Fort Mountain State Park, GA

by Sydney Ryanczak

Camp Name: Fort Mountain State Park, GA

  • Date Visited: September 13, 2018
  • Nights Stayed: 3
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Fee: $ 34.00 night
  • Fellow Campers: Scott + Sydney

Fort Mountain State Park is located on the west side of the North Georgia Mountains near Chatsworth. Fort Mountain is awesome in two ways: there’s a lake with beach access and you can hike your butt off! Let’s get right into the details.

Visitors Center

We got to the park after work on a Friday so the Visitor’s center was just closing up. We ran into a park ranger on our way to pick up our check-in papers, which were in an envelope on the bulletin board in front, and were able to purchase firewood from the Ranger. During normal business hours, you would check in inside. Check in was quick and easy and we were off to find our spot!

The Campground

There are two sides to Fort Mountain’s campground. One is small and wooded with an entrance to the hiking trails near by, the other is much larger with lake side sites. There is definitely a different feel to each side. The small side was more relaxing and quiet while the lake side seemed more social and active. Something for everyone! We stayed on the small side in site 10 which was right next the entrance to the hiking trails.

Each site is pretty typical for a state park in Georgia. Gravel lot, fire pit, hook thing-ma-jig (has anyone figured out the name for that thing!?), and a picnic table. Each site had 30 and 50 amp plug ins, 120v outlet, cable hookup. No WiFi and ATT cell signal sucked again! Talk about unplugging.

In addition to RV or camper camping, there are tent sites and primitive campsites as well.


The facilities were a short walk from site 10 and was the same layout as the facilities at Black Mountain State Park. Everything was clean and in working order. Bonus was I got to take a shower each day with the giant spider in the window. I kind of became attached to her by the end of our weekend and would check on her each day to make sure she was still there!

There are laundry facilities in between the men’s and women’s bathrooms as well so if you need to wash or dry, you are covered. Gray water dump stations are scattered through the campground.

Things to do


Fort Mountain has over 25 miles of hiking trails including the Gahati Trail which is a moderate 8 mile loop. This was by far our longest hike to date and it was pretty amazing how the terrain changed over the 8 miles. Some areas were wooded, some parts near water, some with rocky cliffs. It was pretty tough in some spots! Not only was this our longest hike ever but it was also the first time that I have ever been stung by a yellow jacket. OUCH!

Cool Springs Overlook is a short drive from the campground or you’ll see it while hiking the Gahuti Trail. The views are spectacular. Scott and I stopped here to rest during our hike, ate sandwiches and watched the buzzards fly in circles. We also got cell service here! Yay!

There is an easier, shorter hike to the CCC Fire Tower which is open to the public and you can go inside it. It was closed while were there but still a cool desitination. Look for the heart shaped rock on the side! Be sure to check out the pre-historic rock wall on your way up to the tower. No one knows the exact history of the wall but it is pretty amazing that it is still intact after all these years.

Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming

Like Vogel State Park, Fort Mountain has a lake that you can rent kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes or bring your own! There is a sandy beach for hanging out and swimming with the kids. This is one of the main reasons why this state park is so popular with families in the summer. An easy affordable way to cool down!

Horseback riding

There are horseback riding trails and stables at this state park. We didn’t do any horseback riding on this trip so I can’t report on how it is. The website indicates that riders can BYOH or you can take guided tours. I would definitely plan ahead on this one and call to get more information. Let me know in the comments if you have tried this activity out.

Mini Golf

You can play mini golf here for a fee. It’s open during the warmer months.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking seems to be a popular activity here as we saw several people toting their bikes with them in the campground. The main trail is the 301 which is a 14 mile loop.


Fort Mountain is a perfect destination for families with a little something for everyone. If you’re like us, you can go and just relax as well! You might consider stopping by Elijay on your way in or out of the park. They have a very cute downtown area with shops and restaurants. Let us know if you’ve visited Fort Mountain and your favorite things about it or the area. We would love to hear from you!

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