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Some parks are experiencing large crowds on certain days. Park staff may temporarily limit access to ensure social distancing and protect the health of the public and our employees. Please understand that admission may be limited for several hours and will reopen once there is available capacity. Click here to read our coronavirus response before visiting because some facilities & activities are limited.

Trails at Don Carter State Park

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EQUESTRIAN TRAILS

Dog Creek Inner Loop
Easy - Natural surface - About 0.7 miles
This is a mixed-use trail for both hikers & equestrians (no bicycles permitted). Observe proper etiquette. Blazing: Black diamond. Gentle slopes. No bridges. Junctions with: Dog Creek Outer Loop (an external perimeter).

Dog Creek Outer Loop
Easy to moderate - Natural surface - About 1.2 miles
This is a mixed-use trail for both hikers & equestrians (no bicycles permitted). Observe proper etiquette. Blazing: Green diamond. Into & along the floodplain of Dog Creek. Two bridges (B4 & B5). Junctions with: Dog Creek Inner Loop; Equestrian Connector #1; Equestrian Loop #2, & Equestrian Loop #4.

Equestrian Connector #1
Easy - Natural surface - About 1.6 miles
Blazing: Blue diamond. Gentle slopes with some elevation changes. Two bridges (B1 & B2). Connects Equestrian Loop #1 & Equestrian Spur #1 to Dog Creek Outer Loop (which is a mixed-used trail).

Equestrian Connector #2
Easy - Natural surface - About 0.8 miles
Blazing: White diamond. Moderate slopes on occasion. Climbs to a ridge & back down. Connects Equestrian Loop #2 to Dog Creek Outer Loop (which is a mixed-use trail). Includes one bridge (B6).

Equestrian Connector #3
Easy - Natural surface - About 0.7 miles
Blazing: White diamond. Very gentle slopes. No bridges. Serves as a ‘short-cut’ from one side of Equestrian Loop #2 to the opposite site.

Equestrian Loop #1
Easy to moderate - Natural surface - About 0.9 miles
Blazing: Yellow diamond. One bridge (B1). Access to North Browning Bridge Road. Junctions with Equestrian Spur #1 & Equestrian Connector #1.

Equestrian Loop #2
Easy - Natural surface - About 2 miles
Blazing: Red diamond. Gentle slopes. One bridge (B8). Junctions with Equestrian Connector #2, Equestrian Connector #3, an unnamed connector, Equestrian Loop #3, Equestrian Loop #4 & Dog Creek Outer Loop (which is a mixed-use trail).

Equestrian Loop #3
Moderate to strenuous - Natural surface - About 2.8 miles
Blazing: Orange diamond. No bridges. Includes a couple short spurs & two scenic overlooks of the lake. Junctions with Equestrian Loop #2 & Equestrian Loop #4.

Equestrian Loop #4 Easy to moderate - Natural surface - About 1.6 miles
Blazing: Pink diamond. Two bridges (B8 & B9). Junctions with Equestrian Loop #2, Equestrian Loop #3 & Dog Creek Outer Loop. Includes a ‘short-cut,’ bypassing a loop along the northern peninsula.

Equestrian Spur #1
Easy - Natural surface - About 0.2 miles
Blazing: Blue diamond. Gentle slope. No bridges. Connects the parking lot to both Equestrian Loop #1 & Equestrian Connector #1 (also blazed in blue diamonds).


LONG HIKING TRAILS

Dog Creek Inner Loop
Easy - Natural surface - About 0.7 miles This is a mixed-use trail for both hikers & equestrians (no bicycles permitted). Observe proper etiquette. Blazing: Purple rectangle. Gentle slopes. No bridges. Junctions with: Dog Creek Outer Loop (an external perimeter).

Dog Creek Outer Loop
Easy - Natural surface - About 1.2 miles
This is a mixed-use trail for both hikers & equestrians (no bicycles permitted). Observe proper etiquette. Blazing: Purple rectangle. Two bridges (B4 & B5). Junctions with: Dog Creek Inner Loop & the following trails, which are for riders only: Equestrian Connector #1; Equestrian Loop #2, & Equestrian Loop #4.

Hiking Connector #1
Easy to moderate - Natural surface - About 0.8 miles
This trail crosses North Browning Bridge Road. Use caution. Blazing: Green rectangle. No bridges. Connects the parking lot to Hiking Connector #1 & Hiking Loop #1.

