|Trail Length: 1.0 miles||Type of trail: In and out|
|County: Murray County, GA, Gilmer County, GA||Our rating: E|
|Features: songbirds, picnicking||Your rating:|
|Usage:||Added on: March 23, 2001|
|Last hiked: March 23, 2001||Updated on: February 01, 2009|
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Hiking trails in Murray County, GA
Hiking trails in Gilmer County, GA
This short hike is one of those Corps of Engineers gems that is frequently overlooked by hikers that want a longer hike. Located in the Reregulation Dam Recreation Area at the western end of Carters Lake the Hidden Pond Songbird Trail features blinds used to view waterfowl, clear-cuts intended to attract songbirds, and a remarkable amount of wildlife.
Carters Lake has long been a popular recreation destination for people who seek a quiet retreat from the overused lakes to the south and east. Through the area runs the remnants of the Georgia Road created by the Treaty of Telico in 1804. It would be known as the old Federal Highway after Andrew Jackson and his army did some work on it in 1819.
Trail trees, like the one pictured to the left, were used by the Cherokee and local farmers to mark paths. This one, however, was made significantly after the last Cherokee left the area on "The Trail of Tears." In 1977 the Coosawattee River was dammed and Carters Lake and a "reregulation pool" were formed. The trail is located at the dam for the reregulation pool. The saddle-back for this low dam forms the visible end of the begining of this trail.
The trail entrance is well-marked. After passing under the sign the trail splits. We took the trail to the right, across a short bridge. This climbs a modest hill then returns to the original trail, crossing a longer bridge that affords an excellent opportunity to observe the life within a marsh up close. On one trip we noted an osprey in this area, with a larger bird, probably a hawk, nearby.
Just passed the end of the bridge turn right, returning to the original trail. On your left you can see the end of the saddle-back that creates Carters Lake. The path now continues on to what the Corps of Engineers term a "beaver pond." Here they have built multiple viewing blinds to enhance the experience of watching the birds that call the lake home. Its normally a standard fare of ducks and geese, but careful (and patient) birdwatchers have reported a wide array of birds including eagles!
The South Regulation Dam Park offers excellent fishing, and has picnic tables. There are toilets in the park.
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