FoCo ‘On the Move’ episode gives updates on Mary Alice Park developments

Justine Lookenott
Mary Alice Park in Forsyth County officially opens for the summer on Friday, May 26Photo byForsyth County Government

(Forsyth County, GA) Mary Alice Park on Lake Lanier in Forsyth County is officially open for the summer today, Friday, May 26 after undergoing some additions and renovations by the county.

The park, initially operated by the City of Cumming, recently came under the management of the county.

Forsyth County Communications Director Russell Brown and Parks & Recreation Natural Resources Division Manager Matthew Pate discuss the improvements to Mary Alice Park and to other parks in the county in the latest episode of On the Move.

According to Pate, only about half of the 100 acres that make up Mary Alice Park are developed. The park has a little over 150 boat launch areas and a day-use space with room for about 200 people.

The county has been doing general maintenance over the past few weeks to prepare for the opening, including updating and painting restroom facilities and pavilions.

One of the biggest projects was bringing in a little over 10,000 tons of beach and river sand to act as a base for the beachfront portion of the park and then “sugary white stuff” was added over that.

“It’s going to kind of look like the Gulf Coast when you go down to visit the beach there,” Pate said.

Self-serve kiosks will also be a big change for regular visitors to the park.

“We wanted to go cashless,” Pate said. “We've learned over the years working with an honor system always isn't really so honorable and going with the cashless Fintech machine, folks can pay with a credit card.”

Visitors can buy a day parking pass at the kiosk as well as an annual pass. For annual passes, kiosks will give buyers a receipt which then can be taken into one of the county’s recreation centers and exchanged for a hang tag to put in their cars.

The annual passes apply to all county parks.

Over the next two years, the county will be working to improve the aesthetics of the park, adding new pavement and adding to the courtesy docks.

Shady Grove Park, another park located on Lake Lanier, has also undergone several improvements over the past few years including fixing up the beach and adding "glamping" facilities.

This year, Burton Outdoor Adventures will be located at the park offering paddle board rentals, kayak rentals and eFoil training.

But these two parks are just some of the county parks located on Lake Lanier. Young Deer Creek Park, Six Mile Creek Park and Charleston Park all border the lake and have boat launches and day-use areas.

To watch the full On the Move episode, click here. More information on Forsyth County parks can be found on the new Parks & Recreation website at

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact Justine Lookenott at You can also follow her on Twitter at @justalookenott.

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I cover local news in Forsyth County, GA. My debut into the writing world began at the age of 10 when I won an essay contest in Around Acworth Magazine in which I wrote about spending the summer with my pet goat, Eclair. Since graduating from Kennesaw State University, I have been published in several newspapers and magazines in the Atlanta area including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta School Guide, What Now Atlanta, Newcomer Magazine, the Marietta Daily Journal and the Cherokee Tribune.

Forsyth County, GA

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