Lake Oconee takes its name from a group of Creek Indians that long ago lived close to Georgia’s Oconee River basin. “Oconee” is purported to mean “great waters.” It is an apt name to describe Lake Oconee, boasting 19,000 acres and 374 miles of shoreline which is located between Atlanta and Augusta. Lake Oconee is the second largest lake in Georgia, running through the history-rich counties of Greene, Putnam, Morgan, and Hancock. It was created in 1979 when Georgia Power completed the construction of the Wallace Dam on the Oconee River. On average, it’s about 21 feet deep, though it’s deeper near the dam, and it stretches no more than a mile apart at its widest point. The lake is a prime spot for fishing as it includes Striped bass, Largemouth bass, Channel catfish, White bass, Blue catfish, Flathead catfish, Hybrid striped bass, Bluegill Brim, Black crappie, and White bullhead. The lake is very clean due to Georgia Power’s efforts as well as there being no boats with heads or cabin cruisers allowed.
Lake Oconee became a real estate hotspot in the mid ‘80s as the Reynolds family began subdividing their family hunting land, selling home sites, and building world-class golf courses that gently slope along the shores of the lake. Reynolds Plantation, now known as Reynolds Lake Oconee, and its sister communities, Great Waters and The Landing, became known world-wide within the first two decades. The Reynolds family is responsible for most of the businesses you can now see in Greene county, such as The Oconee Performing Arts Society (OPAS), The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Publix (just outside the Reynolds Lake Oconee gates), the Lake Oconee Village shopping center, major medical offices, St. Mary’s Hospital, and even Lake Oconee Academy (one of the highest rated non-private schools in the state). Several other gated communities have sprung up over the years as well. These include Cuscowilla, Harbor Club, Waters Edge, and Del Webb.
There’s something for almost everyone! Lake Oconee has fine dining, small town charm, local family-owned shops, hiking trails, biking, watersports, tennis, horseback riding, golf, and a plethora of arts and culture opportunities. The area has become known as the ‘Lake Country’ of Georgia due to Lake Oconee and its “sister” lake, Sinclair, also created by GA Power.