Lake Russell Recreation Area

Area Status: Temporarily Closed
View of Lake Russell through fall foliage of red and purple

Situated along the peaceful shore of the 100-acre Lake Russell a developed recreation area offering 42 campsites that accommodate both tent and RV camping and a picnic shelter with seating for 30 is available. With a large grass-covered beach and swimming area as well as two paved campground loop roads for easy access to all that this outdoor mecca has to offer in the way of camping, swimming, picnicking, hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, and boating (non-motorized/electric watercraft only), this bucolic getaway is sure to become an outdoor destination for the entire family!

Entrance to Lake Russell campground Boat ramp and dock at Lake Russell campground View of picnic area and lake from bath house View of Lake Russell swimming area and benches fronting the lake View of Lake Russell through fall foliage of red and purple

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Campground closed for the winter season
Operational Hours: Lake Russell Campground and Beach Facilities are closed for the season. Boat Ramp is open year-round. 
Reservations: All camping is by reservation only. Sorry no first come, first serve available.  Call 1-877-444-6777 or go to to make reservations.
Fees: Camping: $24/site/night single, $48/double site/night, Picnic and Swim Site: $5/non-commercial vehicle up to 6 people, $1/person over 6 people in non-commercial vehicle. Boat launch and Trailhead Parking: $5/vehicle/day
Permit Info: Georgia fishing license required for fishing.
Open Season: 04/01/2023 - 10/31/2023
Restrictions: The length of stay is limited to 14 days. All campers must vacate the site at the 14 day maximum in order to allow other visitors to enjoy the same site. On the lake there are no gasoline powered motors allowed; only electric trolling motors are permitted. After the camper(s) has/have accumulated 14 days within any 30-day time period, the camper(s) must leave that area/campground and move from Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest land for 30 days before returning for another stay. You must be at least 150 yards from a campsite/campground to hunt or discharge a firearm.
Closest Towns: The nearest town is approximately 12 miles, or 20 minutes, to Cornelia, GA.  Here campers will find restaurants, grocery stores, etc.
Water: Drinking water (municipal source) provided
Restroom: 4 Flush facilities
Passes: The Interagency Senior/ Access Passes, and the Golden Age/Access Passports are accepted for camping discounts. These passes grant the pass holder to a 50% discount on camping fees on single sites; NOT on double sites. All camping is by reservation only at or 1 877-444-6777.  Lake Russell Boat Ramp and Beach area all America the Beautiful passes are accepted for a discount at these day use site only.
Operated By: USDA Forest Service
Information Center: Please contact the Chattooga River Ranger District office at 706-754-6221 or The onloading or offloading of any Off Highway Vehicles (OHV) to include ATV, UTV, or Golf Carts is not allowed. Quiet Hours are from 10:00 pm to 0600 am. Checkout time is no later than 12:00 pm and check-in time is 2:00 pm.

General Information


Physical Address: 3034 Lake Russell Rd., Mt. Airy, GA

Take Ga 365/U.S. 23 North from Gainesville past Cornelia to Hwy 197. Turn right for approximately 3 miles until dead-end. Right on Dicks Hill Parkway for approx.3/4 mile. Turn left onto the paved Lake Russell Road.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Loop A

  • 16 camping sites
  • 1 Conventional flush restroom.
  • Standard amenities (i.e. fire rings, picnic tables, lantern post, etc)
  • Easy access to the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area on trail system that goes around the lake

Loop B 

  • 26 camping sites.
  • 2 Conventional flush restrooms, all with hot showers
  • 1 Dump station
  • Standard amenities (i.e. grill, picnic tables, lantern post, etc).
  • Easy access to the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area on trail system that goes around the lake

RV Camping

Dump station located near entrance to in Loop A.

No electric at sites. 

Water at spigots within the loop

Length of stay is 21 day.

No. of Sites 31
Reservation Info None Required
Hookup - Water None
Dump Stations One
Hookups - Electric None

Lake and Pond Fishing

Fishing for bass and bream is popular. Fishing/courtesy dock at boat launch area. Boat ramp is open year round.

Fish Species Bass, crappie, perch, catfish and bream

Day Hiking

  • Lake Russell Loop Trail  (trail length 4.6 miles).
  • Rhododentron Trail  (trail length 1.5 miles).  
  • Sourwood Trail  (trail length 2.7 miles).
  • Lady Slipper Trail  (trail length 6.2 miles) open to Horseback riding, Hiking, and Bicycle.


27 picnic sites with tables and grills, are located on each side of the beach area. The bath house is located centrally. Paved trails wind through the area. Designated paved parking is available for about 60 vehicles. A group shelter is available.

Boating - Motorized

Electric motors only.

Launch Ramps Boat Launch
Type of Craft motorized

Boating - Non-Motorized


Large grassy area serves as a "beach" for the children as well as the adults.