I’m Not Lost, I Am Wandering! Come Wander down GA Hwy 60 With Us

When I am out exploring, I don’t really have a hard “to-do” list.  I have a rough idea of the things and places I would like to see and visit.  Case in point; on one of our recent trips to Blue Ridge, GA I wanted to see an “old iron bridge” I had read about. The problem was there was not a lot of information on the exact location of the bridge so I did a Google search and found “Iron Bridge Cafe and General Store”. Without knowing for sure this was, indeed, the Iron Bridge I was looking for, off we went to just see for ourselves. When we set out to see something, the “something” is very open. A 13 mile 20 min drive between two points may turn into a full-on three-hour excursion because I may get sidetracked seeing “other” things.

Within the Chattahoochee National Forest runs a mountain road called GA Hwy 60. It twists and turns through the treetops and along the Toccoa River. There are pastures, old homes, barns, and shacks: it is rural country. As we drove, whenever I saw something of interest,  I would snap a few photos. I thought I would pass these along to you.

directions

So let’s go!

2017-09-19 10.02.57The map above shows the starting point in Morganton with the end point of the Iron Bridge Cafe & General store. We got off track during the route, and the story goes a bit like this….

We were camping on Lake Blue Ridge at Morganton Recreational Area, therefore we left from there.

Head south down Hwy 60 past Hoot Owl Hill (yes that is the name) and you will see a red barn.

A few miles past the barn just after Sourwood Lane, is an old cattle barn. It is just before Dial Road on the right.

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Skeenah Creek Mill

I planned a stop at Skeenah Creek Campground on the way in search of the bridge, because I wanted to see the old mill there. At 23300 Morganton Hwy, we turned on Skeenah Creek road and pull immediately into a driveway at 20 Skeenah Gap Rd, Suches, GA I got out of the car and asked if we could check out the campground and mill. We were granted permission to look around. Such a neat little place!

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There is a building directly across the street from Skeenah Creek Road on Hwy 60, where I took this photo. I got out of the car and walked down a little dirt road about 50 feet and stood in the midst of these wildflowers to capture this shot.

The address is close to 23394 Morganton Hwy and I am certain this is private property so do not venture too far, as it is illegal. Leaving Skennah Creek Mill, we turned left. Our GPS was struggling to load and we figured we should go the way we already were heading before our mill detour. WRONG. PROTIP: GPS Signal is limited in the mountains. Don’t depend on your maps to tell you where to go.

As you continue along Hwy 60, you will pass Cooper Creek Baptist Church on your right, just before you reach Cooper Creek Store. The church doesn’t have an address, but if you get to the store, you just passed it 20 seconds prior. The church was built in 1849 and has some very primitive headstones. As you head towards the church you will see a glimpse of the Toccoa River on your right.

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Old Gas pumps at Coopers Creek Gas Station

At this point without GPS we figured we needed directions, so stopping at Cooper Creek Store for a drink and a photo and directions made sense. Cooper Creek store is located at 27880 Morganton Hwy, Suches, GA. Directly across the street is Hemlock Lane, which we cracked up about because nearby is Tilley Bend where the Witch of Blue Ridge legend originated. We asked the store owner if he had heard of Tilley Bend or Tilley Baptist Church and he said: “no, that he had lived here for 40 years and never heard of either.” We find this hard to believe as you can’t throw a rock up there without hitting a Tilley. He did tell us that Suchee is home to Georgia’s smallest public school. “It’s just a few miles up the road” (by few miles he meant 10 and 10 miles takes 30 minutes in the mountains. We decided that the schoolhouse might be worth our time and that we would take the detour off our route. 2017-09-19 12.39.20As we were climbing in our car I noticed across the street from the store there was a set of steps leading nowhere, which I thought was cool looking. I am assuming they go up to someone’s home, maybe the store owner.

We passed a restaurant out in the middle of nowhere. called the WildCat Cafe. It was closed when we stopped, or we would have grabbed some lunch on the patio. It looks like such an eclectic place, right up my alley (cat). Check out the neat photos I took here. Next time we are in Blue Ridge, we might just have to stop by here for lunch. The address is: 7475 State Highway 60, Suches, GA

Right past the WildCat there is a road called Johnny Cap Road, on the corner sits an old abandon barn. As you near it you will see some bee hives on a little hill.

