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Lake Burton is the first and largest reservoir in a series of lakes managed by Georgia Power Company, called the North Georgia Hydro Group. Its 2,775 acres and 62 miles of shoreline are nestled in a deep valley of the Appalachian Mountains providing a multitude of coves and shoreline locations for scenic recreational use. In appreciation of his services, Jeremiah Burton, a sometimes bailiff and popular local citizen, supplied the name of the lake and the town of Burton (now under the lake's surface). The Lake Burton Civic Association helps control development. There are some 1,200 residences around Lake Burton, and many civic events such as the large Fourth of July celebration are heavily attended.
Lake Burton is one of five hydroelectric power reservoirs in the North Georgia Hydro Group of Georgia Power created in the early 1900s for power generation. The Group's electricity output now mostly serves Atlanta only for peak loads. Water storage and use by nearby communities is now a significant function. Lake Burton is the largest of the five reservoirs, and was created by the impoundment of the Tallulah River by Burton Dam's completion in 1919. The Dam is a gravity concrete dam, and the powerhouse was placed into operation in 1927 with a height of 128 feet and a span of 1100 feet. Two hydroelectric generators have provided a capacity of 6,120 kilowatts throughout Lake Burton's history. The whole hydro group's construction is considered to be a major engineering feat for the time, and the Dam and Powerhouse are in the National Engineering Registry. Georgia Power lowers lake levels during winter for shoreline maintenance, except during periods of prolonged drought.
Lake Burton's fishing is excellent, with game fish species including white bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, crappie, chain pickerel, bluegill, redear, walleye and catfish. The best fishing is reported to be spotted bass, yellow perch, chain pickerel and stocked brown trout (in side feeder streams). The current state record spotted bass, weighing in at 8 lbs., 2 oz., was taken from Lake Burton. Boat fishing is great, and a number of locations provide excellent bank fishing.
Aside from fishing, recreational opportunities abound for swimming, boating, picnicking and camping; boat and jet ski rentals are available. Timpson Cove Park provides a very pleasant ambiance for a nice day at Lake Burton. A white sand beach and swimming area, with picnic tables, rest rooms, and parking grace the Park. Off Charlie Mountain Road, access to the park is convenient from U.S. Highway 76. Georgia Power provides Tallulah River Boat Ramp and parking area just north of Lake Burton. During the winter, Murray Cove Boat Ramp is the only public boat access area to Lake Burton on the southeast portion and is located off Bridge Creek Road. Moccasin Creek State Park presents visitors with excellent camping and hiking opportunities. You geocachers can search and find over 25 caches in likely locations within a few miles.
Lake Burton's restful scenery, recreational opportunities and beautiful mountain setting makes it a MUST stop if you're in the area.
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