Allatoona Lake is one of the busiest Army Corps of Engineers Lakes in the nation, with an estimated 6.7 million visitors every year. The Corps manages numerous boat ramps and day-use areas situated around the lake, and our convenient campgrounds offer great opportunities for a full outdoor experience close to your own backyard!
The Army Corps of Engineers manages seven Class A campgrounds on Allatoona Lake. Sweetwater Campground in Canton, McKaskey Campground in Cartersville, Payne Campground in Acworth and Victoria Campground in Woodstock all officially opened for the season on March 19. Two other campgrounds, Old Highway 41 No. 3 in Acworth and Upper Stamp Creek in White, are projected to open May 14.
The big question on everyone’s mind is, when will McKinney Campground open? McKinney, located in the Acworth area, has been closed since early 2020. The campground is receiving an upgrade and is being converted from septic to county sewer. The estimate from the Bartow County contractor is that work will be completed sometime this spring. Once reopened, McKinney will be open year-round and is considered one of the busiest Corps campgrounds in the nation.
All campsites will continue to be 100% reservable at every campground managed by the Corps on Allatoona. Campsite pricing will stay the same and is based on the location and the amenities on the campsite. Please remember to bring your debit or credit card, as all Corps campgrounds went cashless in 2019. Campsite reservations can be made by calling (toll-free) 1-877-444-6777, or visiting www.Recreation.gov, which links to various recreational sites around the nation.
Day Use Areas
The Corps also offers a wide variety of day-use areas that we manage on the lake. There are 10 separate ramps, five beaches, seven shelters, four picnic areas, five trails and a disc golf course. Many of the areas are a combination ramp/beach/shelter area. The day use areas have different opening dates, starting in February with all areas open by May 7. The Etowah Disc Golf Course at Riverside Park in Cartersville has become one of the most popular courses in Georgia. It recently was featured in a national disc golf calendar and high-profile Facebook posts that garnered national attention depicting holes-in-one on the unique course. Automated fee machines at most areas will be up and running again this year after recreation fees were suspended last year due to the pandemic.
The Army Corps of Engineers sells and issues most of the federal America the Beautiful Passes from the Allatoona Lake Operations Project Management Office. Passes give free admittance to Corps-managed day-use areas and ramps. America the Beautiful Senior and Access Pass holders also receive 50% off on camping. All other pass holders will be charged full price for camping.
The Every Kid in a Park pass program is now called the Every Kid Outdoors program. This is a federal initiative that started five years ago to educate children on the importance of the great outdoors, and to introduce them to our great federal areas. All current fourth-graders can receive a free annual pass that covers day-use entrance fees for the entire family at all federal lands and waters for a full year. This year, fifth-graders also are eligible for the pass, after missing much of last year due to the pandemic.
For questions concerning Allatoona Lake or the recreation program, contact the Allatoona Lake Operations Project Management Office at 678-721-6700, http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/AllatoonaLake.aspx, or visit our Facebook page.
– Christopher Purvis is lead ranger at Lake Allatoona over Partnerships, Volunteers and Project Security. He has been a ranger on Allatoona Lake since 2005.