Description: Located on the 4,100-acre Oconee Wildlife Management Area and bordering the 19,000-acre Lake Oconee, this is an area of gently rolling hills of mixed pine-hardwood forests laced with numerous small streams. Two (of many) highlights of this area are the waterfowl area and the wildlife education trail. The waterfowl area is a series of managed impoundments just downstream from the dam. Water levels are managed and food plots planted to improve habitat for waterfowl. The wildlife education trail is an excellent natural history interpretive trail. In addition to passing through the waterfowl area, this two-mile trail crosses unique granite outcrops, beaver swamps, old fields, upland forests, and an abandoned rock quarry. Interpretive signs and a teaching guide make this a superb educational facility.
Viewing Information: The waterfowl area offers excellent wildlife viewing from both the ground and an observation deck at the site. Mallards, ring-necked ducks, and teal are numerous during fall and winter. Lucky visitors might spot the rare sandhill crane, which is becoming a regular visitor during migration, or a pair of bald eagles which nest nearby every year. Early morning or late afternoon is the best time to visit the impoundments. Along the wildlife education trail, look for wildlife signs such as beaver tracks and cuttings, white-tailed deer scrapes and rubs, turkey scratching, and fox scat. Bird watching is excellent in the spring over the entire trail. Vireos, woodpeckers, warblers, and hawks all make this lakeside refuge home.
Directions: Take GA Hwy. 16 East from Eatonton apx. 13 miles to the Georgia Power road. Turn left to Lawrence Shoals Recreation Area. The trail entrance is about 100 yards on the right.
Management: Georgia DNR, Wildlife Resources Division, 770-918-6416
Closest Town: Eatonton, GA
Additional Information: This site has an elevated observation platform. Educators wanting information about using the trail for their classes should contact Georgia DNR at 770-918-6416.
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