Lake Allatoona is approximately 12,010 acres in size, it is 11 miles long, and it has 270 miles of shoreline. Most of Lake Allatoona is in southwestern Cherokee County, a significant portion is in southeastern Bartow County and a small part of the lake is in Cobb County near Acworth. The State of Georgia allows two municipalities to withdraw water from Lake Allatoona. The City of Cartersville uses about 12 million gallons of water per day and the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority uses about 43 million gallons per day.
Lake Allatoona was created by Allatoona Dam. Authorized by the U.S. Flood Control Acts of 1941 and 1946, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Allatoona Dam to retain the Etowah River, a tributary of the Coosa River. Construction of the dam was completed in 1947 and it began operating in 1950. Allatoona Dam was the first of its kind and it became the model for all future dams built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining Allatoona Dam, supervising recreation at Lake Allatoona and preserving the unique environment of the lake.
The 1,562-acre Red Top Mountain State Park is located on a peninsula of Lake Allatoona between the Etowah and Allatoona arms of the lake. Nearby Lake Allatoona is the most extensive site of prehistoric Mississippian Culture in the Southeastern United States. The Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site is a 54-acre Georgia State Park containing three large earthen mounds, an village area and a plaza that were constructed during the Paleo-Indian Period around 10,000 B.C.
Real estate in areas near Lake Allatoona
Because Lake Allatoona is protected by the government, land is not zoned for commercial use around the lake. Homes near the lake can be found in Acworth and Cartersville. Residential areas near Lake Allatoona generally have a relatively low population density of about 800 people per square mile, a low cost of living index at approximately 90% of the national average, and they are located between 40 to 50 miles from Atlanta via Interstate 75.
Older single family homes in Acworth and Cartersville are rarely sold so many homebuyers are purchasing homes in new master planned communities with security gates and property maintenance services. Some communities like the Village at Waterside have beautiful views of Lake Allatoona and the mountains, a community swimming pool and tennis courts. Architectural styles in these communities are often Ranch, Craftsman, American Cottage and Country French.
Many of the well known national budget hotels and motels such as Best Western, Days Inn, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Quality Inn, Motel 6 and Super 8 Motel have facilities in Cartersville. Lake Allatoona has more than 1,000 secluded tent and RV campsites along its shoreline, plus numerous areas for picnicking, fishing, boating, waterskiing and swimming. Red Top Mountain State Park has 92 tent and RV campsites, 18 cottages, group picnic shelters, hiking trails, swimming areas, boat ramps and docks, fishing areas and tennis courts. The Lodge at Red Top Mountain has 33 guest rooms and 18 two-bedroom cottages with fully equipped kitchens, a restaurant, and a conference center available for business meetings.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates several campgrounds at Lake Allatoona and campsites can be reserved. McKaskey Creek Campground has 51 sites, 32 of which have electrical and water hookups. Victoria Campground has 74 campsites with electrical and water hookups, Payne Campground has 150 sites with electrical and water hookups, Clark Creek North Campground has 24 sites with electrical and water hookups and Old Highway 41 #3 Campground has 50 sites with electrical and water hookups.
Limited food shopping is offered inside Red Top Mountain State Park but all necessities are available in Cartersville. Because Northwest Georgia has a rich Southern history and Cartersville has traditionally been a regional hub of retail activity, many antique stores, thrift shops and specialty stores are located throughout the area. Two restaurants in Cartersville received the People’s Choice Awards in 2008; D. Morgan’s and the Appalachian Grill, both of which are located in downtown Cartersville. Restaurants featuring Southern barbecue, Cajun cuisine and Italian food are also very popular in Cartersville.
The City of Cartersville has been a center for cultural entertainment since 1929 when the Grand Theatre was reopened after a fire had destroyed the original building in 1923. Over 40,000 people each year participate in a wide range of artistic events and programs presented by various local performing arts organizations at Cartersville’s Grand Theatre. The annual Entertainment Series offered by the Grand Theatre features country and bluegrass music, orchestral concerts, comedy, drama, musical theater performances.
Eight privately operated marinas at Lake Allatoona provide fuel, storage, boat repairs, boat rentals and supplies, and there are 15 different boat ramps for public use located around the lake. Lake Allatoona is renowned as a fishery and it is well stocked with bass, crappie, bream, gar and catfish. A fishing license is required. Other popular activities on Lake Allatoona include swimming, power boating and waterskiing, sailing and windsurfing.