Entrepreneur Success: Safeguard Lock & Vault

Here in Blairsville-Union County, we take pride in our area’s unique affinity for fostering the perfect work/life balance. We offer all of the tools and amenities necessary for businesses to grow and expand without sacrificing all of the things families need to thrive and flourish. With features including tax incentives, a cutting edge fiber network for optimal internet performance, a wide variety of options for business locations, and much more, entrepreneurs and small business owners alike can set up shop in an area primed for growth. We’re also a tight-knit community that has just as much to offer a growing family as it does a growing business, like a top-rated school system, high-quality healthcare, and plenty of fun parks, festivals, and events for kids and parents alike to enjoy and explore.

Some businesses are built to be passed down from one generation to the next, and there’s no better place for “the family business” than Blairsville! One great example in our area is the Sherman family, the hardworking, but fun loving, family behind Safeguard Lock & Vault. Since the beginning of their business in Blairsville-Union County they have enjoyed serving the small businesses and residents nestled in this friendly community. Mrs. Jenny Sherman says “the business environment in Union County has allowed our business to flourish and it has been rewarding meeting new people and giving back to the community that has welcomed us with open arms.” Mr. Brad Sherman is proud to teach his trade to their son, Nick, and can’t think of a better place to raise his family and grow his business.

If you want to put down roots in a place where your family and your business can thrive, look no further than Blairsville! To learn more about starting or moving a business to Blairsville, contact the Chamber today at 877-745-5789 or visit



Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Blairsville

It’s impossible to walk in the woods and be in a bad mood at the same time. Fortunately for us, Union County has a plethora of hiking trails to choose from. You can choose from moderate trails like those in our beautiful Meeks Park, the new Nottely Dam Reservoir Trails, or the scenic trail down to Helton Creek Falls. You may also choose more strenuous hikes like the Duncan Ridge Trail, the Arkaquah Trail, or the Coosa Backcountry Trail. The most famed trail, The Appalachian Trail, also crosses through Union County at Woody Gap and Neel Gap. In fact, the only covered portion of the white blaze 2,181 mile trail passes right through the structure of Mountain Crossings at Walasi-Yi.

Blairsville-Union County was designated an Appalachian Trail Community in March of 2011. This designation recognizes our community as one that is committed to promoting and protecting the AT and are neighborly to those who trod the Trail. A core group of volunteers have been working hard on several projects including compiling a FREE Union County Hiking Guide, a FREE Union County History Guide, and most recently a project showcasing the History of the AT in North Georgia which is displayed on a kinetic sculpture at Mountain Crossings created by Blairsville’s own local artist, Al Garnto.

In preparation for the hiking season this spring, Mountain Crossings is preparing for their Thru Hiker Kick Off party on Saturday, February 25th and everyone is invited!  Festivities will include bluegrass music from 1 pm to 5 pm, a gear raffle, hot dogs on the grill with all the fixin’s, a S’more making station, face painting and a scavenger hunt for the kids, unique photo ops, gear rep booths and much more! Proceeds from the gear raffle go to funding the Appalachian Trail History Project in Union County as well as Disaster Relief Efforts in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevier County, Tennessee. Raffle tickets are only $10 and enter you into a chance to win gear or bundles of gear ranging from daypacks, t-shirts, Keen hiking shoes, water bottles, stickers and much, much more. Tickets can be purchased at Mountain Crossings in advance and on the day of the event or at the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce. Tip: car pool with your friends and family, parking is limited.

For more information about your business becoming an AT Community supporter or to pick up a Union County History or Hiking Trail Guide please stop by the Welcome Center located in the Union County Community Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road, call 706-745-5789, or visit us online at



Three Ingredients for the Perfect Romantic Weekend in Blairsville

With Valentine’s day coming up next week, now is the time to start planning your romantic mountain getaway in Blairsville, GA. Whether you are a couple seeking a relaxing spa day, or you’re looking to catch some outdoor action together, Blairsville has the right accommodations, activities and eats for you and your Valentine. We’ve put together a list of the top three things you need to ensure a romantic Valentine’s weekend.

A Romantic Retreat
Dotting the beautiful mountain scenery all throughout Blairsville are clusters of cozy cabins and relaxing resorts. For a romantic Valentine’s Day stay, we recommend the Your Home in the Woods Bed and Breakfast. Perfect for couples wishing to get off the grid for a few days, this B&B is the perfect place to curl up with a book and wish for snow, and of course, a delicious hot breakfast is provided. For couples seeking romantic scenery, the cabins at 2’s Company Farm Creek and Cabins have a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside making staying in or venturing out a sightseeing adventure.

