Hard Labor Creek State Park offers 5,800 acres of hiking, camping, and plenty of historical charm just an hour east of Atlanta, GA.
Originally built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Hard Labor Creek was a National Park until 1939 when it was turned over to the state of Georgia. Several historical structures are still present, and the park has been nominated by the state as an area of historical significance.
The park gets it name from the small stream winding through the area. Some believe the native Americans in the area thought the stream was difficult to cross, or conditions encountered by slaves working nearby fields in the 1800's.
Boasting 51 campsites and 24 miles of trails, this state park is an outdoors lovers dream. There are also equestrian facilities, two lakes, and an 18 hole golf course to help you enjoy the best this State Park has to offer.
From Atlanta take I-20 east to exit 101 for US 278. Follow US-278 east to Old Mill Rd for three miles, then take a left onto Fairplay Rd. About a half mile down Fairplay Rd, turn left and follow Knox Chapel Rd to the park entrance on the right.
Most State Parks are now allowing site specific campsite reservations. Hard Labor State Park Campground has 51 sites that can be reserved online, so be sure to review the map and select a site that meets your rigs needs.
There is a mix of both pull-through and back in sites throughout the campground that offer both 30-Amp and 50-Amp electrical service. Water hookups are also available at each site. Some premium sites may also have sewer and cable TV hookups.
Each site will also include a gravel parking pad, picnic table, BBQ grill, and a fire ring.
Maximum stay for this campground is 14 nights.
This horse friendly State Park offers 30 horse stables and 11 pull-through equestrian campsites in an area separate from general camping.
Each site includes a gravel parking pad, 30-Amp electrical service, and water hookups. You will also have a picnic table, fire ring, and BBQ grill.
Communal restrooms are located in the center of the campground.
Maximum stay for the equestrian campground is 14 nights.
Hard Labor Creek State Park offers 24 miles of easy to moderate hiking. Take an easy stroll with the family along Brantly or Beaverpond nature trails, or follow one of the color coded trails for a bit more of a challenge.
Be on the lookout for a prominent ravines, deep gorges and some granite outcroppings along the way.
This mature hardwood forest can often make one feel they are in a more mountainous terrain. It's hard to believe you can feel so secluded in a park just outside of a major city.
Riders have access to 24 miles of equestrian trails in Hard Labor Creek State Park.
The Lake Ruthledge trail offers 16 miles pine forest with amazing views of creeks winding through the area. While this trail is open to hikers, there are secluded sections not often visited for those looking for more peace and quiet.
The Lake Brantly trail winds through eight miles of pine and hardwood forests leading to deep gorges. Be on the lookout for the rock quarry created by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) back in the 1930's while working in the area.
Be sure to bring your small boat to enjoy the two lakes in the park.
Lake Rutledge is the larger of the two lakes at 274 acres. There is access to a boat ramp, however engine size is limited to 10 HP.
You can also explore Lake Brantley's 48 acres, but will need to carry in your watercraft as there is no access to a boat ramp.
The Creek at Hard Labor what this State Park is best known for. If you are up for a challenge, the course's first hole was voted the "hardest starting hole in Georgia".
Golf Digest Frugal Golfer also names the Creek as the "4th sweetest deal in USA" in 2010.
The course offers 18 holes, pro-shop, driving range, and cart rentals.
Beginners and advanced riders will enjoy the 15 miles of single track mountain biking trails in Hard Labor Creek State Park.
There are five loops offering various levels of difficulty. For those looking for more advanced riding, the red loop offers quite a workout.
New riders can get a taste of a true rough trail riding. This park isn't the typical ground down trails you may be used to close to home, so be sure to dismount and walk your bike if needed.
Both those camping and those just visiting for the day will find plenty of fishing opportunities. Both lakes within the park allow small boats and are well stocked.
Anglers can find bass, bluegills, shell crackers, and catfish in either lake Rutledge or Lake Brantley. The larger of the the two lakes, Lake Rutledge, has a boat ramp for those that don't wish to fish from the shoreline.