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Cast a line, launch a boat or take a hike

By Mark Alan Hudson
Correspondent

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It may be Georgia’s smallest state park, but Moccasin Creek offers a wide variety of family fun in a beautiful setting. Located in the northeast portion of the state, it is also surprisingly easy to reach.

Distance

From Charlotte, it’s about 190 miles – about a 31/2-hour drive.

To see and do

Moccasin Creek, nestled along idyllic Lake Burton’s western shore, offers outstanding camping, a great playground for kids, some outstanding fishing and boating opportunities and even some hiking from mid-March to the last day of November.

Formed and opened in 1927, the lake’s 2,800 acres and 62 miles of shoreline meander among the high foothills of the southern Blue Ridge. Fishing is outstanding; common varieties include spotted and largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, yellow perch and walleye. A fish-cleaning station, handicapped fishing piers, a nearby boat ramp, docks and trailer parking are amenities. A marina, with a restaurant and other services, is 2 miles away. Georgia fishing regulations apply. Nearby streams support trout, and there is a fish hatchery next to the park that is open daily.

Like to camp? There are 54 sites (two are handicapped-accessible) in a loop configuration that are served by two restroom and shower facilities. Sites are suitable for RVs up to 40 feet and come with table and fire ring. The campground is well populated by hardwoods, making it shady for the summer.

For the kids, there is a very nice playground area that is suitable for a wide range of ages. Bikes are welcome on the roadway within the park.

For families, the Burton Trout Hatchery next door has neat exhibits to view as well as a family fishing pond stocked with channel catfish. The hatchery also is the location of a public boat ramp that is open daily.

If you don’t have your own boat, the park rents canoes for $8 an hour. This option provides a very relaxing way to see some of the quiet sections of the lake.

Hiking trails are also here, including a short, easy nature trail and a longer, slightly more difficult trail that most kids could still handle. The reward of the longer trail is a pretty waterfall.

While the park can be your sole destination, the general Clarksville, Ga., area has much to offer in scenic beauty. Eleven waterfalls are within 10 miles of the park, as well as several other state parks.

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