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Lake Rabun is an 834-acre serpentine shaped lake created by the Georgia Railway and Power Company (now Georgia Power) in 1915 for water storage and eventual hydroelectric power generation. It is a short, pleasant drive from Clayton, Georgia, northeast of Macon. Recreation is a significant side benefit of Lake Rabun with boating, water sports, fishing, camping and just plain rest and relaxation for both visitors and Georgia residents in a wonderful river-like setting. Georgia Power has leased portions of the idyllic shoreline for residential development, and many well-to-do Atlanta residents have taken the opportunity to build retreats there. A non-profit Association (Lake Rabun Association) was established to insure that over development is controlled. The Association holds many interesting events for visitors throughout the year, including a wooden boat parade with fireworks and a tour of homes raising money for many worthwhile causes.
Lake Rabun is one of five hydroelectric power reservoirs in the North Georgia Hydro Group of Georgia Power created in the early 1900s for the City of Macon, Georgia. The Group's power now mostly serves Atlanta. Water storage and use by nearby communities from these five reservoirs has become a major purpose. Lake Rabun is the second largest of the five and was created by the impoundment of ten miles of the Tallulah River by Mathis Dam's completion in 1915. The Dam is 108 feet high and 660 feet long, an ambersen-type concrete dam. The Terrora Powerhouse (Indian name for 'the terrible') is fed from Lake Rabun through a mile-long mountain tunnel and was completed in 1925. Two hydroelectric generators have provided a capacity of 16,000 kilowatts unchanged throughout the years. The whole group of dams is considered to be a major engineering feat for the time, and the Dam and Powerhouse are in the National Registry. Except during periods of drought, Georgia Power lowers water levels during winter for shoreline maintenance.
Fishing is a significant recreational use of Lake Rabun for visitors and residents alike. Species for the angler include white bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, redear, walleye and catfish. Boat fishing is great, and a number of locations provide excellent bank fishing. Nacoochee Park, located just off Lake Rabun Road, is one recreation area for picnicking and bank fishing. The Park is a welcome, restful setting with a view of Nacoochee Dam and Powerhouse. Rabun Beach Recreation area (USFS) offers, camping, hiking, swimming, and 80 tent and trailer campsites. Terrora Campground, on north side of the Gorge, is another choice with 50 campsites fully equipped with electricity and water hook ups, tables and grills. Hot showers are available in the comfort station. For those geocachers out there, there are nearly 30 caches to discover within a few miles.
Want a windy, twisting, outdoor river setting for your adventure? Try Lake Rabun!
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