Our State Park saga continued this week with a trip to Fort Yargo State Park. We chose to head to Fort Yargo because it was a quick drive, and the weather was very temperamental and chilly that day so we opted to go somewhere that wouldn’t require all day (getting rained on while hiking isn’t that fun, especially with a little kid.) The park is named after the log-cabin type fort that it houses just inside it’s gates, but it offered much more than that.
Upon arriving at Fort Yargo, we stopped in at the visitor’s center, where they rent discs and putt-putt equipment for their outdoor courses. I was immediately struck by how much the park itself felt more like a “family camp” than a typical park. It was very activity focused, and boasted a long list of things to participate such as a lake swimming beach, mountain biking, canoeing, and fishing. They also had camping options including tent, RV, cabins, and yurts. It seemed like a fun place to get away for a relaxing week of family time, but didn’t offer as much as I had hoped when it came to actual nature.
Our first stop was to check out the namesake fort, which was erected in the late 1790’s by white settlers as protection from local Cherokee Indians. It was beautifully well maintained and very fun to see the craftsmanship from time past. Near the fort, some very friendly ducks really stole the show for our 3 year old. The ducks were unfortunately the only “wildlife” we caught a glimpse of, but they were not afraid of people at all and followed us around a lot, much to the delight of our son.
We spent most of our time playing on the park’s large disc golf “course.” It was completely in a wooded area with a lake view. You can drive to the course, but we opted to hike in about 1/2 a mile on part of the 20 mile mountain biking and hiking trail. Our whole family had fun playing on the wooded course, but if you aren’t very good at disc golf, (like me) you will end up climbing through briars and leaves to retrieve your disc a good majority of the time. After we finished playing, (I should add that the course is par 57 and I got….145. Apparently I do not have a career in professional disc golfing) we hiked back to our car via part of the 7 mile lake loop trail. It was exciting for our son to watch people canoeing around the lake as we hiked.
After spending a few hours outside, we were pretty wet and cold, so we decided to head home. Fort Yargo overall was very nice and well maintained, and I think would be a fun place to come camping for families with older children or in a large group because of the amount of activities. I do wish that we had been able to view a little more wildlife or just really get into nature without interruption from man-made structures (pavilions everywhere!). We were also excited to knock our checklist down into the 40’s this week- with only 49 more spots to hit! Thanks to Fort Yargo for making it happen!
Until next week-