By Christopher Purvis
The 2017 recreation season officially has begun on Allatoona Lake! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages numerous boat ramps and day-use areas situated around the lake, and eight convenient campgrounds offer great opportunities for a full outdoor experience close to your own backyard. Now is a good time to start making reservations for campsites and busy day-use shelters.
Five corps campgrounds will be open by early May: Sweetwater, McKaskey, Payne, Victoria and McKinney. The remaining three campgrounds — Stamp Creek, Old Highway 41 #3 and Clark Creek North — will open in mid-May, just before Memorial Day weekend. The corps operates more than 600 sites, each equipped with an impact pad and fire ring, and most with water access and 30- and 50-watt electrical hookups. To make reservations, visit www.recreation.gov.
Reservations can be made up to six month in advance, so plan ahead to make sure you have your favorite spot.
The corps operates 14 day-use areas around Allatoona Lake. During weekends in May and June, these areas usually fill to capacity by noon. Make your plans to come earlier or later during this busy season. There are 10 boat ramps, four beaches and seven shelter areas available to the public. There is a $5 user fee at most areas, but annual corps and interagency passes are accepted.
May is National Safe Boating Month and the corps has several water safety initiatives in place to keep the public safe during the recreation season. The Life Jacket Loaner Program is located at every corps-operated area around the lake. These life jackets are provided at no charge, either at area gatehouses or loaner boards located at ramps and beaches. Remember: LIFE JACKETS WORN … NOBODY MOURNS!
The corps’ Ranger Trading Card Program is again in full swing. When your child sees a ranger, remind him or her to ask for a card. Children under 15 can collect 14 different cards by demonstrating their knowledge of water safety. The more cards collected, the more prizes they can earn, including life jackets, beach towels, beach mats, Rome Braves and Booth Museum passes, and more!
Let’s make safety a priority during the busy 2017 recreation season. Be safe, and we will see you at the lake. For more information concerning recreational programs, please call the Operations Project Management Office at Allatoona at 678-721-6700.