Lake Sinclair is located along the fall line of Middle Georgia’s Oconee River, in the central region of Georgia, on the Oconee River. Lake Sinclair stretches through the counties of Baldwin, Hancock, and Putnam. Lake Sinclair has provided both electricity and recreation since its creation by GA Power in 1953. The 15,330-acre body of water has 417 miles of scenic shoreline with charming coves and inlets as well as long stretches of open water. The maximum depth at the dam of 90 feet. The water level will fluctuate approx. one to two feet each day due to the fact that Georgia power pumps water from Sinclair into Lake Oconee to run the power generators at the Oconee dam.
The Georgia Power Company began building Sinclair Dam in 1929, but construction was suspended in 1930 as the Great Depression took hold. Work on the plant resumed in 1949. Sinclair Dam was completed in February 1953 and was named for B. W. Sinclair, a Georgia Power plant construction and operation superintendent. The final cost of the project was more than $14 million. The dam stands 104 feet high and 2,988 feet long. It consists of concrete non-overflow and spillway sections, flanked by reinforced earthen embankments. The spillway has 24 30-foot-wide floodgates.
For sixty years Milledgeville served as Georgia’s 4th capital city. It’s the largest city on Lake Sinclair, though most of the lake is located in Putnam County. Lake Sinclair is largely used by lake residents and people who live and house their boats and RVs on the lake. There is easy access to the water with two public boat ramps provided by Georgia Power. There are also marinas and boat storage areas located on the lake. Other areas of access to the lake includes Oconee Springs Park. Lake Sinclair is the site of several fishing tournaments—both local and national—and attracts fisher persons of various skill levels and interest. Visitors find fall and winter fishing at Lake Sinclair a special treat due to the mild climate and activity. There is also a popular fishing area below the dam near Milledgeville. Several recreation areas, such as Oconee Springs Park and Rocky Creek Park, provide day-use facilities that include picnic tables, grills, boat ramp and a small beach. There is camping and even cabin rentals provided at Oconee Springs Park, but not Rocky Creek Park.
Milledgeville is also home to Georgia College & State University as well as Georgia Military College. There is a bevy of shopping and dining in this medium sized town.