Our Brief Stay At Fort Yargo State Park
While we've been in our RV for several months, we've spent most of our time camping near family on private land. As we've mentioned in the past, rather than making concrete plans for our RV travels and sticking to a schedule, we've decided to let the road lead the way. That road recently lead us back to GA and more specifically, Fort Yargo State Park.
Right before we were about to leave Florida to head West, we made an impromptu trip to Georgia. We were there to move the “stuff” we were keeping in Katie's mom's garage into a storage unit since she's going to be moving soon and we didn't want her to have to deal with it. She was also holding onto a few other items like the first dining table we ever built, which we thought we wanted to keep for our “future” home.
After being on the road for 7 months we've decided this journey is likely going to last longer than we originally anticipated, and we'd rather build a new table in the future, than worry about storing the old one. So we spent some time going through the “stuff” we were keeping in my mother-in-law's storage closet, and took what was left to a 5 x 5 storage unit. Now we have even less stuff to worry about, and feel relieved knowing she won't have to worry about moving any of our crap to her new place.
Our Brief Stay At Fort Yargo State Park
We decided to stay at a State Park during this process, and that's when we came across Fort Yargo State Park, which is about an hour Northeast of Atlanta. Interestingly enough, we had never visited Fort Yargo, despite living just 30 minutes away from it for over 2 years.
I guess it goes to show you don't need to go on an epic adventure to get back to nature, sometimes it can be right in your own backyard, or at least pretty close.
Video Tour of Fort Yargo State Park
We put together a quick video showing the grounds at Fort Yargo State Park, in case you're considering stopping in the area and are curious about what it's working with.
The only disappointing part of our stay is that we didn't get to spend as much time as we would have liked exploring the park. With that said we still enjoyed the views and easy walking trails during our visit.
Information About the Campgrounds:
Fort Yargo State Park has two main campgrounds, a pioneer campground, as well as Yurts and Cabins you're able to rent. They also have really good maps that explain the layout a bit better than I can. We liked the layout of the roads in the campgrounds, as they were easy to follow and allowed for easy in, easy out.
The RV sites come with power, water, and cable but no sewer connection. Though the dump station is well placed on the way out of the campgrounds.
The restrooms and showers are another major plus of Fort Yargo. Not only are they well lit but the water pressure is amazing, and the on-site hosts do a great job at keeping them in fantastic shape.
When you drive into Campground 1 or Campground 2 you need to make sure and watch your speed. The thing is, they have some killer speed bumps, but they also have the really thin and high bumps. So take it slow when you're going through, don't want those dishes to come flying out :).
Once you get past the speed bumps you'll soon realize how many spots there are, at the same time you'll realize how private they feel. We ended up having people on both sides of us for a decent amount of our stay, but it really didn't feel like it. Maybe it's because Site #7 is perpendicular to the lake, but I don't think so, I think it's the way they lined the spots up with trees in between.
Overall, we couldn't have been happier with our stay at Fort Yargo State Park, and with the price tag being only $30 dollars a night it was well worth it. Of course we're not looking to spend $30 a night every night, but for the convenience of the location and nature it was spot on.
Not only are you surrounded by nature but there is convenient shopping roughly 10 minutes away including Publix, Target, Michael's, TJ Maxx, PetsMart, and Walmart.
Information About Fort Yargo State Park:
Like I mentioned earlier, we weren't able to check out as much of Fort Yargo as we would've liked. If we had more time we would've loved to check out the old fort in the park. The fort is made of logs and was constructed in 1792 by settlers. They built the fort to protect themselves from the Creek and Cherokee Native Americans in the area.
When you look at the fort from the road (because we didn't have time to get close up) you can see they positioned it perfectly. It sits nestled right up on the edge of the inlet to the lake, but this inlet has spread open like an alligators mouth bringing forward the glistening beauty of the water flow.
About a mile past the fort is a beach and park filled with tall pine and grill spots. If we'd known about this spot before we moved it would've been a great place to cook out with friends.
The park also rents out kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, and paddle boats. You can bring your own boat, but they do have a 10hp max on the lake. That's not even mentioning the swimming, fishing, 2 tennis courts, basketball courts, and miniature golf (fee). Basically they have a little bit of everything for everyone.
While we were there the lake was undergoing some improvements so it was closed. I think at this point they have it opened back up for some activities but the boat ramps are still closed. According to the website they should have those opened by the beginning of May (2017).
Of course they also have hiking trails, 20.5 miles of trails to be specific. Along with the hiking trails are the bike trails.
Now I'm going to be honest, I've never had the pleasure of trail biking but these biking trails looked awesome. In many places you were able to see the jumps of the trail along with quick turns. I actually told Katie that in the future we're going to have to give it a go.
There are two more things I want to note about this State Park. First is the people, everyone we met who worked for the park were amazing. Not only were they friendly but they were also extremely helpful and informative.
Second is that the park is secure. Every night the gate closes at the front entrance, which you're given a gate code to.
Tip: Grab a Georgia State Park Passport Book:
We'd booked 5 nights at Fort Yargo when we first arrived, but then needed to extend our stay two more days. When we did I had to go to the office to get our new parking pass and RV spot pass. As I was speaking with the lady in the office she informed me of the Georgia State Park Passport Book.
With the passport book you're able to get a sticker for every night you stay in a Georgia State Park. Once you've hit 9 nights you get the 10th free. They hadn't mentioned this when we called to make our original reservation, and unfortunately they were already booked for the weekend. So while we didn't get a free night at Fort Yargo we were able to capitalize off the Passport Book at our next stay, which we'll get into in another post.
The key point here is, if you're going to be staying at any Georgia State Parks you should make sure to get your Passport Book during your stay and don't forget your stickers too. They'll build up and you can eventually snag a free night.
Anyway that about wraps up our stay at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, GA. If you plan to visit the area or drive through, we hope this helps you decide if it's a place you'd like to visit. We stayed in early Spring so it wasn't too crowded, but I imagine it gets pretty busy in the summer.
I know we had a blast and will come back for sure when we're back in the area.
As a recap, here's a list of some of the pros and cons from our visit:
Most RV spots are decent size and fairly private
Some spots offer lake views and others are pretty wooded
Included Picnic Table and Fire Ring
Clean Bathrooms + Showers
Map was fairly easy to read
Lots of Amenities: Biking and hiking trails, Disc Golf, Miniature Golf, Fishing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Boat Ramp (Lake was closed during our stay)
Convenient to Shopping
We LOVED spot #7 in Campground #1
Has Gated Access for after hours
Part of the Georgia State Park Passport Book Program
No Sewer Connection, but dump stations are located on the way out of the campground
No wi-fi – but we did get pretty good service with our current internet setup
Aggressive Road Bumps through campgrounds
Lake was closed and beach area was pretty muddy during our stay but lake is open now
Only a few 50-amp spots are available
First come, first serve spots
Have you visited Fort Yargo State Park? Did your experience go like ours, or is there something you'd like to let us and other readers know? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.
You can find all of our RV-related posts here.