Hiking and Biking


Several hiking and mountain biking trails are located at Carters Lake.  Most of the trails at Carters Lake are multi-use, open to hiking or mountain biking.  Please be courteous and share the trail with other users.  Bow hunters also use trails during hunting season.  ATV's are strictly prohibited on all trails. 

Ridgeway Mountain Bike Trail     The Ridgeway mountain bike trail system is located in Ridgeway Park. Riders pass through mountain vegetation along high ridges that overlook deep clear water, then descend to cross small creeks. The main trail is a loop approximately 6 miles long. Several other short spur trails exist within the park that allow for longer rides. Trail features include a mixture of single track, narrow logging roads along with challenging climbs, stream crossings and technical downhills. Time required to complete one loop ranges from 35 minutes for expert riders to more than one hour for beginners. The trail can be accessed from the mountain bike tail parking lot near the boat ramp.  Orange trail marker posts are easy to follow with arrows pointing the direction along the entire loop.

Amadahy Trail     The Amadahy Trail is located in the Woodring Branch Recreation Area.  This 4-mile loop trail is excellent for all skill levels.  Users are treated to great views of Carters Lake along most of trail's length.  Trailhead parking is located off the Woodring Branch access road.  Time required to complete the trail is approximately 30 minutes for bikers and 1 hour and 15 minutes for hikers. 

Tumbling Waters Nature Trail     The Tumbling Waters Nature Trail is located in Ridgeway Day Use Area and offers a hike featuring lush mountain vegetation and an overlook of the cascading waters of Tails Creek. The trail is one way for .35 miles and then splits. The left fork leads to the 150 foot long bridge that crosses 30 feet above Tails Creek and continues upriver to an overlook right on the creek. The right fork also leads upriver and proceeds to an overlook. This National Scenic Trail is over 1.0 miles walking distance taking about 1 hour to hike.

Hidden Pond Songbird Trail     The Hidden Pond Songbird Trail is located in South Reregulation Day Use Area and is approximately 1.0 miles in length. The trail makes a loop and offers two wildlife viewing platforms around the wetland area. There is also a cutover trail about half way through the loop that leads to an observation deck and elevated bridge. Scenery varies from grassy meadow to hardwood forest, so watch for a diversity of plants and animals along the trail. A Birding Guide is available at the Visitors Center.

Oak Ridge Nature Trail     The Oak Ridge Nature Trail is located within Woodring Branch Day Use Area. A parking area is located southeast of the entrance into Woodring Developed Campground. The trail begins just south of the parking area and splits approximately 700 feet from that point and each trail measuring approximately .5 miles. The left hand fork is a one way trail and it involves a ridge top walk through a mix of pine and hardwood. The right hand fork is a loop trail that falls in elevation along a ridgetop and meanders in and out coves above Carters Lake and then along a small streambed back to the trails origin. The trail offers a diversity of plants and animals, as well as, scenic views. 

Big Acorn Nature Trail     Big Acorn Nature Trail is .7 miles in length and begins at the Carters Lake Visitors Center and winds gently southeast and proceeds to an overlook. At that point, the hiker will need to cross the Visitors Center entrance road and pick up the trail on the other side which meanders northwest and ends back at the Visitors Center. 

Talking Rock Nature Trail     Talking Rock Nature Trail is the longest and most strenuous hiking trail that Carters Lake offers. It is located just beyond the entrance gate to Northbank Day Use Area. There are a diversity of habitats and several sites of interest along the trail denoted by interpretative signs. It is a 2.0 mile roundtrip approximately and at least two hours should be expected for completion.