Hiawassee & Young Harris, GA – Towns County:
Welcome! We invite you to explore our lovely “Enchanted Valley” - once you’ve discovered it you’ll probably want to share! Located in the beautiful MOUNTAINS in the northeast corner of Georgia, we are only approximately 2 hours from the city conveniences of Atlanta, GA, Chattanooga, TN and Asheville, NC. But we are far enough away to provide you with that great getaway to a quieter simpler lifestyle. Come enjoy cool summers with lush natural flora and lake recreation, and our mild winters that are serenely beautiful. The area overflows with natural scenic beauty as when the Cherokee roamed the land. Leisure and recreation opportunities are abundant. Visitors can enjoy recreation on our pristine Lake Chatuge, hiking the Appalachian Trail or other trails, golfing at one of the top courses in Georgia, horseback riding, viewing wildlife and the great fly fishing in our numerous trout streams. Kick back and enjoy authentic mountain music at the Country Music Super Star Concerts and Bluegrass Festival (known as “The Country Music Capital of Georgia”) at the Georgia Mountain Fair or our own local talent performing at the summer Concerts On The Square. Plus you’ll find great arts and crafts exhibits, antiques and food galore at the Georgia Mountain Fair and surrounding area events. Enjoy unique accommodations ranging from a charming mountain or lake cabin, romantic B & B’s or fine lodging at the upscale Brasstown Valley Resort, have exquisite dining experiences at our numerous fine restaurants offering the finest in regional cuisine plus enjoy other resort facilities. At the northeast end of Towns County, you’ll find Hightower Creek Vineyards, a farm winery with a tasting room, live music and events. At the top of Georgia’s Wine Highway near Young Harris is our own Crane Creek Vineyards, where you can relax on the vineyard decks and take the opportunity to sample locally grown and produced wines. Young Harris, the hometown of former Georgia Governor Zell Miller, holds the Young Harris College. Founded in 1886, Young Harris College is a private United Methodist-affiliated residential liberal arts school. Offering a nurturing atmosphere with a 13:1 student teacher ratio, the academics program is rigorous. The campus offers a variety of athletic programs and amenities, plus includes all the advanced up-to-date technology plus one of largest planetariums in the state. Visitors can also enjoy on campus theatrical productions and concerts at Theatre Young Harris. Enrollment for 2014 was 1,219 students.
A 7,500 Acre TVA Reservoir, Lake Chatuge is a haven for fishermen, skiers and boaters. Chatuge also offers wildlife viewing opportunities. Marinas, public boat docks, beach areas and area outfitters provide easy access to the lake. Lake Chatuge lies half in Georgia, half in North Carolina. The clear cool waters will beckon you to sit on your deck and just drink in the tremendous beauty offered by the scenic mountain backdrop. Cozy cottages and cabins on the lakeside provide a great place to stay while you’re visiting our area. Visitors and residents enjoy leisurely strolls along the dam with a spectacular view of the “jewel of the mountains”, and an abundance of scenic coves along the 133 mile shoreline that is great for fishing, swimming, boating, camping and water sports. Who wouldn’t want to wake up in paradise?
Construction of Chatuge Dam began in 1941 and was completed in 1942.Chatuge was originally built to store water to help prevent flooding downstream. A single hydropower generating unit was added in 1954. The level of water in Chatuge Reservoir varies about 9 feet during the course of a normal year. Chatuge Dam is 144 feet high and stretches 2,850 feet across the Hiwassee River.
Visit the TVA website at www.tva.gov to learn more about Lake Chatuge. You’ll find more information about Lake Chatuge Reservoir, water release schedules and elevation stats, lake maps, campgrounds and recreation opportunities.
Brasstown Bald Mountain:
Georgia’s highest mountain, beautiful Brasstown Bald rises 4,784 feet above sea level. On clear days, you can see 4 states from atop the mountain with a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view! The Visitors Center located at the summit offers exhibits, programs and presentations. A paved (but steep) ½ mile trail leads from the parking lot to the Visitor Center on top of the Bald. For those not interested in the exercise, a shuttle bus operates seasonally from the parking lot to the center for a small fee. Besides being near the Appalachian Trail, there is access to four hiking trails (ranging from easy to moderate 1/2 mile to 6 mile trails). A gift shop, Picnic tables and snack concessions are available at the parking area during the season, open daily from Memorial Day through October and weekends in early spring and late fall. For more information, go to www.ngeorgia.com/mountains/brasstown.html, or call Brasstown Bald Visitor Information Center at 706-896-2556.
How to get there: From Hiawassee, travel east on 76 to right on Hwy 75 South. Travel about 6 miles, turn right (west) onto Georgia 180. Go about 8-10 miles to Georgia 180 Spur & turn right. Go 3 miles to the Brasstown Bald parking lot.
Appalachian Trail – a wilderness footpath that winds over 2,100 miles along the crest of the Appalachian mountains runs through fourteen states. The Appalachian Trail in Georgia extends some 80 miles through the most rugged areas of the 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. The trail offers unlimited hiking adventures 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 trail may be accessed at several points within the county which makes it attractive for day hikers as well as those hiking from Maine to Georgia.
Towns County Demographics, Tax Struction and Climate
*Population in Towns County in 2012 numbered 10,495, and increase of 12% from the
2000 census. According to Census numbers in 2010, the City of Hiawassee had a population of 880, and Young Harris had a population of 899. Also noted was that
there were 14.9% of the population under 18 years old, an about 31% are 65+ years old.
*Tax Structure shows property taxes in 2014 at $4.14 per $1,000 real estate value; Local
Sales tax, 3% and State sales tax, 4%; Income tax for personal at 6%, corporate at 6%
And use tax at 4%.
Rainfall averages 58.6 inches annually, snowfall about 4 inches annually. Comfort
Index which is based on humidity during the hot months is 40 out of 100, where higher
is more comfortable. The US average comfort index is 44. We have an average of 120
days of precipitation and 208 days of sunshine. Average high temperature, July mean, is 85 degrees F and low, January mean, is 25 degrees F.