Friday, June 28, 2013

Nancytown Day Use Area: Nancytown Trail (Blog Hike #404)

Trail: Nancytown Trail
Hike Location: Chattahoochee National Forest, Nancytown Day Use Area
Geographic Location: southeast of CorneliaGA (34.49927, -83.48420)
Length: 0.7 miles
Difficulty: 1/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: November 2012
Overview: A loop hike around the trail’s namesake lake.
Hike Route Map:
Photo Highlight:

Directions to the trailheadBetween Cornelia and Baldwin, take US 441 to Business US 441.  Go east (north) on Business US 441.  Take Business US 441 1.2 miles to Wyly Street.  Take a soft right on Wyly Street.  Wyly Street becomes Dicks Hill Parkway when you leave Cornelia.  Take Wyly Street/Dicks Hill Parkway 1.9 miles to Lake Russell Road and turn right on Lake Russell Road.  Take Lake Russell Road downhill to the Nancytown Lake entrance, and turn left to enter the recreation area.  Angle right where the road going left is gated.  This road ends at a blacktop parking lot above Nancytown Dam large enough for about 8 cars; park in this lot.

The hike: For my general comments on Nancytown Day Use Area, see the Ladyslipper Trail blog entry.  If the other three trails that depart from this trailhead seem too long and strenuous for you, the Nancytown Trail may be just your cup of tea.  At only 0.7 miles, the Nancytown Trail gives a mostly flat walk around tranquil Nancytown Lake.  The only section of this hike offering any challenge is the steps at the end, and you can descend the steepest of the steps by walking the Nancytown Trail clockwise as described here.
Nancytown Lake
            The first 0.4 miles of the Nancytown Trail follow the same route as the Ladyslipper Trail; see that trail description for details.  Where the Ladyslipper Trail angles left to begin its climb of Red Root Mountain, continue straight to remain beside the lake on the Nancytown Trail.  A brown carsonite post identifies this trail as Chattahoochee National Forest Trail #152.
            The trail crosses a wooden footbridge and passes a picnic shelter that gives a nice view of Nancytown Lake.  Past the shelter, the single-track dirt trail meanders through the forest, never straying more than a few yards from the lake.  At 0.5 miles, you step over the edge of the concrete dam that creates Nancytown Lake.  The best view of the dam comes just after this point: water from the lake spills over the top of the concrete dam and runs down the contoured downstream side.
Nancytown Dam
            The trail descends slightly as it weaves around some rocks and arrives at a junction with the Lake Russell Trail, which goes straight and right.  Turn right to continue the Nancytown Trail.  The trail descends some steep wooden steps to arrive at a footbridge over Nancytown Creek just below the dam.  A set of stone and concrete steps must now be climbed to return to the parking area and complete the hike.
Nancytown Creek below dam

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