Lake Lanier
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Lake Lanier

Sometimes artificial attractions are as beautiful as natural wonders that only if you knows the origins of one thing or another are you able to differentiate. Lake Lanier is one of those beauties made artificially by men, located in the northern Georgia, encompassing 38,000 acres of water, 692 miles of shoreline, a summer pool of 1071.0 feet, and an island home to Emerald Point Resort.

Lake Lanier GA was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s and named in honor of the 19th century's Georgian poet Sidney Lanier, the most visited resort in this area and 31 minutes from Atlanta. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) is the agency patrolling the area, regulating boating, fishing, hunting, flora and fauna.

The resort is by itself a 1,100-acre area with a variety of amenities and attractions, including an 18-holes championship golf course. Lake Lanier is also a major reservoir used for storing drinking water to the metropolitan area's residents, equivalent of 70% of all the drinkable water.

Downstream water also serves to all the Gwinnett County after removing out much of the treated wastewater, which also goes into the stream. Lake Lanier has a fleet of rental boats at Harbor Landing, the largest of the area, and a beach and waterpark, providing visitors with scenic horseback riding.

The official name of Lake Lanier is Lake Sidner Lanier, a world-class tourist destination, where there are several spa services along the lake's shoreline. From swimming, boating and fishing to sightseeing and picnicking, the lake looks different in every new visit because it is not always at full level

Because of the water stored for drinking, when the supply is needed the water's level goes down. When water is in abundance, the lake is at a higher level or full. Whatever the water level in Lake Lanier, there is a permanent campaign to avoid visitors becoming part of the approximately 6,000 drowning victims in the United States.

Learning to swim is crucial when visiting any water related area, particularly those with depths exceeding 10 to 30 feet, which is the safety limit in most states in North America.

Swimming in designated areas and never alone or in unknown waters can save your life, in addition to wearing a life jacket and checking your boat for all required safety equipment when it comes to participate in boating activities. A portion of Lake Lanier belongs to the Chattahoochee River, one of the most popular trout fishing spots in Georgia. 

The GDNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advise visitors to use extreme caution when fishing below Buford Dam, because the river can change quickly from a serene slow moving stream to a swift and treacherous river after the water is released, rising up to 11 feet within a matter of few minutes.

There are warning horns sounding toe indicate every time when water is about to be released at the dam to allow people to exit the river immediately. However, it is known that South of Highway 20 bridge, a user cannot hear the warning horns so it is mandatory to wear a life jacket when practicing any activity on the Chattahoochee River.

Lake Lanier Georgia is often referred to as Atlanta's Playground and the most visited project among those of the U S Corp of Engineers from coast to coast, operating 27 Lake and River projects and 454 public nature and recreation areas only in the Southeast. Lake Lanier counts with 46 of such parks and recreational areas providing campgrounds and group picnic shelters.

There are also boat launching ramps, along with swimming areas and hiking trails. Some other areas in Lake Lanier have been leased from the Corp, operating as city and county parks and marinas, including some popular privately owned such as Gainesville Marina, Habersham, Aqualand, Lanier Harbor, Holiday, Starboard, Lan Mar, Bald Ridge, Sunrise, and Lazy Days.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has won the best operated lake of the year award in 1990, 1997 and 2002, actually being proposed to lease at Lake Lanier's Bethel Park to the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, with the purpose of developing this park into a youth camp in Forsyth County. 

Lake Lanier is also home to protected and endangered species, including birds such as the Bald eagle, fish like the Amber darter, Bluestripe shiner, Cherokee darter, Etowah darter, Frecklebelly madtom, Freckled darter, Freckled madtom, Highscale shiner and Holiday Darter.

Other protected species are invertebrate, such as Gulf moccasinshell mussel and Shiny-rayed pocketbook mussel, as well as plant including Bay star-vine, Black-spored quillwort, Golden seal, Granite rock stonecrop, Indian olive, Manhart sedge, Piedmont barren strawberry, Pool sprite, Snorkelwort, and White fringeless orchid.

 

Lake Lanier is considered a multi-purpose lake providing, water supply, power production, flood protection, fish and wildlife management, in addition to its recreational features.