Old Federal Park Lake Sidney Lanier: A Hidden Gem in North Georgia
As part-time RV’ers, my husband and I are always on the lookout for campgrounds and RV parks that offer a great setting, spectacular views and a calming, isolated atmosphere. We have traveled from California to Texas, to Michigan, and we have to say that we are smitten with the Old Federal Park on Lake Sidney Lanier in Flowery Branch, GA. The park is about 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, situated on one of the largest and most active lakes in the southeastern United States.
Old Federal Campground lies on the eastern banks of Lake Lanier by the Chattahoochee Bay in Northern Georgia. Of the 84 campsites, 59 have electric and water hookups. There are also seven walk-in sites for those who don't mind leaving their vehicles behind. Most of the campsites are waterfront with beautiful views and are level to the lake if you want to take a swim. Take it from us, these types of sites are hard to find at most other campgrounds in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. We have a larger rig at 38 feet, and Old Federal Park has no trouble accommodating us with the roadways or the campsites. They also have the cleanest bathrooms, great laundry facilities and most helpful support staff. What's most amazing to me is that a real, live person answers the phone and will tell you if the site you booked is empty so that you can start your vacation early if it’s unoccupied!
Because of the nature of the terrain and erosion in this area, a few of the sites are a bit lumpy and difficult to get level in a RV. For this reason, you may want to come prepared with some leveling blocks. We always do and find it much simpler to setup.
Because it's so popular to locals, out-of-towners and first-time campers, you will need to book well in advance during the summer and around holidays. However, sometimes you can sneak in and get a site for the weekend as we have several times. I recommend you use the Recreation.gov or Woodalls website. It's easy and has site maps, phone numbers and directions to all the parks, with pictures of most of the sites.
If you and your family love to fish, enjoy boating, swimming or just sitting by the beach (while not like the ocean, it is still quite serene) this is the place for you. There is also a well-manicured public beach accessible near the center of the campground. The beach is a great place for kids to play, build sand castles and generally wear themselves out. Fishing is a treat, as Lake Lanier is world famous for its bass fishing. There is a boat ramp available for use so be sure to bring yours if you are not already towing a vehicle or trailer. We personally love to sit by the water at the site, have tea, (no alcohol is allowed at any of the federal parks), watch the skiers go by and enjoy the breeze.
Lake Lanier has many nice parks, most with great views, and I could recommend them all (some of course better than others). We think it is great fun just to be by the lake and see the water and be outdoors enjoying the day. We camp with friends, andthey agree that “Old Fed” is special. The fellow campers are always nice at any park around the lake, but the people we meet at Old Federal Park are some of the most wonderful and interesting people we have ever met. Most are up early walking their dogs, and everyone is respectful to each other. We make new friends every time we go. So, next time you’re in the area, stop by and visit. Chances are you can find us sitting outside taking in the lake views and enjoying some tea!