Lake Russell is a small lake in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Surrounded by beautiful piedmont ridges with hardwood and pine, it is a wonderful setting for a day of spooning around. Gasoline motors are not allowed on the lake, fisherman use electric trolling motors. There is a fine swimming beach w/bathhouse and toilets as well as a comfortable picnic area surrounding the beach. There is also an excellent Forest Service campground (open Memorial Day weekend, closes after Labor Day) on the lake with many sites from which you can launch your canoe. The lake has a number of small arms and bays to explore. The upstream end of the lake occupies an old beaver wetland area, is shallow, and has a fine margin of wetland plants. The boat launch area has a sturdy dock, so launching your canoe without getting wet feet is nice in the winter! There are geese, ducks, herons, swifts, beaver, deer and lots of other wildlife. We often take a picnic dinner on a hot summer evening and drift about the lake until after dark. I am told that the fishing is good, too.
Swimming/picnic area and campground are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Boat Ramp with dock.
There is currently a $3.00 parking fee for swimming/picnic area and boat launch area. Camping is cheap, I think $8 or $10/ night(not sure exactly).
From GA 365/US441, get off on GA 197 exit then turn south(GA197 goes north) follow county road to "T", turn right. About a mile, paved road left with Lake Russell Recreation Area sign. There are good signs on GA365/US441, too.
US Forest Service, Chattooga Ranger District, 706-754-6221.