Camping at Ft. McAllister State Park – November 18-21, 2019

I had never heard of Ft. McAllister, and I am a lifelong resident of Georgia.

Joyce and I were planning our next camping trip. So, we pulled up the map of all the Georgia State Parks.

Ft. McAllister? Humm. I wonder what happened there? We did a little research and found out that it was a Confederate Fort built of earth and sand near the mouth of the Ogeechee River.

We watched this video produced by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Being a retired Georgia History teacher. I had to see it. It’s one thing to read about history. It’s another thing to experience it. History has to be experienced whenever possible.

So, Joyce made camping reservations and off we went with the Shelties on Monday morning, November 18.

It’s only a 150 mile, 3 hour drive from our home in Appling, Georgia, through cotton fields, pine forests, and small rustic Georgia towns.

We arrived around 2pm for our 10th camping adventure. Joyce set up our Regency National Traveler Camper Van at Site #36 while I watched the Shelties.

She prepared a wonderful early supper and then built a toasty campfire. The temperature dropped into the low 40s that night.

The next day, we would visit the museum and watch a 20 minute video of its history and significant role in the Confederate defense of the Georgia coast. After the film, we would tour the fort. There’s a small admission which includes an interpretive walking map.

Kathie and Valerie checked us in and gave us a map. They, like all of the State Park staff we’ve encountered, were courteous, helpful, knowledgeable, and answered my many questions.

Kathie and Valerie

Our camp hostess regularly rode around in her golf cart checking on all us campers which was much appreciated. She always had time to chat. Our State Park hosts and hostesses keep the showers and facilities sparkling clean in exchange for a free camp site.

Mhandi Elliot camp hostess from Atlanta

Tuesday morning, we walked the 1.25 mile causeway that connects the campground on Savage Island to the fort and museum. The causeway goes through incredible marshes with a view of the river in the distance.

Abatis Ft. McAllister

Ft. McAllister

Ft. McAllister

Ft. McAllister
Sophie on the causeway (leashed, of course)

Marsh view from the causeway
River view from the causeway

Next, Joyce prepared lunch.

Preparing lunch

Then, we sat in our camper rockers taking in the ethereal, mystical surroundings.

Enjoying the scene

It was strange, wild scenery for us. Deer abounded under the pines, magnolias, and palmettos dripping with Spanish moss and gently swaying with every slight breeze. They were ghost-like with flowing beards in ghastly grey.

Deer abound

Palmetto tree

It was far different than the Piedmont’s gentle rolling hills, pines, and hardwoods that stand tall around our area. Compared to the mossy covered trees, ours seemed stark and naked. They have their own beauty, but the beauty on Savage Island was incredibly different. It’s kind of like the difference in a meal at a fast food joint and an elegant restaurant.

The time had changed on November 3, and dusk was settling in. So, we decided to walk some of the causeway again and watch the sunset over the marshes. Again, the beauty enveloped us. It was a worship experience to marvel at the handiwork of God’s creation.

Back at our camper van, we sat close to the warm campfire and talked about the day’s experience watching the fire morph into glowing hot coals.

Nothing like a warm campfire and Sophie
Quiet night

Then, we went to bed. Sophie has to sleep with Joyce and Lilly got comfortable in her usual place under the bed. We all slept good. 

Sweet dreams Sophie

Joyce was up before me making her delicious camp coffee. She went on a guided primitive camping trip on horseback several summers ago in the Montana Rockies. The outfitters taught her how to make “camping coffee.” There’s nothing like it to warm body and soul on a chilly November morning on Savage Island.

We took a mid-morning stroll through the campground. There are all kinds of different from the huge and elegant Class-A bus campers to pop-up tent campers. Everyone is friendly. You never met a stranger.

At the end of Savage Island are the docks. Some bring their boats and fish the Ogeechee Bay and Ossabaw Sound. It looked like fun. The Park even has fish cleaning stations and several were cleaning their catch.

After lunch, we walked the winding Magnolia Trail. It’s an easy walk with a surface of pea gravel. Occasionally, the trail opens up for breath-taking views of the marsh. The trees and hanging moss are like a tunnel built by nature making for a type of fairy land. Sophie and Lilly enjoyed the trail walk sniffing constantly at all of the new and many smells only their sensitive noses could discern.

A mystical canopy over the Magnolia Trail

The trail is circular and put us back close to our campsite. We had walked up an appetite. Joyce fed the dogs first. (They always get fed first!). Then it was our turn.

We listened to the night sounds as darkness enfolded is again. (There are no night lights in the campground).

We packed up the next morning and ate breakfast before we left. We headed home about 10:30 not wanting to leave. But. all good things must come to an end.

Headed home
Sophie the navigator
Across the causeway and one last look at the marsh

Oh, one last thing. Just outside the gate are the cottages. We thought that would be a great place to bring our family for a weekend.

One of four cottages

Thanks for reading. Comments welcome. Please like, share, and follow my blog. For a history Ft. McAllister that I wrote, click the link.


4 thoughts on “Camping at Ft. McAllister State Park – November 18-21, 2019

  1. We stayed there for four nights in 2014 while on our way to FL. We really enjoyed it too. We really enjoyed touring the fort and walking the Magnolia Trail as well. I was actually just looking back at our pictures last week as it was 6 years ago last week that we were there, I enjoyed reading your review as it brought back great memories. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. $27 a night. Full electric and water included. Dump stations. We bought the Georgia State Parks annual pass and get the senior citizen discount. So the fee was less than $27 a night but don’t remember how much the discounted fee was. Good idea to include fee and will do that on future posts. Thanks and thanks for reading. Merry Christmas 🎄🎄🎄


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