Vogel State Park is one of Georgia’s most beloved state parks, and one visit there will show you why. Vogel – Georgia’s second oldest state park – 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.
Looking for 15 reasons to fall in love with this amazing park? Let’s go!
1. Hiking Trails for Families!
The Byron Reece Nature Trail begins near the campsite area 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 1.0-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.
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.
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, look no further than DeSoto Falls! The DeSoto Falls hike also takes you to two waterfalls, and has a beautiful picnic area. There is a $3 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, and they can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 10 people. And four 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! And 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? Look no further than Vogel State Park! With a little over 100 campsites, there is a campsite for every type of camper out there.
Vogel has 85 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 camp site 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.
In the summer, visitors can swim at the beach area. Or participate in the other recreational activities offered at the lake, like renting kayaks, paddleboards, pedal boats, or aquacycles to explore the entire lake!
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. For a small fee, you can putt-putt your afternoon away.
8. Rent a Bike!
In the summer, you can see the park in a whole new way — by renting a bike from the Visitor’s Center and taking in the sights on two wheels!
9. Enjoy a Picnic!
Bring your picnic basket and 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.
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 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!
Ready to learn more 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.
12. Junior Ranger Camps!
Two- and 3-day Junior Ranger camps are offered for kids ages 6-12 years old 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 made even better by visiting Vogel during their Mountain Music Day Festival in September!
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!
Celebrate July 4th at the park!
Vogel offers games for the whole family, 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 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!
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