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Extreme Outdoor State Of Georgia Adventures

The tribal people of the Cherokee Indian Nation that once lived in the area called the North Georgia Mountains “Sah-ka-na’-ga” or the “Great Blue Hills of God.” An integral part of the Blue Ridge Mountain chain that stretches from Georgia northward to Pennsylvania, the North Georgia Mountains offer unsurpassed beauty, serenity, and solitude.

Extreme Outdoor State Of Georgia Adventures

Hiawassee, Young Harris, Blairsville—A Winning Trio

Snuggled in the North Georgia Mountains, high in the 750,000-acre Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest just south of the North Carolina State line, the towns of Hiawassee, Young Harris, and Blairsville attract visitors from far and near. Travelers seeking spectacular scenery, clear mountain air, historical sites, fine dining, superb shopping and outdoor adventure can find just what they are looking for. Whether you are planning a romantic getaway, a weekend road trip, a family reunion or a corporate retreat, the trio of towns offers accommodation choices ranging from cozy mountain cabins to luxury full-service resorts. You can find comfortable lodgings to suit every budget.

Outdoor recreational opportunities include fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, camping, boating, rock climbing, motorcycle touring, horseback riding, swimming, cross-country skiing, and snowmobile rides. Local and regional arts, crafts and antiques can be found at roadside stands and shops throughout the area. The area is a paradise for antique and art enthusiasts. Local artisans and collectors feature memorabilia from yesterday, local arts and crafts, pottery, country quilts and handcrafted wooden décor items. Be sure to take home a few jars of delicious homemade jams, jellies, honey, and sauces. They are a festive treat and make terrific gifts for the folks back home.

Local Attractions

Brasstown Bald

Take a hike to the highest point in all of Georgia. Brasstown Bald is an impressive landmark that dominates the landscape. Brasstown Bald is part of the 8-mile long Wofpen Ridge, a stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains that includes Rabun Bald, Trey Mountain, and Blood Mountain. At 4,784 feet above sea level, the mountain summit observation tower affords visitors a 360-degree view of a vast sea of mountains peaks and valleys stretching as far as the eye can see. The spectacular view includes glimpses of Georgia, Tennessee as well as North and South Carolina.

Vogel State Park

One of Georgia’s most popular state parks, Vogel State Park is situated at an altitude of 2,500 feet above sea level at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Accessed by U.S. Highway 19/129, Vogel State Park includes several streams, an impressive waterfall, and 22-acre Lake Trahlyta. The state park is the proud site of the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum. The museum celebrates the work of the CCC in the construction of the dam that forms Lake Trahlyta and the building of the original campgrounds and cabins at Vogel State Park. The park provides hikers and backpackers with more than 17 miles of scenic trails. When setting out on the back-country trails be sure to bring along all-weather gear, and plenty of water and sunscreen.

Blairsville – Lake Nottely

Perched on the southern shore of 4,180-acre Lake Nottely, the town of Blairsville offers marinas, boat lifts, fishing supply stores, outfitters, and guides. Known for its Stripper and large and small mouth bass, Lake Nottely is a favorite fishing destination. The clear mountain lake offers several primitive camping spots, a swimming beach and an abundance of wildlife. Black bear, fox, coyote, bobcat, whitetail deer, squirrel, beaver and a diverse array of songbirds and waterfowl call the area around the lake home. For more information, email [email protected]

The friendly City of Blairsville hosts several celebrations and festivals throughout the summer and fall seasons. In June the Scottish Festival and Highland Games pays tribute to Georgia’s Scottish heritage. A traditional bagpipe and drum band heralds the start of the famous Kilted Golf Tournament Classic. Visitors can explore a Scottish village exhibit and view antique tools, furniture, and artifacts from the time the first Scottish immigrants settled in the valley. The Mountain Marketplace Heritage held over Labor Day weekend features a unique selection of authentic Appalachian mountain crafts. The Annual Southeastern Bluegrass Festival hosted in mid- September offers lively, toe-tapping music performances on three different stages. The biggest bash is the Georgia Sorghum Festival held in October. The Annual Sorghum Festival celebrates Georgia’s sorghum harvest with a tasty sorghum biscuit eating contests and an old-fashioned square dance.

Fans of model railroads especially enjoy a visit to the Misty Mountain Model Railroad located in Blairsville. America’s largest O-gauge train display, the 3,400 square foot model train layout features four trestles, 12 bridges, and 15 tunnels.

Young Harris

Young Harris is home to the famous Brasstown Valley Golf Club and Resort. Appreciated for its luxurious amenities, exquisite cuisine, outstanding equestrian events and championship golf course, the 503-acre Brasstown Valley Golf Club and Resort pampers guests with superior service.

The City of Young Harris celebrates the seasons with fairs and festivals that are fun for all the family. February showcases the Annual Georgia BBQ Championship; February also features a Valentines and Wine Weekend and the Sweethearts Arts and Crafts Festival.

Hiawassee - Lake Chatuge

Hiawassee is located adjacent to 7,500-acre Lake Chatuge, known as “The Jewel of the Mountains.” Lake Chatuge, with 128 miles of shoreline, proudly claims itself one of the most beautiful lakes in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) system. The lake was formed in 1942 when a dam was constructed to contain the mighty Hiawassee River. Chatuge Dam is over 144 feet high and spans 2,850 feet of the broad Hiwassee River channel. The lake is known for trophy sized large and small mouth bass. Thirty-two different species of fish can be found in Lake Chatuga. Crappie, perch, and bluegills are a favorite of local fishermen. The breath-taking beauty of the massive lake formed by the Chatuge Dam inspired residents to proclaim the mountain valley that contains the lake the “Enchanted Valley.”

One of the state’s most visited tourist destinations, The “Enchanted Valley” is bound on the north by rugged mountain ranges of the Nantahala National Forest and on the south and east by the extensive Chattahoochee National Forest.

For more than 60 years, the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds located in the town of Hiawassee, has presented a host of popular family events including the Georgia Official State Fiddler’s Convention, the Georgia Mountain Roots and Music Festival, the Hiawassee Festival of the Arts, the Superstar Concert Series, the Georgia Mountain Fall Festival and the Georgia Mountain Fair. The Georgia Mountain Fair features North Georgia’s rich historical heritage and Appalachian culture with live music performances, local arts and craft and a farmer’s market. The fairground accommodates visitors with 189 modern RV and camping sites, a boat ramp, children’s playground, two tennis courts, and shaded picnic areas.

Golfers love the challenge of the championship Ridges Resort and Golf Club Course. Located in Hiawassee, the main lodge features 66 private balcony rooms that overlook Lake Chatuga. The resort is a popular meeting place and corporate retreat. Fully furnished golf villas vary in size from 1 to 4 bedrooms.

You could spend a weekend or an entire season in the Hiawassee, Young Harris, Blairsville area and never do or see all the activities and attractions the highland tourist mecca affords.

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Marlene Affeld
Marlene Affeld
Read next: Camping > Hotels
Marlene Affeld

“A passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld’s passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle.”

See all posts by Marlene Affeld