Camping at Old Federal Campground - Flowery Branch, GA with VIDEO
Well, looks like we are starting a tradition by launching each camping season with a trip to Old Federal campground in Flowery Branch, GA! We just completed our first 2018 trip on opening weekend with no rain in the forecast, and are still happy campers with our Jayco Jayflight. We love this campground because it's local, but it's also clean, friendly, and offers amazing 180 degree views of the lake from most sites. You really can't beat the value for an amazing experience.
NAVIGATING THE CAMPGROUND
We always seem to get sites on the cul-de-sacs, but thankfully are fairly decently sized so you can turn your big rigs around without stressing too much. Old Federal has tent camping and three RV loops, offering electric and water. There is no sewer connections but the dump station was clean and relatively easy to access although the right edge of the driveway does drop off, so be careful! This is one of the many US Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds so there are a few ground rules you need to be aware of when booking this campground:
- No alcohol, firearms, or fireworks. Can't tell you what kind of trouble you'd get into if caught, but I wouldn't want to find out
- Very pet friendly but pets need to be on a certain length of leash and can't be a nuisance (aka. barking if left alone or dog aggressive in public areas)
- The campsites are freshly "cleaned" before your arrival, meaning no leaves or debris from previous campers
I want to mention that there are only three bath houses and you will really have to plan a poo since they aren't exactly close by - they are situated at the beginning of each loop and can make a painful walk if you really have to go - plan for a 10 minute walk or a hop in the truck to make bathroom runs if you aren't so lucky to have your own potty.
OUR CAMP SITE
We stayed at site 53 on the second loop this time (read review about site 34 here). Very spacious between sites and in a cul-de-sac, no neighbors across the way so we had lake views on both sides of the camper. The pad itself was gravel and relatively flat and we didn't have to use our tire levelers at all, so that made it quicker to setup. This campground holds a special place in our hearts because our daughter Marlowe began walking our first stay at this campground in April 2017, and our camping adventures haven't been the same since!
There was shade and sun opportunities due to the nice trees - and man the first day was super windy. The surrounding hillside to the lake was pretty steep, so the girls mostly played up on the pad. The negative about this site was there was a lot of traffic turning around in the cul-de-sac; not sure if visitors or potential future campers but it was enough to mention, which was the case at our last site too so maybe its this campground or just camping traffic in general. Also, There are two trees on the water/power side that our slide out fit perfectly between, although we weren't able to back all of the way up. Keep that in mind when you book this site!
- Most sites are quiet, large lots with reasonable rates
- Big open water with 180 degree views and both sunset and sunrise opportunities, plenty of boat watching, lots of sailboats
- Dogs allowed on a leash
- Public restrooms/bath houses appeared clean
- This site was a 2 minute walk to a small public dock/small boats could stop by
- Many tree options for hammocks since there were established trees (not all pine too!)
- Nice park playground (jungle gym only) and small clean sandy beach area
- When the water is low, there are a lot of exposed rocks near the campsite edge so bring shoes. It can also get overgrown with the tall green grass. This campground gets a lot of boat traffic, so they use the rock/mesh barriers on the waterfront which makes it almost impossible to get into the water at each site. The lake was super high this time, so it made it beautiful yet choppy and dangerous. I would recommend using the beach areas only for swimming.
- Fire ants. They like the lake life too apparently....It's Georgia, they are everywhere!
- The grill was rusted out at this site and unusable for the most part
- The roads are narrow, and some sites are right on the roadside. Also, guest parking is perpendicular to the road so if the guests don't know how to park, their tail end sticks out
- Designated beach area is kind of small. With a full lake more people may want to swim which will make it crowded since there is only one (near the park)
Now that we have been here a second time, I still love this campground. But, I've made a decision that this will be the campground we stay at in early spring or fall, when the weather is cooler and we don't have the desire to have our own lake front water entry. With young kids, it takes a lot of effort (and stuff) to have a successful water experience so the utilizing beach area swimming option would be extra effort and not ideal for us. We love everything else about Old Federal Campground and highly recommend it to other fellow campers!
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES CAMPING AT OLD FEDERAL CAMPGROUND? I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!