An affordable, fun way to vacation close to home.
June is National Camping Month, and what a great time to enjoy one of the campgrounds operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Allatoona Lake. The corps manages seven convenient and affordable campgrounds in Cherokee and Bartow counties. In fact, the corps is the leading provider of outdoor recreation in the U.S., and has campgrounds across the country that offer affordable, fun and scenic ways to spend a vacation.
The corps operates seven campgrounds on Allatoona: Sweetwater, Victoria and Payne campgrounds in Cherokee County, and McKinney, Old Highway 41 No. 3, McKaskey and Upper Stamp Creek campgrounds in Bartow County. Campsite pricing is based on location and amenities, with standard sites ranging from $28 to $32 per night. There are different prices for waterfront and interior campsites, and sites with 30-amp and 50-amp electrical and water hookups. Starting in the 2019 recreation season, the corps has gone cashless in its recreation areas; please make note of this when visiting corps campgrounds and day use areas this year.
- Maximum of three pets are permitted per campsite.
- Maximum of eight people per campsite.
- Maximum of three vehicles per campsite.
- Camping limit is 14 consecutive days or 14 nonconsecutive days in any 30-day period at all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-operated campgrounds on the Allatoona Lake Project.
- Off-road vehicles, golf carts and ATVs are not permitted.
- Entrance gate is locked from 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.
- Don’t move firewood: Protect your forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it onsite. Visit Dontmovefirewood.org for further information.
Campsite reservations can be made by calling 1-877-444-6777 or by going through Recreation.gov, which links to various recreational sites around the nation. Recreation.gov has a new website for the 2019 season, and, after early technical problems, seems to have the site functioning properly. There also is a convenient app for phones that is similar to the website. Allatoona Lake’s booking window is now one day; therefore, reservations can be made up to one day before you want to go camping on Allatoona Lake.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sells and issues most of the federal America the Beautiful Passes from the Allatoona Lake Operations Project Management Office. Visitors who hold one of these passes receive free admittance in our corps-managed day use areas and ramps. America the Beautiful Senior and Access Pass holders also will receive 50% off on camping. All other passes will continue to be charged full price for camping.
June is the busiest recreation month on Allatoona Lake. We hope you have a safe and relaxing time. Please remember to wear your life jackets! “Life jackets worn, nobody mourns.” Visit PleaseWearIt.com. For more camping information, call 678-721-6700.
– Christopher Purvis, lead ranger at Lake Allatoona over Partnerships, Volunteers and Project Security.
Tips from a Corps Camper
My family and I have been enjoying the corps campgrounds around Allatoona Lake for more than a decade.
We aren’t the hike out in the woods until you find a clearing and pitch a tent kind of family. Admittedly, we bring as many comforts along as possible. It is still a lot of outdoor fun and a great time for making memories. In fact I have filled an entire photo album that is dedicated to just our camping adventures!
It helps being a short drive from home and stores, because inevitably we have forgotten something important. Over the years, I have discovered a few vital things that make our camping experience the best it can be.
1. Water shoes. The lake bottom is mucky and once you step on it with bare feet you will surely remember to pick up some water shoes for your next trip.
2. Water jugs. Be sure to bring jugs of water from home or store bought, the water at the corps campgrounds is drinkable, but has a taste to it that can affect cooking and your morning coffee.
3. Box fans. We discovered these are handy for not only keeping cool on humid summer days, but they are also helpful with keeping bugs away. We always bring two.
4. AV Adpater. I know you think you won’t be watching TV while you are camping, but on a rainy day or during football season, this is a must for us. We stream Netflix, and the ESPN app from our phone, this little device connects the phone to your TV. It’s my favorite device for camping August through October.
5. Outdoor Patio Mat. This really helps keep your camper clean. The corps campsites all have gravel, and this mat makes it easy to walk around in bare feet, and cuts down on tracking gravel and dirt into the camper. Just hose it off at the end of your trip.
– Michelle McCulloch, Art Director for Aroundabout Local Media.