15 Reasons You Will Fall in Love With Vogel State Park

There are so many amazing parks in the southeast, but this one should be on your list of places to visit soon. Vogel State Park in the North Georgia Mountains in Blairsville offers a 22-acre lake, multiple hiking trails, a museum, plus cottages & campsites.

15 REASONS YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH VOGEL STATE PARK

15 REASONS WHY YOU’LL FALL IN LOVE WITH VOGEL STATE PARK

Vogel State Park is one of Georgia’s most beloved state parks, and one visit there will show you why.  Vogel is Georgia’s second oldest state park and is located in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest near Blairsville.

Vogel is a park located close to many of our state’s most beautiful waterfalls and hikes, which makes this is a place that cannot be missed. The drive to Vogel State Park is an amazing adventure itself. Visitors to Vogel pass through Neels Gap – a seriously beautiful mountain pass that goes right by Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia.

We love Vogel and we know you will too! Here are 15 reasons why you need to plan a trip to this awesome state park.

1. HIKING IS FOR FAMILIES

The Byron Reece Nature Trail begins near the campsites and is only a 0.8-mile hike through the woods. Your little ones will love exploring this trail!

The Trahlyta Lake Trail is a 1-mile loop trail, and it is spectacular!  There is a spur trail off the lake loop trail that will take you down to an observation deck to see the bottom of the spillway “waterfall”  – and it’s something that will leave your kids (and you!) completely impressed. It’s an easy hike for the kiddos, plus it’s dog-friendly, so bring Fido!

Also, one of the most popular pictures of Vogel State Park can be taken on this hike. When you’re on the bridge over the dam, take a picture of Lake Trahlyta with Blood and Slaughter mountains behind it!  It’s truly beautiful.

2. HIKING TRAILS FOR EXPERIENCED HIKERS

Two other trails are available within the park for more experienced hikers.

The Bear Hair Gap Trail is a 4.1-mile partial loop trail that takes you through wildflowers and over the lower ridges of Blood Mountain. The 12.9-mile Coosa Backcountry Trail is an all-day hike that loops over the summit of Duncan Ridge.

Both hikes travel through the Chattahoochee National Forest, which is open to hunters, so it’s advised to wear bright-colored clothing, or orange safety vests, during hunting season.

You can find more information about hiking at Vogel here.

3. EXPLORING WATERFALLS

Helton Creek Falls can be found just minutes away from Vogel. There are two waterfalls to see — the lower and upper falls — and the hike is a short, family-friendly 0.6 miles.

If you’re looking for another nearby waterfall hike for the whole family, check out DeSoto Falls. The DeSoto Falls hike also takes you to two waterfalls and has a beautiful picnic area. There is a $5 parking fee here, but it’s more than worth it.

And, of course, a visit to Vogel is not complete without a hike to the waterfall from the Lake Trahlyta dam. A spur trail off the Trahlyta Lake Loop will take you down to an observation deck at the bottom of the roaring falls!

4. STAYING IN THE CABINS AND COTTAGES

There are multiple types of cottages at Vogel, including standard cabins, and rustic log cottages refurbished in 2018. Vogel offers 34 cabins and cottages, accommodating anywhere from 2 to 10 people. Eight of the cabins are pet-friendly.

Some of the newly-refurbished cottages back up onto a creek, and look like something straight out of Southern Living Magazine.  Several of the rustic cottages and standard cabins overlook Lake Trahlyta.

All the cabins and cottages have kitchens that include pots and pans, utensils, and coffee makers.  Linens for the beds and bathrooms are provided.  Fire rings, grills, and picnic tables can be found just outside.

All cabins also have cable TV, and free WiFi (available throughout the park, as well).

5. LET’S GO CAMPING

Ready to camp? With over 90 campsites, there is a campsite for every type of camper out there at Vogel State Park.

Vogel has 90 campsites with electrical hookups, 18 tent-only walk-in campsites, and one pioneer campground.

The campsites with electrical hookups can be used by tent campers, RV campers, or those with trailer campers, too. Each site has a fire ring, the electrical hookup, a picnic table, a place to park, and a gravel pad for your tent.

The tent-only walk-in campsites are exactly as they sound — only for tent campers. You will park your car in a small lot, and then hike your gear to your site. But don’t worry, the hike to your spot is not very far. These sites do not have electrical hookups, but do have a tent pad, grill, fire ring, and picnic table.

The pioneer campground is perfect for large groups!

