Free Camping in Georgia: Must-See Sites
Georgia on your mind? Whether you are exploring Georgia leisurely or traveling within the state purposefully, free campsites will help you save money. Here are a few ways you can take advantage of free camping in Georgia:
Check the Appalachian Trail off Your Bucket List
As you start your free camping experience in Georgia, many adventurers set their sights on the Appalachian Trail. You can begin your epic journey in Dawsonville, Georgia at Springer Mountain. Primitive camping sites are available along the trails. Just be sure to check for any closings due to the weather.
Seventy-eight miles of the Appalachian Trail is in Georgia. There are miles and miles of trails for you to experience as you walk in the shadow of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia! Before you embark on your journey, check out the Amicalola waterfall - at 728 feet in height, it is the highest waterfall in Georgia.
Look for Outdoor Adventure Near Atlanta
Even those in the city can take advantage of free camping in Georgia. Weekend-adventurers from Atlanta can drive only two hours and find themselves in the middle of nature, ready to experience free tent camping in Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest.
The Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forest encompasses 26 counties, boasts thousands of miles of streams and rivers, and is home to over 800 miles of hiking trails! Some developed campsites have basic amenities such as parking areas, trash cans, vault toilets, picnic tables, or even a grill.
If you prefer more privacy or a more primitive experience, you can enjoy dispersed camping in Georgia throughout most national forest areas. Be sure to check the government’s official website for any safety recommendations before camping.
Whenever camping in a national forest, be sure to adhere to stay limits. They can vary by site, but stays are typically limited to 14 days. Depending on the season, you can plan to enjoy various recreational activities, including fishing, hunting, bird-watching, hiking, water-sporting, bicycling, and even horseback riding. If you choose to hunt responsibly, be sure to be aware of current regulations and restrictions.
Make Memories at the Coast
While there are no sites for free tent camping in Georgia on the coast, you could plan to park your RV somewhere (legally, of course) and experience the shore using public beach access.
Some boondockers have been able to set anchor in the parking lots of Walmart and Cracker Barrel. Before staying overnight at a store, ask the store manager or security for permission and remember to be a gracious guest by supporting the store and making a purchase.
Start your coastal experience in Savannah, Georgia, home to a rich cultural history. Another option is Jekyll Island. This spot is a favorite of anglers because of its salt-water fishing opportunities.
Explore Georgia’s Freshwater Coast
Prefer fresh-water fishing? Clarks Hill Lake (also known as Lake Thurmond) borders Georgia and South Carolina. The lake is often referred to as “Georgia’s Freshwater Coast” because its expansive shoreline spans over 400 miles.
While there isn't any free camping in this area, there are quite a few Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds that offer primitive campsites, which might be a less expensive alternative to campsites with full-hookups.
Wherever your adventures take you, enjoy your time taking advantage of free camping in Georgia.