The Appalachian Trail - A wilderness footpath that winds over 2,100 miles along the crest of the Appalachian mountains. It runs through 14 states.
The Appalachian Trail in Georgia extends some 80 miles through the primitive area of Chattahoochee National Forest. Although rising at times to elevations of over 4,400 feet, the Trail is mostly along ridges at elevations around 3,000 feet. It offers unlimited hiking adventure of exceptional challenge and variety. Ascents and descents are sometimes steep, but are often rewarded by scenic vistas from rocky outcrops and open summits.
The Appalachian Trail may be reached by way of: Woody Gap on Georgia Highway 60, 4 miles south of Suches; Neel Gap on U.S. Highway 19/129, 14 miles south of Blairsville; and Testate Gap and Hog Pen Gap on Georgia Highway 348 (Richard Russell Scenic Highway,) 15 miles southeast of Blairsville.
Blood Mountain Archaeological Area- Site of Cherokee and Creek Indian Battle before arrival of the white man. For your convenience, there is a Visitor Information Center located at Walasi-Yi Center where the Appalachian Trail crosses U.S. Highway 19/129.The area is located 15 miles south of Blairsville at Neel Gap on US Highway 19/129, via Appalachian Trail.
Blue Star Memorial By-Way - First conceived in 1946 to honor veterans of World War II, Blue Star Memorials became a project of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc. Since that time, hundreds of Memorials have been dedicated by Garden Clubs throughout the nation honoring our armed forces, who have served, are serving, and will serve in the Armed Forces of the United States. The name was taken from the Blue Star in the Service Flag. The bronze marker, dedicated June 6, 1999, is located at Heritage Walk on the grounds of the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce, Highway 515 at Old Blue Ridge Highway, Blairsville.
Brasstown Bald Mountain & Visitor Information Center- 360 degree vista of four states from the observation deck, atop Georgia's highest elevation of 4,784 feet. The Visitor Information Center offers interpretive programs, slide presentations and exhibits that explain the natural history of the mountain area and the changes that occur in flora and fauna throughout the seasons. Hiking trails and picnicking areas are available. Open Memorial Day through October and on weekends in early spring (as weather permits.) Facilities 1/4 mile below. Summit reached by trail or by shuttle bus for a small fee. An elevator was installed prior to the 1999 season to carry the handicapped visitors to the observation deck. Travel US Highway 19/129 south from Blairsville seven miles. Turn left onto Georgia Highway 180 for nine miles, then north on Georgia 66 for three miles.
Byron Herbert Reece Home place -This farm home place is where Reece completed his writings. Still standing are the house Reece built for his parents, his study, the large barn and home of his sister. About three miles south beyond the home place is the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial Park with hiking trails and picnic area. Located nine miles south of Blairsville on US Highway 19 & 129.
Cooper's Creek Scenic & Recreation Area- 1,240 acres featuring camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing and hunting. Cooper's Creek and tributaries are teeming with trout. From Blairsville, go west on Blue Ridge Highway (Old Highway 76) for three miles. Turn left onto Mulky Gap Road. Follow paved road until pavement ends and turn to gravel. Go three miles and Cooper's Creek is on the left.
DeSoto Falls Scenic Area- Rugged mountainous country with exceptional views and five beautiful waterfalls - 650 acres with 2,000-4,000 feet elevations. Clear streams, camping, fishing, picnicking, and hiking. Take US Highway 19/129 south of Blairsville for 15 miles or north from Cleveland for 15 miles.
Dukes Creek Falls- Drops about 150 feet down a sheer granite canyon and into Dukes Creek. The area offers scenic beauty and excellent gold panning opportunities. There is a slippery-rock water slide. An observation deck affords an excellent view of the falls from the parking are. Travel on US Highway 19/129 south from Blairsville five miles. Turn left onto Georgia Highway 180 for 1/2 mile. Turn right onto Georgia Highway 348 (Richard Russell Scenic Highway) for 12 miles.
Frank Gross Recreation Area- Along beautiful Rock Creek, near Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery. Camping and fishing. Take Georgia Highway 60 north from Suches approximately 10 miles turn left onto Forest Service Road 69 for five miles.
Georgia Mountain Experiment Station- A branch of the University of Georgia established in 1930 to provide a diversified program in agricultural research and demonstrations of fruits, vegetables, field and forage crops as well as ornamentals and beef-cattle winter feeding trials. Gardens of the Arboretum project is in progress and will center around the Jarrett "Apple" House, an historic building on the grounds of the Experiment Station. Tours may be arranged by calling (706) 745-2655. Self-guided tours Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Located approximately three miles south of Blairsville on US Highway 19/129.
