Tugaloo State Park

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Tugaloo State Park is an amazing deal for the money. Our experience was that it felt more like a resort than a state park with the many sites situated by huge Lake Hartwell. Many people dock their boats on the beaches by their sites and spend half their time exploring the miles and miles of lake. Waves actually lap the shores due to jet skis, speed boats, and the fastest pontoons I’ve ever seen careening across the surface from place to place. It is a fun atmosphere. At night it is just as fun to watch with boaters turning on their fancy lights as they slowly return back to the docks and beaches. If boating or boat watching is not your thing, you are still in luck because there are many sites not on the lake that offer a good deal of privacy and are closer to the trails. From our walks around the campground we found that the sites are just so well-situated wherever you finally set up. We stayed at site #52. Beautiful.

We hiked the Sassafras and the Muscadine Trails. Sassafras was around 4 miles and was strenuous. The trail was overgrown in a few places, but we still were able to make it back without any scratches to our shins or poison ivy. Muscadine Trail was a little less than a mile and was more moderate in difficulty. Both times we hiked we saw many deer. Their tails were a lot longer than the ones we’ve seen before. Maybe I just noticed because they were so close! The hardwoods along the way are sure to be absolutely stunning in the fall.

I totally recommend renting a canoe or kayak from the Visitors Center. It was only $10 for an hour and included a canoe, paddles, and vests. There’s nothing like viewing the area from the lake. We got out there at 8 a.m. and enjoyed the peacefulness. A crane flew across the lake in front of us. The sky was blue and it was still in the upper 70’s. Wonderful experience.

One day we drove into Lavonia, GA. It was so sweet and retained much of it’s original charm. There’s a lot of history in that town. Around 1909 the women of the town came together and decided that the depot building was in an unattractive location so they had it sold and moved to Vanna, GA and  then had a new depot built and placed in a different location to better the flow of the storefronts and public area. Smart. The railroad tracks going right through the town remind us of the way business was conducted so long ago. We enjoyed the Saturday morning farmers market, shopping at Southern Alpaca Connection, drinking coffee at Alpaca Bean, buying charms and a tea towel at Vintage Owl, and eating some yummy Mediterranean food at Downtown Cafe & Pizzeria.

We loved this park and definitely plan to return!


1763 Tugalo State Park Rd.
Lavonia, Georgia 30553
Phone: (706) 356-4362
Visit Campground Website
Sites: 113
Recent Rate: $35

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Author: Manatina

Mark and Tina are both US Army veterans who feel blessed to have served and to have seen so much of the world. Mark works as the Director of Military Outreach at a university. He also drives and maintains the camper. Tina is a retired homeschool teacher, does leatherworking, and writes/maintains the website.

They unwind and live in the 150 square feet of their travel trailer as often as possible with side kick Hero (Lhasa Apso mix rescue). Their grown kids tent camp nearby when college and career schedules permit. Being close to nature rejuvenates the family and lends time to focus on what matters most. They’re thankful to God for all of the blessings and opportunities.

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