The pioneer campground is a walk-in campground that can accommodate up to 50 people. The area doesn’t have electrical or water hookups (the water is located in the parking lot), but does have two Adirondack shelters, a picnic shelter, a pit toilet, and a fire ring.

Vogel State Park now offers site-specific camping, meaning that when you make your camping reservation online, you can choose exactly which spot you want. You get to choose if you want a spot near the creek, near the bathrooms, or — if you don’t want to haul your gear too far — near the walk-in campsite parking.

6. GET OUT ON THE WATER

When you think of Vogel, we know you think about the beautiful mountains — but do you think about all water activities they offer?

Vogel’s 22-acre Lake Trahlyta is at the center of the park. The lake is open to non-motorized boats year-round, and offers freshwater fishing.

For just a $5 parking fee, you can enjoy cooling off and picnicking all day on the sandy swimming beach, or participate in the other recreational activities offered at the lake, like renting kayaks, paddleboards, pedal boats, or aquacycles.

7. LET’S PUTT-PUTT

Vogel offers many outdoor activities, including miniature golf! Our kids were so surprised to see a putt-putt course right outside our cabin.

They’ve got two 18-hole putt-putt courses to choose from, and clubs and golf balls can be rented from the Visitors Center for $5.

8. ENJOY A PICNIC

Bring your picnic basket and enjoy a meal with a view at one of Vogel’s four picnic shelters. Each picnic shelter has tables and grills, and they’re great to reserve for a party or reunion.

You’ll also find picnic tables throughout the park, or just find a nice quiet spot next to the creek or lake.

9. GO GEOCACHING AT VOGEL

Geocaching is a fun and inexpensive way to have fun out in nature and learn more about the park you’re visiting! We love geocaching, and Vogel is a great place to explore.

For added fun, try your hand at finding the Vogel State Park geocache that is part of the Georgia State Parks GeoTour. The Parks GeoTour now has 4 different region coins to collect and all new cache locations — including at Vogel. After you locate 9 geocaches from one region (Vogel is part of the Mountains Region), you can get your own GeoCoin!

You can find more information about the GeoTour here.

10. VOLUNTEER AT THE PARK IN APRIL

Take part in a truly rewarding experience — Vogel’s Annual Volunteer Work Day in April! It’s a chance to give back while spending time in the great outdoors.

You’ll help Vogel get ready for the busy summer season by helping with things such as refurbishing campsites and cleaning up trails. Meals are provided, and pre-registration is required.

11. LEARN ABOUT THE CCC

The CCC — the Civilian Conservation Corps — was a relief program for unemployed, young men during the Great Depression. A CCC History Day and Open House is held at Vogel in May, where hands-on activities and work, similar to what the CCC boys would’ve done in the 1930s, is demonstrated.

After working, there will be an open house with refreshments at the park’s very own CCC museum, where you can learn more about the many facilities constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The museum is open seasonally.

12. JUNIOR RANGER CAMPS

Two- and 3-day Junior Ranger camps are offered for kids ages 6-12 during select days in June, July, and August.

Days of crafting, learning, and exploring with a ranger will earn your kids a Level I or Level II Junior Ranger badge. Advance registration is required. (Fee.)

13. VISIT THE MOUNTAIN MUSIC DAY FESTIVAL

A day in the mountains will be better by visiting Vogel during their Mountain Music Day Festival in September! This year, the festival will be held September 14, 2024.

This event features bluegrass and gospel music, local crafters selling their handmade items, and the Vogel Volunteers selling food. Food, crafts, and music in the mountains? Yes, please!

14. CELEBRATE JULY 4TH AT THE PARK

Vogel offers games for the whole family during the July 4th holiday, including a bicycle parade, pedal boat races, a sandcastle competition, a watermelon-eating contest, sack races, an egg toss, and greased pole climbing! How can you say no to that?

15. CHRISTMAS AT THE PARK

Every December for over 15 years, Vogel has held a Christmas tree lighting at the park on one special Saturday.

It is truly a special event, that includes the tree lighting, Christmas cookies, hot cocoa, hayrides, and caroling. Please bring an unwrapped gift to donate to a child in need, and let the sounds of the season surround you!

I attended this event with my little ones years ago, and it was a truly memorable experience. I highly recommend it.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GEORGIA STATE PARKS

GETTING TO VOGEL STATE PARK

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15 Reasons You Will Fall in Love With Vogel State Park