Hiking Connector #2
Easy - Natural surface - About 0.5 miles
Trail crosses North Browning Bridge Road. Use caution. Blazing: Dark-red rectangle. No bridges. Connects Terrapin Cove Trail to Hiking Connector #1 & Hiking Loop #1.

Hiking Loop #1
Easy to moderate - Natural surface - About 1.3 miles
Blazing: Yellow rectangles. Two bridges (B11 & B12). Junctions with Hiking Connector #1, Hiking Connector #2, Hiking Loop #2, & Hiking Loop #3.

Hiking Loop # 2
Easy to moderate - Natural surface - About 1.7 miles
Blazing: White rectangles. Three bridges (B13 & B14). Junctions with Hiking Loop #1, Hiking Loop #3, & Hiking Loop #4.

Hiking Loop #3
Moderately strenuous - Natural surface - About 1.5 miles
Blazing: Lavender or pink rectangles. One bridge (B11). Includes views of the lake. Junctions with Hiking Loop #1 & Hiking Loop #2.

Hiking Loop #4
Moderately strenuous - Natural surface - About 1.9 miles
Blazing: Blue rectangles. Four bridges (B14, B15, B16, & B17). Junctions with Hiking Loop #2 & the Whale Tail Spur. Includes views of the lake.

Whale Tail Spur (Hiking)
Moderate - Natural surface - About 1.2 miles
Blazing: Silver rectangles. Two bridges (B17 & B18 ). Junctions with Hiking Loop #4. Views of the lake & access to a paddle boat ramp.


SHORT HIKING TRAILS

Huckleberry Loop (Hiking)
Easy - Natural surface - About 0.75 miles
Blazing: White rectangle. Parking available at the upper end of the North Boat Ramp (furthest from the water). The Huckleberry Trail begins as a spur, then divides to form a loop. You may hike in either direction for views of the lake. Return back to the spur for views of the Beach Cove. The trail is named after the native Georgia huckleberries, which are related to blueberries.

Parallel Trail (Hiking)
Easy - Paved - About 0.5 miles
Blazing: Purple rectangle. Connects Terrapin Cove Trail to Huckleberry Trail & Woodland Loop. Access to many important amenities (e.g., bathrooms, playgrounds, parking, etc.).

Overlook Trail (Hiking)
Easy - Paved (ADA accessible) - Only a couple hundred yards long
Blazing: White rectangle. Scenic overlook of a fern-laced creek & hardwood bottom land. Parking is available at the visitor center. It is also has swings located along the way. Beyond the paved portion, a set of rock steps connects to Terrapin Cove Trail.

Terrapin Cove (Hiking)
Easy - Natural surface - About 1 mile
Blazing: Red rectangle. Junctions with Parallel Trail, Overlook Trail, & Hiking Connector #3. Provides access to the beach, visitor center, RV-campground & cottages. A single-track trail, designed for foot-traffic only. Day-use parking near the beach area or visitor center. The name derived from an old Appalachian term for turtle.

Woodland Loop (Hiking)
Easy - Paved (ADA-accessible) - About 1.5 miles
ADA-accessible & open to bicycles & strollers. Blazing: Green rectangle. Parking near the Beach/Picnic Area. Junctions with Parallel Trail & Dog Creek trails (which are mixed-use). Access to “walk-in” campsites. Signs will warn of the only steep grade on this route.


PADDLE TRAILS

Dog Cove Paddle Trail
Smooth water - About 1 mile
Take a leisurely float around the cove from the kayak shack at the boat ramp. Explore the western part of the cove wetlands or fish in shaded areas.

Flat Island Paddle Trail
Swift current after heavy rains - About 3 miles
Travel upstream to the most northern island in Lake Lanier. See rocky bluffs, reedy shoreline & explore 1-mile Flat Creek near the northern end.

Lost Cove Paddle Trail
Smooth water - About 2 miles
Cross the main channel of the Chattahoochee into a larger cove & explore another tributary of the mighty river.

Whale Tail Paddle Trail
Swift current after heavy rains - About 2 miles
Traverse across more open water as your travel downstream (no current) towards the park’s largest peninsula, the Whale Tail. Stay in the main center channel for full sun, or explore the shorelines for more plants & wildlife.