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George L. Smith State Park, which is named after a former Georgia House of Representatives speaker, is a fantastic place to explore when you book an RV in Emanuel County. This state park is located to the east of the center of the state. Motorhome camping at the park is a great way to enjoy the serene atmosphere, explore the cypress filled waters, and hike the many trails.
Camping with an RV at George L. Smith State Park will give you unbridled access to the more than 1,600 acres of land and water within park boundaries. The park is relatively remote, which makes it a popular destination for both bird watchers and naturalists. Don’t worry, though; there are many towns nearby within easy driving distance, such as Swainsboro, Metter, and Statesboro. Whether you plan to rent an RV and visit the park for nature, the refurbished Parrish Mill and Pond, or something else, George L. Smith State Park has something to offer to the whole family.
There is plenty to do outdoors while camping at George L. Smith State Park. Some of the main attractions include exploring the cypress filled mill pond, hiking on the many miles of trails, watching wildlife, and fishing. When it comes to hiking, there are over 7 miles of trails to explore on foot or bike, the majority of which are clearly marked and recorded on maps. These trails often lead to beautiful outlooks, so be sure to bring your camera and binoculars.
Exploring the mill pond is best done by canoe, kayak, aqua cycle, or something similar. There are over 10 miles of recorded water trails to explore using a map, for those that like to be guided, but you are also able to explore wherever you please. Keep your eyes peeled for beaver dams, birds, and other natural occurrences while on the water. You’ll find primitive boat launches around the park to make getting in and out of the water a breeze.
Fishing is also popular at the millpond, which is occasionally stocked with bass and bream to keep population levels up. Of course, to fish in this state park, you’ll have to have an updated fishing license, which can be acquired from nearly any bait and tackle or sporting goods store in the area. Be sure to get your licenses sorted ahead of time so that you don’t run into any snags with the local authorities while casting a line.
Enjoying the state park RV campgrounds at George L. Smith State Park is easy to do since campsites can be reserved ahead of time. There are more than 20 RV compatible camping sites that can be reserved, so when you are worried about securing a spot, be sure to call after sorting out the details of your rental RV. These campsites all have their own fire ring, grill, and picnic table to make staying at them as comfortable as possible.
The majority of the RV campsites have electric hookups, typically in both 30 and 50 amps, and many of them offer the ability to pull-through when parking for added convenience. All of the campsites have access to the centrally located playground, the WiFi at the park office, the various picnic shelters, and the primitive restroom facilities. Any questions while staying here can be directed to onsite park staff, in addition to inquiries about renting canoes and kayaks.
To the west of George L. Smith State Park, you’ll find Swainsboro, which is home to the Emanuel County Farm and Home Museum. This museum is one of the best ways to learn about pioneer life in this section of Georgia, with a special focus on Emanuel County’s residents. You’ll find a working farm homestead at this museum, often with actors playing the roles of pioneers during special events and celebrations. The museum is located just north of town, so be sure not to miss it while exploring the restaurants and other attractions in Swainsboro.
Swainsboro is also a good place to visit when you get tired of eating camping food. When you camp in an RV near Swainsboro, you’ll be able to easily enjoy the dozens of restaurants in and surrounding the town. On the main street, you’ll find Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and modern American style food. There are also buffets, restaurants focusing on southern cooking and fried chicken, fast food joints, and more. All of them are within relatively easy walking distance of each other, making it easy to explore on foot while picking a place to eat.
In the opposite direction of Swainsboro is Statesboro, which is home to Georgia Southern University. There are numerous museums in this city, including the Georgia Southern Museum and the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau. As Statesboro is home to a university, there are plenty of diverse restaurants to explore, ranging from sandwich shops to sushi buffets. Be sure to park your RV and explore the campus on foot, as many of the buildings have historic placards describing their history and importance.