Habersham County: It’s Happening Here!

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. [...]

Habersham County: It’s Happening Here!2023-04-20T12:12:07-04:00

Road Trip to: The Beautiful Views & Towns in North Carolina

Just to the north of Georgia the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains continue across the border to North Carolina where the views seem to never end. Our neighbors to the north are just a short drive to visit the quaint towns of Hayesville, Murphy, Andrews, Robbinsville & Franklin in North Carolina. If you enjoy beautiful overlook views and pristine rivers that flow beside the winding roads, then this road trip is your FREE ticket for a wonderful day trip of exploring. The Chattahoochee & Nantahala National Forest stretches from northern Georgia to the Smoky's and has vast areas of Ranger districts. To see some of the best views, just pack a picnic lunch and fill up the tank to ride around some of these incredible Mountain Overlooks and picturesque winding highways to view flowing rivers in the National Forests of North Carolina. Hayesville, N.C. Located just north of Hiawassee, GA this charming small community shares Lake Chatuge and has many recreational areas like Jack Rabbit & Fires Creek. The old courthouse & downtown square offers shopping and dining plus host visitors to many weekend activities and Festivals. Shooting Creek Scenic Overlook Hwy. 64 East from Hayesville towards Franklin, N.C. Perfect overlook area with tons of space to park and take in the scenery. Murphy, N.C. Blending historic preservation with friendly home-town atmosphere helps this town continue to be a popular destination for tourists. Historical courthouse, museum, churches, and theater mix with wonderful restaurants plus shopping. Stay & play at Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino or enjoy numerous hiking, lake and nearby recreational activities. Murphy River Walk Located in downtown Murphy off Valley River Avenue the 3 mile walk beside the river starts or ends behind the Hackney Warehouse / Downtown Train Depot and Koneheta Park. A beautiful walk provides a mixture of shade and sun as it passes the trees along the river. Enjoy the park with playground for seating and picnic tables. Franklin, N.C. You must see the “Gem Capital of the World” as mining is at the top of this geo-graphical “Rich” town. Enjoy walking in downtown Franklin that is filled with shopping, galleries, antiques + more. Home to the Scottish Festival, airing of the Quilts and numerous entertainment events located at the Smoky Mountain Center for Performing Arts, you'll love staying to be a part of the show. Sky Valley & Blue Valley Overlook Hwy. 441 North of Dillard, GA take 246 for the overlook at top of Mtn. on right. Same road turns into 106 as it continues in NC to pass Scaly Mtn. & pass Highlands to Osage, then Blue Valley Overlook. Just view the skyline for a breathtaking view of Georgia or further for North Carolina. Andrews, Nantahala, & Robbinsville N.C. Highlights of this region are separated but joined by nearby National Forest Land. Andrews shares Nantahala which is home to this small unincorporated area that has wildlife abound. Nantahala Lake is gorgeous and there are numerous recreational opportunities including boating and fishing. Robbinsville shares [...]

Road Trip to: The Beautiful Views & Towns in North Carolina2023-04-21T13:46:16-04:00

State Parks

Come See Our Neck of the Woods North Georgia State Parks include a variety of recreational activities besides camping and welcome travelers to explore “Our Neck of the Woods”. Enjoy your passion to see a waterfall, go horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, hiking, biking, or just have a picnic. The great State Parks of North Georgia are waiting for you to watch nature at it's best! Black Rock Mountain State Park Park (706) 746-2141 Reservations (800) 864-7275 Black Rock Mountain State Park, named for its sheer cliffs of dark-colored biotite gneiss, has the highest altitude of 3,640 feet. Numerous scenic overlooks provide spectacular 80-mile vistas of the Southern Appalachians, and several hiking trails lead visitors past wildflowers, cascading streams, small waterfalls and lush forests. RVs exceeding 25 ft. are not recommended, as the park has a two-mile climb with a 10% grade and tight turns. Moccasin Creek State Park Park (706) 947-3194 Reservations (800) 864-7275 Known as the park “where spring spends the summer,” Moccasin Creek is located on the shores of lovely 2,800-acre Lake Burton. Accessibility offers easy navigation for large RVs, children's bicycles and wheelchairs. This also includes a fishing pier that sits above a trout-filled creek open only to physically challenged visitors, senior citizens and children. Tallulah Gorge State Park Park (706) 754-7970 Camping (706) 754-7979 / Picnic (706) 782-4014 One of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S., Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. A suspension bridge sways 80 ft above the rocky bottom, providing spectacular views of the river and waterfalls. Visitors can hike rim trails to several overlooks, or they can obtain a permit to hike down to the gorge floor. The Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center highlights the rich history of this Victorian resort town and is open daily. Fort Mountain State Park Park (706) 422-1932 Reservations (800) 864-7275 Fort Mountain derives its name from an ancient 855-foot-long rock wall, which stands on the highest point of the mountain. The mysterious wall is thought to have been built by Indians as fortification against other more hostile Indians or for ancient ceremonies. The State Park encompasses over 3,712 acres with a 17-acre lake and swimming beach. Many site are available for tent, trailer, RV, or primitive horse-camping. Trails lead to spectacular views in this pristine high country North Georgia area. Smithgall Woods State Park Park (706) 878-3087 Reservations (800) 864-7275 Dukes Creek, one of North Georgia's premier trout stream, runs through this spectacular mountain property and has become known for it's catch-and-release fishing. Eighteen miles of roads and five miles of trails allow hikers and bicyclists to explore hardwoods, streams and wildlife. Dukes Creek Falls has a direct trail for cottage guests to view. Vogel State Park Park (706) 745-2628 Reservations (800) 864-7275 Vogel State Park is located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Cottages, campsites and primitive backpacking sites provide a range of overnight accommodations. The park's twenty-acre lake is open to non-motorized [...]