Helton Creek Falls- There are two falls on Helton Creek in the Chattahoochee National Forests. The upper falls which has an observation deck is about 50 yards above the lower falls. The total vertical drop is more than 100 feet. A 300 yard trail leads to the falls. (The rocks are deceptively slippery; please exercise caution). To reach these falls take US 19 and 129 south from Blairsville for about 11 miles. Turn left onto Helton Creek Road, the first road past the entrance to Vogel State Park. Travel 2.2 miles to the parking area on the right. The trail begins on the right just before the parking area. The first mile of this road is paved, fairly narrow, and surrounded by summer homes. The rest of the road is gravel.
Horse Trough Falls - Another lesser known but no less spectacular waterfall awaits you in Union County within easy distance of Helen. It's Horse Trough Falls, a shimmering 70 foot falls on Little Horse Trough Creek. To reach Horse Trough Falls, take Georgia 17/75 north from Helen (in White County) to FS44. Then turn left onto FS44. At 9.3 mile you'll pass a waterfall on Spoilcane Creek. Then, at about 3.4 miles you'll come to FS44F which turns off to the right. FS44F soon fords Henson Creek. Once you're across Henson Creek stay to the left for 0.2 miles to a road-blocking pile of debrisand park your vehicle there. Now look for blue blazes marking a trail leading upstream along the Chattahoochee River. Hike upstream. You'll soon ford the river. Several hundred feet upriver Little Horse Trough Creek joins the river from the left; follow the creek upstream for a tenth of a mile to the base of the falls. From there hiking distance to Horse Trough Falls is about 0.3 miles.
Lake Nottely - A 4,180 acre body of water with a 106 mile shoreline. Recreation areas provide opportunities for boating, swimming, fishing, picnicking and camping. For your convenience there are two marinas and public boat ramps along the lake. Travel nine miles north on US Highway 19/129, turn left onto Georgia Highway 325, two miles to view 184 foot dam.
Lake Winfield Scott- Clear 18 acre lake high in the mountains with picnicking, camping, swimming, fishing, boating and hiking. Covered pavilion and bathhouse near swimming area. Take US Highway 19/129 south from Blairsville for 10 miles. Turn west onto Georgia Highway 180 for seven miles.
Lake Woody- Named for Arthur Woody, widely known for establishing rainbow trout in the cool mountain streams, and bringing deer back to the mountains of north Georgia. Take US Highway 19/129 south of Blairsville for 10 miles. Turn west onto Georgia Highway 180 for 12 miles to Suches near the Georgia Highway 60 intersection.
Richard Russell Scenic Highway- 14.1 miles of scenic mountain drive, overlooks. The Highway crosses the Appalachian Trail. Elevations range from 2,040 feet to 3,644 feet. Direct route from Blairsville to Helen. Travel south of Blairsville on US Highway 19/129 for five miles. Turn left onto Georgia Highway 180, 1/2 mile to designated Georgia Highway 348.
Sosebee Cove Scenic Area- 175 acre tract of prize hardwoods set aside as a memorial to Arthur Woody, the "Barefoot Ranger," who served as US Forest Ranger form 1911 to 1945. No facilities, 1/2 mile trail. Abundant spring flowers. Take US Highway 19/129 south of Blairsville for 10 miles. Turn west onto Georgia Highway 180 for two miles.
Trackrock Archaeological Area- 52 acre area with preserved petroglyph of ancient Indian origin. Carvings resemble animal and bird tracks, crosses, circles and human footprints. Historical marker locates the area. Travel US Highway 19/129 south of Blairsville. Turn left onto Town Creek School Road. Turn left at Harmony Grove Church onto Trackrock Gap Road, approximately three mile.
Vogel State Park- One of Georgia's oldest and most popular state parks. Major facilities include 280 acres in the mountains, 110 tent and trailer sites, 36 rental cottages, 20 acre lake, miniature golf, swimming beach, four picnic shelters, pioneer camping, pedal boats, family group shelter. There are 17 miles of hiking trails for the outdoorenthusiasts. Annual special events include the Wildflower Program in April and the Mountain Music Festival in September.
Woody Gap Recreational Area- Scenic view of Yahoola Valley. The Appalachian Trail crosses Georgia Highway 60 at this point. Located four miles south of Suches.