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Georgia State Parks

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USA Parks
Northeast Georgia Mountains Region
Tugaloo State Park
Keep On Leash ©
Oh Yell ©
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1763 Tugaloo State Park Road
Lavonia, Georgia   30553

Phone: 706-356-4362
Reservations: 800-864-7275
Situated on a wooded peninsula, Tugaloo?s cottages and most campsites offer spectacular views of 55,590-acre Lake Hartwell in every direction. Some cottages even have private boat docks for overnight guests. Tent campers can choose between the developed campground or primitive campsites located a short walk from the parking area. Fishing is excellent year-round, and large-mouth bass are plentiful. During summer, the lake is a popular destination for swimming, water skiing, sailing and boating. Both the Sassafras and Muscadine trails wind through oak, walnut, mulberry and cherry trees. The name ?Tugaloo? comes from an Indian name for the river which once flowed freely prior to the construction of Hartwell Dam.
History of the Area
Located in Lavonia, Tugaloo State Park lies on a peninsula of Lake Hartwell at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The area's history stretches back thousands of years with Native American tribes such as Cherokee and Creek inhabiting the region; "Tugaloo" is derived from an old Cherokee town name.

In colonial times, European settlers moved into this part of Georgia for agriculture and trade. By 1953, construction began on Hartwell Dam which led to Lake Hartwell creation by damming Savannah River tributaries.

Prior to its establishment as a park in 1962, much land around future park boundaries was used for farming or remained undeveloped woodland. As recreational demand grew post-World War II era due to increased leisure time and mobility among Americans seeking outdoor activities like camping and boating became popular here too.

The state acquired property through negotiations involving multiple agencies including U.S Army Corps Engineers who managed lake levels flood control purposes while promoting recreation tourism development nearby areas thus leading foundation what would become known today's destination nature enthusiasts alike

Over decades since opening facilities have expanded include campsites cottages boat ramps fishing piers swimming beach picnic shelters tennis courts trails various other amenities cater visitors all ages interests Historical features within encompass remnants original homesteads well Saddleback Trail offering glimpses past cultural landscape changes over centuries

Management practices evolved focus conservation education alongside providing quality visitor experiences ensuring ecological integrity preserved amidst growing pressures urbanization climate change surrounding regions
1. Campsites with Water & Electric Hookups: 105 sites available for tents, trailers or RVs.
2. Walk-in Tent Sites: Primitive camping area designated for tent use only.
3. Yurts: Six yurts that can accommodate up to six people each.
4. Pioneer Campground: A primitive group camping area designed for organized groups such as scouts or clubs.
5. Squirrel's Nest Camping Platforms: Unique open-air shelters suitable for small groups of campers.
1. Tugaloo State Park offers a sandy beach for swimming in Lake Hartwell.
2. Swimming is permitted during daylight hours only, with no lifeguard on duty.
3. Visitors can also swim from boats anchored offshore within the park boundaries.
4. Personal flotation devices are recommended while swimming due to varying water depths and conditions.
5. The lake's clear waters make it ideal for snorkeling as well as casual swims or dips.

The park offers a variety of boating options for visitors. It features two boat ramps, providing easy access to the 55,590-acre Lake Hartwell which is popular for water skiing and fishing. Paddle boats are available for rental if you prefer something more leisurely or don't have your own vessel. Canoes and kayaks can also be rented from May through September.
Located in Georgia, this park offers fishing opportunities on Lake Hartwell. Species include largemouth bass, crappie and catfish. Fishing from the shoreline or a boat is permitted. The lake also hosts various fishing tournaments throughout the year.

Tugaloo State Park offers numerous picnic spots with grills, tables and scenic views. Some sites are near the lakefront.
1. Muscadine Trail: A 3.5-mile loop trail that winds through hardwood forests and along the shoreline of Lake Hartwell, offering scenic views and opportunities for wildlife observation.

2. Sassafras Loop: This is a shorter option at approximately 0.75 miles; it's an easy walk suitable for all ages with interpretive signs detailing native plant life.

3. Tugaloo State Park Nature Trail: An educational path less than one mile long featuring various ecosystems within the park, including forested areas and lake habitats.

4. Carver Mill Road Historic Area Trails:
- History Hike (Carver Mill): Approximately half a mile in length showcasing remnants of old homesteads.
- Forest Management Demonstration Site Walkway: Short walking track used to demonstrate forestry practices on-site.
Biking enthusiasts can enjoy the 4-mile loop trail, but be aware it's moderately challenging with some steep sections.

The terrain is mixed and includes both paved roads and dirt paths.

Ensure you have a good level of fitness before attempting this ride due to its difficulty level.

Mountain bikes are recommended for tackling the rougher parts of the trails here.

Always wear appropriate safety gear such as helmets when biking in these areas.

Be mindful that wildlife sightings are common so proceed cautiously while riding through wooded regions.

Remember to follow all park rules regarding cycling, including staying on designated bike routes only.
Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting diverse species like herons, ospreys and eagles. Trails offer prime viewing spots.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 7 rhe greatest park by ellen
park review stars; one to five we have been going to tugloo for over 30 years hope to be going for 30 more years
May 11 Home away from home by Teresa
park review stars; one to five We were looking for a place to camp, that had great fishing. We got that and more. The facility was very clean. We will be staying again in the near future
May 1 one of my favorite parks by kyle
park review stars; one to five I love this park, this is the first place my family camped at and we have been camping since me and my sister were born. And we are 24 and 28 years old. And this weekend im going again. Its were I first learned to ride my bike, were i cought my first fish. I love that place!!
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Nearby Hotels

Take I-85 exit #173 north on Georgia 17; follow park signs to Gerrard Road, turn right. Go 1.5 miles to Ga. Hwy. 328 and turn left. Proceed 3.3 miles to park; entrance on right.

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Georgia State Parks