State Parks2023-04-20T12:09:20-04:00

Bike or Hike the Hardman Heritage Trail

The Hardman Heritage Trail is a paved one mile path that travels along the Chattahoochee River from Hardman Farm State Historic Site to Alpine Helen. Interpretive panels along the way share about the beautiful native plants, animals and historical influences that have shaped the forming of this area. From the southern entrance at Hardman Farm to the northern entrance at Edelweiss Strasse and Kollock Strasse near the Helen Water Park. Free Parking is located at both ends of the trail is open from dawn to dusk. The trail is access-ible for wheelchairs and strollers and is open to dogs and bikes. Please practice “Leave no Trace” by packing out litter and picking up after pets. If starting from the historic farm, the 173-acre Hardman Farm is located in historic Sautee Nacoochee, just south of Helen, Georgia. It is best recognized by a gazebo-topped Indian mound and cow pasture. The house, built in 1870 by Captain James Nichols and has Italianate architecture. Nora Mill can be seen across the river from a viewing area. The mill was established in 1876 by John Martin, a gold miner who stayed in the area permanently after the gold ran out. In 1902, Dr. Lamatine Hardman, who would later become the governor of Georgia (1927-1931), purchased the mill. Today, the mill continues to work, still using the 1500-pound French Burr Stones to grind corn & wheat. A small dam with a waterfall can be seen on the Chattahoochee River just behind the mill. Beside the historical marker on the trail is the original whistle used by the lumber company to end each work period. The whistle was last used in 1931 when the sawmill was closed permanently. Some of the original tracks from the Gainesville & Northwestern Railroad can be seen embedded into the concrete pathway. The old depot is now the site of the visitor’s center at Hardman Farm State Historic Site. Finally, at the northern entrance, right after crossing the river over the pedestrian bridge, take the gravel path to the left. The remnants of the mining operation of the Plattsburgh Mining Company of New York can be seen. Plattsburgh bought a section of land in 1895 and began mining for gold in 1896. Much of the Nacoochee Valley was rich with gold into the early 1900s. The Helen to Hardman Heritage Trail is one of the nicest walking/hiking trails and the State of Georgia is proud to preserve for visitors to enjoy for years to come. Just wear your walking shoes, breathe in the crisp clean air and follow this relaxing path beside the Chattahoochee River. Free parking is available at each entrance. For More information see: www. gastateparks.org/HardmanFarmTrails

Bike or Hike the Hardman Heritage Trail2023-04-21T13:44:12-04:00

Waterfalls of Northeast Georgia

Amicalola Falls The highest waterfall in Georgia, falling 729 feet in seven cascades. At the base of the falls, there is a parking area, a reflection pool, and 3/10-mile paved trail leading to an observation deck at the top of the falls. Directions: from Dahlonega, Amicalola State Park’s entrance is on GA Highway 52, east of Ellijay or west of Dahlonega. Anna Ruby Falls Curtis Creek falls 153 feet and York Creek drops 50 feet down the slopes of Tray Mountain in twin waterfalls. The very steep 4/10 mile Anna Ruby Falls Trail is paved and has benches along the trail for sitting or resting while enjoying the beauty of the area. Directions: from Helen, take GA 75 North one mile. Right on GA 356 for 1.5 miles, left on the entrance road to the falls. Becky Branch Falls The 20 foot Becky Branch Falls is easily observed from a wooden bridge which crosses the stream. Becky Branch Falls is accessed via the Bartram Trail. Directions: From Clayton, Georgia go east on Warwoman Road (County Rd. 5) for just less than 3 mile to Poll Creek Road. Park on left side of road by a small branch. Follow the trail on the right side of the branch for about 200 yards to a bridge at the base of the falls. Blood Mountain Falls & Falls on Waters Creek This beautiful waterfall is located on Blood Mountain Stream. The stream flows almost 20 feet through a rock cut, creating a churning sluice of water. Directions: From US 19/129 (Turners Corner), go west on US 19 for approx. 1/2 mile to Waters Creek Recreation Area. Turn right, go approx. 2.8 miles and park in the lot to the right. Across the road is a path to the viewing area. Cowrock Creek Falls Cowrock Creek Falls is ab out 30 feet high. Directions: From the junction of Hwy 19 and 129, travel 1.4 miles on Hwy 19/129 North to FR 443 and turn right. Travel 2.3 miles on FR 443. Park & walk on the old logging road for 0.6 miles. DeSoto Falls Three falls along a 3 mile section of the DeSoto Falls Trail are maintained for the hiker’s viewing convenience, and are designated as the lower (cascading 20 feet), the middle (falls about 80 feet) and the upper (about 200 feet) DeSoto Falls. Directions: From Dahlonega travel north on US 19 for 13.5 miles to Turners Corner. At this intersection, turn left and proceed on US 129 for 4.2 miles. Shortly after the Walasi-yi Center is a left turn for the park. Dukes Creek Falls A well-designed trail winds its way into Dukes Creek Gorge, ending at the base of the falls which drop about 150 feet down sheer granite canyon into Dukes Creek. Directions: Take GA 75 north from Helen for 1.5 miles. Turn left on GA 356 (75 Alternate) for 2.3 miles to the Richard Russell Scenic Highway. Turn right, go 2 miles to Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area. [...]

Waterfalls of Northeast Georgia2023-04-20T12:26:46-04:00
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