Tugaloo State Park is located in a scenic corner of the Northeast Georgia Mountains, offering some of the state’s finest natural sights. A peninsula that juts out onto the 55,590-acre Lake Hartwell, Tugaloo State Park is surrounded on three sides by beautiful emerald water and gives you hundreds of acres of forest to explore. Scenic hikes along the lake will give you a taste of Georgia’s natural wonder. Or go boating and fishing surrounded by the beautiful Northeast Georgia Mountains. And if you are into birding, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied throughout your stay at the park.
Easy RV access and multiple different campsites give you flexibility depending on what your family needs. You can even rent out a cottage if you require more space, or want a private dock with lake access. The Muscadine and Sassafras trails, easily accessed from campsites throughout the park, give you miles of hiking through cherry and oak filled forests that will have you in awe as the leaves turn in autumn.
Tugaloo State Park can be visited year-round, although the temperatures do drop into the mid-40’s during the winter. To take advantage of all the park has to offer, plan an RV visit from March through early November. The lake tends to be busiest during the summer, and the hiking trails have more traffic during fall.
RV Rentals in Tugaloo State Park
Transportation in Tugaloo State Park
Located in northern Georgia, Tugaloo State Park is within driving distance of many major cities, such as Atlanta, Knoxville, Greenville, and Charlotte. The park can be reached within a few hours drive of these cities. The park can be accessed easily by heading west on I-85 if you are coming from Greenville or Charlotte, or east if you are driving from Atlanta. Once you get off the highway, you have to drive a few miles on local roads before you reach the park.
Tugaloo State Park has well-paved roads that wind through the park, as well as parking at the entrance and near the campsites. There are dozens of back-in and pull-through campsites located throughout the park. You have plenty of different options depending on what kind of campsite you prefer, from secluded single vehicle sites to sites with dozens of RVs.
Campgrounds and parking in Tugaloo State Park
Campsites in Tugaloo State Park
RV Camping at Tugaloo State Park
Tugaloo State Park features one of the most picturesque campgrounds in all of Georgia. Nestled on the banks of the stunning and massic Lake Hartwell, this park’s campground features 105 campsites that are available for tents and RVs. While site lengths vary, some sites can fit RVs or trailers up to 50 feet long. Some sites even offer incredible lakefront views.
Each site offers electrical and water hookups. You can cozy up by the campfire or enjoy a relaxing picnic right at your campsite since each site features a fire pit, grill, and picnic table. You can even enjoy cable TV access, which isn't offered at many campgrounds. Pets are welcome to join you during your stay, just make sure they stay on a leash when outside the RV.
Several restrooms are located throughout the campground and a dump station is positioned near the entrance. A playground and all the fun-filled lake activities are within walking distance. There are many other facilities the whole family can enjoy during your stay including a mini-golf course, tennis court, volleyball court, and horseshoe pits. Reservations can be made 13 months ahead of time. Some sites are only open seasonally.
If you are making a spontaneous trip to Tugaloo State Park you just might be in luck. Campsites that have not reserved may be available on a first-come, first served basis. However, this is not guaranteed, so make sure to call the park before you arrive to see if any campsites are available. Also keep in mind that reservations are highly encouraged, especially during the peak season.
Seasonal activities in Tugaloo State Park
Nested on a peninsula next to Lake Hartwell, you’ll find plenty to do on the water whenever you visit Tugaloo State Park, no matter the time of year. Whether you want to water ski, sail, or kayak, you’ll be kept busy on the lake. Convenient docks make getting on the water easy. If you choose to book a private cottage, you also have the option of a personal dock for a boat, so all the lake has to offer is just outside your door.
Peak popularity is during the summer, so consider coming a bit earlier if you want to be less crowded. However, there’s plenty of space out on the lake, so don’t worry if summer is the only time you can make it.
Swimming and Beach Activities
If you’re headed to Tugaloo State Park during the summer, you’ll find a sandy beach to relax on and soak up the heat. Even during peak weekends during the summer, the beach doesn’t get too crowded, so you’ll have plenty of room to rest.
Take a swim in the refreshing waters of Lake Hartwell after a long hike, or take a day off and have a picnic on the beach. The beach is easy to access from any of the RV campsites or cottages but is secluded enough that you’ll feel like you have your privacy.
Tugaloo State Park offers some of the best fishing in the area, year-round. You’ll find the lake full of largemouth bass, as well as breams, bluegills, and catfish, as well as many other varieties. The lake is large enough that the water sports don’t disturb the fishing.
Although fishing can be done year-round at Lake Hartwell, many of the fish found in the lake, such as the stripers and bass, will shut down if the temperature falls below a certain point. If you do fish in the winter, use slow baits, as the fish are less active.
Explore Tugaloo State Park year-round with one of its beautiful, scenic hiking trails that will give you the best of the Northeast Georgia mountains. Once you head out of the camper both the Muscadine and Sassafras trails will lead you through groves of walnut, cherry, oak, and mulberry trees.
Hiking is excellent year round but is best March through late October. Come in the fall as the leaves turn for a magnificent show of Georgia’s autumn colors. Or in the spring as the park comes alive for an energizing shot of color after a long winter.
The trails around Tugaloo State Park are also open to bikes if you’re looking for a more adventurous tour of the park’s sights and sounds. Whether you want to take it easy on one of the paved roads or get a bit dirtier on one of the trails, you’ll find something that will get your wheels spinning. Bike rentals are not offered, so if you plan on biking throughout your stay, plan ahead and pack the right equipment in your rig.
The roads are used for vehicles as well as hiking, and there are many tight corners. Be mindful as you bike through the park. And if you choose to use the trails, remember that there are plenty of hikers. State law also requires helmets for children under the age of 15.
Catch a glimpse of some of northern Georgia’s most beautiful birds in Tugaloo State Park as they fly out of the forest and around the lake. Dozens of species are out there if you look carefully.
Hone your ear and key in on different bird calls. If you’re an amateur, consider a local field guide that will help walk you through what to look for. And if you’re a pro, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy.