Located in Northwestern Georgia, Lake Allatoona has 270 miles of mostly undeveloped shoreline with a few private marinas and public boat docks. The lake winds through the metro Atlanta counties of Cherokee and Bartow. A small piece of it is in Cobb County around the suburb of Marietta. The short 35-minute drive from downtown Atlanta makes it the perfect place for residents and visitors to have a day of fun on the water. Thanks to its proximity to the city, it’s one of the most visited Army Corps of Engineer lakes in the nation with more than six million annual visitors.
With a size of around 12,000 acres, Lake Allatoona has plenty of room for fishing, boating, and swimming. The surrounding wooded area provides recreation for camping, hiking, and in-season hunting. There’s a sandy beach to kick back on nestled in a cove that some say reminds them of the old TV show, Gilligan’s Island.
Visitors can bring their own boats to Lake Allatoona. It’s a common sight to see boats towed on I 75 going to the lake on a summer weekend.Those who don’t own their own boats can rent just about any type of watercraft at the Park Marina or Paradise Boat Rentals. But the lake is most notable for sailboats that fill the lake on weekends and holidays. The Atlanta Yacht Club located here hosts several one-design racing fleet regattas. Visitors come to the lake for friendly competitions or sailing classes at the South Winds Sailing Club from late March through November.
The area surrounding Lake Allatoona has several delightful day-use areas and state, county, and city parks. Managed by government agencies, they are all clean and safe. The area has diverse camping options, and those who want to go up-scale can check into the Victorian Lake Allatoona Inn. Built in 1893, the inn has been meticulously restored and features private decks and an antebellum-style wrap-around porch. Or rent the inn’s Allatoona Lake Cabin with lake access.
Almost as popular as the lake is nearby Red Top State Park named for the red clay hills of North Georgia. The 1,428-acre park is situated on a peninsula and offers great camping, star gazing, and kayaking. Vacationers can pop off of I 75 and be there in minutes. There are tent and RV sites available along with a 33-room lodge with a restaurant. The park also has a marina, boat ramp, and a sandy beach for swimmers. Hikers have 12 miles of trails to explore including the 5.5-mile Homestead trail that leads to an 1860s restored homestead. Or take the now-open 3.8-mile Iron Mine Loop Trail that leads to an open-pit iron mind.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!