History and Things To-Do on Georgia’s Lake Lanier

Not only are there plenty of fun things (like learning to sail!) to do at Georgia’s Lake Lanier, the lake also has a Lake Lanier Islandfascinating past. Here are some interesting facts that make up Lanier’s rich history.

Lake Lanier’s Creation

The land that became Lake Lanier was purchased in 1948, and the lake—also known as a reservoir—was created in the 1950s. Its original purpose was to provide hydroelectricity, navigation and flood control of the Chattahoochee river. It was also meant to supply water to the city of Atlanta.
The first step in Lanier’s creation was the construction of the Buford dam. To get the project started, workers blasted a channel and built a powerhouse. They then diverted the Chattahoochee River through the powerhouse’s open gates and built saddlebacks (dams created from gravel and dirt) on the channel. On February 1, 1956, the gates of the powerhouse were shut and Lake Lanier began to fill. In 1959, the lake was officially “full” for the first time in history!

Lake Lanier’s Islands

The Corps of Engineers and the state of Georgia worked together in 1962 to carve out Lake Lanier’s islands from four flooded mountaintops. Since then, the islands have flourished with tourist attractions like Stouffer Hotels PineIsle Resort and the Emerald Point Resort, now known as the Legacy Lodge. Additionally, the islands on Lanier boast a super fun Water Park that has resulted in plenty of revenue for the area.

The 1996 Olympics

Speaking of tourism, Lake Lanier was chosen as the rowing/canoeing/kayaking venue for the 1996 Olympics, while the nearby town of Gainesville was chosen as the event’s host city. The fact that the Olympics took place as Lake Lanier was not expected. Originally, the Olympic Committee chose Stone Mountain as its venue. But because Stone Mountain requested such a large amount of money, the Committee went back to the drawing boards, with the end result being to host the 1996 Olympics at Georgia’s Lake Lanier!

Fun Things to Do on Georgia’s Lake Lanier

The amount of activities offered at Lake Lanier means that each year it attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the United States. There are plenty of reasons besides its rich history to plan a vacation to Lake Lanier!
Kayaking and canoeing are some of the most popular activities on Lake Lanier. There is something so peaceful about spending a day out on the calm water. You can also try your hand at fishing or get outdoorsy with some camping. In a day and age when we are so frequently absorbed in technology, connecting with nature is priceless. If you’re looking for an adventure, you can reserve a biplane ride to see a stunning view of the lake from above.

Sailing on Lake Lanier

Full Sail on Lake Lanier

Don’t forget to grow your skills with sailing lessons on Lake Lanier. Sailing is relaxing and fun! Never sailed before? That’s okay because Sunrise Sailing Academy on Lanier is an ASA Certified Training Facility that offers beginner and advanced sailing courses. Their instructors are ASA Certified Instructors guaranteeing the best training possible.

Something for Everyone

As you can see, there are countless things to do on Lake Lanier. Get outdoors and try something new!