If you really want to get away from it all, check out Lake Winfield Scott in the north Georgia highlands.
It’s a National Forest Service recreation area in a secluded valley east of Suches, offering swimming, fishing, picnicking, hiking and camping.
The lake is small, just 18 acres, but offers a sandy beach and a magnificent beach house and pavilion that date from the Civilian Conservation Corps. Weekdays, you’re likely to have the beach to yourself, but the lake has become popular as a weekend destination. On a recent Saturday there were dozens of folks cooling off in its chilly water, and at least a dozen anglers trying their luck around the lake.
Trails through the undergrowth follow a creek and lead through an expanse of ferns. It’s green, it’s cool and it’s an easy hike. There’s also a flat trail around the lake.
Campsites are typical Forest Service pads. A single full-service site costs $12 a night, and a group site is $40 a night. There’s also a Spartan cabin available for $80.
No-amenities sites are $6, and you can rent a large picnic shelter for $75 or $35 for a small picnic shelter. Day-use parking is $5.
The drive to the lake is one of the most scenic in Georgia. Watch out for bicyclists, though, and be courteous and share the road.