John Tanner Park is a "former" Georgia State Park located in Carroll County near Carrollton. Today (08/01/11), the park is operated by Carroll County. A relatively small park with a unique history, there are a number of pros and cons to visiting here.

John Tanner Park has two lakes, one with a rather large beach and paddle boats. The story of John Tanner and his piece of Florida in Carrollton Georgia is very interesting. During the 1950's, John Tanner decided to build a Florida resort in Georgia. He had 8 train-car loads of Florida sand hauled in for the beach, planted palm trees along the shoreline, and draped Spanish moss from the trees. During the 50's and 60's, the park was a popular destination. The park was even frequented by Carrollton native Susan Hayward (a famous actress in her day to you youngsters).

Eventually, the resort became a state park. It's hard to imagine the park as a state park today. It is now very much a local county park with lots (and lots) of locals enjoying the accommodations. The beach is still there, but the palm trees and  Spanish moss are long gone. The campground needs some updating, but isn't half bad. The only draw-back to camping here (on the weekends anyway) is the large crowd of beach patrons.

Would we recommend the park? It depends on what your priorities are, and when you plan to visit. I can't help but think that a visit, during the week, might be great. On the weekends, it is crowded.

Scroll down for more pictures and an Adventure Journal entry/review.


Rating (1-10)


Official website
Georgia State Park's Site
6 Carroll County's website needs some work to make it more tourist friendly. Finding information and pictures is difficult.

John Tanner park was formerly a state park, so the Georgia State Parks website may have a bit more information.  


Motel efficiency units *
Group Lodge *


Well, the beach is big, and the kids loved it, but it was crowded.
Hiking/biking 7 There's a path that encircles the lake.
Visitor Center


This former state park has an office/visitor center that includes a handful of items, and a short video about the history of the park (which is pretty interesting. That's about it.



Geocaching is available, but we didn't have a chance.


There are rockhounding opportunities everywhere. Nothing caught our eye here.
Local Attractions


McIntosh Reserve, Banning Mills, Chattahoochee Bend State Park, Carroll County Gold Museum, Pickett's Mill Battlefield State Historic Site
*Note: We rate only the amenities we have personally reviewed.

No financial consideration or favor has been received for listing in PB&J Adventures' website. We are in no way affiliated with this facility or any other facility we review. Any paid advertising seen on this site was arranged after the destination was reviewed. You can trust the reviews to be unbiased.

Adventure Journal
Entry Date: July 2011
We'd been camping at Chattahoochee Bend State Park when we decided to investigate John Tanner Park. When I pulled into the park, I expected my Georgia State Parks Family Pass to get me in. I was wrong. John Tanner State Park is no longer a state park at all. It is run by Carroll County now, so we paid the $5.00 parking fee and struggled to find a parking spot. This is nothing we were prepared for. We were expecting a typical Georgia state park, and were faced with at crowded county park. Not altogether bad, but not what we expected.

The beach appears to be the primary attraction here, and with temperatures in the 90's, the beach was what the kids wanted. There were so many people in the water, neither Rebecca or I wanted to swim. The kids weren't bothered by the crowd whatsoever, and they spent the entire afternoon playing, swimming, and making friends while Rebecca read a book and I walked and snoozed under the massive shade trees.

While relatively sparse, the staff at John Tanner park were very friendly and accommodating. At first, I couldn't understand why the State of Georgia abandoned this state park, while, at the same time, opening a multi-million dollar facility nearby (Chattahoochee Bend State Park). But now, I kind of understand. The park is now a local attraction, and that's ok. In fact, for the people of Carroll County, it's awesome!

The Richardson Tribe

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Chattanooga Zoo
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Chester Frost Park
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Choccolocco Mountain Off Road Park
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Desoto State Park
Doll Mountain Campground
Dunnaway Gap
Enota Mountain Retreat
Etowah Indian Mounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Florala State Park
Franklin D Roosevelt State Park
Fort Mountain State Park
Georgia Mountain Fairground
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Hillcrest Orchards
James H Floyd State park
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Lula Lake Land Trust
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