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Lake Conasauga, north Georgia

  • 08-15-2014 | 11:55 AM
  • Triple
  • Since so many people frequent this forum (and the "Dirt" section in particular) these days...

    Aboard the Triumph earlier this week, climbing Hwy 2/52 between Chatsworth and Ellijay past Fort Mountain State Park, I passed a signed labeled "Lake Conasauga Recreation Area, 14 miles." Having never noticed this before, I decided to research the lake upon returning home that evening. The following morning I mapped a very rudimentary route to the lake through the trails and service roads of the Cohutta wilderness.

    And into the woods I went...

    Good thing I brought one along!

    It doesn't say "good" or "talented," just experienced. Guess I'm good to go...

    I think the highest peak in this area reaches about 4000 feet above sea level. Wherever the trail breaks through the trees, you're met with views like these:

    I found these creepy things in the middle of nowhere. Alien crypts? Secret military weapons stores? Nazi war bunkers?

    Nearly 25 miles from where I entered the woods east of Eton, I finally reached the lake. At almost 3200 feet, it's the highest lake in the state of Georgia. It only has about 19 acres of surface area, but like most dammed, man-made mountain bodies of water, it is probably very deep. Beautiful area, and for such a remote place, very well equipped as well. There is a clearly marked swimming area, a nicely groomed trail that circumnavigates the lake, a boat ramp, two nice campgrounds, bathrooms with running water, and multiple pavilions with grills and picnic tables. Still, that far from civilization and on a mid-Thursday afternoon, the place was deserted.

    A few miles beyond the lake, the trail ends at Grassy Mountain Tower (alt. 3400 feet). The tower's platform was inaccessible, but I snapped a few shots from the stairs:

    All told, I covered just shy of 60 miles in the "wilderness" over the span of about five hours. With a good map and enough food/gas, I could camp in here and ride these trails and service roads for a week and still not cover the entire system. Most of the trails within 20 miles of my house dead-end a few miles into the woods-- great views and good times, sure, but nothing like the interconnecting network of trails in the Cohutta / Fort Mountain area. These trails connect at least three cities across 50 (or more miles) of wilderness in any given direction.
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  • 08-15-2014 | 03:15 PM
  • Turbo Ghost
  • Very nice! Looks like somewhere I might have to visit in the future!
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  • 08-17-2014 | 09:39 PM
  • Gas Man
  • WTF were those things? And is that a fire watch tower?
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  • 08-19-2014 | 11:38 AM
  • RedRider2k2
  • Wow, beautiful area.
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  • 08-25-2014 | 02:00 AM
  • Tsunami
  • How fun! Make me want to get a smaller dirtbike so I can go play off the beaten path.
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  • 08-25-2014 | 11:37 AM
  • Triple
  • Quote Tsunami
    How fun! Make me want to get a smaller dirtbike so I can go play off the beaten path.
    Smaller than a DR200..?
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  • 08-26-2014 | 06:28 AM
  • Tsunami
  • Quote Triple
    Smaller than a DR200..?
    I think something like a TTR125 would be perfect. I'm fine on flat packed wide trails but the technical stuff, I would like something smaller. I'm tiny!
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  • 08-26-2014 | 05:16 PM
  • EpyonXero
  • Cool, looks like fun.
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