Located in the heart of North Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains
Blairsville-Union County, Georgia
Blairsville-Union County Georgia, located in the heart of North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is an authentic pre-Civil War mountain community. From its high peaks and green valleys to its bubbling creeks and waterfalls, it is a lightning rod for those who want an outdoor escape. You will find hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, water sports on Lakes Winfield Scott, Nottely, and Trahlyta as well as hunting and fishing.
This family-friendly community hosts nearly two dozen festivals and events each year including a Scottish Festival and Highland Games, Sorghum Festival, and Mountain Heritage Festival and free Friday Night Concerts at the Historic Courthouse. Art galleries, arts and crafts shopping, restaurants, and accommodations from primitive campgrounds to rustic and luxurious cottages and cabins are available.
The only covered portion of the Appalachian Trail passes through Neel Gap next to Blood Mountain providing easy access to day hiking section hiking and offering serene to extreme experiences available to our visitors.
- Dig in and create your own art piece or just enjoy the ambience at the Olive Tree Art Centre. Either way, you will surely bring home a one of a kind treasure.
- Embrace the magic at Sleepy Hollow as you view the works of a former Disney designer. Explore the whimsical “fairy houses” and then tour the store. The colorful creations will delight your soul.
- Go back in time at Track Rock Gap as you read a story told by Cherokee Indians more than 1,000 years ago! Tucked into the mountain side, you can view rock carvings, or petroglyphs, in the soapstone.
- Top off your day with a trek to the highest peak in Georgia. The Brasstown Bald Visitors Center sits atop Georgia’s highest mountain at 4,784 feet above sea level and its cloud level observation deck offers stunning 360-degree views of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and valleys. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see four states. The unique circular building is home to an 8,000 sq. ft. museum featuring interactive cultural and natural history exhibits.
• Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce
• Blood Mountain Cabins and Country Store
• Book Bound Bookstore
• Brasstown Bald Visitor Information Center
• Cabin Coffee of Blairsville
• Chick-Fil-A Blairsville
• Ingles Markets
• Misty Mountain Inn and Cottages
• Mountain Crossings
• Rustic Mountain Decor
• S&S Smoothies and Supplements
• Sunrise Grocery
• The Grateful Hiker
• The Seasons Inn Motel
• The Tin Roof Country Store & Creamery
• Union County Public Library
• WJRB/WJUL Radio
• Your Home in the Woods Bed & Breakfast
These businesses support the Trail by taking part in the A.T. Community Supporter program.
Featured Local Hikes
Helton Creek Falls Trail
- The Helton Creek Falls Trail is an easy 0.3 mile outand-back trail located on Helton Creek Road about 1.4 miles off Hwy 19/129 near Blairsville and 1.2 miles South of Vogel State Park. The trail leads to two large waterfalls and a swimming hole. The trail climbs less than 20 feet and has stairs in steep places. It is accessible year-round and offers hiking, nature viewing, and birding. Dogs on lease can also use the trail. The falls can be viewed from the parking area which holds about 10 vehicles.
Neel Gap to Blood Mountain
- The hike from Neel Gap to Blood Mountain is along a 4.3 mile heavily used out-and-back trail beginning at the Byron Herbert Reese parking lot off Hwy 19/129 near Blairsville and South of Vogel State Park. The trail is difficult in places, with almost 1500 feet of elevation gain, but the view from the top of Blood Mountain next to the Blood Mountain Shelter is well worth the effort. Hikers, walkers and trail runners can claim that they have been on a part of the Appalachian Trail (AT) and summitted the highest part of the AT in Georgia. Because this hike is so popular, it’s best to hit the trail early or on a weekday to get a parking spot and avoid the crowds. The trail is accessible year-round and offers views and wildlife. Dogs should be leased in this area.
Georgia Appalachian Trail Club
The Georgia Appalachian Trail Club manages, maintains and protects the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Georgia with volunteers from its membership and the interested public. The Georgia Appalachian Trail Club promotes the appreciation of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and natural outdoor places through education and recreational activities, with an emphasis on conservation ethics and protection of the forests, their natural resources and wilderness areas. georgia-atclub.org.
ATC Volunteer Program
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is always looking for dedicated volunteers to help maintain the A.T. and assist in our visitor center and headquarters. Opportunities range from greeting visitors and providing information about local hikes to joining a Trail crew for week-long maintenance trips, gaining first-hand experience in what it takes to keep the A.T. open and enjoyable for millions each year. Learn more at appalachiantrail.org/volunteer.