I couldn’t help but stop and take some photos of rural mountain life on Hwy 60 near Harkins Road. I parked the car on the dirt road and took the photos below without intruding on the owner’s property. Please remember to be respectful when photographing peoples land and buildings.

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If this photo is enough to make you happy about seeing Georgia’s Smallest Public Schoolhouse then don’t even bother putting in the location and carry on the route without visiting.

Woody Gap School located at 2331 GA-60, Suches, was less than exciting. Honestly, I was hoping for something a little bit older and rustic. Like you know a log building from 1890. But it’s kind of neat to think that kindergarten through twelfth grade is housed in this one little building. At the beginning of October, they host a square dance at the Indian Summer Festival that everyone is welcome to join. I would have loved to go get my square dance on, but we had other plans, maybe next year.

Finally, our GPS kicked back on and pointed the way to our original location, The Old Iron Bridge Cafe.

We had veered off course quite a bit, but by doing a little exploring look at what we saw! From Skeenah to the school is 16 miles. We had been on the road for two hours, it was time to head to our original destination, Iron Bridge Cafe & General Store, 8436 Aska Rd, Blue Ridge, GA and hope that there was indeed an iron bridge there.

Doubling back means that we had to go all the way back past Skeenah Mill to Dial road. Then onto Aska Road. The Old Iron Bridge Cafe was on our left. I parked the car and went to ask if there was an iron bridge anywhere in the vicinity and…..

TO BE CONTINUED….

Want to know if we found the Old Iron Bridge on this adventure? Click “Follow blog” below to find out next week!

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all

Fran

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Is This Passenger Train Ride Worth the Cost?

“On a Warm Summer’s Eve; on A Train Bound for Nowhere…”

Ok, it wasn’t evenin’ and the train was headed to McCayesville, GA but you get the idea right? Shane said he kept humming “The Gambler” in his head the entire trip on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. He even went as far to say that the only thing to have made it better if they had folk dressed up in wild west period clothing and held a shoot-em-up. I couldn’t bear to tell him that this train was not originally from late 1800’s Midwest. But then again the mountain hillbillies of North Georgia were no joke either. Just visit the Tilley and Stanley Settlements cemeteries and you will see just how bad ass they were, but that is another story for another time. Today we are going on a train ride.

BRSR

The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway embarks on its journey from the historic 1905 train depot in downtown Blue Ridge and makes a slow, relaxing 13-mile ride along the Toccoa River as it heads for a layover in the sister towns of McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee.

Before I tell you about our trip let me tell you some cool events that are hosted by BRSR.

  • April – Easter Eggs-press – Take a ride to a Farmer Brown’s field where eggs are hidden.
  • October – Pumpkin Express – Visit Farmer Brown’s field, pick out a souvenir pumpkin and then return to Blue Ridge.
  • October/November – Fall foliage rail rides offer beautiful glimpses of autumn trees.
  • December – Santa Express – take a ride with old Saint Nick
  • New Year’s Eve Excursion – ring in the new year onboard while sipping on wine and tasting hors d’oeuvres.

Our visit was the third weekend in September, the leaves were just beginning to change and the weather was starting to cool to a brisk (not so much) 88 degrees. (oh how I wish for real fall temperatures.) We opted to sit in the climate controlled car because it felt more authentic. They have open air cars but you sit along a bench that doesn’t look like a traditional train car seat. They allow moving about the train and it is safe to walk between cars, so I just popped into an open air for a few photos and then took my happy butt back to the comfy seats.

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Julia pondering life while looking outside the train window
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Country barn sits in a lonely field along the train tracks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is what we found:

