Blairsville-Union County, in the heart of North Georgia, ’s the Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of the state’s best-kept secrets. Only a two- to three-hour drive from cities like Atlanta, Ga., and Greenville, S.C., 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.
Beloved by water babies for its pristine bodies of water, Blairsville is home to the 18-acre Lake Winfield Scott in Suches and the 4,180-acre Lake Nottely, with each offer boating, swimming, fishing, picnicking, hiking, and camping, not to mention Lake Nottely’s 106 miles of shoreline. Vogel State Park – one of Georgia’s oldest, most popular state parks – has a 20-acre lake and swimming beach plus hiking trails. And Helton Creek Falls has two beautiful falls set in Blairsville’s deep hardwood forest with a total drop of 100 feet.
Hikers can explore the Appalachian Trail. Mountain bikers can head off into the trails of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Golfers can challenge themselves on the varied and rolling terrain of one of several golf courses. Campers will enjoy lots of elbow room in wooded campgrounds beneath a sky studded with stars.
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 outdoor 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 to do in this magical mountain town.
TIP: Blairsville has nearly two dozen festivals and events, scheduled from April through December. See the list at VisitBlairsvilleGA.com.
Includes Cities/Towns: Blairsville, Morganton.
Cost of Living for Northeast Georgia Mountains, GA
Northeast Georgia Mountains, Georgia cost of living for Housing, Healthcare, Transportation, Taxes, Utilities, etc:
Things to Do, Recreation & Fitness
Water-babies! Getting wet is only half the fun at Lake Nottely. Whether you like just enjoying nature, fishing, swimming, picnicking, camping, or boating (The secret’s in the access – it has two marinas and several public boat ramps), you’ll love Lake Nottely with its 106-mile shoreline and 4,180 acres.
Park it! It’s nearly impossible to visit Union County without visiting Vogel State Park – it’s a centerpiece for the community. In addition to those miles of hiking trails within the park’s nearly 300 acres, there are also swimming beaches, picnic shelters, and dramatic mountain views. Meeks Park and Poteete Creek Park and Campground round out a nice assortment of picturesque places to play.
Go jump in a lake! Lake Winfield Scott near the community of Suches features a crystalline 18-acre lake complete with picnicking, camping, swimming, and well, you get the idea. If it’s outdoors, it’s here.
Go take a hike! Really, go take a hike. Blairsville is smack in the midst of the verdant, towering Chattahoochee National Forest and the Appalachian Trail the Grand Poobah of all hiking trails meanders through it at several points within Union County. Vogel State Park, one of Georgia’s crown jewels in the entire state park system, also features 17 miles of hiking trails. Nearly two dozen additional trails crisscross the county among Georgia’s most spectacular scenery.
Polish the brass! Brasstown Bald its summit was once treeless but no more – lies partially in Union County, and those nearly mile-high views are worth a climb. Not quite up to the challenge of hiking? Take a shuttle bus. You might not get the bragging rights of hiking Brasstown Bald, but no matter. It’s still the top view in all of Georgia, plus it has a rich Cherokee history full of legend and lore.
Get teed off! With several golf courses carved into the naturally rolling terrain, playing the links in Union County is challenging yet enjoyable at the likes of Butternut Creek Golf Course, Old Union Golf Course, Brasstown Valley Golf Club, or Cherokee Hills Golf Course.
Giddy-up, cowboy, and cowgirl! Bring your own horse or rent an equestrian ride at one of several stables, but either way, horseback riding along the wildflower-and-woods trails of Union County is one of the best ways to “hoof it” and see the countryside.
Take a shower! Under a waterfall, that is. Fewer sounds on Earth have the ability to mesmerize and cleanse the soul as a waterfall, so plan a day to visit local favorites such as Helton Creek Falls, Wolf Creek Falls at Vogel State Park, DeSoto Falls, and Raven Cliff Falls.
So this is paradise! Noontootla Creek Farms, west of Blairsville, has earned its moniker of “outdoor sportsman’s paradise.” Quail hunt, trout fish, or sporting clay shoot to your heart’s content. Afterward, stay over at their Farm House Lodge for a restful night’s sleep.
Channel Indiana Jones! Become an archaeologist for a day at Trackrock Archaeological Area by trying your hand at deciphering the petroglyphs of early Indian origins. Study the carvings resembling animal and bird tracks, crosses, circles, and even human footprints.
Shopping for designer jewelry, original oil or Giclée paintings, magical dwellings in miniature and skeins of alpaca yarn may seem more Big City than rural mountain community, but these treasures and more may be found along the 22-mile artisan corridor in Blairsville, GA.
Blairsville is home to a thriving arts community that encompasses a former Disney artist who now constructs fairytale houses that are pure whimsy, a nationally renowned “kinetic” sculptor who creates with recycled materials, a gallery owner with a penchant for green-minded artists – even herds of alpacas whose fleece goes into some of the softest, most luxurious yarn your fingers will ever feel.
All have found their way to this town of approximately 700 people perched in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. Distinguished by the peaks and valleys of the surrounding mountains, pristine lakes and streams, the twin cascades of Helton Creek Falls, and winding country roads marked in one spot with mysterious petroglyphs, Blairsville remains at heart an authentic pre-Civil War mountain community – in spite of its burgeoning artistic savvy.
Along the artisan corridor, visitors discover art galleries, working artist studios and boutiques, and quirky general stores showcasing local crafts, everything from functional to fashionable, charming to exquisite. What you won’t find are any made-in-China labels; Blairsville is a community that loves its handcrafted character. At Sundance Gallery, for instance, owner Lynne Sapp actively seeks handmade jewelry, pottery, basketry, metal art, soaps, and fragrances – even candles that not only look like works of art but are smokeless, scentless, and sootless. And if the items are crafted from recycled materials, such as copper and sterling silver jewelry, all the better.
Union General is a modern 45-bed hospital that sits on a 71 acre-medical campus that is home to a dialysis clinic, a cancer treatment center, a rural health clinic and a 112-bed nursing home. There’s also a 20,000 square foot wellness center that’s open to the public, as well as numerous specialist offices fanned out across the property.
Monthly Temperatures / Rainfall
With four distinct seasons changing Blairsville’s rolling landscape – colorful spring, verdant green summer, blazing autumn, and white winter, this authentic pre-Civil War community lives up to its promise: “Each Season Something New.”
Natural Disaster Areas
Senior Housing Options
One of the charms of Union County is that it accommodates so many styles of living – from rustic and remote to in-town and convenient. Take a leisurely drive through our country roads and you’ll discover charming neighborhoods, soaring mountain properties, and even amenity-rich communities that include golf, tennis, and swimming.
Here, you can wake to million-dollar long-range views from a mountaintop perch, or savor the charm of waterfront living with a home on the lake or alongside a clear running creek.
Well-appointed independent living communities with maintenance-free, single-level cottages or apartments are one option for retirees. Assisted living, nursing, and personal care facilities are also available.
Senior Assistance in Northeast Georgia Mountains, GA
Northeast Georgia Mountains, Georgia offers the following assistance for seniors.
Blairsville-Union County is an ideal location for laid back retirement living. In fact, almost a third of our residents are age 60 and older. There’s always something going on at the Union County Senior Center where you can enjoy favorite activities or discover new ones. Companies are available that offer errand, transportation and home-care services to seniors who desire to remain in the comfort and privacy of their own home.
Job or Volunteer Opportunities
A wide array of resources for both employment and volunteer opportunities are available at the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce. Email [email protected] for more information.