Lake Russell Boat Launch/Beach Area

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

Adjacent to the nearby Lake Russell Campground the 100-acre lake is easy to access grass beach area, boat ramp, group pavillon, and the adjacent Lake Russell Wildlife management area. There are numerous hiking and biking trails including Lake Russell Loop Trail, Sourwood Trail, swimming, and located nearby is Ladyslipper Equestrian, hiking, and biking trail and the Sourwood hiking and biking trail at the Nancytown Day Use and Trailhead.


Fishing, boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding opportunities abound. Trolling motor and non-motorized boating only allowed on Lake Russell. 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: Boat Launch is open year-round. Beach facilities are closed during the winter season.
Operational Hours: Lake Russell Boat Ramp is open year-round. Beach facilities are currently closed. Beach facilities will re-open in the spring season. 
Reservations: Pay for your activity pass at Lake Russell Boat Launch and Beach Day Use with the Mobile App. Log into your account through the mobile app and scan the QR code at the area.  Follow the on-screen instructions. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one to use Scan & Pay. Please have your proof of payment available for review upon request.
Fees: Picnic and Swim Site: $5/non-commercial vehicle per day and Boat Launch and Trailhead Parking: $5/vehicle/day
Permit Info: Georgia fishing license required for fishing.
Open Season: Year-round
Restrictions: Day use sites only and the areas are closed between Sunset and Sunrise. Hunters must be at least 150 yards (450 feet) from any developed recreation areas including day-use sites, or campgrounds 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: All the America the Beautiful passes are accepted at both the boat launch and beach area. You can purchase the day use pass for the boat launch and beach areas through both the website at or 1 877-444-6777 or on-site using your mobile device through the app and the QR code located at the facility kiosk.  Lake Russell Boat Ramp and Beach area: All America the Beautiful passes are accepted for a discount at the day-use site.
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


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 - Non-Motorized


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

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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