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Carters Lake

Carters Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project, is a reservoir that provides visitors with spectacular scenery, great boating, and well-stocked fishing opportunities. One of Georgia's deepest lakes at over 450 feet, this lake's shorelines lack private docks and developments that you might find at other area lakes. Located in both Gilmer and Murray Counties, Carters Lake is fed by the Coosawattee River and visitors use this lake and its gorgeous surroundings for boating, fishing, water skiing, hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

Several campgrounds on the 62-mile shoreline offer camping, boat ramps, and other amenities. Located in north Georgia near the Chattahoochee National Forest, this lake offers great outdoor recreation for the entire family.


Anglers have a wide choice for fishing at this lake. The "lower lake" or reregulation pool located below Carters Lake is accessible by the boat ramp off old Highway 411. Few power boats visit these waters, which can provide a quieter fishing experience. The swift waters of the Coosawattee River are located below the reregulation dam, and two concrete fishing decks provide fishing accessibility, even for the handicapped.

Carters Lake experiences an active Georgia Department of Natural Resources stocking program that expands the regular menu of native fish at this lake. Species include a wide variety of bass, crappie, walleye, bream, and catfish. Numerous fish attractors dot the shores along this lake, making for an attractive and varied fishing experience, no matter your fishing preferences.


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    Carters Lake Georgia Coordinates:
34.6072N -84.6332W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
3,200 acres
Maximum Depth:
450+ ft
330 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:


Carters Lake has seven boat ramps located at the dam site, including Doll Mountain, Woodring Branch, Ridgeway, and near the powerhouse off old Highway 411. All boat ramps outside a developed campground charge a day use fee. One marina is located at the lake to provide boaters and anglers with any equipment and supplies they might need, including boat and cabin rentals.


Both Woodring Branch Campground and Doll Mountain Campground provide ways to spend time close to the lake. Both campgrounds are open until late October, but primitive camping is available year-round at Ridgeway, Woodring Branch, and at other boat-in campsites along the shoreline. For hotels, B&Bs, or cabins, you can visit Ellijay in Gilmer County, or Chatsworth in Murray County to enjoy local shops, restaurants, and attractions.

The closest state park is Fort Mountain State Park, located near the Cohutta Wilderness. That park, which maintains cottages and tent and RV camp sites, is located 25 miles north of the lake near Chatsworth.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Carters Lake is located in Murray and Gilmer Counties in Georgia, and the two most accessible towns include Ellijay and Chatsworth. Ellijay is located to the east at the boundary of the Rich Mountain Wilderness in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Chatsworth is located north along Highway 411 near Fort Mountain State Park. Located between Chattanooga, TN, and Atlanta, GA, to the east of I-75, this lake is easily accessible.

Fun times at Carters Lake  Carters Lake

Carters Lake  Carters Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  48 Avg. High  52 Avg. High  61 Avg. High  69 Avg. High  76 Avg. High  83 Avg. High  86 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  79 Avg. High  70 Avg. High  60 Avg. High  50
Avg. Low  30 Avg. Low  34 Avg. Low  40 Avg. Low  47 Avg. Low  55 Avg. Low  63 Avg. Low  67 Avg. Low  66 Avg. Low  60 Avg. Low  49 Avg. Low  41 Avg. Low  34