You work hard and play hard, so when it comes to camping, take it easy. You can camp or glamp it up in a yurt at Atlanta’s closest state park, Sweetwater Creek State Park.
The park, a little to our west, takes reservations for the 10 yurts and five tent camping sites at Sweetwater in Lithia Springs, only about a 30-minute drive from Atlanta.
The yurts are tucked away in a quiet, wooded section of the park. Made of wood and canvas, yurts sleep up to six people and come with beds, futons, screened windows and locking doors, as well as an outside deck, picnic table and grill/fire ring. Yurt reservations start at $85 per night.
Yurts have been around for thousands of years in Central Asia, and even today in Mongolia, most people reside in these rustic abodes. Now-retired Georgia State Parks director Burt Weerts (yes, rhymes with yurts) was introduced to the idea of yurts at a state parks conference back in the 1990s. Weerts saw yurts, popular in Oregon, filling a niche.
Georgia State Parks now has a total of 39 yurt accommodations available. Additional parks that have yurts include: High Falls; Red Top Mountain; Fort Yargo; Tugaloo and Cloudland Canyon. All Georgia state parks offer a variety of recreational and educational activities. For instance at Sweetwater, in the warm months, you can rent fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and pedal boats. There's a 215 acre lake for the boats and you can also kayak Sweetwater Creek. There are guided hikes such as a geology hike as well as one to the Civil War era New Manchester mill, which you might have seen in the movie "Hunger Games: Mockingjay." Check out the park's website for more ideas.
Stone Mountain Park (not part of the state park system) also has a total of six yurts nestled lakeside in the park’s campground.
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