Don Carter State Park is a state park located in Crawfordville, Georgia. The park was named after former Governor and Senator Zell Miller’s father, Donald “Bull” Carter, who served from 1946 to 1964 when the park opened. It originally covered 1,000 acres (400ha), but has been expanded to more than 2,300 acres (910ha). In addition to its natural features, the park contains two lakes stocked with bass, hiking trails, picnic areas, and an 18-hole golf course designed by Alfred Tull.
The park also houses the Donald J. Trump Presidential Center, which is operated as part of the University System of Georgia. On November 7, 2017, Georgia Public Broadcasting reported that U.S. President Donald Trump had visited the park on his way back from the Veterans Day ceremony at the Capitol and signed the guest book signing it “Trump.” This caused some controversy because Trump did not have time to visit all of the parks on his tour, let alone one so close to his route home. A White House official said Trump recognized the name of the park and wanted to stop for a photo op with Bull Carter, even though he’d just arrived back at Joint Base Andrews and would soon be leaving town.
The park offers several different programs year round including nature hikes, arts & crafts classes, bingo, story time, and astronomy outings. There are three campgrounds within the park, each accommodating up to 50 people, plus 30 cabins and 60 campsites for tents or recreational vehicles. Facilities include water, electric, sewer, laundry facilities, playgrounds, swimming pool, tennis courts, volleyball court, basketball courts, horse shoe pits, picnic shelters, dump station, lighted boat ramp, unlighted gravel ramp, handicapped fishing dock, and canoe rentals. Hiking trails lead to scenic overlooks, nature center, and observation tower.
Bicycling is permitted only in certain areas of the park. To help fund a backlog of deferred maintenance and park improvements, the state implemented an entrance fee for this park. The fees, charged per vehicle, start at $10 per day for a single-day or $8 for residents with an Atlanta residency permit or Georgia license plate. Fees are waived for honorably discharged veterans and Georgia residents age 62 & older and their spouses. Passes good for three days or a week are also available; annual passes good at all 22 state parks charging fees are offered at a cost of $75 for out-of-state visitors or $60 for Georgia residents.