    • The train leaves precisely at its scheduled time, don’t be late.
    • The entire trip consists of 1-hour ride to McCaysville/Copperhill, 2-hour layover, 1-hour return trip to Blue Ridge. Plan on a full half a day for this excursion.
    • Tickets are not cheap, but if you are military or first responder they offer a discount.
    • It was worth it to cross Ride a Train off our bucket list.
    • When purchasing tickets, ask for a car in the very back of the train, so that you can get a great shot of entire train as it rounds bends.2017-09-18 11.27.28
    • Your ticket reserves your car, but not your seat.
    • The Toccoa River is on the right side of the train going and if you are taking the 3 P.M. ride make sure you are on the right, otherwise it may be dark on the ride back to Blue Ridge. When boarding, ask your car guide if the sun is already set on the return trip. If it is after Daylight Savings you may not get those pictures you wanted.
    • Get to your car early, people start lining up for the choice “right side of train” seats.
    • The car guides ask that if you sat on the right side of the train going, trade seats with those on the left so everyone gets to see the Toccoa River.
    • The Moose Caboose has rail-side food and drinks, if you purchase a ticket at the depot, you may get a coupon for a free coffee while you wait to board the train. The hot chocolate was pretty darn good too.
    • 2017-09-18 14.39.24-1Ask your car guide questions, you will find they are quite knowledgeable, ask about the ceiling paper stamped with your cars original train line.
    • If you are in the climate controlled car, move to an open-air car as the conductor announces that they are approaching the cornfield where you can see the entire train front to end. This is about the only time they will allow you to stick your entire torso out the window for a great photo op.
    • There is a concessions car aboard the train if you get hungry on the 1-hour trip
    • If you get sore sitting a spell, walk the entire length of the train and back. It is acceptable.
  • Keep an eye out for the old telegraph poles that are over 100 years old.100 year old telegraph pole
  • Be sure to see the 500-year-old Native American Fish trap

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    The only thing this fish trap is catching these days is a large limb!
  • MaCayesville/Copperhill – leaves a lot to be desired.  Want my honest opinion of the town(s)? Tourist Trap.
    • Interesting sites in town:
      • Old Steel bridge (as seen in photo peaking of the tops of the buildings
      • Georgia/Tennesee line- Stand one foot in GA the other in TN
  • Hold on to your train ticket – you will need to get it “stamped” by the conductor (ask him for a photo op, he will more than oblige) and you will need it to board the train for your return trip. (truthfully, the first is for show and they didn’t ask to see our tickets on the return trip because our car guide remembered us. )
  • The Old Steel bridge – right before you enter McCaysville/Copperton you will cross an old steel bridge. There is very little space between the train and the bridge. I am talking a few inches at best. This bridge is in Horseshoe Bend Park if you want a different perspective of it.

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  • The return train trip: If you missed something going, you get a second chance to see it on the way back. I walked to the next train car which was open air and shot a few photos without the glass between me and the outdoors. Depending on how crowded the train is, this is acceptable. When I returned to our car I found Shane fast asleep, lulled by the slow steady movement of the train. You see the same thing coming as you do going, so he didn’t miss anything.
  • Bonus tip: if you ask nicely, you may get a tour of the train engine. Ask after the trip is over not before, they are too busy getting the train ready before.  Usually, you won’t be denied this bonus that many people don’t know about.

In the end I feel like taking a ride along the Toccoa River in a antique train is worth the cost of the trip. It gives kids an idea of how life used to be when their grands lived, you learn a bit of history while relaxing and unwinding. However, the towns you visit are lacking.

Want more info? visit http://www.brscenic.com/

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Keep the Lust for Wandering, Y’all!

Shane and Fran

All Aboard!

Fall Branch Falls: The Waterfall So Spectacular It Has To Say It Twice

Buried within the Chattahoochee National Forest, hidden off a very worn dirt road along Aska Road, resides Benton MacKaye Trail. The trail climbs upward along Rocky Mountain for a few miles and has some beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Shane, Julia, and I were content with hiking just to the falls and back as Shane has a herniated disk and his back was bothering him from cutting lumber a few days prior. I chose this hike because it is a short jaunt to the falls and back coming in under 1 mile total (score! I got to see a waterfall and he didn’t have to hike too far.)

NOTE- Before you go: LTE in them thar hills is limited.

I am a techie and an IT manager by trade. I use my phone for EVERYTHING; and glancing down to see “No Service” doesn’t make me overly thrilled when I have: no map, no documented route and no sense of direction. “I ain’t got no map nor directions and I have no earthly idear where we’s at,” flashed into my brain as we trudged along the dirt road. We saw a neat house that had hitching posts out front and the coolest cabin railing (literally made of sticks that seem to be collected from the forest).

We rounded a sharp curve on the packed Georgia clay road and came upon an abandoned shack and a barn that looked like it was about to cave in. My mind immediately took a wrong turn to a horror movie and I said, “This is where the city folk from Atlanta ‘gets it’ by the country folk that don’t like ‘no trespassin‘ on their land’!” This is a whole lotta nope and I looked for a place to turn around to go back to civilization.