A Relaxing Stay
After checking in, start to unwind and treat yourself to a spa day or wine tasting. Odom Springs Vineyards has a vast selection of award winning wines, perfect for an afternoon of sampling. Pamper yourself at Paradise Hills, Resort and Spa with a couples massage, and then enjoy their “Couples Crush Celebration” for a night of great music and delicious food. When you make your reservation with Paradise Hills, make sure to ask about the Touch of Romance package to make your stay even more special! The Copperhead Lodge also offers premier lodging and will be hosting a “Saxy” Valentine’s Day Special featuring saxphonist Michael Hulett.

Delectable Dining
Blairsville has great local restaurants for you to enjoy the perfect meal with your Valentine. For a warm breakfast, visit Hole in the Wall for delicious down-home cooking. Hole in the Wall is a Blairsville staple, and was even voted the No. 1 Cafe in the city. Come lunchtime, have a casual meal at the Aviator Cafe, and make sure to try one of their signature sandwiches or smoothies! To satisfy a sweet tooth, the G&G Bakery and Cafe has an assortment of fresh donuts and goodies to snack on. When evening rolls around, and it’s time for a more romantic atmosphere, we recommend Michalee’s Italian Life Caffe. This Italian restaurant is known for its flavorful pasta dishes and gourmet meals and is a perfect way to end your day of relaxation.  

Call 877-745-5789 or visit for more ideas and information on how to have the best romantic getaway possible in beautiful Blairsville, GA!

Photo Courtesy of Picky Peaches

Way to go, Hole in the Wall!

We love it when our members get great press, so congratulations to the Hole in the Wall restaurant on a fabulous write-up from Picky Peaches! The blog is a wonderful representation of the experience you get at the Hole in the Wall and there are some great photos as well. We definitely encourage you to check out the whole post, but here are some of our favorite excerpts to get you started…

“This downtown Blairsville landmark, which opened in 1931, is known for its down-home cooking and homemade pies. When we say down-home, we mean down home. Hearty side dish items include black-eyed peas, pinto beans, mashed potatoes, spiced apples, green beans, turnip greens, cornbread dressing and homemade biscuits.”

“If you’re a fan of Country Fried Steak, you don’t want to miss this one. It is absolutely delicious and so tender you can cut it with a fork. Order it with sawmill (white) gravy, which tastes like grandma’s and is obviously not from a powdered mix. It comes with your choice of two side dishes. We chose the mashed potatoes and the delicious turnip greens. The mashed potatoes are perfectly seasoned and made from real potatoes. The turnip greens were cooked perfectly and lightly seasoned with spices. If you’ve only had turnip greens that were boiled to death, using pork as a seasoning, and you didn’t like them, then we definitely encourage you to try these. They were delicious.”

“Since they serve homemade biscuits, we couldn’t resist giving one a try and we were so glad we did! It was fluffy, lightly browned and not doughy inside at all, like so many fluffy biscuits are. It’s a perfect complement to the sawmill gravy. You can order a biscuit on the side or sandwich style with bacon, eggs, cheese, ham, tomato, or sausage. No matter how you get it, we bet you’ll eat every bite.”

Check out the whole post here.


Sunrise-6 II-2_Credited

Top 5 Reasons to Move Your Business to Blairsville

Blairsville is a beautiful town and an ideal place for raising a family, growing a business and living the life you’ve always wanted. We are confident that whether you move your existing business or build a new one from the ground up, Blairsville can give you the people and resources you need to be successful. To help start your decision making process, we’ve put together a list of our top five reasons you should consider moving your business and family to Blairsville.

