What truly sold me on purchasing the camper was being able to take our dogs with us everywhere we went. This was the second trip we went on that served a different purpose besides exploring and relaxing, (the first one being McDowell Nature Preserve Campground for a birthday.) We were heading up to Vogel State Park in Blairesville, GA for a wedding at Kaya Vineyard.
Vogel State Park has come to be one of my favorite state parks in Georgia. Located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forrest there is plenty of hiking and SO many waterfalls. Our visit was too early for the fall colors, but people flock to this area to see the leaves change. The campground has a lake with a swimming beach and non-motorized boats for rent. The well-stocked Visitors Center has a putt-putt course next to it. Vogel has 79 camping sites. If you prefer something with a little less set-up required and more luxury they also offer 34 cottages. The roads in the campground are a bit tight, but I did see many large campers in the back, so it IS doable.
Heather took a half day off work and got us to Vogel State Park about an hour before the office closed. At the time the sites were non-reservable. We knew we wanted to be in the back on the creek, but had to take whatever was left. Boy did we luck out! We got site 44 on the creek, I believe it was the last one available in that part of the campground. It was across from the bathroom and backed straight up to a creek large enough for the dogs to play in. The woods were magical with the green leaves or moss covering every inch.
Saturday morning we hiked Bear Hair Gap Trail, one of the more popular trails in the park. Online it says the trail is 4 miles, however we tracked ourselves at over 6 miles by the time we got back to our site. The hike consisted of a stunning outlook over the lake and multiple waterfalls, some that you had to walk through! This was a perfect way to start the day by tiring out the dogs so they would sleep while we were gone. We returned to the site to get ready for the wedding.
The wedding was at Kaya Vineyard about thirty minutes across Blood Mountain from the campground. The drive was a bit scary, so many turns on the mountain! I’m glad we did not bring our camper into the park that way. We spent about six hours at the wedding while the dogs slept in the camper. I introduced myself to the people camping on either side of us and gave them our phone number if the dogs were barking a lot or anything was wrong. We also have a Marcell Monitoring System that will text us if for some reason the camper is overheating. The dogs did great while we were away. [See more about Marcell on the Product Recommendations page.] Be sure to use the code Imagine20 to receive $20 off your purchase.
The views at Kaya Vineyards were gorgeous and the wedding was so much fun. I highly recommend visiting this vineyard and some others in the area. We were so happy to celebrate our friends.
On Sunday morning my best friend came to visit more with us over breakfast and I even talked them into a quick hike to the waterfall at the bottom of the lake.
I know some people are unhappy about the Georgia State Parks switching to reservable sites, however I couldn’t be more pleased. Yes, it does take more planning, but no longer will I spend the entire trip up to the campground worrying about what site we will be left with. There is so much to do at Vogel and we loved the campground so much that it is our first trip scheduled in 2018. I hope to check out DeSoto Falls nearby the campground and hike some other trails we did not get to.
Things we learned:
- Just because the internet says it’s 4 miles, it might be more. Take breaks along the way. Heather swears I tricked her into a six mile hike.
- The Marcell Unit works great to keep you updated on the temperature of the camper. If the power was to go out this unit would let us know if the camper is too hot for the dogs to be inside. We felt fine leaving them at the campground while at the wedding. $20 off the purchase isn’t bad either! Code – Imagine20