Antioch Lake Rocky Mountain

The sun sets on Antioch Lake at the Georgia DNR's Rocky Mountain Public Fishing Area northwest of Rome. 

Managers at the Rocky Mountain Public Fishing Area are encouraging folks who want to camp out during spring break to call ahead. The campground at the popular lakes northwest of Rome is starting to get real busy again.

The RV camping pads are available on a first-come, first serve basis. Without the ability to make reservations, it’s kind of a hit or miss opportunity to net a space with access to the trails and lakes.

Area Manager Dennis Shiley said the campground was completely full this past weekend and about two-thirds full Monday. The campground has 36 RV sites.

Shiley said a lot of campers bring their boats, canoes or kayaks to get out into Antioch and Heath lakes. The fishing at the two lakes is among the best in the state for largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish, crappie, and walleye.

Heath Lake is only open to fishing the first 10 days of each month. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources limits it to take some pressure off the habitat and provide greater opportunities for larger fish.

Many day-trippers also are taking advantage of about 15 miles of trails at the park, which is managed by the DNR’s Fisheries Division.

“The revenue stream at the park is still staying high, which indicates a lot of people camping,” Shiley said. “Our campground was pretty busy all winter long, but not to the extent that it is right now.”

He said revenue has been about 50-50 between camping fees and parking passes.

The dream this year is to be able to reopen the beach on Antioch Lake for Memorial Day weekend. It was completely shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do to it because of its being closed last year,” Shiley said. “It is fenced off right now.”

The work is not scheduled to begin until May 1, when most of the spring wet season is behind him. Shiley said he expects to bring in six to eight loads of new sand.

A lot of debris has washed up on the old sand and there has even been some vegetation that has tried to come through the sand after a year with little activity.

There is one important note for people who may want to visit the park this week. Road work scheduled through Wednesday is blocking access from the Armuchee area so traffic will have to come in to the park from the Coosa side of the community via Big Texas Valley Road.

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