It would be nice to pay one annual fee that would cover entry to all those parks. There are simply too many agencies and municipalities that require revenue to keep their picnic and scenic areas clean, mowed and safe.
Wade the shoreline, float on a raft, or make a big splash in the cool, clear waters at one of Lake Sidney Lanier’s Day-Use Parks. The Corps of Engineers manages 13 day-use swimming areas around the lake. When visiting these parks never swim alone, only swim in designated swim areas, and take extra precaution because there are no lifeguards on duty.
USACE at Lake Lanier
To locate a park near you or to find an exotic spot across Lake Lanier that you’ve never experienced before, please click on the link below.
We regret to inform you that Ronald S. Sanchez, Jr., was slain on the Appalachian Trail in Wythe County, Virginia early in the morning of Saturday, May 11, 2019. His accused attacker has been apprehended and is in jail.
This website is dedicated to the sublime Lake Lanier, near Gainesville, Georgia. This area is known around the world for being The Poultry Capital of the World and for hosting canoe and kayak events during the 1996 Olympic Games. Gainesville is also the gateway to the gateway of the southern terminus to the Appalachian Trail (AT) on Springer Mountain.
The Appalachian Trail is simply a narrow dirt path that transports hikers from Georgia through fourteen states to their soulful conclusion atop Katahdin, a mountain in Maine’s Baxter State Park about 2,180 miles away.
Inquiries about how to get to the Appalachian Trail from Gainesville are incessant on popular AT pages. I always suggest Ron Brown — shuttle driver and Trail Angel — for his reliability, knowledge and wisdom. These days, questions about the Trail are focused on rumors of a hiker murdered on the AT, a terribly rare crime.
To put rumors to rest, here are the facts of the case, as of May 15, 2019.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, based in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, oversees and manages the AT on behalf of and in conjunction with the federal government. Here are their comments from May 14, 2019.
“The Appalachian Trail community of hikers and volunteers is profoundly saddened by the horrific attack Saturday morning on two hikers as they took their ‘journey of a lifetime’ along this beloved footpath,” says Suzanne Dixon, president of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC).
She continued, “The Appalachian Trail is a safe environment, a refuge that welcomes more than three million users a year. Unfortunately, like the rest of the world, the trail is not absolutely safe from evil.”
“The ATC extends its deepest condolences to the family of Ronald Sanchez and prays for the fullest possible recovery of the hospitalized woman. Those feelings extend to all hikers and volunteers who are scarred in some way by this attack on a place they cherish and care for every day,” she concluded.
The ATC — a private nonprofit, the members of which conceived and blazed the A.T. in the 1920s and 1930s — manages and conserves the 250,000 acres of public lands that comprise the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. It undertakes this in cooperation with the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, 14 states from Maine to Georgia, and 31 affiliated local clubs. The clubs are home to most of the 6,000 volunteers who maintain the footpath and its facilities through about 250,000 hours of work annually.
The attacks took place on Forest Service lands in southwest Virginia, the current location of the main “bubble” of about 3,000 persons attempting to hike all the way from Georgia to Maine this season. The southern end of the Trail is about 550 miles from the scene of the assaults. The Trail became a unit of the National Park System in 1968.
The person accused of the crimes, and other disturbances that were not deadly in Tennessee, is James L. Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts. He has appeared in Federal Court in Abingdon, Virginia, and charged with one count of murder and one count of assault with the intent to murder. The crimes took place on federal land; therefore, the FBI is involved in the continuing investigation.
The victim who was murdered has been identified as Ronald S. Sanchez, Jr., 43 years old, a U.S. Army combat veteran with 16 years of service and multiple tours in Iraq. His name on the Appalachian Trail was “Stronghold.” The Washington Post said Sanchez was from Oklahoma.
A woman who chooses not to be identified was also viciously attacked in the incident when Sanchez’s life was taken. Too many details of that hideous attack are easy to find online.
We profoundly regret that these innocent hikers suffered any harm on the Appalachian Trail.
There is no end to this story, nor will there be an end to this tragedy for the woman who was wounded, the family of Mister Sanchez, or for the family of the man who cruelly attacked them.
I suppose we can comfort those who suffer from this inhumane action, and those who endure similar or worse treatment.
One fine way to contemplate life and death is by walking it away and leaving your thoughts along the Appalachian Trail. In spite of this horrid publicity, it’s still more safe than the average shopping mall parking lot after dark.
Take a hike in honor of Ronald S. Sanchez, Jr. Be nice to someone along the way. Come back better than when you hit the Trail. Next time, bring a friend.
If we could redirect all the hot air from politicians and talking heads on radio and TV, we could fill enough hot air balloons to have our own races. Until then, we must rely on Helen’s hot air balloon races in late May 2019.
We all love the “mountains” of North Georgia just as they are, thank you.
The most stark exception is when the hills are alive with the sound of flaming propane from hot air balloons gracing the landscape.
