Vann's Tavern is centrally located on the southwest banks of Lake Lanier, considered Atlanta's great lake. SUP Paddlers have the option of paddling the calm, smooth Two-Mile Creek or braving the rocky surf in the channel.
Vann’s Tavern is known as a neighborhood spot on Atlanta’s “great lake”. Lake Lanier spans 38,000 acres, and is a popular boating destination and waterside retreat for locals, and Vann’s Tavern represents the neighborhood gathering spot. The banks offer views of the lake’s vast realm.
At the day’s full glare of the sun, the park is teeming with water activity. Paddle into the channel for a training challenge and circle Three Sisters Island, or glide down the serene Two Mile Creek.
On windy days, the main channel can look like an ocean, with whitecaps peaking across the span of the lake. Water here is nearly 100 feet deep, so boaters enjoy the deep-water fishing. Only experienced paddlers should enter the channel, and a racing or touring board is recommended to handle the slap of the waves. Be sure to bring a leash and life jacket, because if you fall off your board, the current can quickly carry it out of reach.
Stand up paddleboard yoga classes are frequently taught in the cove that leads to Two Mile Creek. You’ll see balance and flexibility put to the test as attendees do headstands and spits on their paddleboard.
What Makes It Great
Weekdays are peaceful, and often you’ll feel like you have the whole shore to yourself. Take this time to journey down the aptly named Two Mile Creek. At 2 miles long, it’s such a smooth paddle, the water laps against the board in a soothing rhythm to match your stroke. A blue heron rookery is nearby, and you’ll often see them wading by the banks, along with turtles and in the fall- deer browse the banks during dawn or dusk.
If you’re paddling into the channel make the 8-mile loop out to Three Sisters Island and back. It’s actually a series of 3 islands that are all characteristic of Lake Lanier’s islands- reddish sandy shores and brambles of greenery populating most of the space. On those windy days, the paddle out seems rigorous when you’re facing the wind, but the upside to this is the feeling of surfing on the return trip.
Who is Going to Love It
Vann’s Tavern is frequented by Atlanta SUP Yoga, who are drawn to this hidden bluff on the lake. Beginner SUP will like enjoy paddling Two Mile Creek, which is shielded by wind and boat traffic. Advanced paddlers on race or touring boards can get intense training by paddling the channel.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Just 45 minutes from Atlanta, Lake Lanier is easily accessible off GA 400. Vann’s Tavern Park is a straight shot off Browns Bridge Road, on its own horn surrounded by Lake Lanier and Two Mile Creek. The park is well-kept, thanks to a local clean-up crew.
The parking lot has plenty of spaces for both car and boat trailers, and a smaller lot for cars. Parking is free. There is a boat ramp, but you’ll want to use the smaller wooden dock to put in. Bathroom facilities are available.
Traffic heavily picks up on the weekends, especially between Memorial Day through Labor Day, so be sure to avoid these peak times unless you want to paddle through boat traffic.