Repairs to Panola Mountain State Park’s dams will begin June 1, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Both earthen dams, built more than 60 years ago, had been deemed unsafe in 2015, causing officials to close the upper lake to fishing and boating, leaving the lower lake open to limited fishing. Repairs are expected to take 12 to 16 months. Once complete, the park will again offer stocked lakes and boat rentals.
“We are very excited to begin this project because we know how much our visitors miss the lakes,” said Georgia State Parks Director Becky Kelley. “We’re all looking forward to inviting people to come fishing again.”
During construction, the Alexander Lakes parking area and restroom will remain open; however, the paved bike trail will be re-routed around the upper lake. The paved trail is part of the 33-mile Arabia Mountain PATH network that winds past rock outcroppings, wildflower fields and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.
Just 15 minutes southeast of Atlanta, Panola Mountain State Park offers hiking and biking trails, ranger programs, a nature center, meeting room, bike rentals, geocaching, picnic areas and playgrounds. Panola Mountain is a National Natural Landmark similar to Stone Mountain, but smaller and more pristine. Reservations are required for ranger-led hikes to the mountain that teach about the rare plants found in this habitat.
Panola Mountain State Park is part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, a partnership among the State of Georgia, DeKalb, Henry and Rockdale counties, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, and numerous communities and public-private partners. As one of only three National Heritage Areas in the state, the park’s unusual natural beauty and intriguing cultural changes are the basis for this special recognition.
For more information, call the park office at 770-389-7801 or the DNR’s region office at 706-557-3017.