Crystal Lake, Irwin County

Crystal Lake GA Irwin County Old Picnic Table Near the Pavilion Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Due to the overwhelming response of my first post about Crystal Lake a couple of months ago, I’m sharing these outtakes to round out the July 4th holiday weekend. I think it’s an appropriate tie-in considering that Charlie Daniels played a huge Independence Day concert here in the late 1970s and for many years it was a favorite summer destination for thousands of South Georgians.

Crystal Lake GA Irwin County Palm Trees Pavilion Water Slides Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The palm trees weren’t natural to the park, but they sure made it feel more like the beach. Of course, water slides were always the favorite attraction for young and old alike.

Crystal Lake GA Irwin County Abandoned Water Park Water Slide Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Lots of people have asked me about the Rampage, which was one of the most popular attractions at Crystal Lake. Here are two shots of this high-speed water slide, one from the lake bed and another from the front.

Crystal Lake GA Irwin County Dry Lakebed Sinkhole Rampage Waterslide Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Crystal Lake GA Irwin County Dry Lakebed Sinkhole The Rampage Waterslide Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

I believe there were several of these metal mushroom umbrellas on the pavilion side of the lake.

Crystal Lake GA Irwin County Mushroom Umbrella Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

The area known as Varsity Beach was located on the far side of the lake.

Crystal Lake GA Irwin County The Other Side Varsity Beach Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

It was more natural than the pavilion side and set in a nice stand of oak trees.

Crystal Lake GA Irwin County Natural Scrub Oak Habitat Surrounding the Water Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014

Many hope the lake will once again be a family destination, but this is not likely.

Crystal Lake GA Irwin County Dry Lakebed Far Side Palm Tree Sunset Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2014



58 thoughts on “Crystal Lake, Irwin County

  1. jerry

    man we would head up there every weekend we could during the late 80s when I just started driving went as a kid with parents in the early 80s love it so much they slowly increased the price it was 2 dollars for adults I Remember and then 5 dollars a car maybe be backwards then it got up to like 10 a person and I heard it got up to 20 dollars a person we stopped going because of the smell of the water even though the slides used spring water I wished they’d let you fish certain days it was full of fish which helped the contaminates a while but it just got to bad last time I went was early 90s I think it was a blast my freind had the keys to the car in his pocket we fooled around on side of the lake swimming well the keys fell out of his pocket so we went back to where we were swimming and found the dang things go figure awesome memories I got a post on facebookof Me and my best freind in 85 we were just too cool

  2. Nicole Young

    Looking at these pictures brings back so many memories as a child. We took so many trips here with my church as well as just family outings. I always wondered why they closed Crystal Beach as I know it down.

  3. Laura Eldridge

    I loved this place!!! I used to work for Mr. Adcock at The Plantation House in Arabi, Ga., and also Palm City, in Chula, Ga. We used to go there all the time, mostly as a teenager and young adult. We would “cruise” around the Lake, as well as ride all the slides. Sooooo many wonderful memories of Crystal Lake! Miss it terribly!! Thank you for a wonderful trip down memory lane!! ❤❤

  4. Marissa

    This may be the same waterpark but i am not sure. Does anything recall a water park in Augusta GA with some of the slides called the “Black hole” and “Cannon Ball”? I have been looking all over to see if i could find old pictures of it. I don’t know the name of the park, I just remember going there all the time as a child.

  5. Marie

    Greed was not the problem, People not watching their children so they had a few children drown and of course, way too many people that used the beach as an opportunity to drink WAY too much and then the drugs and the criminal element replaced the families in spite of Mr. A. N. Adcock valiant and his persistant attempts to keep everything safe. Became too much of a financial liability. The lake was spring fed and decreased due to the influx of people and agriculture in the area. The spring could not keep up any more

  6. Stacie Brooks

    I remember going there as a child. We truly enjoyed it. I wish it were still open I would love for my children to see it and enjoy it.

  7. Lauren

    They killed that lake when they put water slide etc in it. Probably collapse the spring or whatever water source was feeding the lake.

    1. Ralph Carson

      I always thought the water slides were a bit tacky.I remember going there when it was just a lake and a cinder block pavillion. The spring end of the lake was wild and undeveloped. but it had a path you could walk around. They messed it up when they “tamed” it. I remember seeing it one time when it had been drained to install the plumbing for the pumps.It seems like this was in the late 60’s. On later visits, we swam out to the pump outlet and played in the mound of water created by the pump discharge.

      1. Ralph Carson

        Most people didn’t know it, but you could get on one of the back roads and there was a sinkhole with water in it called Blue sink. Our family went swimming there on several occasions. Later, I took some of my friends there, and it had just about dried up. I guess it foretold what would happen to Crystal Lake.

  8. Velvet Smith

    My class ring was lost by my boyfriend at time. I would like to be able to get a metal detector and go out there and look for it. It would be great if the owners would revitalize Crystal lake it would be a hit

  9. Keith

    My grandmother grew up close to the lake. But back then it was just a hog farm, one night they heard a loud rumble and the next morning the lake was there. It always stayed wet and that’s why there was a hog farm there. Apparently it was a large open cavern underground and the roof caved in. I sure miss this place.

  10. Pam Williams

    It seems to me that with all the people that loved the place could chip in for an initial investment for the community and for the economic advancement of the related communities. ESPECIALLY, in this time of drugs, violence etc…give the kids something to do besides get in trouble.
    I’ll kick in the first $50.00.

    Just my 2 cents.

  11. Denise Lamb

    I would love to be allowed to visit with a metal detector. My husband lost his wedding ring there.

