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    Georgia on my mind: Drive through forests and history

    On the border of Tennessee and Georgia you find the Chattahoochee National Forest. Covering an area of 3500 square kilometres, each season here is breathtaking. Lakes and small waterfalls provide the coolness that a Georgia summer requires; beautiful native trees turn red as soon as autumn sets in. Enjoy the misty views whilst you walk over the damped leafs that pill up in winter and witness the flora and fauna come back to life during spring. The rivers are full of trout, bass and catfish, over 200 bird species fly through the sky and along the bank you'll find white deer and rabbits. Blue Ridge Mountains are among the oldest mountains in the United States so it's no surprise that the surrounding towns are full of history. The Northeast Georgia Mountains 4 day drive will take you right around the forest, visiting three idyllic towns full of adventures for the whole family, and back up to your starting point through Chattahoochee National Forest.

    Dahlonega Chattahoochee National Forest drive Georgia

    Day 1 - Historical Trains and antiques in Blue Ridge

    Fall in love with the authentic mountain towns of Blue Ridge and McCaysville which offer fantastic collections of art galleries, antique and specialty shops, restaurants all while keeping their small town charm. Board the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad mid-morning and get a glimpse into the past. The beautiful train operates with period railroad engines and cars while following the Toccoa River as it makes its way to McCaysville and back after a 2 hour stopover in McCaysville. Once there, disembark from the train and head toward Toccoa Street and have lunch at one of the area restaurants. Be sure to take a moment and walk across the 'Blue Line' to stand with one foot in both Georgia and Tennessee at once. Once back in Blue Ridge, spend the afternoon exploring the town. The historic Fannin County Courthouse from 1937 is now the home to the Arts Center and after an impressive renovation offers terrific exhibits and galleries to discover. From antiques to chocolates to quilts and specialty shops, spend the afternoon perusing the many unique shops that can be found on East and West Main Streets.

    blue ridge scenic train drive Georgia

    Day 2 - Hiking in Helen

    Helen, Georgia is a quaint re-creation of an alpine village that is complete with cobblestone alleys and old-world charm. This Northeast Georgia village has a rich history linked to the Cherokee Indians and even early settlers looking for gold and timber in the early 1900s. Begin the day exploring the beautiful Anna Ruby Falls located in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest. An easy to moderate, 0.4 miles walk gets visitors to the base of the falls for a spectacular view of the junction of the Curtis and York Creeks. Afterwards, head back toward town and explore the local crafts and products from the Village Shoppes to the Artisans Market, these are all a great draw to the area. Then break for lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area. Following lunch, head to the fantastic Folk Potters Museum a short distance away in Sautee Nacoochee. This museum highlights the skills of one of the South's premier grassroots arts forms and explores the historical importance and changing role of folk pottery in Southern life. The afternoon can be spent exploring the exhibits and even watching a turning demonstration on the traditional wheel and engage in discussions on the processes of decorating and glazing folk pottery.

    Day 3 - The Wineries of Dahlonega

    The third day in the Northeast Georgia Mountains will be spent in the jeweled city of Dahlonega. A picturesque town full of natural beauty, history and many wineries. Begin the day, learning about why the area has a 'golden' past by stopping at the Dahlonega Gold Museum. Prior to the California gold rush in 1849, thousands of gold seekers initially flocked into the Cherokee Territory, which began the nation's first major gold rush. The Dahlonega Courthouse Gold Museum offers visitors a look at the mining history of Georgia.Spend the afternoon exploring the heart of Georgia's Wine Country at several wineries. From classic European-styled wine to Southern delicacies, the abundant options are sure to offer something for everyone. A few of the best in the area include, the Blackstone Vineyard, Frogtown Cellars, Three Sisters Vineyards, Montaluce Estates and Wolf Mountain Vineyards. Along the way the wineries and if in season, make stops at one of the local orchards and farms to pick fresh blueberries and apples at either Black Mountain Forest Blueberry Farm or Hillcrest Orchards.

    Wolf Mountain Vineyards Dahlonega Chattahoochee National Forest drive georgia

    Day 4 - Georgia's Forests

    To end this fantastic tour, drive back up through the Chattahoochee National Forest. Enjoy the nature and stop on the way for a picnic.

    Chattahoochee National Forest map drive georgiageorgialogo


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