The Army Corps of Engineers is tasked with maintaining waterways across the country and Lake Lanier is one of 464 lakes in 43 states constructed and operated by this division of the U.S. Army. Most of these lakes have recreation areas and campgrounds that must also be administered and maintained. Lake Lanier was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950’s and there are many important responsibilities in managing this beautiful lake:

  • The Corps controls the flow of water out of the lake via Buford Dam.
  • The Corps owns much of the lakeshore.
  • Homeowners need the Corps permission to install a dock on their property or to do any work on public property.
  • The Corps operates 46 parks areas and leases out additional areas to city and county governments plus marinas and Lake Lanier Islands.

This was our first experience staying at an Army COE campground, named Bald Ridge Creek, and I can tell you that we were very impressed by the spacious campsites along the lake. Restrooms and showers were in good condition and the cost was reasonable at $28.60 per night for a full RV hookup. Check out these pics from Bald Ridge Creek…

The Bald Ridge Creek campground was great but we spent most of our time staying at a wonderful lake house owned by Bonnie’s cousin, Janet, and her partner, Jackie. These fantastic ladies treated us like royalty for almost a week !!! Each morning, Janet cooked us delicious breakfasts of eggs, bacon, and biscuits & gravy while Jackie fired up the grill in the evening and fed us steak for dinner. They took us out on their boat for long trips across the lake and lent us their kayak so we could paddle along the shore with good friend, Kim Shark. They even drove us up to Dahlonega, GA to hear singer and song-writer, Michelle Malone,  give us 2 hours of her powerful blues-rock sound. Janet drove us out to see her brother and Bonnie’s cousin Tom, and his lovely wife, Carole, who cooked us a really nice meal of deep fried Asian dumplings. I was beginning to think we were staying at a full service lake resort !!!

One morning, Bonnie and I were out on the boat dock when I spotted a very large bird landing on a tree branch near us. At first, I thought it was a turkey vulture or an osprey but soon realized that it was a huge bald eagle. I truly didn’t appreciate how big and powerful this symbol of our country is until I saw one up close. Cousin Janet grabbed her Nikon camera and snapped a great photo of this majestic bird which you can see below…

We stayed at cousin Janet’s house until the end of September and again we were not shy about asking if we could do a load (or several loads) of laundry before we left there and headed to Florida.  Again, warning to our friends and family, if we are coming to your area we may show up at your house with a load of dirty laundry! “Muchas Gracias” to Janet & Jackie for making us feel so welcome in their fantastic home on the lake – we love you ladies !!!

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