Gateway to the North Georgia Mountains
Forget those Georgia stereotypes of antebellum mansions and peach orchards. There’s an area of Georgia known for its rolling green hills, waterfalls and simpler way of life. The southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains fade off into foothills in northern Georgia, about 60 miles north of Atlanta. Seek the back roads, stroll through antique shops in small towns and enjoy the natural beauty of the North Georgia Mountains region.
Go for the Gold, Stay for Much More
Although the Gold Rush Days have come to a close, hopeful prospectors still come to the town of Dahlonega, site of North America’s first major gold rush. Grab a pan and wade into a river to try your luck at finding sparkling flakes. Even if you don’t find any riches, you’ll have a rich time soaking in the ambience and history of this charming small town.
This region is home to another kind of precious gem: the wine grape. Dahlonega is the heart of Georgia’s Wine Country, with dozens of vineyards and wineries blanketing the rolling hills. Enjoy a taste of local vintages, with scenic views and a good dose of Southern hospitality. Wrap up your visit by relaxing at a spa, finding unique wares at the local shops and getting outdoors to enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
A Wealth of Waterways
On warm summer days, the creeks and rivers of North Georgia fill with brightly colored inner tubes as people hit the water to escape the heat. Paddlers and whitewater rafters are invited to join in the fun. The Chattahoochee, Toccoa and Chestatee Rivers are top picks. Anglers will also find the region bursting with appealing waterways. If you toss a line in a cool mountain creek or river, you’ll likely pull out a fat trout for dinner. Popular lakes for boating and fishing include Lake Blue Ridge, Lake Nottely and Carters Lake.
Where Mountains and Water Meet
Where there are mountains, there are often waterfalls, and the North Georgia Mountains do not disappoint. Start with the state’s tallest falls with a visit to Amicalola Falls State Park, where a 729-foot torrent of water plunges over a rocky hillside. Hiking, archery, ziplines and adventure courses are part of the fun.
For more magnificent scenery and recreation, visit Tallulah Gorge State Park on Georgia’s eastern border. Peer into the depths of the 1,000-foot gorge, hike trails to six waterfalls and, if you’re feeling brave, walk across the 80-foot suspension bridge. The Appalachian Trail crosses the park. Hike a section just to say you experienced the famous trail.
A Taste of the Alps in Appalachia
As you wind your way through the back roads of the Georgia Mountains, you might just stumble upon a Bavarian village. The small town of Helen has mandated that all buildings be constructed in a signature alpine architectural style. You’ll even find cobblestone streets.
For More Information
Towns County Chamber of Commerce
Georgia Department of Economic Development