On Mother’s Day this year, we spent the afternoon at FDR State Park in Pine Mountain, GA. The views were incredible, and the weather was perfect too. We knew we wanted to come back and explore more in the future. It’s about a 45-minute drive from Auburn/Opelika, making it an easily accessible gain of elevation. As Georgia’s largest state park, it has a lot to offer, from extensive trails, nature programs, camping, and seasonal swimming in the Liberty Bell pool. They even have children’s birthday party packages available!
This fall, our homeschool group planned a field trip to Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site, which is a short drive from the state park in Warm Springs, GA. We decided to camp at FDR the night before the field trip and meet up with the group the next morning. We have tents, so we chose a tent camping site, although they have numerous RV sites and cottages available too. I was glad that they did not require a two-night minimum as some other parks do. The cost was $32 for the one-night reservation of a tent site with power, water, and a nearby bathhouse. We were also able to park 2 vehicles at our site (parking is $5 per vehicle).
We arrived at the park around 3pm Eastern time, checked in at the visitor’s center, and headed to our campsite. Since it was a holiday weekend, almost every site was occupied. We pitched our tents and set out on a short hike since the Delano trail ran right by our campsite and was less than a mile loop. The trail was shaded throughout, was not too strenuous, and even our youngest (just turned 4) was able to hike it, even though we are not experienced hikers. Upon returning to the campsite, Ben went to purchase some firewood. It was $6 per bundle which was enough for our meal of hot dogs and s’mores, but we could have used an additional bundle for a longer fire that evening. I thought the bathrooms were very nice. They even had two family bathrooms with showers in them.
The night was chilly as the temperature dropped into the 40s, but the kids did not complain. They were very excited to be camping “in the forest”, which they’ve been asking to do since we camped in the backyard this spring. In the morning I used the power outlet and an extension cord to hook up our small coffeepot and heated water for hot chocolate and instant oatmeal before brewing the coffee. So we had a warm start to the morning even without a fire or camp stove. The water spigot and power outlet were both very handy, and there was also a picnic table provided. Overall, we found the tent camping experience to be a good blend of rustic adventure for the kids and creature comforts for me without having a camper. The kids are already talking about going again, and I’m sure we will.
If you go, I recommend checking out The Little White House historic site if you have time. Our favorite part was the walkway where they had a stone sent in from each state. I was surprised that the kids wanted to read every plaque and see all of the flags, but it really was interesting. We have learned a lot about Franklin D. Roosevelt from our visits to the park and historic site. It’s such a beautiful area; it’s no wonder he returned there in April and November every year. Those really are some of the best times to enjoy the outdoors in our part of the country!