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Lakegoers enjoy last summer fling on Lanier
Perfect weather to continue for Labor Day weekend outings
Mike Mathis tries his luck at fishing Saturday afternoon along the shore of Old Federal Park. - photo by Tom Reed

Full lake means full cash registers for Lanier businesses

The weather? Couldn't be better

Today's forecast: Sunny, high near 81.

Tonight: Mostly clear, low around 61.

Monday: Sunny, high near 86.

Monday night: Mostly clear, low around 64.

Source: National Weather Service

Summer in Hall County means barbecue, time at the park and fun on Lake Lanier.

As Labor Day approaches, the end of the traditional summer is coming to a close. That means the long days on the lake soon will give way to football games and corn mazes.

But Steve Gable wasn't about to let his holiday weekend go to waste. Gable chose to spend his Saturday out on Lake Lanier with his son, Landon, 7.

"We didn't spend much time outdoors last summer, so I really wanted to make sure that we did that this year," he said.

Gable said that the weather on Saturday was "perfect for a day at the lake."

"It is finally not too hot, and there is a breeze in the air," he said. "I love this time of year."

One of the appeals of Lake Lanier this summmer has been the lake level, which remains near full pool after two years of low levels.

"The lake really does look better when it is full," said lake property owner Bruce Hansen, who was able to use his boat more this year.

"When the lake is low, my dock can end up on dry ground," he said. "Even if there is enough water to launch my boat, I get concerned that I may hit an underwater obstacle that is now much closer to the surface."

Hansen said that when the lake level is up, fish "hang out at his dock" and he likes to feed them small pieces of bread.

"We know, subconsciously, that we must have water to live, so it is comforting to know that there is a large body of water nearby," he said.

Hansen said that the droughts seem to come every so many years, so he predicts that the lake should stay up for the next few years, which will be good for the economy.

"Lake Lanier is a destination," Hansen said. "People come here from all over North Georgia, and the lake brings in plenty of money to Gainesville and Hall County."

Dawson County resident Sarah Vargas has spent many days on Lake Lanier this summer, doing everything from swimming to kayaking and cooking on the grill at War Hill Park.

"Most of the time, it was just a couple of us, but sometimes we would get a big group of friends and make smores and eat hot dogs," said Vargas, who actually has plans to spend Labor Day swimming and picnicking near the lake.

Vargas points out that even though summer is over, people can still have fun at the lake.

"The fall weather is going to be so nice," she said. "Now you can have picnics at the lake and actually not sweat."