A brief description of Fannin County, Georgia, and things to do in the area.
Fannin County, which is found bordering Tennessee in central North Georgia, was founded in 1854, from portions of Gilmer and Union Counties, and named after James Walker Fannin. Fannin was a soldier in the War for Texas Independence. After surrendering to General Jose Urrea during the Battle of Coleto, Fannin was murdered, along with most of the approximately 400 men in his regiment. Fannin’s death and the death of his men took place on March 27, 1836.
Fannin County is home to some beautiful bodies of water, both natural and man-made. The mighty Toccoa River (known as the Ocoee to nearby Tennessee residents) was an early form of transportation for settlers, and, later, a power source for residents of the area. Damming the river created Lake Toccoa, which is now know as Lake Blue Ridge. The lake is no longer a source of power, but brings many tourists to the area--boating, swimming, fishing, skiing, and camping, all can be found at Lake Blue Ridge. Add the sports of kayaking and rafting, both of which can be undertaken on the Toccoa River, and visitors to the area can find more than enough entertainment to fill their time in the area
on its water sources alone.
Water, however, is not all Fannin County has to offer visitors. Hiking is popular in the area, and trails can be found for the casual beginner as well as something more challenging for the serious professional. The AT Springer Mountain to Woody Gap Trail is a challenge, crossing over 20 miles from Fannin to Union to Lumpkin Counties. The Benton MacKaye Trail is also a difficult trail, and covers 50 miles in Georgia alone, crossing through Gilmer, Fannin, and Lumpkin Counties. The Mountaintown Creek Trail, a moderate-to-difficult trail, is eleven miles in length, and crosses both Fannin and Gilmer Counties. The Stanley Gap Trail, only 4.8 miles in total length, crosses areas of both Fannin and Gilmer County, and is a more moderate trail for visitors to undertake. Casual trails for those interested in walking more so than actual hiking can also be found in the area, especially at area campgrounds. Contacting the Fannin County of Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-899-MTNS is a good idea for those who would like further information on the type of trails they are interested in undertaking, including those that prefer biking to hiking.
The county seat, Blue Ridge, is home to much local history, as well as many antique shops in the downtown district. The city also boasts one of the few remaining drive-in theatres in the country. Restaurants in the area range from steak dinners to fast food to fresh seafood to local country cookin’. And, those visiting in the fall of the year are in for a treat, not only because of the beautiful colors to be found in the changing leaves, but also because they will be able to participate in the area's annual festivals, including the Mountain Harvest Festival in Fannin, Gold Rush Days just over the mountain in Dahlonega, and the Georgia Apple Festival in nearby Gilmer County. Again, one should contact the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce to verify specific dates.
Fannin County is easily accessed from the Atlanta area, being one of the counties on the Appalachian Highway (4 lanes, GA 515). Once isolated, this beautiful mountain area is now a favorite getaway for Georgia’s urban dwellers.