Description: This Wildlife Management Area has steep mountain slopes with ridgetop elevations of 1,600 feet and very narrow small stream valleys at around 700 feet in elevation. Visitors will want to travel the nature trail for excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. A boardwalk into a beaver pond provides a great chance for close-up views of beavers and their lodges. Rock outcrops and bluffs along the Coosawattee River and Talking Rock Creek are common. For canoeists, the beauty of the Coosawattee River above Carter's Lake should not be missed. Beautiful vistas from the river are best seen in April and October.
Viewing Information: Birds that are normally associated with wetlands may be seen along the nature trail. Great blue, green, and little blue herons and various species of puddle ducks may be seen. One record of a black-crowned night heron exists for the area. Many species of hawks use the area, and the majestic bald eagle is seen during most summers. During some years, osprey are common around Carter's Lake. Wild turkeys and white-tailed deer are numerous in the area. Other mammals that might be viewed by the patient observer include raccoons, opossums, minks, red and gray foxes, gray squirrels, and a host of other common small mammals. Carter's Dam, some 445 feet high, is the highest earthen dam east of the Mississippi River. Both black and turkey vultures normally roost on the high, exposed rock ledges adjacent to the dam.
Directions: From Chatsworth, travel south apx. 15 miles on Old Hwy. 411. Turn left into the recreational area as soon as you cross the Coosawattee River. The start of the nature trail is at the south parking lot of the recreation area at the Carter's Lake re-regulation Dam.
Management: Georgia DNR, Wildlife Resources Division, 706-295-6041
Closest Town: Chatsworth, GA
Additional Information: Restaurants and motels are available in nearby Chatsworth, Calhoun, or Ellijay, GA. Carter's Lake and Dam are adjacent to the nature trail site. There are two pay-to-use developed campgrounds and several free-use undeveloped campsites located around Carter's Lake.
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