Yes, it’s really a race:
The South’s oldest balloon event and the United States’ only long distance hot air balloon race will begin (weather permitting) with a mass ascension of around 20 bright and colorful hot air balloons, in North Georgia’s Alpine Village [of] Helen.
Race competitors and local flyers will take to the sky at 7:00 am, Thursday, May 30, 2019. If the weather conditions are too windy or storms are forecast, the take off will be postponed until conditions are acceptable.
The winner is the first person to cross I-95, or whoever is ahead at sunset on Friday, May 31, 2019.
Yes, you can pay to take rides. Yes, you can ascend in a hot air balloon that is secured to the ground. Because nothing can go wrong. Probably.
Please Note: You might not want to watch The Wizard of Oz before taking a “tethered ride” in a hot air balloon, if you catch my drift.
Walking around the grounds among the hot air balloons is unforgettable. The sights and sounds are enthralling.
(Or maybe it’s the gas, I don’t know.)
Here’s a hot tip: no balloons go up during the afternoon. That’s when the weather is too hot and windy.
While the competition to the Atlantic continues, other balloonist compete in local events beginning Thursday evening around 6:00 pm. Local flying events will take place also on Friday and Saturday. The balloons will fly around 7:30 am and 6:00 pm each day (weather permitting). The balloons will only fly for around 1 to 2 hours.
Some balloons may tether instead of flying at flight times because of wind direction and weather conditions. The main time tethered rides will be made available to the public will be on Saturday evening, beginning around 7:00 pm. The balloons will be tied to the ground and go up approximately 50 – 75 feet. Tethered rides last approximately 5 minutes and cost $10 per person.
There will be many opportunities available to the public; assisting with the inflations, being a part of a chase crew or taking a tethered ride in a balloon. There will be approximately 20 balloons flying locally.
If the weather is just right for take-off at 7 AM on Thursday morning, let the kids skip school and give them a chance to learn from this once-in-a-lifetime (until next year) event.
Don’t worry, you won’t get caught. Unless you brag about it on the Internet.
Conveniently located by land or sea on Lake Lanier, Port Royale Marina treats customers like royalty. Top off the tanks on your boat, stop for a happy bite to eat, or load up on necessities for a perfect day on the water. Port Royale Marina is the perfect spot to begin, end or pause in the middle of any day on America’s Greatest Lake.
Port Royale Marina will be there for you seven days a week for the tasty snacks you crave or for whatever your boat might require, including:
Hull repair — fiberglass or metal
Care for your delicate bottom: painting or blister elimination
Open seven days a week year-round, Port Royale Marina can accommodate any size boat you can fit on Lake Lanier.
Formerly known as “Lan Mar Marina,” Port Royale has everything you’ll need to enjoy Lake Lanier … from dockside dining to upgrades to your old boat to putting you in something that will last for decades … or until you want to buy a new one.
Lake Lanier is the property of the federal government and is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Our friends at Lanier Islands lease Shoal Creek Campground from the USACE and operate it for us all.
May the 4th be with you at Margaritaville’s Water Park at Lanier Islands! That’s the day the 2019 season of the wettest, happiest times you can have in Georgia begin. This year … everything is better than ever!
A lakeside adventure with fun and exciting rides at all levels on the thrill scale, The Water Park at Lanier Islands has something for everyone, from toddlers to teens and adults. If you love excitement, this is the place!
Slide down the Black Out in total darkness, race your best pal on dual mats, challenge yourself to heart-pounding drops and breathtaking vertical plummets or fly across the lake on a zip line. Try them all and then replay your favorites!
The Fun Zone
Located in Paradise Beach, the Family Fun Zone is water-play central. There’s a lot to keep the little ones entertained, including Wiggle Waves.
That’s the junior version of our Wild Waves wave pool — mini water slides that bring big-kid thrills, fun sprinkler features, and a sandy beach perfect for building sandcastles in paradise.
Brave enough to slide into total darkness? This twisty, turny, plummeting slide is a short ride that’s big on thrills! You’ll end up in the daylight at the end, wondering what just happened!
CAT 4 Water Slide
CAT 4 is a water slide like no other! You’ll zoom down a hilltop — over Chill Zone and across Paradise Beach — then splash into Lake Lanier!
Four side-by-side lanes let you race your buddies to the finish.
This year, we’ve added bubbles to make it even more thrilling!
The water park is open on weekends until Thursday, May 23, 2019. Then have fun every day through Tuesday, August 6th. That’s when they go back to weekends only through the end of September.
Lake Lanier’s shoreline zigs and zags for almost 700 miles. Those fortunate enough to live on the lake are subject to the annual outdoor burning ban that’s in effect across Georgia until Tuesday, October 1, 2019.
The good news is you can now keep your windows open in nice weather without having smoke from leaves, yard debris and flammable junk permeate your home, clothes and furnishings. Until October.
The bad news is the outdoor burning ban means you-know-who will have one more reason to move every dang leaf and/or twig that falls on their property with an obnoxiously loud leaf blower. At dawn.
The burning ban is a state law in Georgia during the drier days and months between May 1st and September 30th.
