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Reviews for Hard Labor Creek State Park
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Athens, GA

Overall TRAIL RATING with 25 votes:
Overall CAMP RATING with 22 votes:

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Individual Reviews

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Campground was great, all pull through sites, stalls all had rubber matting, need to bring bedding, a lot people around if you need anything, very well marked & maintained trails,can't bring your horse to your camper, barn is close by to all sites, we left our tact outside our covered stalls, everything has locks, wash racks. Great all round camping & trails
Reviewed by: devosh on 4/6/2015 8:08:33 AM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 4/4/2015 Hometown: Athens, TN

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Had a great time at HLC, weather was perfect. Had Son, his wife, my grandaughter, and my wife. The camp, bathrooms and stables where in great shape. Love this camp.
Reviewed by: Rbc Ranch on 5/28/2013 7:09:52 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/25/2013 Hometown: Carnesville , GA

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Camped for one night on our way back home from Jamestown, TN (couldn't miss our chance to hit the Blue Willow in Social Circle!). We were happy to find the trails and stalls were in much better shape than the last time we were here. The new hosts had just arrived and were very nice and helpful.
Reviewed by: Sharon & Bill Barrie on 10/9/2012 3:57:00 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/27/2012 Hometown: Seville, FL

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We have been going to Hard Labor for 6 years and this is one of my most favorite places to ride. The camping is wondrful, but over the years I have noticed the trails are getting a bit rougher, but what else can you expect for years of riding horses on it. Great place to camp and ride.
Reviewed by: Anonymous on 6/21/2012 12:13:13 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/1/2012 Hometown: , GA

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We have been to HLC several times and we have enjoyed it everytime! I highly recommend anyone looking for a nice and relaxing weekend to book a site and a stall! The park rangers are helpful and accomodating.
Reviewed by: Anonymous on 4/11/2012 11:17:51 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 4/6/2012 Hometown: Ulmer, SC

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This was our first trip out of state and chose to go HLC because of all the good things we had hear about it. We were not disappointed. The Campsite Host, Ron, was great. He helped us settle in and provided alot of useful information about the area and things to do. The trails were rocky in places, but our Fl Quarter hores had no problems going without shoes. Saw alot of deer, beautiful creeks, and met some nice people during our stay. The campsites are drive through, with a picnic table, and fire ring. We'll be back but will stay a few more days to realy enjoy all they have to offer.
Reviewed by: Trailrider on 3/27/2012 9:56:00 AM
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Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 3/20/2012 Hometown: Jupiter, FL

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This is an adendum to a previous comment I left. After leaving the comment about the policies for all state parks in georgia (I wanted to change my reservation from one weekend to the next and was told that "policy" wouldn't allow me a refund), the new Head Ranger at Hard Labor Creek called me personally and said that he would gladly refund my money. My husband and I went to Hard Labor the following weekend and had a great time. It took several weeks, but my money was returned. Thank you, Ranger Dan....
Reviewed by: RR on 3/20/2012 7:53:45 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 3/3/2012 Hometown: Mt. Zion, GA

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I gave this stars because the trails are nice - rolling hills. Very well marked. Not as rocky as they say when you call to ask if your horse needs shoes. Could've gotten away with front shoes only instead of all the way around. When we arrived and checked in the staff were not very friendly. Did not realize this until after settled in at campground but did not receive the March discount advertised on the website. We mentioned it when we made the reservation by phone as instructed but not when we checked in - they said "if not mentioned when checking in - you do not recieve". I did go back the next day and a different employee was on, looked up my charges and refunded my discount. The campground is clean and organized with pull through sites and close to barns. The campground host if very nice and friendly. Negative side: Barn is dark and dingy although clean when you arrive. The stalls are dark and small. The doors are not very well made and the locks are regular latch locks as you might find on a restroom door. One of the horses in our party leaned on the door and the lock broke. I watched it so am not guessing, this is what happened. No place to tie and tack your horse to get it ready to ride. More hitchin posts would be good. Not much room to manuever in the aisleway of the stalls. The wash stations have eye loops to tie the horses to while bathing but they are down very low and a horse could easily step on the lead rope. Obviously not designed by a horse person.
Reviewed by: Patti on 3/18/2012 5:16:20 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 3/17/2012 Hometown: Summerfield, FL