Creepy little homestead
This creepy homestead belonged to Forest Warden Garfield Stanley

The road was about as wide as our car and we had no choice but to continue passed the scary dilapidated house. We crept by slowly as “the hills have eyes” watched. Not a single bird could be heard as Julia mentioned that this shack reminded her of “Until Dawn” a horror video game.

Greeeeaaaat… queue the chainsaw sound effect now.

The windows the house were dark and the weeds had grown up over the entrance but we could see rocking chairs sitting abandoned on the front porch. A screen door slapped in the cool autumn breeze.

At this point I just knew we took a wrong turn and my phone continued to flash “Hey you idiot, there isn’t a cell tower up here” A.K.A No Service.

Thankfully, just ahead we saw the white diamond marking the trail head. Whew! we survived. Turns out, with a little research, this abandoned shack is the homestead of Garfield Stanley of the Stanley Settlement that is prominent in this area. Garfield was the warden of this mountain area, and took care of the area until his death.

Fall Branch Falls Marker
Finding this waterfall is quite easy with directions.

We parked and headed to the trail head. You will see the sign pointing to the falls so from here it is pretty clear which way to go. The .5 mile hike to the falls is pretty easy, however the trail is muddy and goes up a fairly steep incline.

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Path incline. Shane can be seen at the top of the trail

The trails are lined with rhododendron, that bloom in late June. We went in September so the flowers weren’t in bloom but that didn’t change the beauty of the trail. Moss covered the trees and mushrooms peeked up through the soil. The sound of the babbling brook resonated through the trees and there was a soft breeze. The smell of damp earth made us feel in touch with the environment in which we walked. Our legs could feel the strain of muscles being worked and our lungs were filled with the cool morning air.

Along the way we saw two cabins, one appeared to be abandoned and the other occupied. Oh! To have a cabin on a creek with a waterfall at its end.

.4 of a mile you will encounter a fork in the trail. If you take the left trail you will continue climbing Rocky Mountain for fantastic views of Trail marker to Fallsthe Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Mountain range. There is a sign here pointing to the right to the falls. Once you take the right fork the, terrain takes a slight decline and the waterfall is just ahead. The ground has eroded and the trees root system in this area are showing so be careful not the trip. It is much cooler here under the thick canopy. Moss is thick on the trees and the air is damp. The forest floor was littered with colorful fall leaves when we visited. The sound of the waterfall is not deafening like a lot of falls but you can hear the water tumbling over the smooth rocks before you round the bend to see it cascading across the stone surface.

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The double waterfall with falling leaves, mountain laurel, and rhododendron surrounding it is beautiful in the Fall, I can only imagine it in the Spring and early Summer. If you visit during this time please comment with photos!

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Directions to the falls: Hopefully you aren’t like us and are looking for directions and not depending on your phones GPS.  So getting there is easy but first…

IT Manager Pro Tip: While in Blue Ridge go ahead and search for Fall Branch Falls on your phone. If you are traveling to other locations, make sure you add each location to your phone in the order you want to visit them. Leave this app open, do not close it because if you have zero service it will not search, but the phone is smart, it will continue to direct you if it is already open.

Address: Fall Branch Falls, Stanley Creek Road, Cherry Log, GA

From Blue Ridge:

  • Follow Aska Road south for eight miles.
  • You will see a sign on right side of road that says “Fall Branch Falls –>  Toccoa Riverside Restaurant is on the left side of road.
  • Turn right on Stanley Creek Road right before the restaurant.
  • At about 2 miles the road goes from paved to gravel. Keep going.
  • You will see the hitching post cabin on a curve. Keep going.
  • You will pass the scary homestead of Forest Warden Garfield Stanley’s (not so scary now that you have read who it belonged to, right?).
  • The trail head is maybe 100 yards past the homestead. The road widens a little for parking and there is a white triangle on the tree.
  • You can either head left or right down a trail. You will head right if your back is facing the homestead. Look for the sign pointing the way to Fall Branch Falls.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Inexpensive Outdoor Stress Reducing Activities

stressShane and I both have pretty stressful jobs.  He is in law enforcement and I am an IT manager. Not a day goes by that we don’t feel the overwhelming stress associated with our jobs. Do you hear the squeak of the world tiniest violin? Anyone want to give me some cheese for all this whine? Or can you relate?  Face it.  We ALL have stress.  Whether it is our jobs, our kids, our significant’s.  We all have to deal with it.

