Open Year-round
Reservations possible?
RV Hookups
Potable water
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The Dawson Forest City of Atlanta Tract is a very unique outdoor destination, located just outside the northern suburbs of Atlanta. The forest is a cooperative project of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Georgia Forestry Commission, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division. With a curious and interesting history as the former location of a nuclear aircraft testing facility, and, at one time, a potential location for a second Atlanta airport, this tract of land, a 10,130-acre forest, is now often open to the public for recreational purposes.

While primitive camping is technically allowed anywhere in the forest on days it is open, road access to many parts of the forest is tightly controlled. If you are looking for a great primitive group camping location, and if you have the patience to navigate through the correct hoops, you can reserve a fantastic spot inside the forest right near the Etowah River, affectionately known as the Scout Camp.

To reserve the Scout Camp, you will need to contact the forest rangers, first to check if the spot is available and second to make arrangements for navigating the road to the camp area. There are access gates on many of the roads inside the forest that are often locked. While reserving this site certainly does require a bit more time, effort, and forethought to arrange, the fruits of your efforts will reward you with a private, secluded, and utterly beautiful location deep in the forest to host a group campout.

There are no facilities at the camp area, and just a few tent sites that are perfectly flat. But a wide open grassy field surrounded by trees offers plenty of room for a good-sized crowd and trees for hammocks. While often used by Boy Scout Troops for weekend camping, reservations are open to all. One amenity worth mentioning is its covered pavilion, especially useful on rainy outings.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)



Occasionally full

Parking Pass


Price per night (basic site)

0.00 $ (0.00 €)


Private. Secluded. Group camping.


Primitive. Requires extra effort to reserve.

Pets allowed


Managed by

Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area

Reservation phone number

1 (706) 265-3707


Near lake or river



Total number of sites




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