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I've been to Hard Labor Creek several times and have had good experiences each time. However, I was planning a trip for this weekend, but changed it due to inclement weather. I wanted to reschedule my trip for next weekend, but was told that I had to cancel the reservation since my reservation dates weren't atleast 3 days away. I didn't even make the reservation within that time frame...made it on Wednesday before we would be arriving on Friday. I had to forfeit my deposit which was the total for my weekend ($164). I would've understood had it been a busy weekend and there was a waiting list, but we were the only campsite and the only 3 stalls booked this weekend. As others have already noted, Hard Labor Creek is expensive anyway: $28/night and $18/stall/night and you provide all shavings. I was simply told "it's our cancellation policy" when I asked if there wasn't something that we could work out. I understand policy, but this one is ridiculous! I will not be back to Hard Labor Creek and seriously doubt I go to any other GA state park to camp and ride due to their "policies." There are plenty of other great places to go and people that appreciate your business to waste your time here. The riding is decent, but the policies stink....
Reviewed by: RR on 2/16/2012 12:21:57 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 2/16/2012 Hometown: , GA

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we've been to hard labor many times over the last 10 years and it is one of our favorite places to camp and ride with our club. trails are great; sites are well situated and easy in and out. the only reason i gave it only 3 stars is the PRICE!!!!! way higher than florida and alabama campgrounds. keeps alot of people away (including us for now) hope they get the message and bring the prices down to an exceptional level.
Reviewed by: GAL on 1/31/2011 11:39:35 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/2/2010 Hometown: , FL

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our family has travels to Hard Labor twice year to ride and camp. Have several nice big sites to accomodate the largest living quaters and the barns are walking distance from any campsite so no need to travel back and forth - you can check on your horses at any time. You ride out on the trails from the barn- there is a nice riding arena to warm up in before heading out. The trails are a very good blend of easy to more difficult and you can shorten up the distance as much as you want as they have cut offs all along the way very easily marked. This is a wonderful place to ride. My husband plays golf at "the Creek" which is also located at Hard Labor and it is very nice course. This is a great place for anyone who loves to camp with their horses. It is set up nice and trails accomodate beginners to experienced. All should find a trail they love. Its in the foothills so is some climbing at times but nothing real challenging- beautiful in fall and spring. Wouldnt recommend in the summer as ticks are bad but fall and spring are awesome!
Reviewed by: civey on 12/12/2010 9:05:27 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 11/24/2010 Hometown: statesboro, ga, GA

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My husband and I had a great ride there. The trails were not rocky and very well maintained. The girl at the check in station was very friendly and helpful. We will be back.
Reviewed by: Cindy on 5/19/2010 10:29:52 AM
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Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/18/2010 Hometown: Fayetteville, GA

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I've been to this park 5 times in the past few years and enjoy it every time. Just got back home after a week there again and had a great time. My sister and her daughter joined us from Indiana for the first time and enjoyed it immensely.
Reviewed by: Sherri Hamilton-Hingson on 10/28/2009 10:09:21 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/20/2009 Hometown: Lake City, FL

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This was our 2nd visit. Can't say enough great things about this fantastic place! Trails have been cleaned up, in fact there was a work day scheduled for the following weekend. The barn and paddock are well maintained as are the campsites and facilities. The trails are gorgeous and shady, lots of variety. Campground host husband & wife were delightful. Will come back again and again. Fla. Qtr. horses did fine!!
Reviewed by: Debby Smith on 9/5/2009 7:29:28 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 7/29/2009 Hometown: Port Orange, FL

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Campground area is really nice and clean, all amenities available. Trails had lots of trees down, some areas really hard to pass, and we even lost the trail at one point. Trails seriously need to be better marked, we spoke with people back at the campsite who lost the trails also due to nothing being marked. One BIG down side was there were a lot of day riders just hanging out in the parking lot, taking up stalls and mostly not riding. There must have been 50 people partying in the parking lot. Some were riding horses in the parking lot and the campsite (which is prohibited), but not on the actual trails. Rangers need to get a handle on that, we probably won't go back because of it.
Reviewed by: Claire on 3/29/2009 12:11:43 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 2/13/2009 Hometown: Canton, GA

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Really nice place to ride, I was there a few weeks ago and we rode the shorter loop. The park had just been through and trimmed up the trail, so that was nice! All the facilities are in good condition and the campsites are large, level and private, with picnic tables, fire rings, and a big area to hang out in. The sites are not on top of each other like they are at some places. It was HOT that weekend but we never felt it either at the site or on the trail, since the shade is so good. No bug problems. However, I did have to be really careful getting my 22' trailer in and out, and I watched another group with a similar size trailer struggle for 30 minutes to figure out how to get out of their site. It would not take much work for these pullthroughs to be enlarged, not sure why the park doesn't do this. But that was the only black mark against Hard Labor's facilities and trails! Can't wait to go again in September.
Reviewed by: Sierra on 8/5/2008 12:42:26 PM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 1/1/2004 Hometown: Canton, GA, GA

