The foothills of Georgia is one of my and Joan’s favorite places to visit. We especially enjoy this time of the year with these low lying mountains and valleys painted in vibrant yellow, orange and red. With the threat of heavy rains forecasted for this weekend, we took off with camera in hand to see the sites.
Off we go to make a day of the northwestern loop. Using Leisure Acres Campground in Cleveland as our home base, we started our trip toward Tallulah Falls traveling the back roads through Clarksville. Beautiful rolling hills, farms and the leaves did not disappoint.
We continued our travels to Tallulah Falls. What an interesting place. Turning off Highway 441 onto Tallulah Gorge Scenic Loop you arrive at this deep gorge 1,000 feet deep and two mile long. This area has an interesting history including the Great Karl Wallenda who tight walked the gorge in the 1970’s. You can barely see the river at the bottom of the gorge. Unfortunately, power generation has significantly reduced the river water flow, but the fall beauty remains.
A stop along the way must include the Tallulah Point Overlook. This quirky place offers an unobstructed observation deck along with crafts and the junk food we baby boomers remember from our elementary years. We took a few minutes to soak in these sites and enjoy the delicacy of fried peanuts (that’s right fried) and a refreshing Nehi peach soft drink.
For those who are more adventurous, the Tallulah Gorge State Park is a few miles north offering a visitors center and numerous day trails. Sadly, time didn’t permit the trails on this trip and we continued north toward Clayton.
Before your reach Clayton, take a few minutes and stop at Goat’s Farmers Market. This eclectic spot is quite entertaining with a café, ice cream, fudge, furniture, crafts and goats. Not your regular goats, but real, live goats on the roof. We continued to Clayton for a quick lunch and a decision, north toward Franklin or east to Hiawassee. Wanting to see the turning leaves more than what the Clayton had to offer, we flipped a coin and Highway 76 toward Hiawassee won.
This highway takes you through the rising hills and valleys of Blackrock Mountain State Park. This mostly uninterrupted landscape provides incredible views. About half way between Clayton and Hiawassee, is a small parking area providing views that stretch to the North Carolina Smokey’s. This is one of those places where every other word heard is “Wow”! Click on the picture to the right to get a better view this beautiful place.
Running out of sun, we wanted to continue our trek back to our RV with a quick loop through Hiawassee and State Road 76 to Helen. This winding road with its sharp curves and switch backs contained more of Nature’s landscape that we expected for the day. With the sun setting, we skipped a stop in Bavarian themed Helen for another day and return to the RV.
One final note. The following day we took another beautiful route north on Highway 29 through the picturesque Richard B. Russell Parkway. More hand painted vistas along these winding roads. Returning south of Blairsville on Highway 29, this trek has much to offer visiting Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s highest peak, striking Unicoi State Park, Helton Falls and Desoto Falls along with a stop at Neel’s Gap one of the Appalachian Trail crossing points.
The two days were perfect, color everywhere, a mid-week trip with little traffic and the treat to see God’s creation during this special time of the year.
I love RV life. Jerry
Tallulah Gorge State Park – http://gastateparks.org/TallulahGorge
Goats on the Roof – http://www.goats-on-the-roof.com/
Tallulah Point Overlook – https://www.facebook.com/tallulahpoint/