Renowned for having one of the best public golf courses in Georgia, Hard Labor Creek State Park offers plenty of historical charm for visitors wanting to get away from it all. Located just an hour east of Atlanta, the park was originally constructed in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and took its name from the small stream that winds through the area. Up until 1939, Hard Labor Creek was actually a National Park before it was turned over to the state of Georgia. Several historical structures are still present from the early days of the park, and it has been nominated by the state as an area of historical significance.
While the park is most well-known for its golf course, there are plenty of other activities to do within the park. There are two lakes great for small boating adventures and fishing, as well as gorgeous hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails that can be enjoyed all year round. Fancy a picnic on your RV getaway? There are four picnic shelters and two group shelters, so there is room for groups that are large and small.
Boasting 51 campsites suitable for RVs up to 45 feet in length and further sites for equestrian and group cabins, the camping opportunities at the park are very diverse. If you want to kick back and relax in style, you can also stay at a fully furnished cottage! Peak season at Hard Labor Creek State Park runs from April until October each year.
Driving to and from Hard Labor Creek State Park should be a breeze for RV lovers traveling with rigs that are 45 feet in length or smaller. The park has four entrances, so it is accessible from many different directions. All of the roads leading up to the park are paved, but within the park, there may be some gravel roads to navigate. This shouldn't be a big deal since the park roads are kept in great condition, and there are few obstacles to deal with.
If you need to get any supplies before your arrival, consider stopping into the towns of Social Circle (around 6.5 miles away), Madison (about 12 miles away), and Monroe (roughly 12.5 miles away). The park is also only 50 miles from Atlanta, so if you need to pick anything up that you may not be able to find outside of a metropolis, this will be the place to do so.
Just planning on visiting Hard Labor Creek State Park for the day? There are multiple parking areas where you can leave your vehicle, including at the equestrian center, near Lake Brantley, and at the golf course.
Hard Labor Creek State Park also has a camping option for visitors who want to bring a horse with them on their getaway. There are a total of 30 horse stables and 11 pull-through equestrian campsites in an area separate from general camping so that you will have your own area for horse lovers only.
Each site in the equestrian camping area includes a gravel parking pad, 30-amp electrical service, and water hookups. You will also have a picnic table, fire ring, and BBQ grill to enjoy, and communal restrooms are located in the center of the campground for the convenience of all campers.
The maximum stay for the equestrian campground at any one time is 14 nights, and the sites are suitable for rigs up to 45 feet long.
Hard Labor State Park Campground is the place to stay for RVers. The campground is known for being a great place to stay thanks to level site lengths and privacy offered by tall trees. There are 51 sites suitable for RVs under 45 feet in length. All sites are equipped with 30- and 50-amp electric hookups so you can enjoy some creature comforts during your time in the park.
Along with having electric hookups, each site is also equipped with a picnic table, a fire ring, and are pet friendly. If you want even more amenities, 11 of the 51 sites are designated as being premium and feature water and sewers hookups. There are both pull-through and back-in sites, and restrooms with showers are also available for guests to enjoy.
Reservations at the Hard Labor Creek State Park Campground are available up to 13 months in advance, and they are highly recommended since this is a popular place to stay. The campground is open year-round.
There are no first-come, first-served specific campsites at Hard Labor State Park, however, if any sites are unreserved, they are available for last-minute visitors. If you are planning a trip to the park, it is recommended that you book a site in advance in order to avoid disappointment. Last-minute trips are more suited to the off-season when there is a higher likelihood that the campground won't be full.
Hard Labor Creek State Park is also a great place for groups wanting to stay in the park together. There are two designated group camp areas and a further four pioneer campsites that groups are also welcome to use.
The two group camps are the largest in the park and feature camping cabins to call home. The Rutledge site is the larger of the two and features 24 cabins so a maximum of 120 people can stay here at any given time. The Daniel Morgan site features eight camping cabins suitable for up to 75 guests. Both groups have their own showers and restrooms, and parking is available at the sites.
If you are looking for a more primitive group camping experience, the pioneer sites will be perfect. They are suitable for up to 25 people and feature a shelter. All group sites should be reserved in advance.
For a more luxurious stay when visiting Hard Labor Creek State Park, consider staying in one of the 20 cottages that are available. The cottages are located in their own loop within the main campground and feature two bedrooms that are suitable for up to six guests.
All of the cottages are fully furnished and feature a well-equipped kitchen, television, full shower, restroom, and they are air-conditioned. You won't have to bring any towels or linen with you since they are provided by the park. Pets are also allowed, and outside you can enjoy, you can kick back at a picnic table and make some s'mores on the fire ring. The cottages at Hard Labor Creek State Park can be reserved all year round.
Along with being able to stay at any of the 51 sites suitable for RVs, Hard Labor Creek State Park also have 11 sites suitable only for tents or pop up trailers. These sites are on the smaller side and are closer to nature, so if you are looking for a more intimate camping experience, these sites may be the best for your trip. The tent/pop up sites are not available to reserve online, so call the park for more information.
Love to fish? If so, get ready to have some fun during your visit to Hard Labor Creek State Park. Campers and day-trippers alike will enjoy the fishing opportunities that are on offer within the park. Both lakes within the park allow small boats and are well stocked with fish. Anglers can try to wind in bass, bluegills, shell crackers, and catfish in either lake Rutledge or Lake Brantley. The larger of the two lakes, Lake Rutledge, also has a boat ramp so you can easily reach more fishing spots without having to carry your boat into the lake.
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, so riders of all skill levels will find something suitable to enjoy. 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 doesn't have the typical ground down trails, so be sure to dismount and walk your bike if needed.
The golf available at the park is the main attraction for many visitors. The public course offers golfers many challenges, but there are numerous tees so you will be able to find one for your skill level. The first hole on the course was voted the "hardest starting hole in Georgia," so right from the start of your round, you may face some difficulty. The course has 18 holes, and off the course, there is a pro-shop, driving range, and cart rentals.
Boating is allowed and encouraged on the two lakes within Hard Labor Creek State Park, so if you own a small boat, make sure you bring it to have some fun. Lake Rutledge is the larger of the two lakes with 274 acres for you to explore. There is a boat ramp available, so getting your watercraft into the lake won't be a problem, but be aware that engines can't be larger than ten horsepower. You can also explore Lake Brantley's 48 acres, but you will need to carry in your watercraft as there is no access to a boat ramp.
Horseback Riding is a popular activity in the park thanks to the great amenities and access that is available. Riders have access to 24 miles of equestrian trails within the park, including the Lake Ruthledge trail that winds through 16 miles of pine forest. This trail will also give you the chance to take in some fantastic views of creeks that wind through the area. If you choose to take on the Lake Brantly trail, be on the lookout for the rock quarry created by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) back in the 1930s while working in the area.
Hard Labor Creek State Park offers 24 miles of easy to moderate hiking so all guests will have the chance to hit the trails and do some exploring. You can 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. During your hike, be on the lookout for prominent ravines, deep gorges, and some granite outcroppings that you may be able to see along the way. It's hard to believe you can feel so secluded in 50 miles outside of a major city, but thanks to the trails, you will experience serenity in the woods.