North Georgia Mountains - Waterfalls, Vistas, & Wineries

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. giradman

    giradman
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    Susan & I just returned from a 5-night stay in the mountains of northern Georgia (GA) just below the North Carolina state border (maps below show our 4+ hour drive) - we stayed at the Brasstown Valley Resort which is near Young Harris, GA - spanning the NC/GA border is a dammed mountain lake called Chatuge Lake w/ finger-like extensions into the valleys between the mountains - very typical of these water bodies. Although we've been to the North Carolina, Virginia, & West Virginia mountains numerous times, this was our first visit into the mountains of Georgia, which is about a two hour drive north from Atlanta, the state capital & largest city.

    The Brasstown Resort is a beautiful place (see pics below - surrounded by mountains w/ a top rated golf course and spa - Susan went one morning, and I to the exercise room!). Much of the the furniture style is of the rustic type (see quote below - Source), i.e. natural wood materials (sticks, branches, etc.) - very typical for many of these mountain lodges and resorts. The grounds are well landscaped w/ shrubs, flowers, etc. (next two pics below my own). The lobby is timber-framed and rises to 3-4 floor levels w/ a huge stoned fireplace extending to the top - large antler chandeliers grace the area - I sat there each night w/ a draft local beer looking up - probably a half dozen people could fit into the hearth of that fireplace.

    Further posts will cover the many attractions in the area (many of which we are too old to do!) - please contribute if you've been or live in the area and ask questions (now, as a first visitor, I'm not an expert!) - Dave :)

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  2. scifan57

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    That's a wonderful resort, very different from cookie cutter designed chain hotels. That lobby is a tourist attraction in it's own right.
     
  3. giradman

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    Hi Scifan.. - as usual, you're the first to respond to my 'new' travelogue - this one will be quite different from that on the Civil War - :)

    The lobby is amazing - I put some arrows on the location of our room in the same pic of the lodge below - we were on the 4th floor - the top of the lobby was even higher and that stone fireplace went to the very top in a tapered appearance.

    I love rustic furniture being an amateur woodworker - takes a LOT of vision and skill to grab a bunch of sticks, branches, and logs and put together a wonderful piece of furniture - I could look up and post some images but for those interested, just google 'rustic furniture' and click on images - I've not gotten into that genre of making furniture but enjoy the imagination - our beds in the room had headboards of bent branches that made you feel like sleeping in a tree house (well, kind of - ;)) - Dave :)
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  4. giradman

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    Appalachian Mountains

    Just a brief post for those who may not have a knowledge of the Appalachian Mountains running along the east coast of the North American continent from Canada into the state of Alabama - below an introductory quote (Source) that nicely discusses the features and attractions of these mountains.

    The map below shows the extent of these ancient mountains - note their most southerly position in the states of Georgia (GA) & Alabama - the location of the Brasstown Resort is roughly at the position of the arrow point, so Susan and I were @ the tail end of this chain. Now, some would claim that these are not really mountains - BUT, considering their age (250-450 million years) and the amount of erosion over the eons, they were as majestic in their youth as the Rockies out west whether in Canada or America - their lower and rounded appearance topped w/ green trees is a beauty onto its own - think of islands of broccoli popping up all over the land! :)

    Relative to the above, these mountains are not as high as those out west or in other parts of the world - the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River is Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina (about a 2 hour drive from our home) - height is 6,684 ft above sea level (I've shown pics of this mountain in my NC mountain travelogue - take a look). We took a trip to the 'highest' mountain in Georgia (about 2,000 ft less than Mitchell) and will post later. Below are just some images of mine from previous trips to the North Carolina mountains - enjoy. Dave :)

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    #4 giradman, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  5. scifan57

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    Those views are magnificent. Are there any local hiking trails?
     
  6. giradman

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    Oh, there are hundreds of trails available in the mountains of varying length & difficulty - and each location has a number of options - e.g. at the Brasstown Resort that we just visited, there were about a half dozen different trails and a connection to the lower end of the famous Appalachian Trail that extends from Maine to where we were near; over 2000 miles if you want a long hike! We've never been on that trail and most of our 'elderly' hikes have been in the 'several' miles range (we had a good one last year at the Stonewall Jackson Resort in West Virginia - another travelogue in this forum).

    There are numerous books on mountain trails in various states in the mid-Atlantic area (and likely further north); we have a half dozen related to trails and/or waterfalls. For those who may be hikers and want to visit this area of the USA, I would suggest traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway (starts in Charlottesville, VA and ends in Cherokee, NC; 469 miles length) and obtaining a book or two on trails off the parkway - there are just innumerable options - a good book will describe the length & difficulty of the trails, the latter important to consider depending on one's hiking experience - Dave :)

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  7. scifan57

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    thanks for the very informative answer. I had no idea that there were so many trails available. One could easily spend several years hiking them all.
     
  8. giradman

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    One of our favorite mountain 'get aways' (only 90 minutes from home) is the wonderful town of Blowing Rock, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and near Boone, North Carolina. We always take a few walks around Bass Lake (paved and flat but beautiful mountain scenes and views of the Moses Cone Mansion up on the hill- discussed in my NC mountain travelogue) - there are a number of more difficult and longer trails that come off the lake loop.

    Shortly down the Parkway is the Julian Price Lake (part of a much larger memorial park of the same name) - a couple of pics below of the lake from the web - there is a 2.5 mile loop hike around the lake rated as 'easy', which we've done several times, the last hike was a half dozen years ago (below Susan & I ready to start!) - not sure that she would want to try that one again (both of us now being almost 70 y/o) - but for the younger and more experienced, there are much more strenuous and longer options, some involving climbing rocks and the use of ropes and ladders. Dave :)
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  9. giradman

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    Blue Ridge, Georgia & the Scenic Railway

    On our first full day, we drove to Blue Ridge, GA - about 45 minutes from the Brasstown Resort (first map below - red pin) to take a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway - for those who love riding trains, more are becoming available in many of the mountain areas that we visit - some have been rather boring while others more scenic and varied - this one was in the latter category; below are a few of my own images of the Railroad Depot in Blue Ridge (a quaint touristy mountain town now) and one of two diesel locomotives - multiple options for a seat are available from 'open' cars to their premier air-conditioned cars w/ amenities (limited to adults and 18 year olds or above, i.e. no screaming kids - guess which option we picked - ;)).

    The overall trip was 4 hours - an hour along the Toccoa River (which is renamed the Ocoee River at the GA-Tennessee border where the twin towns of McCaysville, GA & Copperhill, TN are located), then 2 hours in the twin towns for lunch and shopping, and finally an hour back to Blue Ridge; below, a view of the train on its way to the 'twin towns' - our car was in the back going and then up front coming back driven by the other locomotive.

    In the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the white water events were held on the Ocoee River at the Ocoee Whitewater Center (map below) - introductory quote also (from the link). Numerous water activities are available on the rivers (kayaking, canoeing, tubing, etc.) and on the lakes - I was planning on renting a motor boat but the weather was unusually hot, i.e. in the low 90s (F) most days. But if you are into these water activities and mountain hiking, then these mountains are certainly a destination if you're in the area. Dave :)

    P.S. the river levels are controlled by several dams - we started out at 11 AM and the Toccoa River was low, but on the way back the gates were released at the dams and the water had risen w/ many more boaters and tubers on the river.

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  10. scifan57

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    Sounds like you're having a wonderful time. The scenery is great. It's just the type of trip I'd like to take myself.
     

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