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Road Trip to Carters Lake

6 September 2016 No Comment

Ellijay’s Playground

Carters Lake is one of the deepest reservoir lakes in the North Georgia Mountains, at a depth of 450 ft., surface area of 3,200 acres, and 62 miles of shoreline.  Built and owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers it is a private lake without docks or houses along the shoreline.  The lake is fed by the Coosawattee River out of Ellijay and is located in both Gilmer and Murray Counties.

The lake was named after Farrish Carter, a prominent businessman who profited selling arms and military supplies to the Georgia Militia in the War of 1812.  Over the years he had amassed acreage plus diverse business interest throughout the South and played an important role in Georgia’s pre-war economy.

The sparkling waters offer a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, bird watching, boating, mountain biking, fishing, hunting and picnicking.  Although fishing is the most popular to catch bass, bream, crappie, walleye, and catfish; visitors can access the lake by canoe, kayak, powerboat or sailing.

Several campgrounds with many amenities are located around Carters Lake including Doll Mountain, Woodring Branch, and Harris Branch Beach.  Visitors can rent boats or stay in a cabin at Carters Lake Marina that will have all your supplies for a day of fun. Whether you’d like to get a bite to eat at the restaurant or picnic at the camping grounds, many spend the day at the beach area for swimming.

Hiking and biking trails are located in various areas around the lake for the novice to the advanced to have a day to enjoy the scenic beauty.

Big Acorn Trail (easy) begins at the Carters Lake Visitor Center that displays incredible views of the lake and information on area wildlife, flora, and fauna.

Talking Rock Nature Trail (moderate) is one of the longest at two miles and boasts a variety of trees and ferns on the lake.

Oak Ridge Nature Trail (moderate) is located in Woodring Branch Park and splits into two loops that are both about half mile walks.

Tumbling Waters Nature Trail (easy/moderate) is off Ridgeway Park and overlooks the cascading waters of Tails Creek, just slightly over a miles hike.

Hidden Pond Songbird Trail (easy) begins at the south end of Carters Lake Reregulation Park and is about one mile crossing a stream into beaver pond.

For more information about Carters Lake, call
706-334-2248 or visit: corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors

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