  1. Find Your Perfect Mix of Business and Pleasure
    There is an old adage that goes “If you do something you love, you never have to go to work a day in your life.” In Blairsville, we want our business owners to succeed in doing what they love as much as we want them to love the place they work. Blairsville has the infrastructure and workforce to accommodate your needs, as well as vast leisure activities and an exceptionally high quality of living – making your workplace feel more like a vacation destination. Watch this video to hear from local business owner, Chris Wadle, to see how relocation to Blairsville enabled him to pursue both his career aspirations and personal passions.
  1. Entrepreneurs Welcome Here
    We love new ventures in Blairsville and will work alongside you to assist in your business needs. Blairsville offers a low tax rate and helpful resources to start and grow your business. The Blairsville Chamber of Commerce can provide assistance to members with anything from advertising to professional development. Also, the Union County Development Authority provides extensive information about being an “Entrepreneur Friendly Community,” and even has a guide to help entrepreneurs with planning, financing, and licensing.
  1. Big City Benefits, Small Town Comforts
    For entrepreneurs looking to have all the benefits of a metropolitan area without all the stresses of city life, Blairsville is the ideal location. Just a two hour drive from Atlanta and three other major cities, Blairsville is close enough to several major cities to easily accommodate work you may have in those areas – without the long commutes and concrete jungles of urban areas.Business in Blairsville comes with a slower pace of life and tight-knit community without sacrificing modern technology. Blairsville has top of the line broadband services with a 100% fiber network, meaning your internet speed will be just as great in your Blairsville office as it would be in any major city. Blairsville can even accommodate call and data centers with ease.
  1. Blairsville is Family Friendly
    Blairsville has everything you need to grow your family. With a wide range of leisure activities and a top-rated school system and hospital, relocation for your family has never been easier. Your family can thrive in a community that strives to build up a future generation of leaders. Watch this video to hear from local business owner and mom, Ilke Lander, to hear how Blairsville has a focus on family.
  1. A Growing Tourism Industry
    The Georgia Department of Economic Development reported that tourism in Georgia is a $59 billion industry. Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, Blairsville has its own robust tourism industry that is continually growing and seeking new ways to increase visitors, thanks to the dedication of local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce. Blairsville has parks, trails, mountains, festivals, lakes, waterfalls, events, wedding venues, wineries, and many other exciting activities that attract thousands of visitors each year. As tourism continues to grow, so will your business and your outreach.

For more information on Blairsville or to look into opening your business in this friendly mountain town, visit


Dream Big in 2017!

What are your goals and dreams for this year? Are you looking to spend more time with your family, get outside, or be more active? Are your goals more business oriented, like lowering your overhead, improving your workforce, or growing more overall? The good news is that you can achieve both your family and business goals right here in Blairsville!

Perfect for Families
Blairsville-Union County is perfect for families! Why not live in your dream location knowing that your family has access to everything they need to grow and thrive? We’ve got everything the suburbs can offer you and more! Our top-rated school system can provide your children with an education that will equip them for the future and our award-winning hospital can handle all of your medical needs.

Aside from the lakes, trails, and mountains perfect for outdoor play, our incredible parks provide more chances for playing in the greater outdoors than you would ever have in the “big city”! There’s always something to do here, with many festivals and special events perfect for every member of the family. Our fantastic food scene has options to please every palate, from down-home southern to farm-to-table sophistication. You’d be hard-pressed to find a higher quality of life for you and your family anywhere else!

Business Friendly
Blairsville-Union County’s business friendly environment makes it easy to start, relocate, or open a new location. We want your business to grow and succeed, so you’ll find a host of helpful individuals and tons of great resources from the city, county, and chamber of commerce to help you get up and running. From paperwork to ribbon cutting and beyond, we’re here for you.

Blairsville-Union County has the resources to help your business thrive! Looking for the perfect location? We have a wide variety of locations available – from business parks and build-from-scratch to beautiful and historic downtown spaces, we can accommodate businesses of all sizes and industries. Need the right staff? Our skilled and qualified workforce is ready to start whenever you are. Need top-notch internet speeds? Our world-class broadband can handle just about anything. Proximity to big cities a must? Blairsville is centrally located to several southeastern hubs. We’re just a couple hours from cities like Atlanta, Greenville, Chattanooga, Charlotte, and more!

Make those dreams and goals a reality this year! Contact us to get the ball rolling on making 2017 the best year yet for your family and business!


