7 Best Lakes in Georgia (and Awesome Nearby Campsites)
The state of Georgia, like much of the Southeast, is truly a paradise for lovers of the outdoors.
Whether you’re into fishing, water sports, or just enjoying the scenery, there’s no shortage of opportunities for you.
Many lakes in Georgia are man-made by damming up rivers to create electricity. (If you’re planning on wetting a line, the popular species include bass, bream, catfish and white perch.)
We believe that being close to a lake makes camping so much more enjoyable! So, we’ve put together this list of the 7 best lakes in Georgia along for an awesome back-to-nature experience.
Are you ready to discover the best lakes in Georgia? Let’s jump in!
Just over 40 years old, Lake Oconee was created in 1979 when Georgia Power built the Wallace Dam.
This rustic and remote spot is fed by the Oconee and Apalachee Rivers, and is a popular destination for fishing and all kinds of water sports.
There are lots of golfing opportunities in the area, too. Lake Oconee has 374 miles of shoreline and a surface area of just under 20,000 acres.
Location: In central Georgia near Greensboro and Eatonton in Greene County.
While you’re there, check out some of these waterfalls in Georgia.
GPS Coordinates: 33.350°N 83.157°W
Great Nearby Campsite: Stretch out on the spacious and shaded lots of Lawrence Shoals Campground and cruise into nearby Eatonton for a dose of small-town charm.
This lakeside campground is affordable, but it lacks full hookups and some amenities. But, there are clean hookups and showers… And it’s close to one of the best lakes in Georgia!
Georgia Lake Vibes Score: 8.9/10
Lake Allatoona offers a peaceful respite not far from bustling Atlanta. It’s just off Interstate 75 and Highway 41, so it’s a welcome diversion for travelers, too.
This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake covers nearly 12,000 acres and has 270 miles of shoreline.
Red Top Mountain Park is a big attraction at Lake Allatoona. This park has a sandy beach and great opportunities for hiking, star gazing, camping and kayaking. There are eight marinas along its shores and a family-friendly atmosphere overall. It’s a real jewel.
Location: Spanning parts of Cobb County and Bartow County, 30 miles northwest of metro Atlanta.
GPS Coordinates: 34°8′18″N 84°38′38″W
Great Nearby Campsite: Red Top Mountain State Park and Lodge offers a woodsy experience near the lake, and excellent hiking trails too!
Expect mostly shaded gravel spaces with plenty of room. There are pull-through sites and back-ins, as well as shower, bathroom and laundry facilities.
There’s a fire pit down by the lake, and a large marina that rents boats. No sewer connections (but there is a dump station), and some parts of the campground are hilly.
Georgia Lake Vibes Score: 8.8/10
Lake Blue Ridge
This lake in Georgia has amazing views. Lake Blue Ridge has a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains at a fairly high elevation. It’s almost 1,700 feet above sea level!
In the small nearby town (that’s also called Blue Ridge), you can even take a ride through the mountains in an open train!
Located in Fannin County in north Georgia, the picturesque 3,300-acre lake is fed by the dammed-up Toccoa River.
Rent a pontoon boat for a lazy outing or enjoy fishing, skiing, or swimming at the popular Morganton Point Recreation Area. You can also enjoy a wilderness hike along the Green Mountain Trail.
Location: In the north-central part of Georgia, just south of the Tennessee state line.
GPS Coordinates: 34°52′57″N 84°16′48″W
Great Nearby Campsite: The campground at Morganton Point has lots of trees for shade, and in the fall the changing colors can be quite beautiful.
Your campground pass also gives you access to a beach and boat launch. National Forest hiking trails are close by, and the nearby town of Blue Ridge has plenty of great options for dining, shopping, and even a few microbreweries.
Georgia Lake Vibes Score: 9/10
Many of the folks in Atlanta make it a regular habit to slip away to Lake Lanier to unwind in laidback luxury.
It’s a popular destination for others, too. The surrounding area is heavily populated, and as a result it can get a bit congested. In fact, more than 10 million people a year visit this lake!
This massive lake in Georgia covers 38,000 acres, and is 44 miles long. It was created in 1956 with the damming of the Chattahoochee River, and also is fed by the Chestatee River.
