Need to get away for a weekend and enjoy the lake life? Then McKinney Campground at Lake Allatoona is perfect for you!
The primary attraction at McKinney Campground is Lake Allatoona, a Corps of Engineer lake. Lake Allatoona is very popular among Georgia residents and visitors, with about 7 million annual visitors to the lake. It’s a fisher’s dream, as it is stocked with a variety of fish, including bass, crappie, bream, gar, and catfish. You can fish from the shore or from a boat. McKinney Campground also has a dock that you can fish from.
McKinney Campground has 150 sites, although many sites are not available during the winter. During my January visit, only the “lower” ring of campsites (1-57) were available. The “upper” ring were closed off. These are the ones closer to the boat ramp and the swimming beach. McKinney only offers water and power sites, no sewer hookups. There is a dump near the front of the park though. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire pit/ring.
I am not sure this is a feature, but it is worth noting: Since McKinney is not far from the interstate, you will hear a low roar of traffic but typically not the noise of “city traffic.” Also, a very active train track is nearby and even goes over Lake Allatoona not far from the campground. You will hear train noise throughout the park.
Pick Your Site
Like most campgrounds, not all sites are created equal. Obviously, some of the sites at McKinney will be waterfront while others will not be. Some of the sites are also more level than others. And some sites are pull-through while others are back-in. Some of the back-ins will have a long ways to go and some curves. While all the sites had level parking areas, some had hills and dips that can cause trouble. More than a few sites had grooves dug into the asphalt pavement where RVs had scraped going in and out of them. This is not always clear on the site when you make your reservation. I recommend that you pay special attention to the “Equip length/Driveway” details on the Site List tab.
At spot 47, I had a lake front spot. However, I had tall trees immediately on each side of my RV in a back-in spot. Fortunately, a friend was there to help guide me in and help setup (to watch the slides to make sure I didn’t hit the trees).
You can pick your spot when you reserve using the Recreation.gov site.
Getting to McKinney Campground
McKinney Campground is less than one hour from Atlanta (well, depending on traffic). Go north on I-75 to exit 278. Take a right on Glade Road and continue down the winding two lane road for about 3 miles. Turn left onto King’s Camp Road (it’s a four way stop); continue for about a mile until you see the signs for the campground on your left.
Glade and King’s Camp Roads are both winding country roads. Take it nice and slow through them with your big rig! Even though Atlanta and north Georgia were hit with winter weather the week before, the roads, including those inside the campgrounds, were clear by Friday. But always be careful during winter driving as there may be ice or other hazards.
Now, here’s the thing about getting into McKinney Campground. No matter what they say anywhere else, you’ll have to park your RV and walk up to the window. Don’t let the pre-registration on Recreation.gov fool you. You will have to walk up to the window. Don’t pull your RV up to the gatehouse like I did. I then had to back all the way out and then park. Even in January of government shut-down weekend when there were no other people around, I had to go back and park the RV. During the summer when there are lots of people, you’ll cause a big traffic jam so don’t attempt it.
More Rules at McKinney
McKinney Campground has some rules that some RVers may not like. Only eight people and two pets are permitted per camp site. No off-road vehicles, golf carts, or ATVs are permitted. The entrance gate is locked at 10:30 PM during the summer and 9:00 PM during the winter.
Online reservations are recommended. Make your reservations on Recreation.gov.
McKinney Campground is a Great Weekend Getaway from Atlanta
Overall, McKinney Campground is a good solid campground. It’s far enough away from Atlanta that you feel like you are actually “getting away” but you don’t have to drive forever to get there. This isn’t the spot to stay if you are expecting to go to games in Atlanta, at Mercedes Benz Stadium or Bobby Dodd Stadium. But it is a great spot to hit on your way in or out of town, for a little Lake Life time. Come summer time, it will be full of people fishing, swimming, and other camping fun.
I’ll definitely be back. Maybe a different spot though, one that doesn’t have large trees within inches of the RV slideouts.