Camping at Lake Lanier Islands - Blue Ridge Campground with VIDEO
Lake Lanier has plenty of things to do, from a water park with slides, to zip lines, to a pretty chill campground. If a camp site is within a few hours of us, we try to go scope it out prior to booking to make sure it's going to be enjoyable. Most places will let you do this during the week when they have less campers because they don't want unnecessary traffic on the weekends when they are typically full anyways. Since Blue Ridge campground is behind the Lanier Islands gate, it will cost you $15 to get through, one time, then you can drive around anywhere with freedom, including the actual campground. I've also included a video of a drive through some of the campground road to get to our site so you can see how narrow and steep some areas are. By far, this was the most confusing camping check-in experience we've had so hopefully this helps you!
Navigating the Campground
When we arrived at the front gate of Lanier Islands with our 34 foot Jayco, we realized we needed to use the entrance on the right side due to height clearance. We did not have to pay the entrance fee this time as they just waived us through, so I guess it's included in the camping fees but nothing about gate fees was mentioned in the reservation. The campground is all the way in the rear of the park. Once again, since the booking website was minimal and simple (and didn't contain any helpful instructions), we ended up stopping at the canopy zip line building, which is at the intersection of going to the campground or stables, thinking it was the place to check in.
The guy there told us to check in at site 114 in the actual campground, but it's difficult to drive your camper there, so just go to your site and start setting up. The guy drives around on a golf cart throughout the day and will check you in. Since the site was not reserved the night before, we showed up around noon and were able to setup early before the official check-in time.
Our Camp Site
We stayed at site 131 and enjoyed it because it was not too steep to get down to the lake like some spots. In the water there was some Georgia clay, but not a lot of silt considering we were in a cove, as silt seems to plague the Lake Lanier coves. It's really the best cove we've stayed in compared to other Lake Lanier coves, just because of the silt factor, but also because it was calm yet we could still see all of the boating traffic pass by.
We also had some "resident" white ducks that hung out with the girls for a while so it was some great picture opportunities! There also were some good trees for hanging a hammock. Overall we liked our site compared to others, with a few caveats:
- The space to park the camper was very narrow, not a lot of space in front of the small retaining wall left for hanging out under the awning
- There are two pine trees that were perfectly spaced (although a tight squeeze) for our slide out to fit in between the two trees. Could be a problem for some trailers' dimensions
- Bring some water shoes if you have them, there are lots of rocks and sticks everywhere so it will save you a good foot slicing possibly
- Watch out for bottle glass.....less rules means idiots not being safe on the beach, and we did find some broken pieces.
Yeah.... There isn't an official dump station. Site 115 is the only dump station and its actually a campsite, but I think they keep it open for campers to dump. There isn't any nice concrete or anything around it. It's on an uphill slope and really isn't designed for someone to drive their camper to, just tote your portable dump tank to it. There also isn't a wash hose. Gotta admit, it sucked, but was doable.
No guest restrictions or requirements for guests to check in at the front, so it can get busy with everyone's additional guests. We had 4 additional cars come to our site one day and there were no complaints with us parking them in the unreserved site across from us. Just be prepared for unwanted rowdiness or overcrowded sites. We visited the weekend before and it was crazy in some areas that had tent campers... Tons of cars and an overwhelming amount of people everywhere. We almost canceled due to this but couldn't find anything else with such short notice. Thankfully, we went the weekend school was starting so maybe our experience was with everyone getting the last weekend trip in before school was back in. Who knows...
- Less restrictions, more freedom
- Motorized vehicles allowed like golf carts or little dirt bikes
- Dogs allowed on chains, golf cart guy did come around and make presence known and reminded people to chain up dogs
- Alcohol allowed, no glass though. This is nice because the sites around the lake are mostly Army Corp sites which prohibit alcohol
- Drive down the street to go to the water park or go to a restaurant (day pass or season pass required to get into park)
- People drove too fast
- All sites were pretty close to the pass through roads
- Lots weren't really maintained, lots of overgrown areas
- We didn't visit the restrooms, but they weren't close to us anyways and probably would require a hop in the car if you really had to go
- I couldn't find any reviews, pictures, or information really, so because we live close by and could go and see it is what made us take the "risk" and try it out, but I usually try to do some research in advance
Would we come here again? Yes I guess, although I enjoy other available campgrounds around Lake Lanier better. This is a great campground if you are a local and have season passes to Lanier World... It was quite convenient and pretty easy to head over to the park for the day and then go back and relax at your camper with a nice refreshing adult beverage :)
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO SHARE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES CAMPING AT BLUE RIDGE CAMPGROUND? I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!