Lake Lanier generates hydroelectric power, and also serves as the water supply for the city of Atlanta.
Location: In northern Georgia 60 miles north of Atlanta.
GPS Coordinates: 34°14′14″N 83°56′10″W
Great Nearby Campsite: Bald Ridge Creek Corps of Engineers Campground offers spacious, level sites with beautiful views of the lake.
This campground is shady in lots of places and very well maintained. Cell service can be a challenge and there’s a dumping station rather than sewer – but there’s plenty to love!
This campground has a beach, and opportunities for fishing and cycling. It’s also close to the towns of Cumming, Dawsonville, Buford Dam and the road to Lake Lanier Islands.
Georgia Lake Vibes Score: 8.7/10
In the southwestern part of the state, Lake Blackshear is especially loved by anglers. This is because of the dead cypress trees that remain standing below the water’s surface – they attract lots of fish! This makes the lake less attractive to boaters, but it’s still an outdoor lovers dream.
A dammed-up portion of the Flint River, this beautiful lake is named for Revolutionary War General David Blackshear.
Lake Blackshear is about 20 miles long, and less than a mile wide in most places. This lake hosts an annual bass tournament, and another big attraction is Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club, which is in the middle of the lake!
Location: Bordering five different counties (Crisp, Dooly, Lee, Sumter, and Worth) in southwestern Georgia.
GPS Coordinates: 31.848°N 83.942°W
Great Nearby Campsite: Nearby Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park is a sprawling park in the town of Cordele. Cordele is just south of Highway 280, and 10 miles or so off the interstate.
At this park, you’ll find large sites with plenty of breathing room. This state park is in a natural pine-forest setting, with some campsites along the waterfront.
Forgot something? No worries! There’s a general store just outside the entrance, and on the well-kept grounds are clean restrooms and showers. The historic SAM Shortline Railroad offers rides, and there’s also a military museum with everything from historic guns to aircraft.
Georgia Lake Vibes Score: 8.7/10
Way up in the northwestern corner of the state of Georgia lies Lake Rabun.
Lake Rabun is known for an annual Fourth of July event that gives prizes not only to the best decorated boats, but also the boathouses nestled along its shores.
As the city of Atlanta continues to grow, more and more people head off to places like Lake Rabun as a break from city life. This lake has become kind of a second home for some of Georgia’s wealthiest and most influential citizens.
The 835-acre lake twists and turns along the original path of the Tallulah River, which was dammed in 1915.
Location: In Rabun County in northeastern Georgia, on the boundary with South Carolina.
GPS Coordinates: 34°45′55″N 083°24′57″W
Great Nearby Campsite: River Campground and Lodge in Lakemont is off the beaten path. This campgound gives you a great feeling of privacy and peacefulness.
Kick back and watch the river flow, and you might be lucky enough to spot some otters swimming by! Not a surplus of amenities, but a great value for a short stay near one of the best lakes in Georgia.
Georgia Lake Vibes Score: 9.1/10
This huge reservoir (more than 37,000 acres!) is just above the Florida line.
Lake Seminole offers all kinds of sporting opportunities, and it’s also a beautiful place to just kick back and relax.
Popular activities here include fishing and birding. Water skiiers and tubers enjoy the smooth water in the cove at Seminole State Park. (Just be sure and watch out for gators!)
Lake Seminole is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It opened in 1957 after the construction of a dam that’s literally on the Florida-Georgia line.
Location: Near the town of Donalsonville in the southwestern corner of Georgia.
GPS Coordinates: 30.708°N 84.863°W
Great Nearby Campsite: Eastbank Campground in Bainbridge is a top choice for RVers. That’s because it’s clean, quiet, and there’s lot of room… what more could you want?! Spaces are gravel or concrete, and there’s a dump station near the entrance.
Chances are you can fish right from your campsite, and you might also catch a gorgeous sunset!
Georgia Lake Vibes Score: 9.3/10
There’s so much to see here, but taking in some (or all) of the freshwater lakes in Georgia can make your camping experiences unforgettable.
We’ve traveled all over the country and of course we love the mountains and the desert… But there’s a lot to be said for the beauty and diversity that’s right here in the Southeast!
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