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USA Parks
Northeast Georgia Mountains Region
Fort Yargo State Park
Fort Yargo State Park © Thomson M / CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Fort Yargo State Park
Spring Hike ©
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210 South Broad Street
Winder, Georgia   30680
(lat:33.9684 lon:-83.73) map location

Phone: 770-867-3489
Reservations: 800-864-7275
Located between Atlanta and Athens, Fort Yargo offers a fun camping, hiking and fishing experience. The park surrounds Marbury Creek Reservoir, a 260-acre lake with a swimming beach, fishing areas and boat ramps. Many campsites are near the water?s edge, and hiking/biking trails follow the lake shore. Within the park is Will-A-Way Recreation Area, an accessible facility specifically designed for challenged populations, with a group camp, picnic and fishing areas, and paved trail. This historical park features a log fort built in 1792 by settlers for protection against Creek and Cherokee Indians.
History of the Area
Located in Winder, Georgia, the park was built by hardworking Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) members during the 1930s. The site is named after a fort constructed in 1792 as protection against Creek and Cherokee Indians. It became an official state park of Georgia in 1967.

The area offers various recreational activities including camping, hiking trails and fishing on Marbury Creek Watershed Lake - created by CCC workers too. A replica of Fort Yargo's original blockhouse stands today for visitors to explore its historical significance.

- Fully Equipped Cottages: These are modern cottages with all necessary amenities.
- Yurts: Unique round structures offering a camping experience with comfort.
- Campgrounds for Tents and RVs: Numerous sites available, some equipped with electricity and water hookups.
- Pioneer Camping Sites: Basic campsites in secluded areas ideal for group camping experiences.
- Adirondack Group Sheltered Site: A sheltered site perfect for larger groups or scout troops.
1. Fort Yargo State Park offers a large 260-acre lake for swimming.
2. There's also a designated sandy beach area perfect for sunbathing and building sandcastles.
3. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer season ensuring safety while you swim.
4. Swimming is allowed from sunrise to sunset, providing ample time to enjoy water activities.
5. The park provides clean restroom facilities near the swimming areas for convenience of visitors.

The park offers a variety of boating options for visitors. It features a 260-acre lake where guests can enjoy paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing. Paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats are available to rent from the boat rental area near the beach pavilion. For those who prefer motorized watercrafts or fishing trips on their own vessels, private boats with electric motors are allowed in designated areas within certain restrictions.

Enjoy fishing in two beautiful lakes, teeming with bass, catfish and bream. Boat rentals are available for a leisurely day out.

In the park's 260-acre lake you can fish from shore or boat. The smaller Marbury Creek Watershed Lake also offers good catches.

Fishing gear is not provided so remember to bring your own equipment along with bait if needed.

The waters here are well-stocked ensuring an exciting experience whether you're a beginner or seasoned angler.

Remember that Georgia law requires anyone over age 16 to have a valid fishing license before casting their line.

Fort Yargo State Park is located near Athens, Auburn and Bethlehem

1. Fort Yargo State Park offers numerous picnic tables and grills for a fun family outing.
2. There are two large pavilions available to rent for group picnics or events.
3. Picnic spots near the lake offer beautiful views while you eat.
4. Enjoy your meal surrounded by nature on one of many hiking trails with rest areas throughout the park.
5. The beachside area provides perfect picnic locations during summer months, complete with swimming access post-meal!
6. For convenience, there's also an onsite store selling snacks and drinks if you forget anything at home!
Biking enthusiasts can explore over 20 miles of trails, suitable for various skill levels. Be mindful of trail difficulty ratings.

The park offers a beginner-friendly loop around the lake that's perfect for families and novice riders. Stay safe!

For more experienced cyclists, there are challenging mountain bike trails with steep climbs and fast descents. Ride responsibly!

Rental bikes are available at the visitor center if you don't have your own equipment but want to join in on the fun.

Remember: helmets must be worn while biking within this location as safety is paramount here.

Always adhere to posted signs about closed or restricted areas; they're put up for everyone's protection.

Lastly, always respect wildlife by keeping distance when encountered during rides - let nature thrive undisturbed!
- Lake Loop Trail: A 7.2-mile trail that circles the park's lake, offering scenic views of water and wildlife; moderate difficulty with some hilly sections.

- Bird Berry Nature Trail: An easy half-mile loop perfect for bird watching or a quick stroll in nature; interpretive signs along the path provide information about local flora and fauna.

- Yargo Creek Interpretative Walking Path: This short .25 mile walk is ideal for families as it features educational panels discussing Georgia's native plants, animals, history and geology.

- Mountain Bike Trails (East/West): Two separate trails totaling over 20 miles designed specifically for mountain biking enthusiasts; varying levels of terrain from flat to steep inclines make these paths suitable for all skill levels.

-Fitness Loop & Exercise Stations : Located near picnic area #1 this one mile paved fitness loop has exercise stations located around its length providing an opportunity to add strength training into your routine

-Baynes Family Treehouse Walkway : Accessible via either Baynes Pointe Day Use Area or Campground Road ,this quarter mile long elevated boardwalk takes you through hardwood forest canopy leading up to ADA accessible tree house overlooking Marbury creek wetlands.

-Woodland Demonstration Garden - Short walking path featuring various plant species indigenous to Georgia woodlands complete with informational signage on each type making it both enjoyable and informative experience .

-Historic Fort Site - Although not technically a hiking trail there are several footpaths taking visitors towards remnants of fort built by settlers during early years after American Revolution which gives name "Fort" Yargo State Park
Birdwatchers can enjoy over 20 miles of trails, spotting species like the Red-tailed Hawk and Eastern Bluebird. The park's lake attracts waterfowl such as Mallards and Canada Geese. Birding events are also occasionally hosted.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 27 Great and affordable! by Sara T.
park review stars; one to five Fort Yargo has always been a favorite place for our family. The swimming area is great! We also love the privacy of the camping sites. If you want to just kick back and fish you can do that to. Either directly on the lake with your own bass boat or rent one of theres. You can also fish from most campsites. Come check it out!
December 1 One of the Best in Georgia
park review stars; one to five We have camped all over Georgia and beyond and keep coming back to Fort Yargo. Very nice, large, and private camp sites.
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- All pets must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet at all times.
- Pets are not allowed in or around historic sites, lodges, group camps, swimming areas, or some trails.
- Pet owners should clean up after their pets and dispose of waste properly.
- Noisy and dangerous animals are prohibited from the park premises for safety reasons.
- Owners may have to provide proof of current rabies vaccinations upon request by park officials.
- Unattended tethered dogs will receive immediate attention; uncontrolled barking is considered noise pollution under Georgia law.

Located 1 mile south of Winder on Ga. Hwy. 81

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Georgia State Parks