cancellations on weekends. Information: