This park is my favorite overall GA state park so far. I loved the cool air in July, the incredible views, and the many opportunities to get out and explore nature. The climb is steep so take your time if you ever visit this park. The summit of the mountain is 3,640 feet. When you are about a mile from the Visitor Center you’ll see the turn-off for the RV and tent camping. You can actually turn there and check in with the nice folks at the Trading Post instead of continuing up to the Visitor Center at the top of the mountain, but the view from up there is absolutely stunning. You don’t even have to hike at all in order to see the vista before you. You can see NC, SC, and TN all from this point. In the back of the Visitor Center they have a plaque with the names of the mountains you are seeing. Very cool and helpful. By their restrooms they have an enormous relief map of the entire area. I loved that.
This is another park where you don’t get to reserve an actual spot but we were blessed with the absolute best spot (in our opinion), Site #40. It was nice and private. Our 19′ Aerolite travel trailer was one of the largest RVs up in this park. The majority of the sites are not very large, but they are set up nicely. Many more tent campers were interspersed in this park among the RVs and it worked just fine. You really can get to know your neighbors if you choose to, or you can just stay in your site and avoid eye contact if interaction isn’t your thing. The people that run the park were all very nice and helpful. The guests were considerate and engaging. We met all types of campers from some FL folks with loads of great camping tips that had been returning to this state park every summer for 39 years down to a guy who was having his maiden voyage and learning everything the hard way, to every type of camper in between. There was always something going on. A raccoon was causing some mischief around the campground so I heard a few funny stories about it. I caught a quick glimpse of the masked scoundrel one night as it ran across our site, under our camper, and through the bushes behind it. Definitely put your garbage in the designated garbage building up there.
Check with the good people at the Visitor Center and Trading Post about fun events happening during your stay. One night they hosted a potluck dinner with guitar music and fun. They also had guided hikes and a rock painting party. They really want you to enjoy your visit. You’ll be so full of good things to do that you won’t even want to spend much time using the incredible cell coverage (Verizon). Well, maybe just to post pictures…
A definite MUST is driving on down to the Black Rock Mountain Lake. It is gorgeous. The easy trail around it is a .85 mile loop. Sounds of nature soothe the soul there, I’m not kidding. There are babbling creek and waterfall sounds, songbirds, frogs, and the gentle breeze flowing through the trees. You can have a perfect picnic at one of the many tables dispersed throughout the flora and fauna. If fishing is your thing you just can’t miss this lake. It is stocked. We saw huge trout just walking around the lake.
The Tennessee Rock Trail is a 2.2 mile loop. Honestly, it felt to me like it was 8 miles. Very strenuous. The shrubs were growing over the trail in a few places and I was concerned about getting poison ivy on my exposed shins and ankles, but I didn’t come across any. Still, I would recommend pants on that hike during the summer months. The hike was really worth the effort. The views were grand. One highlight was when we came to the sign telling us we were at the Eastern Continental Divide. The ridge there separates the rain that flows toward the Atlantic from the rain that flows toward the Gulf of Mexico.
We also did the Ada-Hi Trail which is only .25 miles each way. Don’t be fooled, though. You will get a real workout. Thankfully, there are benches on the way just in case you need to catch your breath. The many stairs down to the little waterfall flowing over a small area of exposed rock are definitely harder to traverse on the way back up. Take your time and bring water to drink.
We didn’t do the 7.2 mile loop of the James E. Edmonds Backcountry Trail. I definitely want to work up to it. They sell a t-shirt in the Visitor Center that is for those who survived this trail. I want that. LOL There are many other trails at this park that we didn’t get a chance to try. We are absolutely set on coming back.
The town of Clayton has some delicious food. We enjoyed burgers at the Universal Joint and the best reuben and onion rings ever at Rumor Hazit. The town has cute stores to check out, too. Outside Clayton is a town called Tiger. They have a roadside attraction called Goats on the Roof that is just adorable. Goats…walking on their grass-covered roofs, across bridges, and into a pen where you can feed them. The owners sell fudge, jellies, ice cream, and lots of souveniers. I’m glad we stopped because it was just fun backroads Americana at it’s best.
On our last night we could hear thunder echoing over the mountain ranges and we got a little rain. Then a cloud came up over the campground and cooled everyone off. It cleared up in about an hour. You just don’t get these experiences everywhere. This is a very special place.
Black Rock Mountain State Park
3085 Black Rock Mountain Pkwy
Mountain City, Georgia 30562
Phone: (706) 746-2141
Visit Campground Website
Recent Rate: $32