Georgia’s Lake Burton is the northernmost lake in a series of six created by the Tallulah River Watershed to provide electricity to several towns in the area. The lake is nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Southern Appalachia and is located about 110 miles northeast of Atlanta. It bears the name of Burton, a small community that now sits on the lake’s bottom. The 2,775- acre reservoir is one of the first in the nation to be created for the generation of electricity in the 1920s.
Lake Burton has 62 miles of shoreline and is a paradise for swimming, boating, wakeboarding, and other water sports on a hot summer day. Anglers frequent the lake for fine fishing in a scenic setting. Bring your own or rent a boat and fishing gear from Lake Burton Boat Rentals. Or rent a kayak or canoe and paddle peacefully around the shoreline. The lake is teeming with sunfish, bluegill, bass, and other freshwater fish species. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources operates the Lake Burton Fish Hatchery for raising trout to stock all of North Georgia’s streams and lakes.
The lake hosts a couple of notable events each year including the Lake Burton Fun Run, a charitable event with an average of 800 participants. And visitors flock to the lake every Fourth of July to watch fireworks shot from Billy Goat Island.
Lake Burton is served by three marinas. Moccasin Creek State Park on the west side of the lake near the hatchery has a campground with 54 campsites on 32 acres. The park has a boat dock and ramp, a picnic shelter, and a fishing pier that is wheelchair accessible. The park has hiking trails and seasonal canoe rentals. Be sure to hike by Hemlock Falls where two waterfalls cascade into a creek. Other accommodations available near the lake include a lodge and mountain cabin rentals.
Georgia Power maintains two parks near the lake. Timson Cove Park has a sandy swimming beach with picnic tables and restrooms. Jones Park has excellent views of the mountains but no lake access. Explore the area with several excellent side trips including the Tallulah Gorge, often called the “Grand Canyon of the East” and the Tallulah Falls. Nearby Helen is an alpine replica town that hosts a famous hot air balloon race every June. The town has a zipline for gliding through a Georgia forest.
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