I put in at Mary Alice park at 10:00 a.m. on the west side of Lake Lanier. Lanier is a large Army Corps of Engineers reservoir just North of Atlanta. From there I paddled south down Baldridge Creek towards Buford Dam. I kept close to the shoreline to stay out of the way of powerboats and cut across the many coves on the way to the Dam. Most powerboat operators are very considerate of paddlers - just watch out for waverunners. The water here is very clear and a beautiful shade of blue. Much of the shoreline is rocky but you can find some sandy areas along the way, which are perfect for stopping and stretching or taking a lunch break. I stopped on a beach about 25 feet wide covered in gray sand and pulled my sandwich out of the dry hatch and chowed down as I looked over the great scenery. It took me about forty-five minutes of paddling time to reach the Dam. It took me about an hour and 15 minutes on the way back as there was an appreciable wind coming in from the bow at an angle. I was glad that my 17' CD Storm was equipped with a rudder which I use on windy days like this. This route is fairly open water and if you plan to take this trip, it is best attempted in a touring kayak or longer recreational kayak that tracks well in case the wind picks up.
Mary Alice is a Corps. park and has restroom facilities, picnic, beach and boat ramps.
A $3.00 fee to enter the park and launch your boat.
From Atlanta take GA 400 North to the GA SR 20 exit in Cumming,GA. Turn left at the light at the top of the ramp. Go east towards Buford and turn left onto Marketplace Boulevard. Follow Marketplace then turn Rt. on Buford Dam Rd. Follow Buford Dam Rd. and turn Lt. on Sanders Rd. Sanders Rd. will Dead end. Turn Rt and follow this road to Mary Alice Park.
Obtain a map of Lake Lanier at Wal-Mart (on Marketplace Boulevard)or Bait and Tackle Store near the Lake.
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water