Fort Yargo State Park: destination & adventure guide

Hike. Bike. Swim. Stay. Find an lakeside adventure at Fort Yargo State Park near Athens, and explore one of Georgia's best outdoor playgrounds near Atlanta.

It’s just a short drive from Atlanta and Athens, but a great escape from city life.

Explore Fort Yargo’s many miles of hiking and biking trails. Swim and play in the park’s glassy Marbury Creek Lake. Camp at one of the park’s many prime campsites, or settle into a cozy, modern cabin with sublime lakeside views. There’s a whole lot to explore in Fort Yargo State Park’s 1800 acres.

Camp, bike, swim, paddle and play: Fort Yargo State Park destination & adventure guide

Named for a small log fort built in 1792, Fort Yargo State Park offers a great quick escape for a few days of relaxation and exploration near Athens, GA. The park features a 260-acre lake that’s perfect for swimming, fishing, boating and wildlife viewing from the meandering shoreline. Over 20 miles of hiking, running and biking trails wind through wildflower filled meadows and shady pine forests. And disc golf, tennis courts, basketball courts, and playgrounds provide plenty of off-trail activities throughout the park.

There’s so much to do, why not settle in and stay a while? The park offers many options for overnight stays, including tent and RV camping, yurts and Fort Yargo’s Camper Cabins, the park’s newest accommodations.

Fort Yargo: top hiking and running trails

With over 20 miles of trails, Fort Yargo State Park offers fantastic hiking and running trails throughout the park. The gently rolling terrain and beautiful lake views make the park a popular destination for trail runners and hikers alike.

Fort Yargo mountain biking

Fort Yargo offers 20 miles of mountain biking trails, and it’s one of the most popular destinations for mountain bike enthusiasts near Athens. Trails range from easy to difficult and offer a fun and challenging experience for riders of broad skill levels. Bike through a variety of scenic landscapes, including wetlands, creeks, woodlands, open meadows and along the Marbury Creek Lakeshore.

Bike, hike or run the scenic Lake Loop Trail at Fort Yargo State Park in Georgia

Beginning riders can test the trails on the Lake Loop Trail, biking five to seven easy-to-moderate miles of mostly flat terrain.

Or bike the blue blazed Mountain Bike Loop to ride 12 miles of moderate to difficult trail. The trail skirts the edges of the Fort Yargo State Park and features a range of challenging terrain for more experienced riders.

Fort Yargo paddling

The beautiful, rippling waters of Marbury Creek Lake offer the perfect summertime place to cool off and enjoy some time on the water. At 260 acres, the lake offers ample space to enjoy and explore. Take a lazy swim at the park’s swimming beach, or relax on the sand and bask in the warm Georgia sun. The park also rents canoes, kayaks, boats, and paddleboards for more active on water fun.

Paddle the lake at Fort Yargo State Park by boat, kayak, canoe or SUP (stand-up paddleboard)

For a one-of-a-kind experience, take a guide-led twilight paddle and score an exceptional view of the lake illuminated by the moon and millions of stars. Advanced reservations are required so check the Fort Yargo State Park website for more information.

Fort Yargo camping & cabins

Fort Yargo’s proximity to both Atlanta and Athens makes for a quick, easy option for a few nights out under the stars.

  • Camp or cabin: an overnight stay at Georgia's Fort Yargo State Park is a great adventure near Atlanta

    Fort Yargo Campsites

    Grab the tent and sleeping bags and head out for some family friendly-friendly fun. Over 40 campsites are sited throughout the park, accommodating tents, RVs and trailers. Twelve walk-in campsites accommodate tents only, and offer a bit more seclusion. Fort Yargo’s campsites feature water and electrical hookups, picnic tables and fire rings. The campground also features modern comfort stations.

  • Rent a camper cabin at Fort Yargo State Park

    Fort Yargo Camper Cabins

    Looking for something a little less rustic? The park recently debuted its modern, lakeside Camper Cabins, our favorite for a stay at Fort Yargo. Camper Cabins are two bed, one bath cabins that are furnished with modern-rustic furnishings and decor. The cabins are roomy and light-filled, and feature full sized beds, a spacious bath, modern kitchen appliances. Our favorite feature: the cabins’ huge screened porches. They’re perfect for relaxing after a day exploring the park, and many have beautiful views of the nearby lake.
    READ OUR FORT YARGO CAMPER CABIN REVIEW

Fort Yargo State Park: nearby adventures

Staying a few? Once you’ve run, biked, paddled and hiked through Fort Yargo’s beauty, plan a side trip to one of our nearby favorite trails for some more exploration and outdoor fun.

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