Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge


(912) 496-3331

Map Directions

Things To Do



Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located in Lanier County, near Lakeland, GA, as part of a much larger blackwater system. The refuge was established in 1985 for the protection and conservation of this unique environment as well as migratory and resident wildlife. Banks Lake is natural pocosin or sink of ancient geologic origin. The refuge contains a variety of habitat types including 1,500 acres of marsh, 1,549 acres of cypress swamp, and 1,000 acres of open water. Facilities at Banks Lake NWR include restrooms, boat ramp, short walking trail, boardwalk and platform, and accessible fishing dock.

Map of Banks Lake NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 31.012337, -83.115006



  • Boating

    Management of the lake focuses on working cooperatively with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to promote and maintain a healthy fishery and providing opportunities for appropriate recreational uses by maintaining a boat ramp, dock, boardwalk and other facilities.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is permitted year-round on the lake in accordance with Georgia State fishing laws. Only the use of pole and line or rod and reel are permitted. No trotlines, limb lines, or fish traps are permitted. All boats must comply with Federal and State boating laws. Fishing is allowed from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset or as posted. Night fishing is allowed from March 1 - October 31 from sunset until sunrise or as posted.

  • Hiking

    A short walking trail, boardwalk and platform are provided for wildlife viewing opportunities



Banks Lake NWR is located in Lanier County, one mile west of Lakeland, GA, along GA Hwy 122.

Phone Numbers


(912) 496-3331