Georgia’s deepest man-made lake is nestled in a scenic setting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains about an hour’s drive above Atlanta’s northernmost suburbs. The 450 ft-deep lake has a rugged shoreline with no houses or private docks except for Carters Lake Marina and Resort. The lake features 3,200 surface acres and 62 miles of natural shoreline. Its setting helps to create one of the most scenic lakes in the southeastern United States.
Carters Lake was formed by the Carters Lake Project and is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. It was named in honor of Farrish Carter, a local landowner who owned much of the land in the 1800s. Today, visitors to the lake come from all around the southeast for a cooling-off day trip while in Atlanta for swimming, boating, and fishing. Other recreational opportunities include camping, hiking, and birding at the Southern end of the Blue Ridge.
The lake accommodates all kinds of watercraft from powerboats to sailboats and paddling the shoreline by kayak or canoe. Anglers also frequent the lake for all major bass species along with catches of crappie, bream, and catfish. The steep shoreline limits fishing from banks, but the lake has six boat ramps scattered along the shoreline. The Carters Lake Marina is a privately-owned full-service marina offering boat and cabin rentals.
Camping options around Carters Lake are abundant and varied at area campgrounds. Doll Mountain Campgrounds has clean, quiet, and safe camping for relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The campground is heavily wooded for cooling off on a hot summer day. Choose from 68 sites, most of them are RV sites with hookups. Doll Mountain has its own boat ramp and trailer parking lot. Enjoy amenities such as a covered seating area, playground, and clean restrooms with showers and flush toilets. Washers and dryers are available for longer stays. Drinking water and a dump station are provided.
Nearby Woodring Branch Campground has both tent and RV camping on Carters Lake for boaters with two boat ramps and limited space for boat trailer parking. Go hiking or mountain biking and relax with a picnic in the day-use area. The camping area has access to two different loop-style trails for easy to moderate hiking. The Oak Ridge nature trail and the Amadahy Trail both offer spectacular scenery along with a diversity of plant and animal life.
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