Stephens County has a great deal of allure for nature lovers and outdoorsmen. Almost one-sixth of the county is comprised of national forest and wildlife preserve lands and offers a bounty of outdoor activities like hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, bicycling and trails for all terrain vehicles (ATV).
Hunting and Fishing
Local game includes deer, turkey, boar, fox, bobcat, raccoon and opossums, and hunting is permitted in season. For more information about locations and regulations, contact the Department of Natural Resources at 770-535-5700.
There are many trout streams in Stephens County: the Middle Fork Broad River upstream from NRCS flood control structure No. 44, the North Fork of Broad River, Panther Creek and Toccoa Creek upstream from Toccoa Falls. Black crappie, largemouth bass, striped bass, hybrid bass and channel catfish are also abundant, especially in Lake Hartwell.
For additional information, contact the Department of Natural Resources at 770-535-5700.
Boating, Skiing, Swimming
Lake Yonah is a 320-acre lake and has boat ramps located on Yonah Dam Road. It is a popular spot for skiing, swimming and boating and also boasts a recreational rope swing and jumping rock on the left side of the lake, towards the powerhouse.
Five public recreation areas provide boat ramps for access to Lake Hartwell: Stephens County Recreation Area, Spring Branch, Jenkins Ferry, Bruce Creek and the Holcomb Access.
The Tugaloo River has a boat ramp located at Walker Creek. For the more adventurous, there is a canoe/kayak put-in at Yonah Park. Because of shallow water, it isn’t recommended that pontoons or other large boats travel up-stream of the Walker Creek Access point.
Lake Louise is a 200-acre lake located at the Georgia Baptist Conference Assembly and has fishing docks, a sandy beach, jon boats and rental canoes. For additional information, call 706-886-3133.
The Frady Branch Trail system provides approximately 14 miles of gravel roads, fire roads and single-track multiuse trails for horse riding and mountain bikers. There is a variety of terrain with short climbs and fast descents.
Stream crossings, vistas, rock overhangs, waterfalls and historic sites along the way. Take Hwy.184/Homer Highway past the State Patrol barracks and go 3.5 miles to the Frady Branch parking area on the right.
Call the Forest Service at 706-754-6221 for additional information.
The Pines is a nine-hole, privately operated public golf course located next to Waterworks Lake, three miles north of Toccoa on Hwy. Alt. 17. Turn right on Black Mountain Road. The golf course is 200 feet up the road on the left. For additional information, call 886-1915. The Currahee Club has a private 18-hole golf course on its property. For additional information, call 706-827-1000.
Henderson Falls Park has five tennis courts and is located off of North Pond Street. The Georgia Baptist Conference Center has two courts. Call 706-886-3133 for additional information. Roselane Park has five lighted tennis courts. Call 706-886-5101 for additional information.
The U.S. Forest Service maintains several dirt/gravel roads that range from easy to strenuous in terms of terrain. Mountain bikers may enjoy taking the U.S. Forest Service Road 62 up Currahee Mountain. It is a quad-challenging ride and Black Mountain Road is another strenuous and scenic ride.
The Frady Branch Trail System is a multi-use trail for mountain bikers and horseback riding and features 14 miles of gravel and fire roads and single tracks. The terrain has a lot of sort climbs and fast descents, and is made scenic by stream crossings, waterfalls and rock overhangs. Take Hwy. 184/ Homer Highway past the State Patrol barracks and go 3.5 miles to Frady Branch parking area on the right. Call the Forest Service at 706-754-6221 for additional information.
For road bikes, there are several paved loops through the countryside on scenic roads. Yonah Dam Road is a flat and relatively easy ride next to the Tugaloo River that offers a beautiful view and winds through a number of Stephens County’s points of interest.
Call the U.S. Forest Service office at 706-754-6221 for a complete listing of service roads in the county.