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Around 100 years ago electricity became a more common fixture in American life, and in order to provide this wonderfully strange modern idea, small southern power companies began damming up rivers throughout the country. Georgia Power Company began damming up rivers in North Georgia to produce hydroelectric power. As the valleys filled with water, large reservoirs become permanent fixtures in the hills of Appalachia. Though most lakes engulfed previously uninhabited or sparsely inhabited land, a few where built at the expense of small towns or settlements.  Such was the case with Lake Burton. The town of Burton was the largest town in Georgia to be enshrined in lake water with a population of around 200.  The city was legally dissolved and sold to the Georgia Power Company in 1917 to build the Lake Burton dam. As the floodgates closed, Burton was swallowed up by the rising waters, and so it is until today.

Lake Burton is a wonderful vacation retreat. It’s far enough up in the hills to be quiet and serene, yet only a short day trip to several major cities.  Lake Burton is than a 2 hour drive from Atlanta and within a 2-3 hour drive from Greenville, Asheville, Charlotte, Chattanooga and Knoxville.  Lake Burton rests at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and is surrounded by lush forests and mountain wildlife. Outdoor activities abound in and around the lake and include things to do such as water sports, boating, fishing, biking, hiking, kayaking, river rafting, fly-fishing and golfing.

On the lake's western shore, the Moccasin Creek State Park has a fishing pier and a wildlife observation tower among its highlights, while on the eastern side; Timpson Cove Park is a popular spot for travelers to hang out after a beach day. The adventurous can go exploring throughout the country to find rewards such as the Wild & Scenic Chattanooga River and Stekoa Falls. Part of the solitude you enjoy on Lake Burton is because Rabun County is approximately 60% National Forest Land and State Parks with an additional 20% of land owned by Georgia Power Company That only leaves 20% of the land in Rabun County privately owned and buildable. The majority of homes that dot the shores of Lake Burton are built on GPC land with a 99 year lease. Don’t be mistaken, there are many, many properties for rent, but some homes are rented year after year by the same families.

The highest point in Rabun County and the second highest in Georgia is Rabun Bald at 4,696 feet with surrounding mountains ranging in height from 2,500 to 4,500 feet. In late May and June, laurel blooms along the creek banks, in coves, on cliffs and on hilltops, and rhododendron blooms in July. In October, the mountains take on a profusion of color as the leaves begin to change for autumn. Lake Burton has so much to offer visitors and residents alike.

Honestly, if you come to Lake Burton as a vacation destination, you will be back!