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South of the Cohutta Wilderness and west of Blue Ridge and Ellijay lies the majestic Fort Mountain State Park. Considering its mesmerizing beauty and mystery, the park rightly ranks among the top attractions in Georgia. Named after the ancient stone edifice, Fort Mountain State Park was once home to the Cherokee tribe. According to their legends, the wall was built by the “moon-eyed people” who called this land home before the Cherokee.
The park boasts more than 50 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails that wind through the park's breathtaking landscape. The captivating view of the neighboring Blue Ridge Mountains, paired with the glimmering and tranquil lake, makes the park an ideal location for a rural escape. The park's gorgeous wilderness stretches over 3,700 acres and is mostly dominated by a mixture of pine and hardwood forest and blueberry thickets. There’s never a shortage of activities here for those who love exploring, horseback riding, fishing, paddling, or simply observing wildlife and the natural environment. The biodiverse park is teeming with everything from forest critters to apex predators, so expect to see deer, eagles, raccoons, and even a bear or two.
Thanks to its proximity to the towns of Chatsworth (five miles) and Dalton (17 miles), Fort Mountain State Park offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy some state park RV camping. Make sure to stop by one of these towns and learn about their history as well as the surrounding natural area. Here, you can also rent an RV or purchase any necessary camping supplies. Another option is to book an RV in Murray County and plan your camping adventure from there.
To get the full experience of RV camping at Fort Mountain State Park, plan to partake in the variety of activities the park has to offer. Start by exploring the area on two wheels — riding along the 27 miles of exhilarating biking trails is a great way to get acquainted with the park and explore some of its most scenic locations. If bike riding isn’t exactly your cup of tea, then turn your attention to the park's 17-acre lake, known for its glassy surface and cool breezes. Lots of families enjoy paddling here. You can also choose to take the Lake Loop trail, offering just over a mile of smooth surface around the lake. Alternatively, Cool Springs Loop and the Goldmine Creek Trail are amazing options for thrillseekers in search of a more challenging adventure.
Are there any equestrian enthusiasts in your camping group? If the answer is yes, then you'll be happy to know that Fort Mountain State Park campers can also explore horseback riding pathways. Riders can hit the 25-mile equestrian trail network and take in the stunning surroundings. You can also bring your own horse and rent a stall here to accommodate your trusty equestrian companion.
Last but not least is the fishing opportunities. If you love being near the water and waiting for that perfect catch, you'll be thrilled at the opportunity to reel in one of the many species native to Georgia, such as catfish, largemouth bass, and bream. Pack your fishing gear in your RV rental, and remember that fishing is restricted to the banks.
Campers at Fort Mountain State Park can choose one of 70 campsites in the vicinity of the lake. All sites offer water and electric hookups as well as direct access to the park's most exciting hiking trails. Each campsite features a picnic table and a fire ring and can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long.
The main Fort Mountain State Park camping area is comprised of two sections: Campground 1 and Campground 2. Both feature laundry facilities, restrooms, and showers, and offer plenty of opportunities for you to play an exciting game of mini-golf or enjoy a quiet picnic. Aside from spending time with your loved ones, you can also enjoy the companionship of your furry friend, since pets are allowed at the state park's campground. You can reserve your camping spot 13 months in advance, but keep in mind that trailhead parking lots and the Old Fort Road may be closed during winter.
Your RV camping trip at Fort Mountain State Park would be incomplete without exploring the surrounding area and visiting various towns around the park. If you're into creative arts, don't miss the opportunity to visit Dalton to check out the Creative Arts Guild. The guild showcases local art and culture and provides educational opportunities in visual arts and performance. Both emerging and established artists will find valuable insight here as they learn more about the area's arts scene.
Next up, pay a visit to the Funk Heritage Center on the Reinhardt University campus. The museum features a wide collection of Native American artifacts, historic hand tools, exhibits, and dioramas, which on their own will make the trip worth your while.
When you camp in an RV near Chatsworth, make sure to drop by the Chief Vann House State Historic Site. This historic plantation house and grounds will give you a unique opportunity to discover more about the early 19th-century Cherokee cultural assimilation efforts — and pick up some interesting gifts for your loved ones.
If you're looking to grab some grub, head to Chatsworth, where you'll find everything from fish and chicken to Mexican and Chinese cuisine. You can also refuel your rental RV and buy some necessary supplies at one of many gas stations scattered across this region.