  12. kendra waters

    Omg I use to love going here as a child. Does this place still exist? I loved the water slides this was such a fun place.

  13. Ginny

    I remember waking up on Saturday mornings an my parents loading is up an not telling us where we were headed , an then as soon as we hit the interstate we would be overwhelmed with joy cause we knew , I also remember my dad telling me if I couldn’t tote my own raft up the stairs of the tall ride ( name escapes me right now ) that I couldn’t ride it . those were the good old days though , awesome share !!

  14. Sherry johnson

    OMG I played there as a kid. I remember when they put in the huge water slide. It was AWESOME. It had the most beutiful white sand and crystal water. They also had a store/ game room. Its as close to beach as young country kid could get

  15. Irene Redding

    I have some pictures of our time at the lake, it was an awesome place I never knew why it closed a sad day, the owner could be a millionaire by now because Wild Adventures is nice but too expensive for today’s economy

  16. Nancy Silverthorn

    I worked at Crystal Lake for several summers when I was on high school! Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

  17. steve swafford

    I’m afraid Mr Adcock will never reopen this park. I begged my uncle Donald Adcock to plead with his brotherAN.Adcock to reopen this park when he closed it but my efforts were in vain. it is truly a sad day when such a wonderful place gets closed down for good.

    1. Tim Fussell

      Why in the world would they not open it back up. The place just sitting there doing nothing with so much history behind it that is sad and not thought out wow.

  18. Trisha

    I would go there and spend the whole day, take a cooler full of soda, juice, & water and things to make sandwiches and chips. It was a great place for kids of all ages even us grown up ones.

  19. Darlene Scarborough Watson

    Ahhh such memories. We had the best of times during the summer at Crystal Lake. The Rampage was so awesome to go flying down. Remember getting my hind end sun burned there a many a day, but I would finally turn a pretty golden brown. Would be so nice if the place could be cleaned up and brought back to life.

  20. Shaun

    The last time I was there there was trash and dirty diapers everywhere, even in the water, thanks to the idiots that ruin a good thing (you know who they are). I use to love going there during the summer and playing all day as a kid. It would be awsome if someone could actually get it going again I would be the first one in line. Love the pics it brings back great memories.

  21. billy hembree

    had many good times over there. saw Charlie Daniels there in 75 I think shame it is in the shape it is now wish in could be re-opend but probably won’t in our lifetime.

  22. Crystal Fudge

    I sure miss this place we need to see about opening it up again so our kids can experience the fun Southwest Georgians use to have…..

  23. Brenda Roberson

    Thank you for the great pics. I grew up no more than 1/4 mile from Crystal Lake and still live right close to the entrance. I wish someone would buy it and bring it back to life instead of un-experienced hunters killing the wild hogs and throwing them out side the road. And also shooting with no regard to the people that live close by. Crystal Lake is a natural wonder that could be made into an attraction that would be bigger than Wild Adventures. From just an old woman that knows what a beautiful place Crystal Lake is. I respect the owner now and the deputy that lives there. He may be off duty from the sheriff department, but the owner has him living there to watch over the place. There are several natural wonders in this area. Coleman pond, Blue lake and Devils Den. I think all are privately owned now.

  24. Melissa Woodard Roland

    I loved going to Crystal Lake as a child. The entire extended family went every summer. Thank you for posting the pics. Brings back so many memories.

  25. Jen

    I flew over crystal lake this time last year. It’s closed because of the many drownings that took place. Insurance for the property was unreal. The only greed that was it’s demise were the adults who were too busy drinking/cooking/whatever and not paying attention to children which in some cases, drowned bc of neglect! Ask anyone that worked the ER in those days. I would love to have crystal lake back but not at the expense of losing lives.

  26. bbpowers01

    Great memories of that place! Each summer loading up the station wagon getting buckets of the Colonel’s finest and heading to the lake for a day of sun & fun. And yes there were several of the “mushrooms”. Water came out the top, ran down the outside and showered over the edges. We everyone when walking the ‘beach’ to the next slide.

  27. Carolyn Allen Strickland

    I went to Crystal Lake before they ever started building water slides and all that other stuff. There was only the dressing rooms and snack bar. Loved it.
    Thanks for all the pictures. What happened to the lake?

  28. Frances McCranie

    always loved to take my kids there…also enjoyed the slides that had the crisp COLD water….it would take your breath, so cold.., but felt good on a hot summer day!

  29. John

    How did you go about getting permission to photograph there? Been looking for a place for a shoot and would love to do it there.

    1. Brian Brown Post author

      You’d have to talk to a member of the hunting club there. Not easy to get access and a deputy lives on the property so trespassing isn’t advised. Wish I could help but I can’t.

  30. Melinda Beverley

    Thanks for sharing these pics! I remember many Summer’s going to Crystal Lake when I was a child & young teenager with my parents. Memories of the water slides came flooding back as I scrolled through the pics. Sad to see it just vanishing away like this!!

  31. beth

    Thank you for the pics!!!! Brings back many happy memories of my childhood. Nothing was better than a trip to Crystal Lake!!!!

  32. Jabe Tucker Gentrt

    I was there just last weekend for a Graduation Party at the Deputy Sheriffs house. It is so sad but I was always told that nature could take back faster than man can build, I did not believe that until I saw for myself last week.

  33. Linda

    The Charlie Daniels Band was probably one of the last times we were at Crystal Lake….shame it is in despair. Thank you for your awesome work.

  34. Jane Davidson Kirksey

    OMG! I so remember when this was the place to be! Thanks for the pics. Brings back good memories.


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