Discover the Deepest Lake in Georgia

Written by Taiwo Victor
Updated: July 30, 2023
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Key Points:

  • Carters Lake is the deepest lake in Georgia with a maximum depth of 450 feet and a surface area of 3,200 acres.
  • The Coosawattee River was dammed to create the man-made reservoir, which is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Camping, fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, and bird watching are just a few of the outdoor recreation activities available at this Blue Ridge Mountains lake.

Georgia is well-known for having beautiful natural surroundings. It features a variety of climatic regions, from the Mediterranean to the subtropical zones, as well as stunning natural surroundings, including oceans, high mountain ranges, deserts, vineyards, forests, and glaciers. But Georgia’s spectacular bodies of water, notably its huge lakes, are one of the reasons it is a desirable destination.

These lakes, ranging from small, serene lakes to enormous party lakes, offer fantastic fishing and recreational boating options. But of all these vast, beautiful lakes, which of them is the deepest? And how deep is the deepest lake in Georgia? Below, we will uncover everything you need to know about the deepest lake in Georgia and other interesting facts.

Infographic of Carters Lake
Carters Lake’s shoreline is unobstructed by private docks or construction, making it one of Georgia’s hidden gems.

What Is the Deepest Lake in Georgia?

Aerial View, Atlanta - Georgia, Cloud - Sky, Color Image, Drone

Carters Lake is the deepest lake in Georgia.


With a maximum depth of 450 feet, Carters Lake, a man-made reservoir in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the deepest lake in the state of Georgia. 

In the Gilmer and Murray counties of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, on the Coosawattee River, sits Carters Lake, a man-made lake that holds the state’s title as its deepest. The Coosawattee River, which flows into Georgia from Tennessee, was dammed to create the lake, which took 15 years to complete.

The lake, owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, reaches 450 feet deep and has a surface area of 3,200 acres. Along 62 miles of Carters Lake’s natural shoreline, no private docks, homes, or developments exist. The lake’s name honors Farrish Carter, who owned property nearby in the 1800s. 

The reservoir empties directly into the Regulation Reservoir (another reservoir on the river) and is nourished by the Coosawattee River, which flows between Ellijay and Chatsworth, and was created by the 1977-completed Carters Dam, the tallest earthen dam east of the Mississippi. Since then, it has served as a watershed to manage yearly flooding and produce electricity.

Where Is Carters Lake Located on a Map?

Carters Lake is a beautiful lake located in the state of Georgia. To get to Carters Lake, first head toward the town of Ellijay. From there, take Highway 382 West for approximately 14 miles until reaching Doll Mountain Road. Turn right onto Doll Mountain Road, and continue driving for about three miles before turning left onto Ridgeway Church Road. After driving for another two miles or so, you will arrive at the entrance to Carters Lake.

For those looking to locate Carters Lake on a map, it can be found in northwest Georgia near the border with Tennessee. The lake is situated within the Coosawattee River watershed and is surrounded by mountains and forests that make it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

What Is Carters Lake Known For?

In the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northwest Georgia, Carters Lake is surrounded by a breathtaking section of foothills landscape. Camping, fishing, picnics, boating, hiking, mountain biking, and bird watching are just a few outdoor recreation activities known to be enjoyed there, thanks to its sparkling waters and rocky shores. The wild river in James Dickey’s novel and movie Deliverance also took inspiration from the lake.

Nearly every person who travels to Carters Lake gets to experience the unadulterated splendor of the North Georgia mountains. Many families now consider the “Miracle in the Mountains” an annual event because they are mesmerized by the crystal-clear water and peaceful surroundings. A privately owned, full-service marina on Carters Lake provides boat docks, cabin rentals, and boat rentals.

Fishing at Carters Lake

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, striped bass, hybrid bass, bream, crappie, and catfish, are among the prized catches that await anglers at Carters Lake. Walleye, striped bass, and hybrid bass are actively stocked in the lake by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Anglers have extra fishing chances on Carters Lake’s tranquil bottom and the rapid waters of the Coosawattee River, despite the lake’s rugged terrain restricting shoreline fishing.

Things to Do at Carters Lake

Carters Lake

Carters Lake’s north and east shores offer stunning views of the mountains beyond the dam.

©Tamparitus / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

If having fun in the water is more your style, there is no shortage of adventure at Carters Lake. You can hire boats and kayaks at Carters Lake’s full-service marina to use on the lake.

Along the lake’s shoreline, miles of hiking, mountain biking, and nature paths, and lovely sloping hills also offer a great, natural environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Carters Lake’s north and east shores offer stunning views of the mountains beyond the dam.

The lake’s naturally beautiful shoreline is unobstructed by private docks or construction, making it one of Georgia’s hidden gems. Beach lovers adore the seemingly unending shoreline, an attractive substitute for the sand and salt you’d find at a typical “beach.”

Along Carters Lake, there are several thrilling hiking paths, such as the Oak Ridge Trail, which follows the lakeshore and ends close to a creek. Tumbling Waters is one of the few trails in the area that leads to a beautiful waterfall that is not buried beneath the lake, and it is another excellent path in the area.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Carters Lake?

Carters Lake

Summer is the busiest season of the year on Carters Lake.

©Tamparitus / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Unsurprisingly, the busiest season of the year on the lake is in summer. Families worldwide swarm to the seaside to enjoy the sun and a day on the water. If visiting a summer lake is something you’ve always wanted to do, you can go during the day when it’s cooler and less busy.

Another popular season for tourists to travel to Carters Lake is the fall. Even though it’s still nice enough to go outside and enjoy the water, there aren’t as many people around.

What Is the Biggest Lake in Georgia?

Lake Strom Thurmond

Lake Strom Thurmond is the biggest lake in Georgia.

©Jake Wasdin / flickr – License

With a surface area of 71,000 acres, Clarks Hills Lake claims the title of the largest lake in Georgia. Also known as Lake Strom Thurmond, Clarks Hill Lake is a man-made reservoir located in the Savannah River Basin on the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina. In addition, it is the third-largest artificial lake east of the Mississippi.

Several fishing, boating, and Corps recreational areas are present along its more than 1,000 miles of shoreline. There are countless campgrounds, lively villages, and charming small towns to discover. At Clarks Hill, fishing for largemouth bass, striped bass, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, bass, and crappie is common. The lake also has some monster catfish and good shellcracker fishing in the late spring spawn.

What Is the Highest Lake in Georgia?

Lake Conasauga

Lake Conasauga is the highest lake in the state at 3,150 feet above sea level.

©Thomson200 / CC0 1.0 – License

The highest lake in Georgia is Lake Conasauga, a stunning 19-acre spring-fed lake close to Grassy Mountain and elevated at 3,150 feet above sea level. The U.S. Forest Service’s Armuchee-Cohutta Ranger District oversees the Lake Conasauga campground, and the Civilian Conservation Corps began its construction and completed it in 1940. Conasauga means “grass” in the Cherokee language.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tamparitus / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License / Original

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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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