Though Atlanta is landlocked, it is not without its share of beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams. In fact, the Chattahoochee River ambles through the metropolitan suburbs of Atlanta. Atlanta grew up around the railroad and not the Chattahoochee River, so the Chattahoochee is not a focal point of the city, and river access is somewhat limited.
However, changes are in the works according to the Chattahoochee Greenway Study. “The Chattahoochee is one of our region’s most popular recreation spots, but access to the river remains limited in many areas,” Mike Alexander, director of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Center for Livable Communities, said in a press release. He added, “The goal of this study is to make the river a focal point of the entire region.”
Opening portions of nearly 100 miles of the river would grant Atlanta residents some of the best hiking, biking, and sight-seeing opportunities in the state. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority will provide service to some river venues.
In addition to rivers, there are at least six large and four less prominent lakes within a two-hour drive of downtown Atlanta. Together, they have nearly 3,000 miles of lakefront shoreline. These lakes include:
- Lake Lanier, 962 shoreline miles, 50 miles NE of Atlanta
- Lake Allatoona, 270 shoreline miles, 35 miles, North of Atlanta, near Acworth
- Lake Hartwell, 222 shoreline miles (Hart County, GA), 100 miles NE of Atlanta
- Lake Burton, 62 shoreline miles, 109 miles NE of Atlanta
- Lake Oconee, 374 shoreline miles, 75 miles SE of Atlanta
- Lake Sinclair, 40 shoreline miles, 90 miles SE of Atlanta
Lake Lanier in particular is a highly desirable location for Atlanta residents who own or want to own lakefront property. According to one source, Lake Lanier boasts nearly 10,000 lakefront residential properties.
Even though there are almost 3,000 miles of freshwater shoreline within two hours or less of downtown Atlanta, lakefront property is hard to come by because the demand is high. Much of the available residential lakefront property on the nearby lakes have been developed. When properties come available, they are soon snatched up. The demand has pushed out to Lake Hartwell on the Georgia-South Carolina border. With over 222 miles of shoreline on the Georgia side of the lake in Hart County, Atlanta residents can reach the lake in under 90 minutes. Some Atlanta residents drive as much each way to work, and they never leave the greater metropolitan area.
An article in Atlanta Magazine, entitled, “Want a Georgia lake house? Here’s what you need to know.” identifies several smaller lakes in the Metro Atlanta area. “Smaller lakes include Lake Arrowhead in Cherokee County, Berkeley Lake in Gwinnett County, and community lakes such as Lake Windward in Alpharetta. Lake communities a bit farther, such as Lake Oconee, Lake Blue Ridge, and Lake Burton used to be primarily second homes, but work-from-home opportunities have turned them into a mix of primary and vacation residents.”
Smaller neighborhood lakes include:
- Lake Arrowhead, 20 shoreline miles, 55 miles from Atlanta
- Berkeley Lake, 3 shoreline miles, 26 miles from Atlanta, 13 miles from Alpharetta
- Lake Windward, 200 acres, 26 miles from Atlanta, in Alpharetta
- Blue Ridge Lake, 65 shoreline miles, 90 miles from Atlanta
An example, Lake Arrowhead, is described in these glowing terms: “Imagine a 540-acre lake surrounded by mountains, pristine wilderness and trails, and championship golf. With nearly 20 miles of magnificent shoreline, Lake Arrowhead’s crystal-clear waters boast depths over 80 feet. The lake is stream-fed and always remains at a constant level. Lake Arrowhead is ranked as one of the cleanest lakes in the state.”
The demographics reveal a large lakefront population in the greater Atlanta area. Real estate market metrics indicate a high demand for retreat and residential lake property. When a property goes on the market, it is soon scooped up. Those fortunate residents who do have lake property value it very highly and enjoy it as frequently as possible.
Bringing architectural landscape lighting to the lake home, whether it is a primary residence, home, and office, or a weekend retreat, is a brilliant idea. Here are four reasons why it makes sense to light up the lake home with landscape lighting.
Extend the Usefulness of Outdoor Living Spaces Beyond Sunset.
Landscape lighting extends the time that the lake house and its amenities can be enjoyed. Guests can be entertained on the patio, deck, or dock well after sunset. Late evening swims in the pool or lake are a reality. Session in the patio spa at dusk is no problem.
Enhance the Life of the Party.
Landscape lighting can not only lengthen the party, but it can also add life to the party. Lighting can create ambiance, evoke mood, and truly facilitate relaxation and calm. Many people retreat to their lake home to recover from a stressful week and to rejuvenate for the challenges of the upcoming week.
Enhance the Safety of the Lake Home.
Landscape lighting can improve the safety of the lake home. Often, the paths, walkways, and steps are blended with the natural landscape and slopes. Effective lighting is absolutely necessary to make the amenities and hardscapes accessible and safe after dark. Steep elevations, winding paths, and undulating surfaces can be challenging to navigate in dim light or darkness.
Improve the Security Features of the Lake Home
Predictable patterns of activity, isolation, occupancy, and the absence of light are some of the factors that affect the vulnerability of a residence to break-ins.
A dark, isolated, unoccupied, well-appointed home in a lake community known for being a weekend retreat can be an attractive target for burglars. A security system coordinated with strategic lighting will turn away burglars. If the premises should be violated by intruders, a lighting system can greatly increase the odds that the burglars will be caught, or that they will pick a less formidable target.
Usefulness, ambiance, safety, and security are great reasons to bring landscape lighting to the lake house. To schedule a landscape lighting design consultation, call Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta, GA at (770) 691-1221.