Lake Zwerner Project

Yahoola Outdoors has entered into a Volunteer Service Agreement with Lumpkin County to improve the existing Lake Zwerner Trail that runs for 3.1 miles around the Dahlonega Reservoir. We have planned reroutes for the steep sections that are heavily eroded and difficult to navigate due to the grade and erosion problems.

So far, five areas of trail have been identified and alternate routes that are on grades within accepted specifications have been planned. When the trail was built about 10 years ago, it was built by a machine and several sections were built exceeding the accepted 10% grade for trails. Over 10% grade results in heavy erosion, causing damage to the trail. Most often, a grade over 10% should have steps built in.

We are working with the Development Authority of Lumpkin County to mitigate these steep grades and improve the trail user experience. The county has provided enough trail building tools to outfit 25 volunteers on work trips to hand build a 4 foot tread in the affected areas. YO president and Trail Fest chairman Tom Lamb, an experienced trail maintainer and trail builder with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, has laid out the new sections and has trained several YO members who are our first Trail Crew Leaders. YO board member Ryan Puckett is an experienced trail builder with the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association.

Work trips began with the first section of trail on the north end of Lake Zwerner, where the trail currently exceeds a 20% grade. The new route will be held under 10% and will afford new views of the dam and terrain to the south and incorporate a new rocky section of ridgeline with many holly trees on the ridgetop. Work started on this section on May 23, 2021.

The first completed trail segment will be officially opened on National Trails Day, June 4, 2022. Details to come!

Click here to see more photos of YO work at Lake Zwerner


We are looking for volunteers to help build these trails. A crew of 25 can build several hundred feet of trail in a day. First time volunteers will receive training in proper building techniques.

We will provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) if you do not have your own. Required PPE include: hard hat, gloves, boots or sturdy shoes (no open toe), long pants. Optional: long sleeves due to poison ivy. We will provide all necessary tools.

Bring a lunch, snacks, plenty to drink. There is a 20 minute walk in to the work site.

Required signup in advance so we can plan for tools and parking requirements. See link below.


Saturday, May 7
Wednesday, May 11
Sunday, May 15
Saturday, June 4
Other pick up days will be added and emailed to volunteer list

Sunday, May 1- Dockery Lakeside Trail maintenance
Information on Dockery Lake project here:

National Trails Day official opening of first trail segment; details to come



Click here to sign up for work trips.

If you cannot make one of the listed trips but would like to receive information on other trips or about the project or Yahoola Outdoors, click here to send an email.

Watch this space and our Facebook page and Twitter announcements for dates of upcoming work trips.

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Site updated on April 26, 2022

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