Depending on your age, late August can be a time of joyful celebration, moderate melancholy, or abject terror. Parents rejoice, older kids resign to the fact they have to get back in the classroom, and younger kids – especially those entering a new school – are frightened to death of having an agenda each day and facing their peers following a summer where anything could have, and probably did, happen. But the dying days of summer also mean waking up to cool temperatures and not sizzling from noon to four everyday. Take advantage of these last fleeting moments by going on an adventure, albeit a mild one: car camping.
If you are lucky enough to have not started school yet, now is the time to take your kids’ mind off the coming nine months of math, science, and social studies by exploring the great outdoors in style. Camping by car allows you to bring everything you could possibly need –and then some – without having to carry it all. Choose the right plot in the right location and you can spend the entire weekend hiking, biking, and swimming to your heart’s content. Think of it as a last ditch effort at summer camp for the whole family. If you have already started school, think of it as brief pause to absorb that first week’s worth of new knowledge. Either way, everybody wins.
One of the best car camping spots in the South is the Deep Hole Recreation area in Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest. The small, primitive campground (no electricity, no showers) sits on the banks of the Toccoa River, just a few miles south of Lake Blue Ridge, within prime striking distance to some of the Chattahoochee National Forest’s best recreation. The Appalachian Trail and Benton Mackaye Trail intersect a few miles from the campground, and Aska Trails—one of Georgia’s best mountain bike systems—is just up the road. The campground is also the put-in for the 17-mile Toccoa River Canoe Trail.