Making the Most out of Tugaloo State Park

By Alli Hill

Making the Most out of Tugaloo State Park

When it comes to natural beauty, Georgia’s got the best of both beach and mountains to satisfy anyone who appreciates the great outdoors. Just looking at Georgia’s state park system you’ll realize that this state is full of natural wonders just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. One of the most incredible wonders is Tugaloo State Park. With its nearly 400 acres of space, beautiful lakeside views, and plenty of opportunity for recreation, it’s among the best. Here’s how to enjoy an adventure at Tugaloo State Park. 

1. Tugaloo State Park

It doesn’t get more family friendly than Tugaloo State Park. Step inside and you’ll find a place reminiscent of decades’ past. The park offers activities for all ages, including swimming, geocaching, mini golf, grilling, camping, and sports. It’s the perfect spot for families looking to truly get away from it all while unwinding to the sounds of natures. 

2. Sassafras and Muscadine Trails

There are over four miles of hiking trails throughout the park, all of which the average hiker can easily trek. The Sassafras and Muscadine trails take visitors through forests of cherry, oak, mulberry, and walnut trees. You can also expect some of the best views of sparkling Lake Hartwell.  

3. Lake Hartwell

Given the park’s location on its woody peninsula, just about every angle offers sprawling views of beautiful Lake Hartwell. As one of the most visited lakes in the state, Lake Hartwell offers prime fishing opportunities, boating, and other watersports. The park offers boats and a dock so you can experience the lake up close.

4. Tugaloo State Park campsites

There’s a campsite to suit just about every camper. Choose from traditional RV or tent sites, or opt for a yurt or camping cottage. Much of the park remains shaded to help keep you cool on sweltering Georgia summer days, plus nearby picnic shelters make it easy to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors.

I’m thankful for percolators ensuring there’s always coffee...& family. That’s a given.

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5. Toccoa Falls

While you’re in the area, consider venturing beyond the park and head to Toccoa Falls, one of the tallest free-flowing waterfalls this side of the Mississippi. Entrance to the path that leads to the falls is tucked away on the Toccoa Falls College campus, and is quite popular for weddings, events, and was even featured in a made-for-TV movie.

Waterfall rainbows are neater than sky rainbows. Also convinced I’m dating an extra large leprechaun

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6. Currahee Mountain

For an epic hiking experience, head to Toccoa’s beloved Currahee Mountain, 800 vertical feet of beauty. The standalone mountain is a local icon, having been an important training site for American Paratroopers in World War II and Andrew Jackson’s battle site during the Battle of Currahee. Visitors can hike to the peak for amazing views, or enjoy a day of rock climbing and rappelling. 

Thankful has a whole new meaning for me this year 😍 #blessed #home

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7. Gumlog Bar-B-Q and Fish Lodge, Lavonia, GA

Just minutes from the park lies one of the area’s most hidden gems: Gumlog Bar-B-Q. This middle-of-nowhere joint is dishing out the best barbecue and catfish around, all at reasonable prices. The restaurant is only open Friday through Sunday, and the place fills up quickly. That’s how you know there’s good eatin’ waiting inside!

8. Traveler’s Rest State Historic Site, Toccoa, GA

This large historic inn once played a crucial role in Toccoa’s economics, serving as a rest top for travelers along the newly built Unicoi Turnpike. Visitors can tour the home and grounds, thanks to careful preservation efforts that showcase original furniture and artifacts. It’s also a popular photography site for locals and travelers alike. 

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