Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Carters Lake Recreational Area


Blairsville, Georgia  (high , low 43)


We are winding down our stay here in north Georgia and are trying to see some more of the places we haven’t been to yet.  There are still lots of places left, so I guess we’ll have to come back again.

Our neighbors told us about Carters Lake was, so we decided to check it out.

I wish we had been there about a week earlier. The fall foliage was fading and leaves were dropping.

We headed west towards Ellijay, Georgia.  Ellijay is a big apple producing town and home of the Apple Festival we went to a few weeks ago. We stopped in town and visited some of the little shops.   Most were antiques, which to me look more  like junk, so we didn’t stay long.

It was windy yesterday, and even though the temperature was about the same as the day before, it felt pretty cold.

We didn’t realize how large Carters Lake was until we got there.  It’s a man made lake, 450 feet deep, with 3200 surface acres and 62 miles of shoreline.  It also boasts 3 separate campgrounds, one of which is primitive.

We drove up the main road and found a scenic overlook with a trail to another overlook by the dam.  (notice Syl, I’m spelling it correctly!)

Syl sent me an email yesterday informing me I had been spelling dam wrong.  Oops.   Thanks Syl.


You can see that the leaves are really dropping.


scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia

scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia


We walked along the trail through the woods overlooking the lake, being careful not to fall down and roll into the water.



Lots of views of the lake.  One brave boater was out in the cold wind.

scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia

There is still a lot of pretty fall colors.

fal foliage

fall foliage

scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia

The trail led to a welcome center and another beautiful overlook.  We didn’t stay at the welcome center  long because they must have had the heat turned up to 85 degrees and it was HOT.  Plus, we had a lot of ground to cover.  There was a lot of information about the dam.  We’ll have to learn all about it next time.

The grounds surrounding the welcome center were pretty nice.


Fall foliage outside visitor center at Carters Lake



scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia

scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia

There was a power plant hiding down below the red trees.



I was interested in what was growing at the top of this tree.


It looked a little red, and when I zoomed in, this is what I found.


pretty, huh?


We walked back to the car and continued to drive around this area, which is huge.

Eventually we came upon this beautiful rock wall.  You can see the scenic overlook building is in the center top of the picture.  That was where I was when I took the pictures above.


They used the natural rock formations to help build the dam, as you can see in the next picture.

scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia

It’s really a beautiful area with so many photo opportunities.

scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia

I decided to make a panoramic photo to better illustrate how incredible it looks.

panoramic of Carters Lake Dam

panoramic of Carters Lake Dam and electrical plant

Plenty of colorful trees remain.


I liked the rock showing the different layers.


I wish they offered a guided tour, so that someone could explain what all these parts of the dam are. Maybe I should have taken more time in the visitor center.



Lots of pretty rock formations.


This area  There are 3 campgrounds.  We put Woodring Branch Campground  into the GPS and it took us forever to get there, even if was just a few miles as the crow flies.  Unfortunately the CG was closed for the winter.  We were able to walk inside and talk to a volunteer for a few minutes.

This is one of the volunteer sites, but the rest of the sites were waaaaay down the road and we never did find them by walking downnnnnn the hill.  It was too cold and windy for much walking.


The volunteer said the campground on the lake called Doll Mountain CG, had better and more level sites for larger rigs.  According to the brochure, they have lots of lake front sites.  We’ll go back next summer and check it out better.

here is a brochure for Doll Mountain CG.

The price is right if you have the Senior pass.


Carter Lake recreation area is a wonderful area with minimal development anywhere nearby.  We drove forever to just navigate around the lake and surrounding property.

Map picture



Reluctantly, we left Carters lake, vowing to go back again on a warmer day. It would be a fun kayak trip with all the little coves around the lake.  

Today, is work day.  We have to finish some trim painting on the cabin at the rental lot.  Al is doing some plumbing to extend the sewer connection, and he is going to wrap our water pipes…..just in case.    I think the wind has died down today, so if it’s not too chilly, I plan on doing some power washing and trimming of a few plants.  

Our time here is winding down.   When we have a cloudy and windy day, we start thinking Florida sounds good.  When it’s sunny and nice, we think about staying here.  Today is sunny and nice!


  1. Great tour and beautiful photos too. I sure don't think I'd want to be living below that huge dam - wow, talk about being washed away!!

  2. You two are in such a beautiful area with so much to do and see. Glad you are sharing it with us. Lovely photos!

  3. Volunteering with the COE is a great way to get a free site, and have fun at the same time :)

  4. The area looks beautiful, I know you will miss it when you head south.

  5. Beautiful lake and surroundings. That sure is deep. Bet it's cold water! Please don't let the pipes freeze.

  6. Great tour! It is one of our GA daughter's favorite outdoor places.

  7. We had a friend recommend Doll Mountain to us and we were hoping to get up there before they closed but just didn't make it. We'll definitely get up that way next year.
    Your pictures of the area are outstanding!!! Just beautiful!!

  8. Wonder why you didn't show up in my blog roll? I almost missed this really informative post. Your color in the N C mountains sure is more intense than the Virginia mountains this year. Tried the pumpkin chili you posted. Pretty hot , next time, less chili sauce. :-))

  9. More awesome pictures again. Lots to see and even more next year for you to do.

  10. You must have enjoyed this trip well. You have a good collection of pictures. Walking in woods will make our mind calm.


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