Lake Blackshear may be man made, but it’s about as pretty a spot in Georgia as anyone could expect Mother Nature to provide. Created by a dam on the Flint River, this 8500 acre lake has been providing locals and visitors with recreational access since the 1920s.
I wasn’t surprised to find an upscale 4 star facility like the Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club on its banks.
The expansive operation at Lake Blackshear takes full advantage of the lake’s vista, providing convention and wedding facilities year-round, as well as a great place for families to holiday.
My favorite spot was Cordelia’s Restaurant, which provides fine dining and event catering for the resort with a sunny view of the crystal water and – when I was there – a painter’s palate of foliage that surrounds the lake.
Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club
A new resort, I soon discovered that Lake Blackshear has grown busier year after year. Situated inside the Georgia Veterans State Park, this eight-year-old, well-equipped marina is just getting established. The park, however, is already one of Georgia’s most popular, for many reasons.
Although I missed it, one of the biggest events in the park – and at the marina – is the annual 4th of July celebration. With lots of fireworks, bands playing, and the Liberty Lady event boat out on the water, Lake Blackshear locals and visitors are ready for the sun to set.
The Liberty Lady is the pride of Lake Blackshear Marina’s fleet, which consists of pontoon, fishing and ski boats available for rent. At 60 feet long, the Liberty Lady can take up to 50 passengers for anything from a dinner cruise to a wedding party on the water.
Most visitors to Lake Blackshear Resort arrive by car as I did, since up river the Flint is fairly shallow. The depths at Lake Blackshear’s river channel are deeper, up to 40 feet, so it’s a great place to put your boat in for various types of water sports.
Motor boat traffic is busiest along the shore at the official day-use boat ramp in the park, since private boats are permitted.
Paddling is also popular on Lake Blackshear. Although I didn’t have time to get on the water, other paddlers told me about some Osprey nest near the railroad trestle bridge, where they’d watched the parents swooping over the water to feed their young.
The coves along shore provide homes for great blue and green herons, while I heard the calls of great horned owls at dusk.
Learn more about new boat ramps on Lake Blackshear with this YouTube video:
With 97 miles of shoreline that includes cypress flats, flooded timber, hidden coves and secret fishing holes, Lake Blackshear is a one of a kind destination for anglers, particularly those interested in pulling bass. Moving up to spawn in the spring on the cypress trees, by May the bass have moved on to the grass beds. Other popular catches include bream, crappie and catfish.
Georgia Veterans State ParkThe Georgia Veterans State Park was established as a memorial to U.S. veterans shortly after Lake Blackshear was created, back in 1931.
Exhibiting a variety of military artifacts from the Revolutionary War right through to the Gulf War, their museum is a popular place in the park. From tanks, rolling out against the backdrop of Lake Blackshear, to aircraft, uniforms, weapons and medals, there’s a lot to see!
The day I was in the park, I was lucky enough to look up and see a sky full of tiny airplanes. It wasn’t an alien invasion, but rather the park’s model airplane flying field!
The flying field provides a great place for families to hone their skills at this fun sport. With 77 tent, trailer, and RV campsites, 10 cottages, group picnic shelters and a swimming beach, it’s a popular family destination.
Attractions Near Lake Blackshear Resort
If you can’t explore the Georgia Veterans State Park by water, there’s the SAM shortline excursion train that runs through the park from Cordele to Plains. SAM, I learned, is named for Colonel Samuel Hawkins, the founder of the area’s original railroad line way back in the late 1800s.
One of the most interesting stops on this line is the Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village and Discover Center, where you can explore 15 home replicas from different cultures.
The Georgia Rural Telephone Museum, another stop of the excursion train at Leslie, houses one of the largest collections of antique telephone and telephone memorabilia in the world. President Carter’s Campaign Museum and boyhood home are two more popular stops.
FAQ about Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club
- LAKE BLACKSHEAR RESORT & GOLF CLUB 2459-H US Highway 280 West Cordele, GA 31015 Toll Free: (800) 459-1230; Local: 229-276-1004; Fax: (229) 271-7400 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://www.lakeblackshearresort.com
- Marina: 20 to 40 transient slips for 18 to 30 foot boats. 65 year-round slips.
- Lodging: full range of accommodations including 10 lakeside cabins, 14 guest rooms in the lodge, and 64 private villas.
- Rentals: Pontoon, fishing and ski boats available by the hour or by the day. The Liberty Lady 50 passenger event boat is available for special occasions.
- Getting there by water: Located inside the Georgia Veterans State Park on Lake Blackshear – just past the railroad trestle bridge.
- Getting there by land: Take I- 75 to Cordele Exit 101 and go west on Highway 280 for approximately ten miles. Go in the entrance of Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park and follow the signs to Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club.
This article was published in a similar form in Heartland Boating in summer, 2010.