George T. Bagby State Park, in Fort Gaines, Ga. is located along the banks of the 48,000 acre Lake Walter F. George. On a recent spring break trip, we took some time to explore this often overlooked Georgia State Park, and the surrounding Fort Gaines community.
What we found was lots of inexpensive fun. Here are our top 5 things to do in Fort Gaines, Ga. and George T. Bagby State Park.
Boating: There is a full-service marina at the lake. Since we didn’t have a boat, we rented a canoe ($5 for an hour!) and paddled around beautiful cypress tree outcrops in the middle of the lake, explored inlets and even put in on a peninsula and did some exploring on foot. I was quite proud of my pinecone Christmas tree with shells and sand decorations that I made on the beach.
Fishing: Anglers will be excited to know that a state record blue catfish was captured on Walter F. George Lake. Too bad we didn’t fair as well. On our trip, we borrowed rods from the marina and purchased some crickets for $3. A very nice couple from Cuthbert, Ga. shared their fishing spot, but alas, we came up empty. It was a relaxing few hours though and we even had a picnic while we waited patiently for the fish to bite.
Golf: George T. Bagby has a Willard Byrd designed golf course and was once ranked 6th best affordable public course in the U.S. by Golf Digest. Summer can get a bit hot and buggy here, but it’s the perfect location for a family golf trip any other season. Kids play for only $5 during the week and weekend afternoons. Georgia’s State Parks also sponsor junior golf leagues and tournaments.
Swim/Tennis/Playground: At the lodge is a traditional in-ground swimming pool and well maintained tennis courts including a backboard for solo hitting. The playground at George T. Bagby offers lots of different climbing, swinging and play structures. It’s located near the beach and picnic area, so wear a bathing suit and take a dip when you get too hot. There’s even a sand volleyball court for the older kids.
1814 Frontier Village:A short drive south is the Frontier Village in Fort Gaines, Ga. Located on a bluff overlooking the Flint River and literally at the end of residential street, Frontier Village is an assembly of historic buildings from across the county.
There is no entry fee or costumed interpreters, just buildings and historic markers letting you know the history. The village had a bit of a ghost town feel, as we were the only people there, but my boys had a blast playing in the lookout tower while I walked around. Now if Ft. Gaines would just get an ice cream shop!
Where to Stay: George T. Bagby State Park in Fort Gaines, Ga. has cottages, lodge rooms and camping available.
There are only a few cottages, so book well in advance if you want to stay there. The lodge rooms were clean, standard motel type rooms with outdoor access. The lodge has meeting facilities and a full restaurant