North Georgia Lake Primer: Lake Allatoona
Lake Allatoona is approximately 30 miles northwest of Atlanta. It primarily borders Cherokee and Bartow Counties, although Cobb County also touches its southern shore. The lake is accessible by I-75 and I-575.
The waters of Lake Allatoona cover 12,010 acres, with 270 miles of shoreline.
The land that ended up being flooded by the lake had an interesting past, mainly in the form of gold mining and bloody Civil War battles. Allatoona’s dam, which holds back the waters of the Etowah River, was completed in 1949 by the Army Corp of Engineers. It provides flood control, hydroelectricity, and drinking water for the surrounding area. Lake Allatoona is one of the most visited Army Corps projects in the country, and the most popular lakes in Georgia.
25,000 acres surrounding Lake Allatoona is open to the public and maintained by the Army Corp of Engineers. It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to call it a recreational paradise, so it’s no wonder that the lake sees so many visitors. Eight privately owned marinas and fifteen boat ramps make a watercraft feel quite at home. On the dry side, a bevy of campgrounds make “roughing it” a little easier; many of them are located at beautiful Red Top Mountain State Park. Bicycling has becoming increasingly popular around Lake Allatoona, with the Blanket Creek Trails, Iron Hill Trail, and Pine Mountain Trail challenging those who prefer two wheels.
The housing market surrounding Lake Allatoona tends to be more modest than that of Lake Lanier in terms of pricing. Rarely does a high end lakefront home top $2,000,000. More common are traditional and contemporary frame houses that went up during the 1970s in Cherokee and Cobb Counties. Two master planned communities developed near the lake in Cherokee provide a wide range of housing choices; these are Towne Lake and Bridgemill.