I think the technical age in which we are living, adds to our stress. 200 years ago our ancestors worked hard from sun up to sun down and by evening they kicked back on the porch with a jug and a fiddle. They worked very hard and went to bed early. They had stress but it was different than today’s. In today’s world, we go all day, work through lstress2unch, and in the evening we have to rush to cart the kid to one activity or the next. That device in your hand, keeps you connected to your boss and co-workers 24/7.  For example, I left work yesterday at noon for a doctor appointment.  While I was in the appointment, I answered 10 emails and made 7 calls to trouble shoot issues at work. Tonight a coworker called me at 7:30 PM, because something wasn’t working right for him. Just now, my laptop just notified me that another co-worker was logging into our server. I mean come on people! Your OFF, why are you working?  Go spend time with your wife and family already dude! There is no escaping work these days!

Bottom line: We stay connected and therefore we feel as if we don’t get a break from the dreaded four letter word, “WORK“.

Shane’s Theory:

Returning from vacation, a worker feels refreshed and it is about 6 weeks before that same person really starts feeling the urge to throat punch someone. 

Shane’s Observation:

It’s a Fact!

My Observation:

Yep! He is right

Proof:

I conducted an experiment.  I started paying attention to what my body and mental state were telling me.  All is great when you first return from your lovely holiday, you are ready to help anyone with anything and all is wonderful in the world.  Then about 6 to 8 weeks in you utter the words, “Imma kill somebody“.  

Conclusion:

Realistically we can’t take a vacation every six weeks.  We ain’t Kardashian’s (I just threw up a little just typing the name) or any other insanely rich person.  So how can we have a mini vacation without spending a ton?

Here are a few ways we get out of our rut and feel better.

poohsticks

  • Play Pooh Sticks – If you haven’t played Pooh Sticks you aren’t living!  My girls and I used to play “Pooh Sticks” from a small bridge over a creek by their Nana’s house. Great times!
    • Step 1: Find a park with a creek and a bridge.
    • Step 2: Select sticks from the ground.
    • Step 3: Stand on one side of bridge facing upstream
    • Step 4: On count of 3 everyone drops (not throws) their sticks into the water
    • Step 5: Rush to the other side and see who’s stick emerges first and is crowned the “winner”.  This never gets old.
  • Visit One of Georgia’s State Parks – They are awesome!  Seriously!
  • Go on a Mural Hunt – There are tons of murals in the city of Atlanta.  Check out the Belt Line, Cabbagetown, and Krog Street for starters.
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CabbageTown, GA Mural
  • Take a Train Ride – Hop on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway or the SAM Short Line for a wonderful afternoon.  The trains go from point A to B and back again. Stopping at small towns for a bit of shopping in between.
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    Blueberries collected from Gardner’s Farm, McDonough, GA

    Pick fruit – There is something very satisfying about picking your own blueberries, strawberries, peaches, or blackberries.  All these can be done in Georgia, check your local area for farms.

  • Connect with animals – Visit an animal rescue or rehabilitation center like Noah’s Ark, Dauset Trails, North Georgia Zoo, or The Wild Life Sanctuary. The animal’s personalities will raise your spirits and if you leave a donation you will feel very good about it.
  • Enjoy Silence – I have this great hammock swing in my back yard.  On nice days, you can catch me outside relaxing with a good book.

  • Be Alone with Nature – There is a quiet trail near my kids schools that I like to hit by myself.  It is kind of creepy being alone in the quiet woods and I must admit as I approach, I pull my ear buds out so I can be more aware of my surroundings (Michael Myers might be waiting for me in there, I need to be prepared to run screaming). As I walk through the small trail between the two schools, I hear the rustling of leaves, squirrels running from tree to tree and birds chirping. It pulls me in and centers me. Always be aware of your surroundings when exploring alone and have your cellphone on in case of an emergency.Photo Jun 17, 10 37 55 AM

  • Find a Hobby and Do it in a Park – Shane and our daughter Julia are artists. Recently we visited the Goat Farm in Atlanta where Julia sat and sketched the old mill’s buildings. Shane likes to take his painting supplies to the woods where he gains inspiration. Me? I am not creative, so no art for me, but I do jot ideas for my blog while engulfed in nature.

