Looking for one of the best fishing campgrounds in the state? Or maybe just a campground that is off the beaten path?
Rocky Mountain Recreation and Public Fishing Area is located in Rome, Georgia. It offers two large fishing lakes, a campground, beach, mountain biking trails, hiking trails, and an archery range. The biggest attraction at Rocky Mountain Campground seemed to be fishing.
To fish at Rocky Mountain you are required to have a Georgia Fishing license, but not required to have a WMA (Wildlife Management Areas) license. In Antioch lake and Heath lake you will find large mouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish, crappie, and walleye. All large mouth bass 14-20” must be released immediately. All boats must operate at idle speed (no-wake) regardless of motor size. We saw many kayaks and a couple fishing boats on the lake.
The campground offers 37 campsites with electricity and water for $30 a night. There are nine tent sites located on the lake for $12 a night. Two buddy campsites are offered with site 8 and 37 for $60 a night. Within the campground loop there was one bath house and a playground on the way to the beach. The campground has an automatic gate that will close at night. Reservations can be made through the Georgia Wildlife Resources page.
Rocky Mountain Campground only recently became site specific with a reservation system in 2022. Before this first come first serve system kept us from checking out the park. We didn’t want to pack up, drive all the way to Rome, to figure out they were full or didn’t have a site that would accommodate us.
From previous research I knew to be prepared for un-level sites. Fortunately the site we picked was level side to side, but we had to lower the jack all the way down to level the camper front to back. Sites on our row all seemed to have their camper nose close to the ground.
Campsite 26 is a 50-ft. lakefront, with the tent sites located to the right. I picked this because there wouldn’t be a camper located directly beside us, however we did have the tent site parking lot right beside us. Between the campsite and the lake there are a lot of trees—great for hammocks and providing shade to the campsites.
We arrived Friday in the daylight and missed the sign for the campground. Not having been here before we pulled onto the main road of the park, Mountain View Rd. There was not a check-in at the visitors center, so we pulled up the campground map on our phones to figure out where to go. We needed to keep going down Big Texas Valley Rd. to the next left, Wildwood Cove, to find the campground.
This particular March weekend was cold and that might have been why the campground was only about a quarter full the entire weekend. When we pulled into the campground there was an information board near the entrance and the camp host site. We never “checked into” the site over the weekend and hoped that our Georgia State Parks pass was all we needed for the truck. We saw a ranger drive through once, but they never stopped to talk to anyone.
Saturday morning we drove back over to the main area of Rocky Mountain Recreation to take a hike around Antioch Trail (Lake East). This hike was 3.1 miles and fairly level until the last bit of the hike. Due to the recent rain many areas of the trail were way too muddy to walk through. The park provided multiple stepping stones and ways to get through the mud in all of the spots except one. We had to completely walk around the muddy area, leaving the trail for a little bit to cut back in.
The hike went around the lake and then between Antioch Lake East and the lower reservoir. The last quarter of the hike included a drastic incline up the side of a mountain. Along the mountain the trail was narrow, barely big enough for the pups to walk side by side. Had we gone counter clockwise from the visitors center and hiked the mountain first we may have been alarmed for what we were getting ourselves into.
We did not bring enough firewood for the weekend and forgot a couple other items, so we drove back into town. There is not a single gas station or store for 30 minutes. We drove back toward Rome to find a Lowe’s and Dollar General.
This is a good campground option if you need to be in the area of Rome, Georgia. Rocky Mountain Recreation is a great option for camping if you like to fish. Our family isn’t really into fishing, but for us this would be a great fall or spring campground option.