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Lake Allatoona, located northwest of Atlanta, is one of the most visited Army Corps of Engineers lakes in the United States. With a shoreline of 270 miles, visitors may enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, swimming, canoeing, camping, hiking, hunting, and water skiing.
Authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1941 and 1944, Allatoona Lake was created by impounding the Etowah River. As a project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, construction of the dam began in 1946. Completed in 1950, Lake Allatoona now provides hydropower generation, water supply, fish and wildlife management, water quality, navigation, and recreation.
With scenic views of the lake and mixed pine and hardwood forest, visitors who like to hike will enjoy Allatoona Lake's 11 hiking trails. Trails include Cooper Branch, Laurel Ridge, Cooper's Furnace, Vineyard Mountain Eagle Scoot, Homestead, Sweetgum, Whitetail, Visitor Center Loop, Lakeside, Iron Hill, and Allatoona Pass Civil War Interpretation Trail. The Allatoona Pass was the site where more than 1500 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing after an eight hour battle. In addition to hiking, geocaching, an outdoor adventure activity for users of global positioning systems (GPS), has become a very popular activity at Lake Allatoona. Some restrictions apply and prior authorization is needed for placement of geocaches on Corps of Engineers property.
Visitors will enjoy stopping by Allatoona Lake Interpretive Visitors Center, located at the Operations Project Management Office. Along with a bird's eye view of Allatoona Dam, visitors will learn more about the history of hydropower, local mining, wildlife, the Battle of Allatoona Pass, Native American history, and more. An interactive computer was added to the visitor center so visitors can easily find information on Allatoona Lake. In the visitor center auditorium there is a 10-minute video which shows the history of Lake Allatoona and the surrounding area.
Two popular pastimes on Lake Allatoona are hunting and fishing. Game and Fish Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources operates the Wildlife Management Area on the north side of the lake. This area is open to the public for hunting and viewing wildlife. A Georgia Wildlife Management Area stamp must be acquired in order to hunt on the property. Hunting is also permitted in specific Corps-managed area. Lake Allatoona has a wide variety of game species, including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, quail, rabbit and other small game. Lake Allatoona is annually restocked and is an excellent place for several species of bass, crappie, bream, gar, and catfish.
Residential development is increasing around Lake Allatoona. Special permits must be acquired for any property built on the shoreline. For those who do not own lake property, there are 27 public recreation areas that offer hundreds of campsites and picnic sites. Check the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' website to see which areas are closed for this year's recreational season. The beautiful and peaceful setting of Lake Allatoona is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
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