Community Spotlight on Helen, GA

Holiday Cheer is here as Helen Georgia lights up for another season! Immerse yourself into this picture perfect Bavarian scenic village with that old world feel of gingerbread trim, cobblestone alleyways, and old-world towers. As the majestic mountains of North Georgia surround you and the beautiful Chattahoochee River runs through downtown, it will make you feel as you’ve stepped into another world. Famous for many years, Helen has been known for it’s festive celebration throughout the city that include lighted trimmed rooftops, bridges, windows and much more. Beautifully decorated outdoor trees are on every block with giant nutcrackers and other lighted holiday visuals. Visitors love the many different varieties of warm winter food from the Wurst to the Schnitzel as German and International food is everywhere. Stroll down these brick lined streets and smell the wonderful aroma in the air from Bakeries, Pretzels, Gingerbread, Hot Chocolate, and Fudge shops. Many of these quaint shops feature specialty items like Swiss cuckoo clocks, cheese, steins, wooden toys, handblown glass sculptures, antiques, pottery and handmade arts and crafts. Wether you want to have a Beer at a pub or local Brewery, most have wonderful restaurants with a variety of dishes from German, Mexican, Italian, Asian food, to traditional American sandwiches, steaks and seafood. Many also offer entertainment and have outdoor courtyards. With over half a dozen wineries surrounding Helen, you can also enjoy spectacular mountain views while appreciating the taste of these award winning grapes grown in the rich clay soil. Scenic attractions are located all around Helen that offer hiking trails, beautiful overlooks, and winding wilderness roads at every turn. Surrounding White County are some of the highest mountain peaks with Tray Mountain that is not only the 6th-highest mountain in Georgia, but connects with the Appalachian Trail. Amazing Yonah Mountain stands tall at 3,143 ft., located between Helen and Cleveland and is rimmed by sheer picturesque cliffs. Just south of Helen is beautiful Sautee Nacochee Village. Step back in time with many historical landmarks such as the Old Sautee Store built in 1872 that has a museum of authentic store goods. Just minutes down the road is Stovall Mill Covered Bridge built in 1895, a one lane wood bridge that lays over Chickamauga Creek near State Route 255. The picturesque Sautee– Nacoochee Mound at Hardman Farm is a favorite landmark in north Georgia. Guided house tours of this original 1870 Italianate architecture home are part of Georgia State Park with a one mile Heritage Trail along the river to Helen. Nearby Nora Mill Granary & Grist Mill was established in 1876 and still in operation with a live miller making grits, cornmeal and flour mixes beside the beautiful waterfall along the Chattahoochee River. North of Helen is Unicoi State Park that offers miles of streams and trails for unlimited fishing, hiking and biking opportunities. This gem of Georgia is tucked away on State Highway 356 and features 1,050-acres of wilderness. The centerpiece of the park boasts the 53-acre Unicoi Lake [...]

Community Spotlight on Helen, GA2021-11-01T10:50:27-05:00

Wind Your Heart Around Art – Join the NE Georgia Arts Tour

As the gold and crimson leaves swirl through the mountains, get in your car and take a self-guided tour to see the creative work of artists that dwell there. Visitors will find one-of-a-kind handcrafted work from painters, potters, jewelers, photographers plus art made from wood, fiber and glass. They will also have a story to tell about meeting the artist and some of the scenery they enjoyed along the way. To join in the fun, just follow the signs to 30 locations in Towns, Union, Habersham, Rabun, and White counties in Georgia and Clay County, NC. Map brochures are available at welcome centers around the state and participating vendors in each county. The route is online at For updated photos and links, visit

Wind Your Heart Around Art – Join the NE Georgia Arts Tour2021-11-01T10:57:15-05:00

Road Trip To: Fort Mountain State Park

From Atlanta, GA 98.4 mi From Chattanooga, TN 61.5 mi From Asheville, NC 236.7 mi From Greenville, SC 179.7 mi Sitting high above the clouds in southwestern part of the Cohutta Mountains was a mountain top home to Cherokee Indians for hundreds of years. Today their legacy is still felt throughout North Georgia and the mysterious 855-foot long rock wall located in the park still has scholars debating it’s origins. Located just outside Ellijay on State Road 52 to the Northwest, is a winding two lane road that ascends more than a thousand feet with sharp turns and pull offs on both sides. Fort Mountain State Park’s entrance then takes you to the park office where you can get information about some of the area’s most beautiful trails and overlooks in Georgia. Trails throughout this national treasure are located in over 3,700 acres of Cohutta Wilderness area that winds through hardwoods, blueberry thickets, crossing streams and circling a serene lake. Reaching heights of 2,850 ft above sea level, Fort Mountain is a great destination for hiking and history lessons alike. History of the rock formation may go back to pre-Columbain native Americans from 500 AD that made the snake formation. Similar Serpent Mounds of Ohio held ceremonial or religious gatherings. Another myth of Welsh-speaking descendants settled with Native Americans and created landmarks of structures in the region. Many visitors also stay in Fort Mountain National Park as it offers camping, R.V. Sites, Cottages and Cabins. With the parks many activities including biking, picnicking, horse back riding, fishing, miniature golf & swimming in the season, or geocaching hidden treasures, you’ll enjoy lots of fun. Day tripping or longer excursions usually include a wonderful hike or backpacking venture in one or several of the park’s many trails. Enjoy the outdoors on one of the following: Lake Loop Trail is a kid friendly 1.2 mile loop around the lake, forest, and sandy beach area used mainly in summer. Stone Wall, Tower and Overlook Trails are 3 trails on the mountain summit totaling a 1.6 mile loop. Here you can visit the serpentine rock wall, explore the restored 1930’s stone fire tower, and trek to the mountain’s overlook platform for broad sweeping views and stunning sunsets. Gahutti Trail is a 8.2 mile loop recommended for more experienced backpackers or hikers. Winding through rocky forests you will loop past multiple overlooks and visit a tumbling waterfall. For more Information to Fort Mountain State Park Call 706-695-2621or visit their site at

Road Trip To: Fort Mountain State Park2021-11-01T10:56:59-05:00

Appalachian Trail at a Glance

The Appalachian Trail, completed in 1937: •    Is a unit of the National Park Service. •    Is the nation’s longest marked footpath, at approximately 2,178 miles. •    Is the first national scenic trail, designated in 1968. •    Crosses six national parks. •    Traverses eight national forests. •    Touches 14 states. Houses more than 2,000 occurrences of rare, threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant and animal species. •    Crosses numerous state and local forests and parks. •    Is maintained by 30 trail clubs and multiple partnerships. The above information provided by The Appalachian Trail Conservancy The Appalachian Trail in Georgia: •     Home to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain in Amicalola Falls State Park •     Is 75 miles long •    Has a difficulty rating of 6 (on a 10 point scale where 1 is flat and 10 requires the use of hands, offers precarious footing, and is not recommended for those with a fear of heights) •    Has elevations ranging from 2,510 to 4,461 feet •    Is best hiked in April to May or September to October when crowds and weather have cooled off •     Is sponsored by the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club,

Appalachian Trail at a Glance2021-11-01T10:46:07-05:00
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