Hard Labor Creek State Park
Georgia Campgrounds,  Hard Labor Creek State Park

Hard Labor Creek State Park


Hard Labor Creek State Park

If you want to explore another one of Georgia’s great state parks or just need a stop over off of I-20, Hard Labor Creek State Park has a lot to offer.

Located in Rutledge, GA just four miles off of I-20 — Hard Labor Creek State Park is 5800 acres that includes a swimming beach, 18-hole golf course, 24 miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. There are two campgrounds in the state park, one with 51 electric/water campsites and the other is an equestrian campground, with 11 horse campsites and 30 horse stalls. 13 of the campsites (1-13) have sewer hookup. There are 20 cottages for rent as well. Hard Labor Creek State Park also has a playground, well-stocked visitor center, and a putt-putt course.

Friends of Georgia State Parks Discount Code

Two warnings: no cell service in the campground and lots of bugs. It seemed like the camper next to us had some sort of booster they were using and we were able to pick up some texts throughout the campground (but not our site.) The cottages do have wifi, but the Ranger we spoke to said there are a lot of renovations on the list before adding wifi to the campground. Maybe in another year or so it will happen. Bring bug spray! We went out and purchased some citronella candles and a Thermacell unit, but the bugs were vicious. 

We rented campsite 6, choosing from the full hook-up campsites that were available at the time. Site 6 is unique in that it has three different levels of outdoor living space. The length of the driveway is 45 ft., but for the most part only the camper will be on the driveway. Steps off the back will lead you to the second level with a fire pit and wooden picnic table. Walking down to the final level there was a large space for a tent or chairs around a second fire pit. 

Only the bottom level was private from the road. Recently the park had cut down multiple trees around campsite 6 that probably provided shade. Without the trees our site was in full sun for most of the day. They left some of the tree branches and trunks cut to about 18 inches,  which was great to add to our campfires. Through the woods you could see the natural trail behind our campsite. 

Campsite 4 (to the left of us) also had three tiers and more shade. I particularly liked the grass field off the bottom level for kids and dogs. This campsite driveway is much shorter though (30 ft. back-in) and while a Reflection 5th wheel was parked there during our stay, they had trouble fitting their truck and a friend’s car. 

All of the pull-thrus with full hook-up were super long (60+ ft.). We liked campsite 3 the most because the outdoor living space looked out over a grassy field. This would be great for kids to run around and play. Campsite 7 was also a large pull-thru site, but it’s important to note that MANY people scraped their camper or hitch when pulling it. We witnessed a large class C pulling a trailer with a jeep on it scrape their hitch when pulling thru. 

One of the campsites favored by many at Hard Labor Creek State Park is site 40. This is a 30 ft. back-in campsite at the back of the campground with stairs down to the creek. Though some parts of the campground are located near murky water, the water at this point was true creek and somewhat fast flowing. Campsite 41 also has access to the creek in this location, but it is a much shorter campsite. 

If you are looking for a campsite with privacy from the road and view of the marsh/wildlife then campsite 37 is for you. Campsite 38 has a great view of the marsh and a large camping pad. The loop with campsites 43-51 seemed tight for larger campers. We saw a large camper on site 50 and the campers bringing their kayaks up through the grass off of the campsite. 

One of the mornings we ventured off on the trail behind campsite 10 to check out the nature trails. It was hot and humid, but we completed all of the Beaverpond Nature Trail and about half of the Brantley Nature Trail. Both are loops, but there are smaller trails connected to these that would take you back to various points of the campground. There were 10+ bridges throughout the nature trails that were falling apart. This must be next on the list for renovations for the park. 

The putt-putt course was a big hit for our four-year-old. We played it twice during our stay at Hard Labor. The fee for adults is $5 each, children $2.50, and 3 & under are free. The visitors center closes at 5 p.m., but as long as you pay and get your putter before then you can play past that time. 

The beach was large and quite busy on the weekend. We swam on Tuesday and had plenty of of space on the sand to ourselves. There was even shade on the far right portion of the beach where we set up. The water was warm, not really refreshing in the hot sun—but the kids enjoyed it of course. There is a dock and the park offers kayak and canoe rentals. We saw a family paddle board across the lake and utilize the dock at Camp Rutledge (a private camp.)

During the weekend Hard Labor Creek State Park campground was full, but as the weekdays rolled around it emptied out. It seemed like most people that were there on the week day were stopping through and needed a place to stay over convenient to I-20. We only traveled over to Madison to get groceries from Ingles, but Rutledge is minutes away from the campground. Covington and Social Circle are also nearby with more to offer. 

We saw multiple warnings of the railroad crossings in town, that the crest was way too high for large trailers and motorhomes. Our GPS took us to exit 101 (278 to Rutledge) where we crossed the tracks at the turn for Old Mill Rd. This is apparently the best place to cross the tracks when getting to Hard Labor Creek State Park. 

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