Hard Labor Creek State Park
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Hard Labor Creek State Park is a 5,804 acre (23.49 km²) Georgia state park located between Fairplay and Rutledge. The park is named after Hard Labor Creek, a small stream that cuts through the park. The creek's name comes either from slaves who once tilled the summer fields, or from Native Americans who found the area around the stream difficult to ford. The park plays host to an 18-hole public golf course, which offers a pro shop, driving range, rental cars, and senior citizen discounts. Rocky Creek provides many of the water hazards on the course including the 14th hole with its signature water wheel.
- 63 Tent/Trailer/RV Sites
- 20 Cottages
- Beach and Bathhouse
- 2 Lakes
- 2 Group Shelters
- 2 Group Camps
- Horse Stables and Trails
- 4 Picnic Shelters
- 1 BBQ Pit
- Pioneer Camping
Hard Labor Creek State Park is the home of two group camps, Camp Rutledge and Camp Daniel Morgan, both centered on the 275-acre (1.11 km2) Lake Rutledge. A second lake, Lake Brantley, occupies the northwestern area of the park. This lake was named for a Brantley family killed by Native Americans in 1813. Both the camps and the lakes were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
Camp Daniel Morgan, was the filming location of three well-known "camp" movies, Little Darlings (1980), Poison Ivy (1985), and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986). Interestingly, Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City fame, who played "Sunshine" in Little Darlings returned to the nearby town of Rutledge, Georgia in 2005 to film a part in the Emmy winning movie Warm Springs; a part in which she too was nominated for an Emmy award.
Camp Rutledge is also the location of the long-running summer camp for the youth of Peachtree Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, Georgia, the largest Presbyterian Church (USA) in the United States. Camp Rutledge is also used by the youth of Roswell Presbyterian Church.
Camp Rutledge was leased for many years by the Atlanta Jewish Community Center during the 1950s up through 1962 as a site for its summer camp program serving Jewish youth from the Atlanta area as well as the southern United States. Its use by the AJCC was ended with the acquisition and development of Camp Barney Medintz near Cleveland, Georgia.
The Camp Rutledge facilities were recently examined by the TAPS Ghost Hunters team to see if the camp and the surrounding forest is haunted by nature spirits.