Fort Yargo State Park
Type:State Park, Fort

Post-revolutionary Fort Yargo built on the Georgia frontierToday this busy camping and recreational state park is on the outskirts of Atlanta's (Atlanta history) urban sprawl, but when Fort Yargo was built, this area was on the outskirts of Georgia's frontier, and actually inside Indian Territory. Today the entire facility is receiving a much needed "face-lift," not surprising since it is regularly in the top ten of Georgia State Parks based on visitors.

History of Fort Yargo

The western push of settlers from the Georgia coast had slowed during the Revolutionary War, but not long after the war ended, settlers once again began to encroach on Creek land. Near the Creek town of Snodon settlers created tiny Jug Handle, essentially a tavern and inn at the intersection of a heavily traveled north-south Indian Trading Path and an east-west trading route.

To protect the settlers from the Creek Indians, Fort Yargo was built in 1792 by a Virginia settler living in the present-day Jefferson area, Captain Joseph Humphries, who is noted as a county clerk, justice of the peace, and inferior court judge. There were no Cherokee towns in this vicinity as it is several miles from the Creek-Cherokee border (the first ridge south of the Chattahoochee River).

Visiting the park

Included in the Fort Yargo historical site is the Will-a-way Recreation Area, which actually covers most of the 1,800 acres of land the park encompasses. It is built around the centerpiece 260-acre man-made lake, created by damming Marburg Creek and its tributaries.

In the Will-a-way Recreation Area are 40 general camping sites, 7 "walk-in" sites for people who are willing to pack in their food, tents and bedding, tennis courts and both pioneer and group camping shelters.

An easy hiking trail meanders around the lake, and their are mountain biking enthusiasts who love this park. Fishing is allowed, and there are two boat ramps for put-in. The one we visited was deep concrete, but only small motors (under 10hp) are allowed on the lake.


Location: South of Winder, GA
Directions: Take I-85 north to Exit 106, Route 316, and go east for 18 miles. Turn left on GA. 81. Continue north for 1 mile to historic marker on right. Turn right on Carson Wages Rd. (now paved). Parking on left-hand side. Will-a-way Recreation AreaFollow directions to Old Fort Yargo, but continue north for 3 miles. Entrance to the park is on the right.
Additional information:
Fort Yargo S.P.-770.867.3489
Will-a-way Recreation Area-770.867.6123
Toll-free reservation line-800.864.7275
Fees: Small fee charged to enter park, overnight camping charges are reasonable
Fort Yargo State Park
P.O. Box 764
Winder, GA
Website: Additional information on Georgia Forts
Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: March 12, 2004

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