Fort McAllister Historic State Park is one of the national parks in Georgia and was the place we stayed on our trip to the US because of its proximity to Savannah.
We spent a a few night here in nature. The campground is located just minutes from downtown, and offers a variety of amenities to make your stay comfortable.
Fort McAllister history
Fort McAllister, situated near Richmond Hill, Georgia, holds a significant place in American Civil War history. Constructed in 1861, it served as a key Confederate stronghold, primarily due to its strategic location along the Ogeechee River. The earthen fort was designed to protect Savannah from Union naval forces.
Fort McAllister was unique for its earthwork construction, making it resistant to cannon fire. It withstood multiple attacks by Union ironclads throughout the war.
However, on December 13, 1864, Union forces led by General William T. Sherman captured the fort during his famous March to the Sea campaign. This victory cleared the way for Sherman to take Savannah, which he later presented to President Abraham Lincoln as a “Christmas gift.”
For this reason, it was of great importance both for Savannah and further inland. When you enter the campground, you can see the cannons used in the wars and parts of the vehicles used in the wars.
In fact, we didn’t see it, but there were also bastions built under the soil, which the other side could only see as soil.
Fort McAllister State Park Campground boasts a variety of amenities that cater to the diverse interests and needs of its visitors. The park is nestled alongside the tidal Redbird Creek, providing a serene backdrop for a range of outdoor activities.
For those who enjoy picnicking, the large picnic area offers stunning river views, making it a perfect spot to relax and share a meal with family and friends. Additionally, the area is equipped with playgrounds for children, ensuring fun-filled moments for the little ones.
Water enthusiasts will appreciate the access to Redbird Creek via a boat ramp, which allows for easy launching of boats, kayaks, and canoes. A fishing dock is also available for anglers looking to cast a line and reel in the catch of the day.
The lush landscape of the park is adorned with picturesque palm trees and palmettos, creating a unique marshland setting ideal for birdwatching, photography, and simply taking in the natural beauty of the area.
History buffs will be delighted by the Civil War Museum located within the park. This museum contains artifacts, exhibits, and information about the fort’s past, including details on the furnace, bombproof barracks, and palisades that played a vital role in the fort’s defense during the war.
There are plenty of tent and caravan sites in the area, and not on top of each other, of course, there is a distance between the tent sites.
There are even animals like squirrels, raccoons and even deer because it is a natural environment. When you walk outside at night with a flashlight, you can see a pair of eyes looking at you all the time, mostly the cute little eyes of raccoons.
There are also places called Backcountry Campsites, which is a cheaper accommodation option for those who want. The backcountry campgrounds where you can stay at a more affordable price are located not where we camped but at a completely different point, around a hiking trail called Redbird Creek Trail.
The campground where we stayed was a campground with more facilities. The tent areas were slightly elevated and filled with soil. There is electricity, a picnic table and a small faucet next to this tent area.
Toilets and showers are close to these campsites and clean. There was a washing machine next to the toilet. A place that could meet all our needs, we were quite satisfied.
You can check the price information about Fort McAllister State Historic Park and the map of tent caravan spots on the official website of the national parks, check the availability of campsites and make reservations.
Campground reservation process and tips
When it comes to reserving a spot at the Fort McAllister State Park Campground, here are some friendly tips and insights to help ensure a smooth process:
- Book early: Popular campgrounds like Fort McAllister can fill up quickly, especially during peak season. To secure your desired dates, it’s a good idea to make reservations well in advance.
- Visit the park’s website: To get started, head over to the official website of Fort McAllister State Park Campground, where you’ll find helpful information about campsite options, fees, and availability.
- Choose the right campsite: Consider your preferences and needs while selecting a campsite. Take note of factors like proximity to restrooms, playgrounds, or water sources, as well as the size and type of your camping setup (tent, RV, etc.).
- Understand the campground’s rules: Familiarize yourself with the park’s regulations, such as quiet hours, check-in/check-out times, and pet policies, to ensure a pleasant and respectful stay for everyone.
- Be prepared for the reservation process: Have your payment information and personal details ready to streamline the booking process. It’s also helpful to have a few alternative dates in mind, just in case your first choice is unavailable.
Best time to visit
If you are wondering about the best time to visit, it is worth noting that each season has its own charm at Fort McAllister State Park Campground.
However, I would say that the spring and fall months offer the most pleasant weather with comfortable temperatures and beautiful foliage, making it an ideal time to explore and enjoy all that the park has to offer.
How to get to the campground?
The campground is located south of Savannah on the banks of the Ogeechee River. It is an island called Savage Island and you can reach here via a road called Savage Island Rd.
If you are arriving at the campground after opening hours, you need to call ahead to inform them and get the code for the gate you need to open to get in.
- From Savannah, Georgia
Take I-95 South to Exit 90 (Richmond Hill). Turn left onto Ford Avenue (GA-144). Continue east on GA-144 for approximately 10 miles. Turn left onto Fort McAllister Road. Follow the signs to the park entrance.
- From Brunswick, Georgia
Take I-95 North to Exit 90 (Richmond Hill). Turn right onto Ford Avenue (GA-144). Continue east on GA-144 for approximately 10 miles. Turn left onto Fort McAllister Road. Follow the signs to the park entrance
In wrapping up, I’d like to say that Fort McAllister State Park Campground truly presents a charming mix of historical significance, stunning natural surroundings, and a variety of outdoor adventures.
Nestled in the lovely town of Richmond Hill, Georgia, this park warmly welcomes camping enthusiasts, history buffs, and nature admirers to come and experience its captivating charm.