The Tumbling Waters Trail in the Coosawattee Wildlife Management Area

I spent part of spring break at a Bird’s Eye View Cabin in Ellijay, Georgia.  The cabin is on an overbuilt ridge overlooking a valley.  All the species of animals I observed were the same species that are commonly found near my house in Augusta, Georgia.  I saw a turkey vulture eating a road-killed opossum, a raccoon, gray squirrels, bluebirds, an house finch, a robin, a tufted titmouse, and I heard rufous-sided towhees, cardinals, mourning doves, pileated woodpeckers, chickadees, and an hawk.

View of the valley from the Bird’s Eye View Cabin.

We went on an excursion to the Tumbling Waters Trail next to Carter’s Lake, named after that anti-Semite, Jimmy Carter.  I didn’t see any wildlife here, aside from a few dusky wing and tiger swallowtail butterflies.  The trail goes through a forest of oak and hemlock with an undergrowth of rhododendron and ferns, but most of the hemlock trees are dead.  Ice Age forests in north Georgia were dominated by spruce with some oak.  When climate shifted to warmer stages spruce trees started dying, creating more space for oaks, and the environment may have been somewhat similar in appearance, though with older trees. This time of the year about the only greenery in this region are the food plots planted to maximize populations of deer and turkey.  The Coosawattee Wildlife Management Area is 9 square miles of high ridges alternating with narrow stream valleys.  I found oak, hickory, beech, white pine, and Virginia pine.

The trail is between a steep hill and Carter’s Lake.

Carter’s Lake.

Dead hemlock tree in the center of the photo and fallen dead hemlocks in the background.

This is a wildlife management food plot.  It consisted of wheat and peas, I think.

Carters Lake: cross a towering suspension bridge to hike to two waterfalls on the Tumbling Waters Nature Trail














I didn’t have time to finish the trail, so I ripped off a photo of Tumbling Waters from the internet.  This is where the Coosawattee River empties into Carter’s Lake.  The reservoir probably inundated many beautiful shoals like this.


One Response to “The Tumbling Waters Trail in the Coosawattee Wildlife Management Area”

  1. ina puustinen-westerholm Says:

    The bird sightings and visuals..are prettymuch..what the firsthike here..will be..this morning. I admit I was looking at the rock form ations/shoals..and..’gauging them for how far I’d get..before ..hitting water! ‘

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