Moccasin Creek State Park is a state park located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Georgia, along the banks and tributaries of Moccasin Creek. The park’s main entrance is located on Highway 21, 3 miles (5km) south of Hoboken and 18 miles (29km) southeast of Kennesaw. The park also has entrances at both ends of Jones Gap Road. Moccasin Creek State Park was established as a result of cooperation between local citizens and the state government to create a recreational area around Moccasin Lake, which was built during construction of Interstate 75.
A dam three feet high and 407 feet long was constructed in 1969, creating an artificial lake that measures approximately one mile by two miles with 1,600 acres (650ha) submerged and 2,400 acres (970ha) above the waterline. An adjacent land sale began in 1971, with full public opening occurring in 1976. In addition to its lake, the park offers access to more than 12 miles (19km) of hiking trails, mountain biking, camping sites, cabins, group campsites, playgrounds, picnic areas, fishing, swimming, four miles (6km) of horseback riding stables, nine miles (14km) of golf courses, six miles (10km) of archery range, and equestrian events.
The park hosts many annual events including Mountain Bike Madness, Halloween Hikes, Christmas in July, Music in the Mountains, Waterfalls Weekend, and the Masters Marathon. During the summer season, there are daily naturalist activities for campers and visitors. There are seven different trail heads within the park, each with varying degrees of difficulty. Trail classifications are provided by the American Trails Center, which assigns a rating system based upon several factors such as elevation gain, length, and terrain. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorcycles may be driven anywhere on the park roads except where posted “no ATV” zones. No boat ramps exist on the lake, but hand-launches are available at either end of the gap road. Rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats are available to rent all year round.
Fishing opportunities abound throughout the park, with bass, crappie, catfish, bream, perch, and pickerel common catches. Approximately 2,400 acres (970ha) of uplands and 1,000 acres (410ha) of bottoms are available for hunting. Hunters are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the Georgia Wildlife Resources Commission. The common game species are squirrels, rabbits, pheasant, quail, doves, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and raccoons. The hunting of groundhogs is prohibited. Camping overnight in your vehicle is not permitted unless you have a permit from the park authorities. Group Camp facilities sleep up to 50 people in dormitory style with shared bathrooms and a kitchen/dining hall.
Half of the campsite must be reserved when the other half is open on a first come first served basis. The park has 17 primitive campsites designated for backpackers or those traveling light. Each site comes equipped with a fire ring and picnic table. Modern restroom and shower facilities are provided at the Group Camp Area near the parking lot. Two yurts are available to rent. These round structures feature wood floors, windows, skylights, electric heat, lights, and outlets as well as a cooking stove, refrigerator, countertop, and bathtub. They accommodate up to 6 people and have a maximum stay limit of 2 weeks. 7 Mile Lighthouse Lighthouse Keeper’s House Museum Located at the end of Seven Mile Point, this lighthouse complex contains the keeper’s house museum run by the Friends of Federal Point Preserve. This unique facility features exhibits about the history of the lighthouse, as well as items collected by former Lightkeepers Bill and Pat Dimmick who served from 1985 through 2004.
The lighthouse itself remains operational, being lit twice a day (usually once in the morning and again just before sunset) to warn shipping away from the dangerous reefs that surround it. Visitors can walk past the lantern room and see how the light works. The grounds include the Coast Guard station where the current Lightkeeper serves his or her term, as well as the original tower built by the federal government. The museum occupies the old keepers’ quarters, a building separate from the rest of the station. Exhibits focus on the history of the light, as well as the lives of the men and women who worked there. Among the organizations that support the park are the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, Natural Areas Trust, and the Coalition to Preserve Federal Point.
On December 8, 2016, a large sinkhole opened up on the beachfront, affecting part of the historic pier. According to officials, the hole is almost 20ft wide and 30ft deep, with a footprint of over 400 square yards. No injuries were reported, and no buildings or homes were damaged. After investigation, it was determined that the pier will need to be repaired and rebuilt before any further development occurs in the area. As of February 2020, repairs have been completed and the pier is back in use. Moccasin Creek State Park has a number of ways for individuals to get involved in wildlife observation. From January through Mid-March, bird banding takes place every Wednesday afternoon. Volunteers are needed to help tag and identify birds. Other opportunities to observe wildlife occur throughout the year, especially during autumn migration.
Horses allowed on the park property are kept within specified boundaries and only under proper care and control of a licensed veterinarian. Riders are required to wear helmets. Moccasin Creek State Park has 10 miles (16km) of paved multi-purpose bike and pedestrian trails, plus 13 miles (21km) of unpaved horseback riding and mountain biking trails. Bicycle traffic flows freely across these routes, connecting with existing networks like the Buckquarter Creek Greenway and the Pine Mountain Ridge Scenic Byway. The park has numerous locations for launching a canoe or kayak, as well as access points for fishing and picnicking.
Nine miles (14km) of hiking trails wind through forest, field, and wetlands offering views of Moccasin Creek, Little Okefenokee Swamp, Bald Cypress Nature Preserve, and Blueberry Cove Preserve. The park has a 9-mile (14km) equestrian loop composed primarily of bridle paths and quiet country lanes. Horse owners are warned to bring their horses out for exercise very early in the morning so as to avoid disturbing the neighbors. Amenities include beaches, bicycling, canoeing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking areas, pool, tennis courts, and volleyball courts. The park has a nine-mile (14km) equestrian loop composed primarily of bridle paths and quiet country lanes. Horse owners are warned to bring their horses out for exercise very early in the morning so as to avoid disturbing the neighbors.
- mountain biking
Mammals observed at the park include:
- mule deer
- cottontail rabbits
- eastern gray squirrels
- marsh rice rats
- pileated woodpeckers
- river otters
Reptiles and Amphibians
Reptiles and amphibians include:
- Eastern tiger salamanders
- painted turtles
- soft shelled turtles
- snapping turtles
- barred owls
- red bellied turtles
- aquatic salamanders
Fish present in the lake include:
- largemouth bass
- black crappie
- channel catfish
- flathead catfish
- hybrid striped bass