I am so excited to announce that we took our van camping in Georgia for the first time ever! We have been working diligently to get the van to this point, but we still have a long way to go.
We decided to camp at Lake Conasauga in Chatsworth, Georgia for our first trip in the van! This is my hometown, but I had never visited before. Lake Conasauga is a nineteen-acre, spring-fed lake surrounded by natural beauty! It’s the highest lake in Georgia.
The lake is located on Grassy Mountain in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. The temperature is at least ten degrees cooler up there, which is perfect for camping in Georgia in the middle of August!
We stayed for 4 days and three nights in the comfort of our tiny home on wheels! We, of course, brought our dogs with us!
The Drive Up
As I mentioned before, Lake Conasauga is the highest lake in Georgia which means that we had to take our giant van up Grassy Mountain. The roads are gravel and very narrow at points.
Our van is not a four-wheel drive. We actually got stuck on an exceptionally steep hill – complete with super loose gravel.
Shout out to James who helped guide us out!
Other than that we didn’t have any issue getting to the lake. I’m sure it would have been easier if we had a four-wheel drive, but you can make it up without one.
It does take about an hour to make it to the top, but the loud, bumpy road makes it feel longer. The lake is definitely worth the drive, though! Just remember to go slow and be careful!
The Camp Ground
The spots we stayed in were $15 a night. Once we finally made it up the mountain, we were met with a multitude of camp spots. Most of them were really close to the water! I believe there are cheaper ones on the other side of the lake.
We stayed in spot number 25. It was incredibly roomy, private, and right on the water. We even kept our dogs off-leash for the majority of the time, with the exception of the really busy weekend days.
When we got to the lake on Thursday, there were maybe 4 spots taken, but by Friday night there were no spots left. The spot fills up fast on the weekend! By Sunday night everyone was gone except for us and one other family.
Everyone was really friendly, including the forest ranger that made his rounds once a day.
I was surprised to find that Lake Conasauga has running water bathrooms. Not that this was a necessity for us, but it was nice. The bathroom has two stalls and is lit with a skylight. Bring a flashlight if you’re going at night.
They were pretty clean except for the bugs that like to hang out in there. Don’t worry, they keep to themselves.
It was nice to have running water for things like brushing our teeth and rinsing dishes!
The lake is pretty big so there is plenty of room for water activities! There were people fishing in their boats (only electric motors are allowed), swimming off the dock, and floating on innertubes.
We spent a lot of time swimming. The water is pretty cool since it’s at such high elevation and it’s decently clean. The water is pretty deep, though. I’m 5’2, and I couldn’t touch the bottom with the exception of one spot. My husband is almost six feet, and he couldn’t touch either.
We had the swimming area mostly to ourselves the entire time. I feel that this would especially be the case in you came during the week.
The swimming area was right across the lake from where we were camping, so it was a bit of a walk, but we loved it!
Dogs are not prohibited at the swimming area, so keep that in mind if you’re bringing the fur babies.
There are ample opportunities to hike when camping in Georgia, but especially at Lake Conasauga. We hiked the Loop Trail around the lake daily while we were there. It takes around an hour to complete if you take your time, and you get to see the lake from every angle.
Off of that trail is the Songbird Trail and the Tower Trail. We decided to hike the Tower Trail to get to… Well, the tower.
The trail is two miles one way and ends on the very top of the mountain. An old watchtower sits up there, and the view is incredible! The tower is probably the highest point in Chatsworth, Georgia.
The trail is pretty overgrown in spots, so watch ours for poison oak! The last mile of the hike is pretty steep. Make sure to bring plenty of water! We were the only ones on the trail the entire time and never crossed paths with anyone. It took about two hours to complete.
We were exhausted when got back to camp, and so were our dogs! A dip in the lake made us feel much better and less sticky.
Overall, we had a great time and will definitely be back! If you have visited Lake Conasauga, tell us about it in the comments!
For those of you who scrolled to the bottom:
The drive up is bumpy and narrow. You can make it without a four-wheel drive, but be careful.
Spots are $15 a night. The spots fill up fast on the weekends. Come early if you want a premium view from camp.
They have bathrooms with running water, but now power. Bring a flashlight if you’re going in the dark.
The lake is huge with plenty of room to swim, fish, or take the boat out. Only electric motors allowed, though.
There are three trails. The Loop Trail goes around the lake, the Song Bird Trail that takes you out into nature, and if you climb the Tower Trail takes you to the best view in Chatsworth.
Give camping in Georgia a shot!
Happy travels, friends.