The ban prohibits all outdoor burning including the burning of leaves, yard debris and storm damage.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division imposes this annual ban on outdoor burning to comply with federal clean air regulations and to help improve Georgia’s air quality during the hot summer months, a time when people, particularly young children, are more likely to be outdoors.
This outdoor activity also coincides with an increase in ground-level ozone, which is most commonly produced in the heat of the summer and can cause lung inflammation and other health issues, and particle pollution, which is created by open burning.
For folks living in Forsyth County, you may contact forsythco.com or call the Forsyth County Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office at (678) 455-8072. If you’re not in Forsyth County, please contact the Fire Marshall in your area.
The newest phase of the reinvention of Lanier Islands is open and ready for business: Margaritaville RV Resort.
Pardon me, but it reminds me of the character Clint Eastwood played in those Spaghetti Westerns that made him famous. The man with no name. An effort as large as establishing an upscale place to park your motor home deserves a really cool name. Maybe something like, The Lost Salt Shaker RV Park or Changes of Attitudes RV Resort. Even The Last RV Resort at Margaritaville. For now, Margaritaville RV Resort will have to do.
With incredible lakefront views, each site includes a 30’ – 50’ concrete pad, full hook-up for water, sewer and power, picnic table, grill, fire pit, and Wi-Fi.
The resort offers upscale restrooms/showers, guest laundry, access to Paradise Beach, waterfront dining and live entertainment at LandShark Landing.
Margaritaville RV Resort Press Release of April 24, 2019
Oh. It’s also on the same property as the most amazing water park, lakeside entertainment, beaches and restaurants assembled on America’s greatest lake.
Don’t forget to bring your boat. Or, rent one when you arrive.
What? You don’t have a self-contained or towable RV? Pffft. Not to worry. Something tells me they’ll find one you’ll love. A dandy one. Maybe a Class A, B or C motorhome, a fifth-wheel or some snazzy travel trailer.
Margaritaville RV Resort is the perfect blend of serious business and the business of adding all the fun in your life that you can afford.
Come see Margaritaville RV Resort at Lanier Islands for yourself, or load up the RV and bring the whole family. Spend the day doing exciting stuff — or relaxing by the lake — at Lanier Islands.
Then, toast a few marshmallows around the campfire and dream up cool names for the coolest RV park around.
Lake Lanier Association’s Executive Director Joanna Cloud has resigned her position with that non-profit organization, effective in May of 2019, after nine years with LLA.
Joanna Cloud has exceeded all reasonable expectations during her tenure.
She led the way in keeping Lake Lanier “Full, Clean and Safe,” LLA’s slogan and a personal mission for Joanna. She helped organize the annual Shore Sweep removal of literally tons of garbage from Lanier.
Lake Lanier has solar-powered lights to help boaters navigate around unsafe sections on the lake day and night because of her labor and direction. A few prominent islands were shored up, thanks to Joanna’s leadership. Rogue docks, sunken boats and abandoned houseboats were no match for Joanna’s quest to rid Lanier of such dangerous and poisonous flotsam and jetsam.
All the while, Joanna was as tough, courteous and professional as anyone could expect of an executive in such a position of influence and leadership.
The press release announcing her move to the private sector (an unnamed “local marine services company”) stated that LLA’s “annual income has tripled with a commensurate increase in lake-based programs and services.” Joanna served her board of directors, hundreds of homeowners, thousands of volunteers and millions of visitors with class and efficacy.
“I have accepted a position with a local marine services company and am excited to continue to be part of the Lake Lanier community both from a work and personal residence standpoint. The LLA is well poised for continued success because the passionate group of volunteer board members and association members are committed to keeping Lake Lanier Clean, Full and Safe.
“I greatly appreciate the support from the members of the association over the past several years. It has been an amazing journey for me and I look forward to seeing the association continue to grow and serve the community.”
Joanna and I had a very pleasant phone call on April 24, 2019. I was struck by how many times she said she was grateful for the past nine years serving the Lake Lanier community. She also said that one of her strongest memories will be how people thanked her for her dedication and efforts. She sounded surprised by the appreciation shown her for all that she and LLA have done for us, but it’s no surprise to those of us who know and respect her.
Her new job takes her to Marine Specialties, Inc., with offices in Gainesville and Anderson, South Carolina. Tom Child and his able crew install docks, lifts and shoreline protection. As Joanna and I chatted, she floored me with the fact that she is a graduate of Georgia Tech and how she loves such mechanical stuff. Who knew she is a nerd? Brilliant, cheerful, skilled, educated and excited about her newest passion — on Lake Lanier.
You’re free to take a shot at doing her job at LLA after she leaves. She’ll even help you learn the ropes. You might even do as well as she has done. But it will be hard to find anyone who matches Joanna’s dedication, understanding and smarts for the upcoming nine years and beyond.
The association is actively seeking resumes from qualified candidates for the Executive Director role. Resumes may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding the position will be handled by John Barker, president of the board of directors, at 770.530.1613.
Lake Lanier Association Press Release Dated April 19, 2019