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Partway between Athens and Atlanta, the Fort Yargo Campground is named after a 1792 fort built by settlers as protection against Creek and Cherokee Indians. It’s now been transformed into a popular park, with a sparkling lake for swimming and fishing, as well as a wide variety of outdoor recreational pursuits.
Camping at the Fort Yargo Campground includes access to 45 RV sites, fully equipped cottages, camper cabins, and yurts, with dogs welcome to stay if they remain on a leash. There are picnic shelters scattered throughout the RV park and a gift shop stocked with a few camping essentials.
The 260-acre lake at the Fort Yargo Campground has a picturesque swimming beach and a boat ramp for those who want to get out on the water fishing. Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats are also available for rent during the warmer months, as are bicycles. There’s a children’s playground to keep young visitors entertained and a disc golf course for all ages to enjoy.
RV camping at the Fort Yargo Campground puts you on the doorstep of the Fort Yargo State Park, which sprawls across 1,816 acres near Winder. The fort was built by the Humphrey brothers, who constructed a two-story log blockhouse made from hand-hewn logs, which were joined at the corners by interlocking wedge-shaped notches. The Fort Yargo Living History Society manages this historic building and hosts living history dates throughout the year. After viewing the old fort, hit the trails of Fort Yargo State Park to go hiking and mountain biking or take advantage of the tennis and basketball courts available.
The Fort Yargo Campground also makes a good base for visiting the Hard Labor Creek State Park, which is named after a small stream that carves through it. It’s believed to have been named either by the Native Americans who found the area difficult to ford or slave plantation workers who labored tirelessly to till the summer fields. Today it’s a popular area for golfing and boating on the waters of Lake Rutledge, which is also accessible to swimmers. If you prefer to stay dry, there are more than 24 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails to explore.
Closer to Winder is Little Mulberry Park, a scenic natural destination with soft-surface trails where you can stretch your legs. Aside from its 2.7 miles of hiking trails, there are also five miles of equestrian trails and a Pond Trail that’s accessible to those with limited mobility. Little Mulberry’s central lake is a popular fishing destination, and there’s also a disc golf course and mountain biking opportunities.
Winder campers have easy access to supermarkets and services, as well as numerous gas stations, if you need to fill up your RV rental. There are also plenty of fast-food restaurants, cafes, and eateries in Winder if you don’t feel like cooking.
Spend an afternoon taking in the sights of Winder, which is home to an elegant county courthouse that dates to 1920 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Stop in at the Barrow County Museum, which occupies the old jail and features a hanging tower and exhibits on Senator Richard B. Russell. Aside from learning about the people and events that have shaped the county, you can pay your respects at the small granite monument that honors the unknown Confederate soldiers who died during the American Civil War. Also of note is the Winder Historic Train Depot, which dates to around 1910 and is a “must” for rail enthusiasts.
Camp in an RV near Winder and spend a day in the Georgia capital, Atlanta, which is just under an hour’s drive away. It played a significant role in both the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, with both events documented at the fascinating Atlanta History Center. Learn about the life and legacy of one of the country’s most influential African-American leaders at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, then stretch your legs on the picturesque trails of Piedmont Park. If you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss a visit to the Georgia Aquarium within Centennial Olympic Park, which is the largest indoor aquarium in the Western Hemisphere.
Drive in the other direction from the Fort Yargo Campground, and you’ll arrive in the city of Athens, which is famed for its distinctive architecture and marks the start of Georgia’s Antebellum Trail. Delve into the history of the Southern region at the historic T.R.R. Cobb House, which is beautifully decorated with period furnishings, then admire the Greek Revival mansion of Taylor Grady House and the mid-19th-century Church-Waddel-Brumby House. To experience Athens at its most electric, coincide your visit with a football game at Sanford Stadium and join in all the tailgating fun.
Whether you want to cool off in the lake waters of Fort Yargo State Park or soak up the sights of Athens and Atlanta, book an RV in Barrow County and start planning your next vacation.