There’s a whole mountain of adventure waiting for you in Blairsville-Union County! Located just a short drive north from Atlanta, it’s your base camp for adventure in the heart of the North Georgia Mountains. Here, you’ll find Georgia’s highest point, Brasstown Bald, as well as stunning waterfalls, pristine mountain lakes, the Appalachian Trail and Vogel State Park. There are also enough festivals, fairs and cultural attractions to keep you busy for a “month of Sundays.”

Brasstown Bald

Brasstown Bald, rising 4,784 feet above sea level, is Georgia’s tallest mountain. Its incredible 360-degree view allows you to see Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina on a clear day. The site features a unique gift shop and a visitor center that focuses on Georgia history, geology and the natural world. Open daily from 10am-5pm May-November (December-April as weather allows). To get there, take a ride on the Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Byway as it winds through the valleys and mountain gaps of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. (cfaia.org or fs.usda.gov)

Lake Nottely

A 4,180-acre lake with 106 miles of shoreline, Lake Nottely provides opportunities for boating, swimming, fishing, picnicking and camping. Two marinas and several public boat ramps provide access to the lake. Poteete Creek Park & Campground, a 95-acre facility located on the shores of Lake Nottely, provides 59 campsites. Campers and day visitors alike can enjoy fishing, picnicking and swimming at the sandy beach area. (tennesseerivervalleygeotourism.org)

Meeks Park

This one-of-a-kind recreation area is the jewel of Union County and the envy of others. Blairsville’s version of Central Park includes miles of trails and two meandering rivers (Nottely River and Butternut Creek). It has everything from a pool and kid’s “splash pad” to an 18-hole disc golf course, skateboard park and baseball fields. You’ll also find picnic tables, pavilions, playgrounds, tennis courts, a basketball court, dog park, a restored grist mill, a kinetic sculpture exhibit, and a canoe/kayak launch pad. Meeks Park is also home to the Scottish Festival & Highland Games, the 4th of July fireworks, the Butternut Creek Festival and the Sorghum Festival. (www.unioncountyga.gov)

Wineries & Distilleries

Odom Springs Vineyards (odomspringsvineyards.com) and Paradise Hills Resort & Spa (paradisehillsresort.com) are two of the farm wineries that grow, process and serve their grapes to you by the glass or by the bottle. Grandaddy Mimms Distillery (grandaddymimms.com) is your stop for moonshine, or old-fashioned “white lightening.” Musician and owner Tommy Townsend bottles his moonshine using his granddaddy’s recipe.

Union County Historic Courthouse

Located on the Square in quaint downtown Blairsville, this Romanesque brick and granite structure built in 1899 now serves as a local history museum. A portion of the famed Margarita Morgan Miniature Collection, a restored law office, Civil War artifacts, and the nearby Mountain Life Museum including the Payne Cabin are all part of the Historical Society’s features. In addition, free Friday night concerts of bluegrass, country and gospel music are held in the restored courtroom from May-October. (unioncountyhistory.org)

Union County Farmers Market

One of the largest and most popular farmers markets in North Georgia, the Union County Farmers Market’s theme is “Homegrown and Handmade.” Since 2007, the market has showcased local farmers selling produce, as well as artisans, beekeepers, bakers, potters and painters selling handmade goods. A state-of-the-art canning plant is also available for public use. The market is open June-October, Tuesdays from 2pm-6pm and Saturdays from 7am-1pm. On Friday morning from 8am-1pm, Trash & Treasures hosts the largest yard sale around. (ucfarmersmarket.com)

Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center

The GMREC is located 3 miles south of Blairsville on Hwy 19/129. The site includes 415 acres of orchards, test plots, pasture land, specimen and preservation gardens, historic sites and forests, as well as a native plant ethnobotanic garden, woodland medicine trail and multi-use interpretive center. As part of the University of Georgia, the center is used by faculty to conduct ongoing research and education projects. In addition, there are environmental education programs for both adults and children. Tours of the ethnobotanic gardens are held on Mondays, May-September (except holidays). gmrec.uga.edu)

Reece Heritage Farm

Take in the history of early Appalachian living from famous farmer, teacher and poet, Byron Herbert Reece (1917-1958). The site features a gift shop, museum, farming exhibits, a poetry trail, amphitheater, picnic pavilion and the legacy of Reece. The Reece Farm is open Wednesday-Saturday, April-November. (unioncountyga.gov)

Helton Creek Falls

Actually a pair of falls tucked away in a lovely rhododendron grove in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The lower falls drops over a 30-foot-ledge, tumbling into a pool below. The second, upper falls drops at least 60 feet, ending in a large “pool” area perfect for swimming. The approach trail includes a well-maintained stairway and an observation platform accessed via an easy .2-mile hike. (fs.usda.gov)

Vogel State Park

One of Georgia’s oldest and most popular state parks, Vogel offers tent and camping sites, rental cottages, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) museum, a 22-acre lake, miniature golf, swimming beach, picnic shelters, pedal boats and 17 miles of hiking trails. Located directly below Lake Trahlyta in Vogel State Park is a stepping-stone waterfall that cascades 40 feet. The trail is a short but steep 1-mile loop. (gastateparks.org/vogel)

Walasi-Yi Interpretative Center

A historical stone structure completed by the CCC in 1937 marks the only covered portion of the Appalachian Trail’s 2,192-mile journey. Here at Neel Gap off Hwy. 129, you can access the AT and hike to scenic Blood Mountain. You’ll also find Mountain Crossings, a hiking and outdoor retailer and Appalachian Trail gift store. (mountaincrossings.com)

Suches and Lake Winfield Scott

The “Valley Above the Clouds” is home to Woody Gap School, Georgia’s smallest public school (serving K-12). The windy mountain roads make for a beautiful fall drive, and provide access to the Appalachian Trail, Cooper Creek Recreation Area, the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery and the Toccoa River at the Deep Hole Campground. Nearby, Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area is home to a quiet, 18-acre lake with a sandy beach for swimming, a free-standing pier for fishing, plus hiking, camping and picnicking. The park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. (cfaia.org or fs.usda.gov)