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Trails are great, PRICES are NOT. $12 for day-ride is just way TOO high! Annual pass continues to increase also -- need senior-citizen discount just to be able to afford it. Love the trails, the new hitching-posts, mounting blocks, and now, a brand new "manure-pit" for the day-riders use. Creek crossings are varied, and numerous, and that is always a plus when it's hot and looking for places to water my horse on the trails. Love the fact that there is always a hose (& clean restrooms) at the end of the trail. Picnic tables at trailhead, and now, at least 2 have been placed out on the trail - wonderful views, great 2 - 5 hours of riding (or more if you take a long lunch-break). LOWER Prices are needed, tho' . We ride here, year-round, hot summer shade, winter cold scenic views - Wildlife abounds, deer, squirrels, hawks, whild hogs, and we even saw a red fox (pup) last month. Check it out --- but be prepared to PAY.
Reviewed by: Anonymous on 3/19/2008 8:01:55 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 3/18/2008 Hometown: Social Circle, HI

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Hard Labor creek has easy trails that are in excellent condition with good markings. The camp sites are large and peaceful with hookups. The barn is nice but without a hitching post to saddle at it can be a bit of a challenge. The shower house is sufficent and clean
Reviewed by: Schellin on 10/16/2007 5:50:50 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 10/16/2007 Hometown: Chesnee, SC

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Good riding the trails could use a little better marking, great barn and arena facilities. However, if you have a decent sized horse trailer or camper you will not appreciate the camp sites way too difficult to get in or out without some possible damage. Sites need to be cleared up and made larger to easily pull in & out.
Reviewed by: C. Millbauer on 5/23/2007 10:53:30 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 8/20/2006 Hometown: Franklin, GA

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Prior to developing our own equestrian center with horse camp and trails, we visited all the state parks with horse trails and many of the trail systems in the national forest to duplicate the favorable qualities and to avoid the pitfalls. State parks are safe places to go during hunting season, but this park is loaded with deer ticks and other obnoxious insects all summer. Our 35' trailer is challenging to park at most of their sites, and the management scrambles to keep overused trails maintained. The staff is always friendly and helpful. Check out our web site http://GroveRiverRanch.com
Reviewed by: CJ on 10/11/2006 9:19:41 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 3/20/2004 Hometown: , GA

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Most of the camp sites are too small for larger rigs. However, if they would allow you to reserve a particular site, you could get around this. Instead, it is first come first serve even if you make a reservation in advance they don't allow you to choose the site #. The campground needs some attention. For the price you would expect them to be in better condition. The trails are great. A little muddy this past weekend due to the rain, but they appear to be working on the low spots. The price is a bit more, but we knew that when we made the reservations!
Reviewed by: TV on 5/2/2005 11:22:56 AM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 4/30/2005 Hometown: Winston, GA

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Just made my first trip to HLC .. thought the trails were really nice .. bath house is a tad small but very clean and functional .. some camp sites are a littel hard to get a big trailer into and situated .. all in all it was a great weekend with my friends and our horses .. you might also wanna check out Leatherwood in NC .. Iron Mountain Horse Camp at Mt. Rogers in VA .. Uwharrie Nation Park in Troy, NC .. the bomb is DuPont National Forest and the waterfalls (bad news is there are no camp grounds close)
Reviewed by: Tom Collins on 4/28/2005 2:52:39 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 4/28/2005 Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC

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We have ridden here in the past - love the trails, love the lake, campgrounds, stalls etc. BUT we don't like the prices! $11 a horse to day ride, or $24 a campsite/ $14 a stall to spend the night. Write and tell them they are pricing themselves out of business...
Reviewed by: Janell on 2/15/2005 7:30:33 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 2/10/2005 Hometown: Newnan, GA

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Gosh, we really love this place. Can't find fault with one single thing. Wish there were just a few more miles of trails.
Reviewed by: CarolP on 7/26/2004 2:46:54 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: Hometown: Ocklawaha, Select State

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Trails are easy to moderate for the average rider and are kept in good condition. It is one of our favorite places to ride.
Reviewed by: Jackie on 7/2/2003 1:22:33 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 6/20/2003 Hometown: , Select State

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