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Cool Ideas for Hot Summer Days
Take a Hike - Summer in the Northeast Georgia Mountains means warm days and cool nights.  Because of the higher elevation (2,000’ – 4,700’ ft.), temperatures stay about 10 – 15 degrees cooler than other locations in surrounding areas.    Many year-round residents spend their summers camping in one of the well-appointed campgrounds or deep in the woods of the Chattahoochee National Forest.  Two-thirds of Towns County (Hiawassee and Young Harris, GA) are National Forest which offers a wide range of activities for those seeking to experience the great outdoors.  Hiking trails, waterfalls, camping sites, scenic overlooks, bird watching, picnicking, bicycling, horseback riding… if it can be done outside then the National Forest can accommodate.  Summer is a great time to take advantage of all that our public lands provide.  Information is available online or by visiting the Towns County Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center in Young Harris.
Hook, Line and Sinker- Fun can also be found on another piece of public property, Lake Chatuge, a TVA managed lake located in Towns County, GA and Clay County, NC.   Since Lake Chatuge forms the border shared by these two states, fishing licenses can be purchased in either state and used on the entire lake as long as you are on the water.  Shoreline fishing requires the fishing license from the state in which you are fishing.  Lake Chatuge is one of the best lakes for spotted bass fishing and although large-mouth bass also thrive in this body of water, they are a bit more elusive than the spots.  Fishing rules and guidelines can also be found online at  Fishing licenses can also be purchased using this website.  Local information and equipment can also be purchased at C & J Outfitters in Hiawassee.  Fishing is also available for children at the pond in front of the Towns County Chamber of Commerce but you must provide your own fishing equipment and bait.  There are several other spots in the County where the public can access Lake Chatuge – check with the local outfitter or the Chamber of Commerce.  Fishing is a great family activity – take a kid fishing today! 
Boatin’ and Floatin’ - Boating is another summertime favorite and there are so many beautiful spots to see on Lake Chatuge that can only be accessed by boat.  Boats are available to rent from several local businesses and a full list is available at the Chamber of Commerce.  Kayaks, canoes and jet skis are also available for rent and can be rented lakeside or delivered to you at a public boat ramp.  If you have never experienced a boat ride on a lake surrounded by mountains that seem to go on forever, this summer is the time to do it!
And, at the end of the day, when it’s time to unwind and settle in to that cool summer night air, sip a glass of locally grown wine and recount all the fabulous memories made with your family that day!
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