Lake Sidney Lanier

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With several million visitors annually enjoying its recreational facilities, Lake Sidney Lanier is easily the most popular lake in the Southeast.

A man-made lake, Lake Lanier sits just 50 miles from the Georgia State Capitol. Its 690-plus miles of shoreline touches the following five Northeast Georgia counties: Dawson, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Hall and Lumpkin. Lake Lanier opened in 1957 after construction was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Today, Lake Lanier is a multipurpose lake authorized for flood protection, power production, water supply, navigation, recreation, and fish and wildlife management.

Our claim to fame

Lake Lanier became a household name internationally during the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics when the City of Gainesville hosted the canoe/kayak and rowing events at Lake Lanier Olympic Park (LLOP).

Now home to Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club and Lake Lanier Rowing Club, LLOP is considered an exceptional venue for racing events due to its flat and open water – an important aspect of competitive rowing.

Plan your trip

Lake Lanier has 76 recreational areas, including 40 parks and campgrounds operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 10 marinas and Lake Lanier Islands. The remaining areas are leased to local governments or other organizations. There are over 20 access points to Lake Lanier via boat ramps and park complexes, many of which can accommodate large-scale events and tournaments.

Known as a top fishing destination, Lake Lanier attracts amateur and professional anglers from across the globe year-round. The lake is home to 16 species of game fish, including largemouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass and lake trout.

And like all fun lakes, Lake Lanier hosts a wide variety of other water activities, like boating, kayaking, jet-skiing, sailing, swimming and wakeboarding, among other recreational interests.

Lake Lanier attractions

Dock at Longwood Park

Lakeside parks

Five unique parks in the City of Gainesville provide public access to Lake Lanier.

Kayaking at Lake Lanier Olympic Park

Rowing & canoeing/kayaking

Lake Lanier Olympic Park hosts two private clubs offering recreational programs, events and/or rentals:

Man on a jetski on Lake Lanier

Water sports

Whether you're in the mood for boating, tubing, jet-skiing, fishing or another water sport, Lake Lanier has you covered! Even if you're seeking a quiet spot with lakefront views to R&R, the opportunities to get out and explore Lake Lanier are endless.

Visit the City of Gainesville's online business directory for a list of retailers offering rentals and/or services that can help you enjoy the lake firsthand.