Hanging Dog Recreation Area

Hanging Dog Campground will not re-open. For more information see this news release.

Day use facilities on Hiwassee Lake remain open.

Just five miles from Murphy, N.C., Hanging Dog Recreation Area is a great destination for a scenic drive or for a day outing with family and friends.

Get in the Water.  Hanging Dog Recreation Area offers year-round access to Hiwassee Lake. A popular place for fishing and boating, you’ll find plenty of places along Hiwassee’s 180-mile shore to relax and cast a line. From June through October, launch your motor boat from the ramp at the end of State Road (SR) 1447. Between the months of November and June, Ramsey Bend boat launch on FR 652F, approximately 1.5 miles off of SR 1447, provides deep-water access. Water skiing and kayaking are also popular on Hiwassee Lake. For an adventure, try kayaking on Hiwassee River and Lake between Murphy and Hanging Dog. An accessible fishing pier, to the left just before the end of SR 1447, offers additional angler access. There are no swimming facilities at this recreation area.      

Practice these safety tips when enjoying water activities:

  • Wear a life jacket
  • Never go boating under the influence
  • Supervise children
  • Learn CPR
  • Learn safe boating practices

Check out the Sites.  View the scenery from a picnic table overlooking the lake. A large pavilion provides a place for groups to gather for a meal. Restrooms with vault toilets are nearby. Stretch your legs and explore the forest along two 1-mile trails. The Mingus Trail starts at the upper boat ramp parking lot and ends at a trailhead shared with the Ramsey Bluff Trail off SR 1447. Ramsey Bluff Trail offers views of Hiwassee Lake. If you are interested in Cherokee Indian history, imagine the village that once lay where the lake is now. In the 1830s, the historic Trail of Tears passed nearby. 

Follow the Trail.  In the Hanging Dog area, there are several opportunities for mountain biking. Hike or ride your mountain bike on the moderately-difficult Ramsey Bluff Mountain Biking System that provides 8 miles of trails. Plenty of trailhead parking is provided at the end of SR 1447.

Read the Recreation Opportunity Guide.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Hanging Dog Campground will not re-open. For more information see this news release. Day use facilities on Hiwassee Lake remain open.
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Murphy

General Information


To reach Hanging Dog, travel about 5 miles on SR 1326 north of Murphy.  Area is located on Hiwassee Lake.

General Notes:

Tusquitee Ranger District
123 Woodland Drive
Murphy, NC 28906
(828) 837-5152


Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing: Hiwassee Lake offers fishing activities. Pier available.
Difficulty Level: Easy


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking: Picnicking available.
Reservation Info None
Fire Information Grill available.
Difficulty Level: Easy

Group Picnicking

Recreation areas with activity Group Picnicking: Offers group picnicking area.