Top 10 things to do in Blairsville-Union County for 2017

  1. Eat collard greens & black eyed peas
    After all, it’s a southern tradition. Eat these as your first meal for the New Year and you will increase your luck and prosperity for the year ahead. Let the Chamber connect you with local farmers so all your meals are sure to be fresh.
  2. Hike Brasstown Bald
    Experience the wonders of nature at 4,784 feet above sea level. Get your blood pumping and oxygen flowing through your lungs with this moderate difficulty 0.6 mile Summit hike.
  3. Wear a kilt at the Scottish Festival
    You don’t have to be Scottish to wear a kilt. Find out your tartan colors, enjoy the Highland Games and nosh on some Scottish delicacies the second weekend in June.
  4. Fly fish on the Nottely River
    Brown trout, rainbow trout, and native trout are abundant in our freshwater mountain streams. Stop by Southern Highroads Outfitter shop for some flies and a pole and head out to the headwaters of the Nottely River, Coopers Creek, or Rock Creek for premier trout fishing.
  5. Sip Moonshine
    You can’t visit the south without tasting our famous moonshine. Grandaddy Mimms’ moonshine recipe has been passed down through the generations since the days of prohibition. Swing by the moonshine museum and learn about the history of this beverage.
  6. Take a garden tour at GMREC
    Meander through a .25 mile loop of The Woodland Medicine Trail and discover numerous woodland wildflowers, herbs, fern and shrubs that were used extensively by Native Americans and early settlers. Then enjoy the Ethnobotanic Gardens containing plants that were harvested and often cultivated by early inhabitants of the region for medicinal, food, and craft uses.
  7. Get wet at Helton Creek Falls
    A rock slide for the kids and a veil of water to stand behind make Helton Creek Falls a must do activity for the young and young at heart. A short hike allows you to explore the beauty of both the upper and lower falls of Helton Creek.
  8. Enjoy some grits & boiled peanuts
    Highway 129 South hosts Logan Turnpike Mill and Sunrise Grocery, home to the best stone ground grits and world famous boiled peanuts, respectively. Grab a couple of bags of each and enjoy with your family and friends.
  9. Discover past & present ghosts
    History is alive in Union County. With abundant heritage tracking resources at the Union County Public Library, the Historic Courthouse on the Square, and a plethora of cemeteries, exploring your heritage back to the pre-Civil War era is a great way to connect with the past.
  10. Sop up some sorghum biscuits
    Nothing says Union County like the sweet smell of sorghum syrup cooking. Join the festivities of the Blairsville Sorghum Festival the second and third weekends in October for biscuit sopping, pole climbing, rock throwing, horseshoe throwing, and log sawing fun!

For more information about any of the above or various other activities available in Blairsville-Union County, please contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789, online at, or by visiting the Welcome Center inside the Union County Community Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road.


Christmas Services in Union County

Blairsville is a spiritually rich community where faith, worship and service are integral to daily life. There are a variety of churches in the area, each offering a unique worship experience and family programs to enhance your “church life.” If you’re looking to attend a Christmas Eve service in the area this year, we have a full roundup for your consideration. Here are a few options to help you choose the service that best fits your spiritual needs this holiday season.

All Saints Lutheran Church

All Saints Lutheran Church - LCMS

All Saints Lutheran Church – LCMS



Christmas Eve – 5pm, Traditional worship with holy communion and candlelight

Christmas Day – 10:25am, Traditional worship with holy communion



Coosa United Methodist Church

Coosa United Methodist Church

Coosa United Methodist Church

Christmas Eve Candle Light Service with Communion at 4pm





Fairview Baptist Church

Fairview Baptist Church

Christmas Day at 11am only






First Baptist Church of Blairsville

First Baptist Church of Blairsville

First Baptist Church of Blairsville

Christmas Eve Service at 5pm, dress is “come as you are” (casual)






First United Methodist Church of Union County

First United Methodist Church of Union County

First United Methodist Church of Union County

Christmas Eve – 5pm & 7pm

Christmas Day – 10am






Mountain Presbyterian Church

Mountain Presbyterian Church (USA)

Mountain Presbyterian Church (USA)

Christmas Eve – 8:00pm

Christmas Day – 11:00 am




New Life Family Church

New Life Family Church

New Life Family Church

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service – 5:00 pm

Christmas Day Communion Service at 10:30am







Shady Grove United Methodist Church

Shady Grove United Methodist Church

Shady Grove United Methodist Church

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 5pm








St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

Christmas Eve: Children’s Mass 4:30pm, Mass at 7pm

Christmas Day: Mass at 8:30 and 11:00am



Unity Church of The Mountains

Unity Church of the Mountains

Unity Church of the Mountains

Christmas Eve Service at 7pm all are invited for a fun filled casual service






For a full listing of area churches, please follow this link:




Christmas Lights & Displays

Every year, many of our friends and neighbors put a lot of time and effort into crafting the perfect Christmas light display at their home or business. If you and your family are looking for Christmas light displays to enjoy this year, we have properly stalked all our Facebook friends to pull together this list for you. If you have other locations, please share them with us!

Visit The Browns  and have your kids leave a letter for Santa! Take Old Blue Ridge Highway out past Mulkey Gap. Right on Ed King Road. Just before the solar panel field. Note: if you  leave a letter to Santa in the mailbox, you just might receive a reply!

Down the Old Blue Ridge Hwy. Near Reds gas station, you can find The Whites at 10806 Blue Ridge Hwy in Blairsville.

Check out the beautiful Nativity Scene at Stonehenge Assisted Living, located Hwy 129 North towards Murphy, about 7 miles north of Hwy 76/129 intersection.

