General Coffee State Park | Nicholls46 John Coffee Rd
The boys and I headed south last week (the week before Christmas) to General Coffee State Park. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t familiar with this park prior to visiting…I had no idea what to expect. Here is what we found, though: An incredible haven family for fun!!
First, if you’re coming from the Atlanta area, you might want to consider staying at the park. There are cabins, tent and RV camping, and back country camping, too. This is also a First Time Camper park, so you can borrow REI gear and stay two nights for only $50!!
We were lucky enough to stay in the Burham Cottage, which is a restored farm house. The walls, ceilings and floors are all wood, except the kitchen and baths which are stone. Since we were there at Christmas time, it was beautifully decorated, tree and all!
My favorite parts included the claw-tooth tubs, the oversized wood doors, the front porch with comfy rockers, and the smell. It smelled like my Grandparent’s home….like aged wood. I loved it from the moment I stepped inside.
There are six cottages at General Coffee, including Burham (reveiewed here) and another large cottage. The others are what you would commonly expect at a Georgia State Park. Burnham Cottage included three bedrooms and three bathrooms, all of which were very spacious. The master suite was on the lower level. It included a queen four-poster bed, a sitting area, a gorgeous stone fireplace, a full bath with tub and shower, and a reading nook.
The full kitchen included a coffee pot, microwave, full fridge and ample utensils for cooking. I really enjoyed the sink that overlooked a patio with birdfeeders and outdoor seating. The boys sat at the eat-in-kitchen table while I cooked dinner, nestled in a bay window.
The living space was large and decked for Christmas. There was a large fireplace, plenty of seating and walls of windows to see the wildlife.
As soon as we put our things in the cottage, we headed for the Heritage Farm. An easy 1/2-mile loop takes you past the live animals, syrup-making area, blacksmithing shed, and more. The boys LOVED the farm. It was very clean and the animals were friendly. I love that they are taken care of so well…even more obvious after speaking with the Ranger. Check the calendar for regular programing.
The Heritage Farm sits next to the 4-acre lake. During warmer months visitors can rent peddle boats or canoes, or fish. There is an amphitheater on the water’s edge, and a bridge across the width that is a perfect place for feeding the ducks. We also enjoyed the picnic tables and playground nearby.
Finally, don’t miss the hiking!! If you have horses, you’ll love the equestrian trails. We aren’t that lucky, so we happened across the park on foot. We loved the Gopher Trail, which is home to over 130 Gopher Tortoises. We were not lucky enough to see any, but it was fun knowing they were around us, and watching us.Spring is a great time to visit..it is mating season for the turtles, and you perhaps might see the males scurry toward nests, or females burying eggs. The hike is an easy 1.5 miles, taking you through palm trees, pine trees, and hardwoods with draping Spanish moss.
Bikes are available for rent here, which is a lovely way to take in the park. You can also enjoy Geocaching, or playing on the playground.
We also walked a small portion of the East River Trail. It follows the Seventeen Mile River, an ephemeral blackwater river. I have fallen in love with the tea-colored water.
Overall, I highly recommend a vacationing in this little known, and highly under-appreciated park. The cabin, the lake, the blackwater, the farm, the hiking (with gopher trails!) It’s a perfect family get-a-away in south Georgia!
Disclosure: I was a guest of General Coffee State Park to facilitate a review on another website. Adding it here was not part of the deal, but it was SPECTACULAR, and I had to tell you about it. If it wasn’t awesome, I wouldn’t even bother! #keepingitreal