If you ever need an excuse for a getaway in the mountains, Habersham County has plenty of activities, state parks, historical sites, and award-winning restaurants will make your stay memorable.
Explore the towns of Clarkesville, Cornelia, Demorest & Mt. Airy, for a variety of lodging including hotels, cabins, and B&B’s. Walking friendly brick lined streets in these towns invite you to see shops, restaurants, galleries, and antique stores to experience that small town atmosphere.
Clarkesville was named after General John C. Clarke, governor of Georgia in 1819 – 1821. It was chartered in 1823 as the county seat of Habersham County and was the first of the major resort towns with wealthy families escaping the heat of the coasts of South Carolina & Georgia.
Visitors are welcome in the middle of May in the downtown square to enjoy the Mountain Laurel Festival that include activities for the whole family. Northeast Georgia’s Oldest Arts & Crafts event has a parade, duck race, live music, and food
Historical sites in downtown Clarkesville usually start with the Mauldin House, at the corner of E. Waters & Jefferson St. It services as the Clarkesville’s Welcome Center and is the beginning of the towns walking tour of the Greek, Gothic, Victorian, and Plantation style homes in this beautiful historical district.
Neighboring Sam Pitts Park located by the beautiful Soque River offers a place for walking trails and picnics. Travel down the road on Scenic Hwy. 197 that follows the river for trout fishing and the small community that feature many regional handmade arts and crafts.
Just South of Clarkesville is Demorest, home of Piedmont College which founding roots date back to 1897. The 266 acre campus welcomes the public to visit The Mason- Scharfenstein Museum and Johnny Mize Museum that commemorates the legendary baseball player. The Swanson Center for performing Arts holds periodical shows and events for entertainment.
The town of Cornelia was first settled around 1860 for transportation and the railroad along the East Coast. Visitors can now step back in time to downtown Cornelia and see the beautifully restored Train Depot. The museum includes early railroad memorabilia, model of the Talullah Falls train, and two restored cabooses by the depot. The nearby City Park also offers a Splash Pad and Club Canine for family fun.
The “Big Red Apple,” stands near the train depot as a monument that is seven feet tall, 22 ft. in circumference and weighs 5200 lbs. It was shipped from Virginia in 1926 to celebrate the apple industry. The monument was donated by the Southern Railway and in celebration of harvest a Festival is held in the fall. Cornelia has since been known as the “The Home of the Big Red Apple.
The Habersham County Historical Society and Telephone Museum is on North Main Street and has history of the area. Other Places on the National Register of Historic places include the Loudermilk Boarding House on Foreacre St. built in 1908 and the Community House on Wyly St. built in 1936. The adjoining park features picnic areas, playground and walking trails.
The Chenocetah Fire Tower Built in 1936 is the last rock-constructed, working fire lookout tower in the east and stands 40 feet high. The overlook area from Chenocetah Mountain provides magnificent views of the lake and countryside.
Habersham County takes pride in it’s community by preserving history and natural resources of outdoor recreational parks. Lake Russell and Tallulah Falls State Recreational areas invite camping and RV sites.
Lake Russell Recreational Area is located in the beautiful community of Mt. Airy just past the Firetower. Hiking trails are available year-round and a 4.6 mile loop goes around the shore of this beautiful 100-acre lake. Lake Russell has a large grass-covered beach and swimming area plus; easy access to camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, and non-motorized boating.
Once known as the Niagara Falls of the South, Tallulah Gorge is the most breathtaking canyon in the eastern U.S. that stretches over two miles with 1,000+ foot plummets. Hike the trails rimming the Gorge and peek over to see how deep it really goes. Exhibits in the park’s Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center highlight the rich history of this Victorian resort town, as well as the rugged terrain and fragile ecosystem of the area. A suspension bridge sways 80 feet above the rocky bottom, providing spectacular views of the river and waterfalls. Over 2,700 acres w/ lake & beach, playground, picnic areas + RV & tent campground sites.
With warm hospitality offered to visitors, the four seasons of nature plus attractions and festivals, you will want to keep Habersham on your list for everything that is happening in the mountains of North Georgia!
For more information visit www.habershamchamber.com