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Fall Mountain Fun
Check Out Festivals + Fall Colors in Hiawassee + Young Harris
Where are you getting your Fall colors fix? We suggest Towns County, where the leaves are turning their autumnal golds and reds, and the music scene is tuning up here in Georgia’s Country Music Capital.
WATERFALLS, GRIST MILLS + COVERED BRIDGES
One of the easier hikes to experience Fall color AND a waterfall is on the cusp of the Young Harris College campus. It’s a short walk from the parking lot to Cupid Falls, where a dedicated swing awaits in the shade for you to relax and take in the sights and sounds of cascading water.
Lake Chatuge Chamber of Commerce provides downloadable brochures for discovering easy, moderate, and advanced hikes in the region. One of our favorites is High Shoals Falls, where a moderate roundtrip 2.4-mile hike leads to a convergence of five waterfalls with a total vertical drop of 300 feet.
In the early 1900s there were many covered bridges over streams, and grist mills for grinding wheat, corn and farm yields into flour and meal. Today, a few bridges and mills remain in the North Georgia mountains. Discovering these relics of our agricultural pioneers makes for an excellent hike to explore your natural and cultural history.
Kick off the hiking boots. Pull on your cowboy boots and two-step over to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds and other destinations for big festivals and live music. Here’s what to know:
GEORGIA MOUNTAIN FALL FESTIVAL
Oct. 7-15 from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM - Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee, GA
This annual fall festival takes place near the beautiful shores of Lake Chatuge in some of the prettiest fairgrounds in the Southeast. It’s easy to catch a show during this 9-day event that showcases regional and national musicians, performances, mountain arts/crafts vendors, educational demonstrations, a flower show and so much more. Kids and teens will love the carnival rides.
Georgia’s country music capital – Towns County – sees the return of the Oak Ridge Boys & The South Wind Band at the fair. Other fair nights include performances by The Bellamy Brothers and Ashley McBryde. Music is included with admission (except Oct. 8 & 15). More info.
* Check out all the fall fairground music – including ZZ Top on November 9.
FOLK SCHOOL CONCERTS
Oct. 6-7, Oct 13-14, Oct 20-21 – John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC
Just over the North Carolina line, the nearly 100-year-old John C. Campbell Folk School presents concerts with outstanding musicians and bands performing eclectic roots music. A donation of $5-$10 per adult is suggested, but all are welcome regardless of contribution, and picnic blankets and chairs are recommended. More info.
APPALACHIAN BREW, QUE & STEW FESTIVAL
Oct. 22: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm - Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee, GA
Meet more than a dozen craft brewers from around the nation who will be serving their finest ales in this popular mountain fall festival. Pair tastings with delicious cuisine from area restaurants, representing BBQ, Bayou, and beyond. Crafts vendors will be onsite, in addition to the daylong lineup of musicians on two stages performing Appalachian & Americana music. Stay after for 38 SPECIAL, with special guest Tommy Townsend, taking the stage at 7:00 pm (separate admission) with their signature blast of Southern Rock. More info.
FANG-TASTIC HALLOWEEN AT THE FAIRGROUNDS
Oct. 31: 5:00-9:00 pm - Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee, GA
Join the City of Hiawassee for Trick or Treating fun at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. Bring your little ghosts and goblins to show off their costumes and trick-or-treat for candy from local businesses in this not-so-spooky family Halloween gathering. More info.
Nov. 5-6: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm - Towns Co. Recreation & Conference Center
Shop early for the holiday season with locally inspired gifts. Meet more than 75 vendors offering a wide variety of products that are handmade, grown, harvested, stitched, and crafted. Savor seasonal cuisine and treats from some of Georgia’s top chefs. All ages can enjoy demonstrations, craft classes and more, presented by Lake Chatuge Chamber of Commerce. More info.
MISTLETOE MARKET ARTS + CRAFTS SHOW
Nov 19-20: 9:00 am-4:00 pm - The Ridges Resort, Young Harris
Seek and find true mountain wares by 30+ working artists and crafters from the North Georgia and North Carolina mountain area. Enjoy lunch and desserts when you visit the resort’s Sugar Plum Café. Presented by the Mountain Regional Arts and Crafts Guild. More info.
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY CHRISTMAS IN LIGHTS
Weekends Nov. 24 to Dec. 23 - Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee, GA
Beginning on Thanksgiving night, the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds transforms into a dazzling holiday light show immersed in Christmas music, arts and crafts, food, entertainment, photo opportunities, and a visit with Santa Claus! This weekend lights festival is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from November 24-December 17. Come early on Saturdays for the Craft Show and stay for the lights 4pm-9pm. Open every night from December 18-23. More info.
Book your stay in cabins and cottages, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, and hotels and resorts. It’s all here – from rustic to richly rewarding. Check out Lake Chatuge Chamber of Commerce for more fall fun. See you in the mountains!