Tag Archives: appalachian trail

fishing at vogel_credited

Spring Break Adventure Agenda

It’s Spring Break season, and there’s no better place for your spring break adventures than Blairsville-Union County! From exploring the Greater Outdoors to experiencing all of the food, culture, and shopping that Blairsville has to offer, we’ve got everything you need for the perfect spring break trip. Ready to book your mountain getaway? Great! Here are just a few things that should make your Spring Break Adventure Agenda…

Brasstown Bald
Get an unforgettable view of four states from Georgia’s highest peak. Learn more about Brasstown Bald here.

Vogel State Park
Enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, paddle boats, and more at Vogel. Learn more about Vogel State Park, and other parks in our area here.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Union County boasts the only covered portion of the famous Appalachian Trail. You can also hike to the peak of Blood Mountain or brave one of the many other connecting trails. Learn more about hiking and other outdoor activities in Blairsville-Union County here.

Disc Golf
Play 18 holes of Frisbee Golf at Meeks park’s excellent 18-hole course. Learn more here.

Eat Well
Dine at one of Blairsville’s many amazing restaurants. There’s something to please every palette, from traditional southern food to fine dining! Browse listings and see a map of restaurants in the area here.

Waterfalls
We have many waterfalls here in Blairsville-Union County, like Helton Creek Falls and Wolf Creek Falls, to name a few. Learn more about our waterfalls and where to find them here.

Horseback Riding
Riders of all ages and levels can experience the countryside on horseback. Find out more about riding and a listing of stables here.

Shop ‘til You Drop
Blairsville offers a unique shopping experience, from local artisans to designer duds! Plan your shopping trip here.

As you can see, Blairsville-Union County offers something for everyone! This little list is just the tip of the iceberg, so call us today at 877-745-5789 or visit us online to learn more about all the fun your family can get into over spring break!

 

Hiking3_credited

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 www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com.

 

Courtesy of Renee Deibert

Top 5 Spring Hikes in North Georgia

Courtesy of Renee Deibert

Courtesy of Renee Deibert

Looking for a fun getaway that doesn’t break the bank? Check out our list of the best North Georgia Hikes. These trails will take you to the most iconic parts of North Georgia – including the Appalachian Trail, Blood Mountain, and the highest point in the state, Brasstown Bald. Mountain top views, beds of wildflowers, and refreshing waterfalls make these Georgia hikes perfect for a spring weekend.

1. Three Trail Loop at Lake Winfield Scott, Slaughter Creek, Appalachian Trail
Lake Winfield Scott is a part of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. Surrounding the lake are many facilities and areas for a picnic lunch. The trail loop is 5.6 miles round trip and takes you across three separate trails providing for a variety of scenery, including creeks and wildflowers.

2. Byron Reece Trail at Neels Gap
This 1.35 mile trail goes through the lower elevation of Blood Mountain. The forest is beautiful in spring when blankets of vibrant ferns and flowers have bloomed. Small waterfalls and streams can be seen at the trailhead, while rhododendron and mountain laurels provide plenty of shade along the trail.

3. Helton Creek Falls
If you’re looking for a more relaxing day in the outdoors, consider Helton Creek Falls. With two picturesque waterfalls, it’s the perfect location to play in the water and cool off on a sunny spring day. The trail is a short 0.6 miles, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy the views at your leisure.

4. Arkaquah Trail
This trail will take you from Brasstown Bald near Union County to Track Rock Gap. At 11 miles, this trail is more difficult than the rest, but it does offer stunning views of the North Georgia mountains. At Track Rock Gap, you can spend some time exploring the archaeological site with more than 100 petroglyph symbols.

5. Jacks Knob Trail
This moderate trail is 4.5 miles point-to-point and begins at the Brasstown Bald Visitors Center. You can take the trail all the way to the top of Brasstown or head south towards Jacks Gap and the Appalachian Trail at Chattahoochee Gap. While steep at times, this trail offers great views.

Welcome to Union County!

Blairsville, the county seat of Union county Georgia, has something for everyone and each season you will find something new! Here you will find a town filled with southern hospitality and breathtaking landscape! Blairsville is an idyllic setting to raise a family or enjoy your hard earned retirement. We welcome you to discover “U” in Union county!

For families, vacationers, locals, and retirees alike, Blairsville is host to many fairs, craft shows, and festivals through out the year! The creative spirit soars proudly in this mountain town and you will discover handmade crafts by local artisans, the perfect quilt, and a wide variety of rustic furniture. A special treat in the summer is at the local farmer’s market where you can find a huge assortment of fresh produce, local honey and jellies, and fresh flowers!

Outdoor adventurers and nature lovers will find an abundance of activities to enjoy while you escape the big city hustle and bustle. Take advantage of a wide variety of water sports on one of our three pristine lakes, Nottely, Winifred Scott, and Lake Trahlyta located in Vogel State Park. Enjoy a picnic on top of Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia. Hike the foothills of the Appalachian Trail, or brave Blood Mountain on motorcycles and road bikes. Experience first hand the natural beauty and abundant wildlife while you fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and let go of your everyday stresses!

