The spot where the Lake Allatoona Visitor Center is located is right above the dam and just across the lake from Red Top Mountain State Park. Getting there by car is a different story.
That’s because you must go north from Allatoona on I-75 to Exit 290. Head east on Georgia Highway 20. The right turn onto Spur 20 (GA 294 on some maps) isn’t very far away. Go south on Spur 20 for four miles to the Visitor Center.
Yes, it’s worth the drive.
Visitor Center displays include a detailed map of Lake Allatoona and its recreation areas, and information about the history of the lake and the surrounding area. The center’s museum provides fascinating details about the Army Corps of Engineers, the Civil War, and a multimedia presentation on building the lake, scenic overlooks and hiking trails.
Recently, an interactive computer was added that allows visitors to learn about recreation, shoreline management and water safety.
After visiting the museum, take a short walk to the Allatoona Dam Overlook where you can view the dam and the powerhouse.
Don’t worry. It’s only uphill on the way up. It’s all downhill on the way back, with pleasant picnic areas and hiking trails nearby.
One trail leads to the Cooper’s Furnace Day Use Area.
The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 AM to 4:30 PM, except on holidays. Admission is free.