Atlanta is a great city known for its abundance of shopping, dining, and nightlife. But if you find yourself in need of a break from the traffic and crave a more peaceful setting, consider taking a weekend getaway to one of the beautiful National Forest campgrounds near the city.

There are several great National Forest campgrounds in the surrounding area that offer a change of scenery and the opportunity to explore nature. To ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, remember to pack out what you pack in, respect the natural surroundings, and prepare adequately before embarking on your adventure.

In this post, we'll highlight some of the best National Forest campgrounds near Atlanta, providing you with valuable information to help you plan your next outdoor excursion.

Photo by the U.S. Forest Service.

Lake Winfield Scott

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

One National Forest camping location I highly recommend in North Georgia is the Lake Winfield Scott campground. It is about a two-hour drive from downtown Atlanta and is the perfect escape for solo campers or the whole family.

This campground is open year-round with prices varying depending on the season. Lake Winfield Scott also offers double sites, group campsites and a cabin at various rates.

Each campsite comes equipped with a fire pit/grill, lantern post, and a picnic table. There are several toilet areas, as well as shower access on the campgrounds.

You can go fishing, kayaking, or even use the boat ramp for small electric motorized boats. Additionally, there is a designated area with a small beach where you can swim and relax. With so many recreation options, Lake Winfield Scott is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Learn more about the campground here.

Desoto Falls Recreational Area

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

This National Forest campground is located in Cleveland, Georgia, and it’s open year round. During the non-peak season (November 1 - March 31) the prices are cut in half.

There is one flush facility with shower access and four other chemical flush toilet areas, as well as drinking water access on the grounds. The normal amenities of a picnic table, fire pit/grill, and lantern post are provided at each campsite.

Things to do around the area include a few amazing hikes such as the Desoto Falls waterfall trail, Helton Creek Falls, and Byron Herbert Reece Trail (which has Appalachian Trail access).

Learn more about the campground here.

Photo by the U.S. Forest Service.

Tallulah River Campground

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Tallulah River Campground is an amazing choice if you want to spend most of your time fishing! This National Forest campground operates on a first come, first served basis (meaning they don’t take reservations). It is located in Clayton, Georgia and off the banks of the Tallulah River which is stocked routinely with rainbow trout.

The campground is open year-round, and it is handicap accessible. The cost to stay is $15/night/campsite and there are 17 large sites total. Each site is sizable enough to fit a small sized RV. The campsites come with a grill, a picnic table, and a lantern pole. There is also access to drinking water, restrooms, and a public phone if needed.

Learn more about the campground here.

Deep Hole Recreation Area

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Located in Suches, Georgia, Deep Hole Recreation Area is just a short drive to Blue Ridge, Georgia (only about 30 minutes from the campgrounds). This National Forest campground is designed more like a primitive campsite, meaning there is little to no cell service, no running water access, no electricity or dump stations, and only one double vault toilet station.

This campground is open every day of the year and costs $15/space per night. With access to grills, picnic tables, and lantern posts, you'll have everything you need to enjoy your stay. Be sure to book early if you want a waterfront site, as these tend to fill up quickly, especially during peak season.

One of the best things about this campground is its proximity to the Toccoa River. You can easily access the river directly from the campground and enjoy activities such as river fishing, canoeing, or kayaking. Or you can simply relax by the river with your family while enjoying a lovely lunch. With so many activities to choose from, this campground is a great option for anyone looking to connect with nature.

Learn more about the campground here.

Lake Rabun Beach Recreation Area

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

This National Forest campground is located in the North Georgia Mountains, in Lakemont, Georgia. The grounds have close access to many activities, such as hiking, kayaking, swimming, boating, and fishing.

The campground offers 80 campsites, and is open from mid-April until late October. Sites with electricity are about $35/night, and about $24/night without electricity. There’s also a group site available at $75/night.

Amenities at the Lake Rabun Beach Recreation Area include restrooms with showers, and each site has a grill, lamppost, and a picnic table.

Learn more about the campground here.

About the Author

Tee George is an outdoor influencer that is based out of Atlanta, GA highlighting beautiful destinations in the Southeast and beyond. She can most often be found exploring the great outdoors whether it’s through hiking, camping, skiing, or water sports. Her love for exploring is both inclusive and inspiring as she uses her social channels to encourage people of all backgrounds to spend time outside.

You can find her on Instagram and read about her adventures on her blog.

Cover photo by Cassandra Kane.


We hope you agree that getting outdoors with family, friends, or solo is a huge benefit of healthy and welcoming National Forests. Our work on campgrounds, trails, docks, overlooks, signs, and more ensures millions can enjoy the great outdoors each year. But it requires generosity from people like you to keep our work going. Your unrestricted gift allows us to direct funds to the greatest need. Please consider giving today. Thank you!

National Forest Foundation