Blairsville is a perfect example of the past meeting the present in perfect harmony. We boast of exceptional schools, a wonderful sense of community, and a thriving local economy. With a rich mountain heritage you will enjoy bluegrass concerts, unique crafts, and a good old fashioned glass of sweet tea!

Union County Georgia is an idyllic environment to live, play, and conduct business! If you are looking to relocate or just need an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, you will discover everything you need right here! There are plenty of seasons and plenty of reasons to explore Blairsville and Union County. Let us help you plan your visit today!

Exploring The Appalachian Trail In Georgia

The lovers of hiking would also love to agree that the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, commonly known as the AT, is the most famous hiking trail in the world. It forms the Triple Crown of long distance hiking in the United States along with the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.

The 2,174 miles that stretches through fourteen states of the US has remained a favorite among both passionate and casual hikers. The northern terminus of the AT rests in Maine and the southern terminus is in the fascinating state of Georgia. In between, unfolds one of the most enticing trails in the world that takes one through breathtaking natural beauty and is the home to a few rare animal and plant species.

Typically, hikers prefer hiking the trail from North Georgia to Maine than vice-versa and most commonly begin in March or April. They are known as the ‘north-bounders’ or NOBO and also GAME (Georgia(GA)-to-Maine(ME)) while those taking the opposite direction are known as SOBO or MEGA. Thirty trail clubs and multiple partnerships maintain the trail, which is managed by the National Park Service and the nonprofit organization known as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

The state of Georgia houses seventy-five miles of the trail, which includes the southern terminus at Springer Mountain that stands at an elevation of 3,280 feet. The long winding trail that begins eight miles north of the Amicalola Falls is literally a journey through North Georgia’s macrocosm of natural history. Through mountains like Blood, Trey, and Big Cedar and gaps like Addis, Neels, and Woody, The Appalachian Trail promises a whole new world when in this part of North Georgia.

Although there are many individual favorites of the hikers taking this route, most concede that the Blood Mountain is definitely one of the most-loved places in the long trail. The name still brings to the mind thoughts of a battle that was fought between the Cherokee and the Creek Indians. But history is not the only appeal of the Blood Mountain. It is also the highest peak on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and the sixth highest spot in the entire state. The Blood Mountain is a part of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains where one finds the most amazing variety of temperate climate plants in the world. The species that thrive in the northern US blends with their southern kin right here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The winters clad most of the trail with snow. But with the arrival of spring, the whiteness all around melts away bringing a world of colorful flora and fauna to life. Wildflowers such as the bloodroot, trillium, and azalea can be found most commonly in the region. And summers brings with them the laurel and rhododendron.

But what brings the North Georgia Appalachian Trail to life during the warmer months are not the motley collection of known and unknown plants but hikers who give the trail a new identity every day through their undaunted spirit and thirst for adventure.

Union County Georgia is a great place to stay during your vacation to hike the Appalachian Trail and explore its extravagant beauty.

Checking Out North Georgia and the Appalachian Trail

Step away from the stress of everyday life and take a trip back to enjoy the beauties of nature’s creation by visiting North Georgia in Union County. This area is filled with many gorgeous picturesque areas with many opportunities to enjoy a family vacation or even a weekend getaway. Being one with nature and basking in all of its glory is a true experience especially when exploring the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail that goes through the North Georgia area is only a mere portion of the trail itself. The trail actually crosses over fourteen different states and at least sixty different national and state parks. Over seventy-six miles of the trail goes through Georgia. People who want to hike the Appalachian Trail have many different areas in the Union County area to camp out and take in all of the nature that the trail has to offer.

Not only are there winding pathways, gorgeous trees towering overhead, and mountains in the panoramic view, but there is also opportunities to see several natural species of wildflowers and animals in their natural protected habitat. Winding trails branch off of the Appalachian and the views from different areas of the trail offer views of the Blue Ridge Mountains that are spectacular. Hundreds of smaller nature trails branch off into various directions so it is a good idea to take a map.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia is a paradise and dream excursion. At some points it may even be tougher than the average hiker typically would experience. The hike in itself will be tough work on even the most athletic of all climbers but the up and down peaks on the trail is an absolute site to be seen. There are places on the trail that could bring tears to one’s eye because it can be hard to fathom nature in all of its glory.

There are cascading waterfalls in the depths of the forest. The Appalachian Trail itself even has a rich cultural history from when there was a gold rush so many years ago. There were also several battles of the Civil War fought on this trail, changing history books in the United States forever.

If an avid fisherman is in tow, there are also several areas where people can cast a line and wait to get a bite in one of the many lakes and streams on the Appalachian Trail. The Blue Ridge Mountains are near Lake Conasauga and it is the highest lake in Georgia, resting at least 3,000 feet above sea level.

Throughout the year, one great draw to the area of Blairsville, Georgia, are the numerous hikes on the Appalachian Trail that encourages hikers to come and go on various hikes in groups. These are typically put on by the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club. There are also accommodations and camping sites that are nearby so that everyone can get geared up for the experience of their life on the North Georgia Appalachian Trail.