Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Our Georgia Adventure Part 2: Fort McAllister State Park

The second leg of our Georgia adventure took us, about 40 minutes south of Savannah, to Fort McAllister State Park! Babe would probably be rolling his eyes at the fact that I am about to use the word LOVE again in response to our trip, but we did, we LOVED it there too!
Camping at Fort McAllister State Park
In all honesty, this is much more our pace! Don't get me wrong, we loved Savannah and the food A LOT! But there's something about the calm of a state park that just sets my heart at ease! I love the sounds of fellow campers; no devices, no kids holed up inside. Instead it's bike rides and noise and laughter and play! It's parent riding by on bikes and stopping to chat to fellow campers, asking "you haven't seen our kids ride by have you? We haven't seen them in over an hour." They aren't worried or frantic, they continue to chat with the people the stopped to ask, because they know their kids are ok and that they are just off exploring somewhere. There are older couples setting up by the fire, birds chirping, bats flying by and an owls hooting in the distance. I seriously can't get enough!


Our Spot! 
Our campsite view was beautiful! While there had been an overbooking problem with the park and we had to find a temporary spot when we pulled in the first night, we got up the next morning and secured a spot that had just been vacated. We had a stunning view of the marsh and even though we were right by the entrance, it was pretty quiet and secluded! All the space is one of the reasons we prefer state park stays over RV campgrounds.


What We Did!
Fort McAllister had all sorts of things to fill an adventurous heart!
Camping at Fort McAllister State Park
We started with a tour of the fort itself. There is a fee, as the park itself is only loosely affiliated with the campground, but it was worth it! The fort is so neat! They took advantage of the natural elements and the fort was actually built into the ground. Going inside made me feel just like a hobbit! There were tunnels to explore, living quarters to give you a glimpse at what life was like when soldiers were there and there was a lookout tower on the grounds that gave a beautiful view of the river! There is also a museum that gives you a more in-depth history of the fort that made Babe very satisfied! We watched the short video before we went out to explore the grounds and it even kept my attention! 
Cost: $9 per person

The hiking trails at the park were great! There was a shorter one (a little under a mile) right by the campsites, with two different legs you could take. One leg included little animal inspired workout activities, while the other (not marked on trail map) ran along side the river. The longer (3.1) miles, was up near the entrance to the park itself and was one of my favorite hikes! I love wet trails, especially when they aren't so wet that your shoes get soaked! This trail had the perfect mix of wet spots with rocks to skip on, or fallen trees to use as bridges, and nice easy, dry walking! 
The pioneer trail loop is not included on the trail map. It is a little ways into the mapped trail and is the fork off to the left. 
More rugged and windy than the mapped trail, but a lot of fun! It meets back up with the other trail towards the end of the mile. 
An example of the animal inspired workouts found along the mapped trail in the campground. 
Bikes!! I definitely recommend bringing bikes! We biked to the fort, to lunch, to the trails, everywhere! While you don't need them it does save a lot of extra walking. The public part of the park and the campground are separated by a long, bumpy road. It took us about 5 minutes to bike from the campground up to the park, but would have at least doubled walking. 

We also kayaked, but unless you have your own or know you are going to spend a full day on the water, I wouldn't recommend it. The least amount of time you can rent them for is 4 hours, which we paid $40 for. We were only out for a little over an hour and it just wasn't worth the cost for the amount of time we were out. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we purchase an inflatable stand-up soon!! 

The park (both public side and campground itself) also has great playgrounds for people traveling with kiddos, as well as wooden bench swings at the public end of the park for people to enjoy. There are also cabins that can be rented that house between 8-14 people depending on the size of your party. Looking at the prices they seemed a little steep in our opinion, but if everyone splits the cost it isn't that bad and a great option for glamping! 

Where we ate! 
We mostly ate at the site; Babe tried out the new grill with some yummy lobster tail and then made burgers over the fire pit our last night. However, there was an awesome restaurant right outside the main entrance to the park and we knew we just had to go for lunch one day, mostly because we saw the sign that said oysters!! So our last full day of the trip we biked up to Fish Tales and enjoyed a lovely meal on the water before heading back to conquer the longer hike! 

Camping at Fort McAllister State Park Camping at Fort McAllister State Park

Fish Tales was delicious! We got some yummy drinks, an oyster appetizer and then a full bucket of steamed oysters! I don't know what it is about Georgia, but they sure know how to properly fill an oyster bucket!! It was brimming with glorious shells of yumminess for only $15! Fish Tails gets their oysters from Florida, so it was a good mix considering the oysters we had in Savannah were from Georgia. We ate to our heart's content, enjoyed the beautiful view of the marina and biked back to the park. 
*We did try to bike up to restaurant the day prior to when we actually went, but they are only open for lunch Friday-Sunday. During the week they don't open until 4. Seating is mostly outside, though they do have a bar inside and an enclosed patio with large glass windows that still offer a great view! 
*There is also a bait and tackle shop that is open during the day for anyone looking to fish. 

Camping at Fort McAllister State Park
We loved everything about Fort McAllister and I definitely wouldn't mind going back!
But it's off to plan our next adventure!!
Where have you been lately?!
Feel free to link up for my new #TravelTueday link up in yesterday's post! 

2 comments:

  1. Can't say I love hiking and camping.. I love my hotel beds and the kids love their hotel bath tubs.. Without them it doesn't feel like vacation. But really? Those parents weren't worried that they haven't seen their kids in an hour?? I would have panicked and called 911 already. Okay.. I definitely watch too much CSI and Criminal Minds.

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    1. There's definitely something wonderful about a hotel bed and bath! And haha! Yeah, it was totally cool with them. We were really far back in the park so it would have been hard for anyone to get in or out unseen. But Criminal Minds and CSI can definitely make it easier to question that anything could happen!

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