Though not very large in area, this is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful state parks in Georgia. Vogel is known for its small lake and cascading waterfall tucked into a wooded cove, all at the foot of two proud mountains with deceptively unattractive names--Slaughter Mountain and Blood Mountain. These are supposedly named from a Cherokee legend of a great battle that once took place near here. The mountains are part of the Blood Mountain Wilderness in Chattahoochee National Forest, which borders the park and effectively adds a lot of mileage and scenery to trails you can explore from Vogel.
Recreation here is good in all seasons. Summer is the time for swimming and paddling in the lake, and winter is for snowy trails and wide vistas through the leafless trees. Sitting at over 2000 feet above sea level and nestled at the foot of 4,000-foot mountains, Vogel is first to feel the fall in Georgia and light up with color.
The park is one of the oldest state parks in Georgia, and it was constructed by the CCC in the 1930s. Crews of local men hired during the Great Depression built the earthen dam and reservoir as well as structures, roads, and trails that remain today. A small museum in the park preserves their legacy.
Hiking and Backpacking
- Trahlyta Lake Trail: Easy 1-mile loop around the lake that leads to the waterfall at the lake's far end. Take the short but steep descent on a staircase to stand on a viewing platform right beside the falls.
- Byron Herbert Reece Nature Trail: Easy loop of less than a mile that explores Appalachia's especially diverse forest.
- Bear Hair Gap Trail: A 4-mile loop that begins near the campground and travels up into the foothill forest for a backcountry feel and one incredible view over the lake. Along the way are trickling streams, wildflowers, boulder gardens, and chances to see wildlife
- Coosa Backcountry Trail: This 13-mile loop is mostly within the Chattahoochee National Forest and Blood Mountain Wilderness, but one access point is from the state park. This is where you can take an overnight backpacking trip (with a free permit from the visitor center) or a challenging day hike. The route can also be linked with the Appalachian Trail on Blood Mountain.
Swimming, Paddling, and Fishing
- Trahlyta Lake: Small, picturesque reservoir that empties into Trahlyta Falls. On the water you can paddle your own boat or board, or rent one. There is a designated swimming area with a sandy beach. On the lakeshore are a few fishing docks and viewing platforms. Fishing is allowed with valid license.
Camping and Lodging
- Vogel State Park Campground: Sites for RVs, cars, and tents including walk-in sites and primitive camping for groups. The campground is a bit removed from the lake, but it is close to trailheads.
- Cabins: 1- to 3-bedroom cottages are available for reservation, and all central to the lake, trailheads, and park facilities.