Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Banks Lake is a wildlife refuge in Lanier County. Known for its blackwater lake, Banks Lake hosts many aquatic animals including alligators, which can be seen frequently from the fishing dock. The lake itself spans seven miles and is enclosed by marshes and dotted with cypress trees.

Banks Lake is a great place to fish or take an outdoor walk; visitors can bring their fishing poles and a camera for a great day at the lake. Fishing line recycling receptacles are located on the boardwalk. The open water provides a breathtaking view of sunsets and the perfect photo opportunity. Visitors can also get great photos of wildlife including alligators, turtles, egrets, and cranes.

Interested in getting out on the water? Kayaks and canoes are available to rent from Banks Lake Outdoors, the concessions building at the main parking lot. Here, visitors can also buy bait before going out to fish. Behind this building, a short walking trail winds through plants and tall trees. Another short path takes visitors from the parking lot to the edge of the water, where a secluded outlook gives visitors a more private view of the lake.

HOURS: 24 hours; Banks Lake Outdoors is open from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm

ADMISSION: Free; $35/day canoe and kayak rentals ($25 for a half day)

PHONE: 229-569-0147

ADDRESS: 307 GA Hwy 122, Lakeland, GA, 31635

Kayaking and Canoeing


ACCESSIBILITY: The parking area is dirt and walking areas are grass, gravel, or rocky. However, the boardwalk and fishing dock are wooden, smooth, and wheelchair accessible.