Description: At 3,150 feet in elevation, Lake Conasauga is the highest lake in Georgia and the southern gateway to the awe-inspiring 34,000-acre Cohutta Wilderness Area. A hiker could not find a better area to explore than this wilderness. Nearly 90 miles of well-marked trails provide access to almost every habitat type in the Cohuttas. Lake Conasauga is a sparkling 19-acre lake with picnic areas, a boat ramp, a grass beach, and nearby camp grounds. Grassy Mountain, at 3,600 feet elevation, provides a beautiful backdrop to this alluring site. Three trails are accessible from the Recreation Area with travel through oak ridge forests, beaver ponds, grass fields, and cove forests.
Viewing Information: The three trails found here offer some of the best high mountain wildlife viewing in the State. Black bears, white-tailed deer, wild hogs, bobcats, raccoons, red and gray foxes, and mink are plentiful in the forests surrounding the lake and might be seen at any time of the year. Around the lake look for kingfishers, wood ducks, and swallows. In the lake you might see bass, trout, or the shallow dish-shaped nests of bluegill. The tower at the end of Tower Trail is an excellent site for watching migrating vultures, hawks, and eagles in the spring and fall. The fall leaf color is also spectacular.
Songbird Trail is a 1.7-mile loop that passes through 300 acres of lands managed specifically to enhance songbird viewing by providing a diversity of habitats. Shrubs, forests, beaver ponds, and grassy areas each attract their own array of birds. Species seen here include chestnut-sided warblers, scarlet tanagers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, sandhill cranes, and red crossbills. An observation platform overlooking a beaver pond is an excellent place to observe wildlife. If you are going to the mountains to see wildlife, this is the place to go.
Directions: From Chatsworth, GA, travel north on US Hwy. 411 for apx. 4 miles. In Eton, turn right (east) at the traffic light onto old CCC Camp Road. Pavement ends after about 7 miles and then road becomes Forest Service Road 18. Travel about 4 miles and turn left (northeast) onto Forest Service Road 68. Continue on this road until you reach the main gate, about 10 miles.
Management: U. S. Forest Service, 706-695-6736
Closest Town: Chatsworth, GA
Additional Information: Weather can spoil the trip for those who are unprepared. Rain gear is recommended. Winter weather can be quite severe with temperatures below zero. Drinking water or a personal filtration system should be carried, as well as at least a one-day supply of food. There is a fee to camp at both camping facilities.
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