It’s spring again on Allatoona Lake, and a great time to start thinking about recreational opportunities. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages seven campgrounds and 14 day-use areas, which offer a wide variety of great outdoor experiences. Make the lake your main source for recreation this year, but remember to play it safe and recreate responsibly!
In Bartow County, McKinney Campground in Acworth is fully open and remains the only campground available year-round. McKaskey Campground in Cartersville will officially open March 17. Old Highway 41 #3 Campground in Acworth and Upper Stamp Creek in White open May 13. In Cherokee County, Sweetwater Campground in Canton and Victoria Campground in Woodstock officially open for the season March 17.
Concerning campgrounds, the biggest update this year is the temporary closure of Payne Campground in Acworth. The septic system in this area is failing and probably will not open this season. The Allatoona Lake Operations Project Management Office is working with district engineers to provide solutions for the situation, as well as to gain supplemental funding. Payne Ramp will continue to be open 24 hours a day; the campground closure will not affect the ramp and the restroom in that area.
All campsites will continue to be 100% reservable at every campground managed by USACE on Allatoona Lake. We had a price increase in January of $2 per site, based on the location and the amenities on the campsite. Remember to bring your debit or credit card; all Corps campgrounds went cashless in 2019. To make a campsite reservation, call
1-877-444-6777, or visit https://www.recreation.gov.
USACE offers a variety of day-use areas that we manage on the lake. In Cherokee and Bartow counties, there are 10 ramps, five beaches, eight shelters, four picnic areas, five trails and one disc golf course. Many of the areas are a combo ramp, beach and shelter area. The day-use areas have mixed opening dates starting in February, with all areas open by May 1.
Here are examples of popular day-use areas around the lake:
• Victoria Day-Use Park offers a busy beach, two ramps and a new fishing tournament site.
• Galt’s Ferry Day-Use Park offers a busy beach and a three-lane ramp.
• Sweetwater Day-Use Park offers a beach and a group shelter area.
• Kellogg Creek Day-Use Park has a small beach.
• Payne Ramp is a busy three-lane ramp area, located off Kellogg Creek Road.
• Knox Bridge Ramp offers a launch area that is popular with kayakers.
• Blockhouse Ramp is the busiest Corps-operated ramp on Allatoona.
• Old Hwy 41 #1 Day-Use Park offers a beach and two small, one-lane ramps for boaters.
• Stamp Creek Day-Use Park has a three-lane ramp area.
• Cooper Branch #1 Day-Use Park, near the Visitor Center, has a two-lane ramp, picnic areas and a shelter.
• Cooper Branch #2 Day-Use Park, has a group shelter, picnic tables and a nearby trail system.
• Cooper’s Furnace Day-Use Park is an historic area with two shelters and associated trails.
• Riverside Day-Use Park, located on the Etowah River, has two group shelters, picnic areas, trails, a boat ramp and a highly rated disc golf course.
Make water and boating safety a priority when visiting the lake. We offer several programs, such as the Life Jacket Loaner Program (offered in 22 different USACE-managed locations on the lake) and the Ranger Card Program (one of the most successful children’s water safety programs in the nation).
Planning on doing some paddle sports? Make sure you are wearing your life jacket, and you might get “caught” being safe and presented with a paddlers pouch and other water safety related items! Life jackets worn …. nobody mourns!
For questions concerning Allatoona Lake or the Recreation Program, contact the Allatoona Lake Operations Project Management Office at 678-721-6700, visit www.facebook.com/USACEAllatoonaLake or www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/AllatoonaLake.aspx
– Christopher Purvis is lead ranger at Lake Allatoona over Partnerships, Volunteers and Project Security. He has been a ranger on Allatoona Lake since 2005.