Come and see Downtown all lit up On the Square & at Season’s Inn Plaza.

You’ll find lots of lights on Murphy Hwy, just past the Owen Glenn entrance.

There’s a beautiful display at The Duckworth’s. Go 129 south to Arkaqua Rd. and take a right on Gene Nix Rd.

Look out for the Jones’ great display located on Jones rd off of Mulkey Gap.

Don’t forget about the display at Meadows of Ivy Log off Hensen Rd.

Last, but not least – there’s the Sprayberry’s, located at 257 Windy Hill Rd. in Blairsville. It’s the 2nd street past Wendy’s on the left going towards Young Harris.

On certain nights, you just might see Santa at the Williams’ on Forge Mill Road off Hwy 515 across from Cucina Rustica.

Santa can be found on certain nights at Spur 60, between Mineral Bluff and NC State line.

Hiawassee/Young Harris:
Through the town of Hiawassee, but before the School, there are some fantastic displays on Bugscuffle Road. After you see Uhaul & Parker Oil, Bugscuffle is the next road on the left.

There’s a red glow on Scataway Road that’s worth checking out. About 5 minutes past the Towns County School, see sign for Mount Zion Church on left and follow the red glow. 

Be sure to visit the display at Panter House, located on the Towns County side of Gumlog.

For lights and much more, go to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds Mountain Country Christmas in Lights, Thur, Fri, Sat & Sun, 6-10 PM. Food, music, arts & crafts, hot chocolate and Santa. ($5 per person)

North Carolina:
On Hwy 75, just across the NC/Ga line, you’ll find the lovely display at Penlands.

There’s much to see on Harshaw Road,  near Cherokee Hills Golf Course.



Embrace the Cold

Blairsville-Union County, in the heart of North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of Georgia’s best kept secrets. Only a two- to three-hour drive from cities like Atlanta, Ga., Chattanooga, TN and Greenville, SC., it is worlds apart – an authentic pre-Civil War mountain community located deep in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest and enveloped in North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a setting that lends itself, beautifully, to plenty of outdoor adventures.

Almost anywhere you go in Union County, you’ll find a hiking trail. Visitors may choose easy routes through our picturesque Meeks Park or choose a hardcore trail that traverses streams, scales mountains and descends into deep gorges. The most famous trail in the area is the Appalachian trail. Accessible from several locations within Union County, the AT winds 80 miles through the Chattahoochee National Forest.

There is pure seduction to the outdoor pursuits of Blairsville-Union County; this Georgia gem is uncrowded, serene and overwhelmingly picturesque. From its high peaks to its green valleys to its verdant forests to its bubbling creeks and streams, Blairsville acts as a lightning rod for those who want an outdoors escape. Shadowed by Brasstown Bald – Georgia’s highest peak – and the ancient Blue Ridge brimming with Cherokee Indian lore, it’s easy to spend a few days exploring all there is do in this magical mountain town.

There is plenty to do in the mountains. Sometimes it’s challenging to motivate for outdoor fun when it is so chilly outside. However, being active outdoors is a great way to enjoy the mountains in a whole new way. Not only is it less crowded, but there are no bugs to contend with! To make the most of your outdoor fun and not be cold and uncomfortable, layer your clothing so you don’t wimp out and head back for the cabin. Here are a few ideas to keep you active during our winter months:

  1. Winter Hiking – There’s no better place to take in the beautiful mountain sky than from Georgia’s highest peak – Brasstown Bald.
  2. Winter Camping – Build a bonfire, roast some marshmallows, and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa.
  3. Winter Picnic by Helton Creek Falls – Take blankets, sandwiches, and hot soup in a thermos.
  4. Photo Expedition – Snow, ice, and the crispness that comes with freezing temperatures can add a new dimension to your photos.

Are outside activities not really your speed? No worries. Blairsville-Union County offers several options during the winter season for fun and entertainment.

  1. Made from scratch donuts and pastries, farm to table menu selections, and the best coffee bar in the mountains.
  2. Book a couples’ massage at one of our many luxurious spas.
  3. Visit the tasting room at our local moonshine distilleray or one of our two local farm wineries.
  4. Discover quaint shops on the 22-mile Artisan Corridor full of arts and craft shops, galleries, and boutiques.

Blairsville-Union County is a perfect location for destination weddings. There are multiple venues to choose from and the best part is your photos will have a backdrop of the beautiful North Georgia Mountains.

Learn more about all of the winter fun that awaits you in Blairsville, GA here!