  • Visit an Outdoor Museum – Try the a living history museum such as Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village,  or Westville . You could also check out some outdoor art – by visiting Pasaquan, or the the campus of the University of North Georgia’s outdoor-sculpture exhibit.
  • Find a Weekend Festival.  There is always something going down somewhere. Check my blog for ideas, I try to post once a week what is going down.
  • Walk a Lonely Pup – The city of Augusta’s animal shelter has a dog walking program. Check out a pooch and hit the Augusta Canal trails for a morning or afternoon constitutional.  Contact with your local animal shelter to see if they allow people to take their pup’s on a walk. The dog will enjoy it. You will feel great and the shelter will thank you. A lot of shelters also allow people to come love on the kitty cats if that is more to your liking. These babies need love and while you can’t take
    Church
    Concord Primitive Baptist Church – Jasper County, GA

    them all home, you can give them the affection they so desperately need no strings attached.

  • Take a “Photo” Trip – Recently my oldest daughter, Emily, her friend Morgan, and I went on a afternoon photo trip, taking photos of abandoned churches in Shadydale, Monticello, and Jackson. Find a topic, hit the road for photo ops. Need ideas for your area? Ask me in the comments.  Here are a few: Libraries, street art, birds, old iron gates, architecture, machinery, abandon buildings, exotic animals at a zoo, or flowers in a garden to name a few. Note: I did some research on locations before hitting the road.
  • Find a Covered Bridge – There are 16 covered bridges in the State of Georgia. Make a list and start crossing them off.  Use this map to locate them! NOTE: Callaway Garden bridge is not open to public.
  • Hike to a Waterfall.  – Pick one, pack a lunch, grab some water and go!  Use this link to Google for the closest waterfall to you.
  • Start a blog about what you see and do!  – That’s what I did! I feel better just typing this and sending it out into the interwebs!  Thanks for letting me share, I no longer want to smack someone upside the head.

 

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran & Shane

9

15 Things to do while at Lake WestPoint – Georgia

My friend, and the most fabulous hair stylist in the world, asked me to find her things to do while camping at Westpoint Lake in LaGrange, GA.  Well, I aim to please so, Christina this is for you.

Biblical History Center

bible

Encounter the ancient biblical world through its history and culture.  Through authentic archaeological replicas, Biblical meal presentations,  artifacts, lectures, ancient Middle Eastern life comes back to life today

  • 130 Gordon Commercial Drive – LaGrange, GA 30241
  • 706-885-0363
  • Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Donations accepted

River’s Bend Winery and Vineyard 

Get your wine on!

  • 692 Adams Rd – West Point, GA 31833-4725
  • 706-645-1181
  • Thursday-Saturday 12:00-7:00pm Sunday 12:30-6:00pm
  • Tasting prices vary

Hills and Dales Estate

Tour the 13,000 sqft home and garden of the Callaway family which is considered one of the best preserved 19th century gardens in the country.  Built in 1916 it is rich in history. If traveling with children ask for the Earle’s Great Hunt tour which is catered towards them.hill

  • 1916 Hills & Dales Drive – LaGrange, GA 30240
  • 706-882-3242
  • Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • $15.00/Adult $7.00/Students

Fort Tyler Historic Site

Fort Tyler was the scene of a desperate last stand by Confederate troops on April 6, 1865. Command of the city and Fort Tyler fell to Brig. Gen. R.C. Tyler, a Confederate officer. His death during a heroic last stand at the Battle of West Point made him the last general of either side to be killed in the Civil War.

  • 1111 6th Ave, West Point, GA 31833-1128
  • The battle here took place 7 days after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

callCallaway Memorial Tower 

  • Cypress St, LaGrange, GA 30240
  • This monument to textile magnate Fuller E. Callaway was built in 1929 and is patterned after the Campanile of St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy.hone: (706) 884-182

Rodeo Races

Rodeo races are held at the Pyne Road Park Arena. Twenty to fifty riders compete in barrel races, pole bending, Texas Barrel, flag races, and arena races.

  • 4194 Roanoke Rd, LaGrange, GA
  • First Friday of every month from March through October, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Admission is Free
  • Concessions available

Cascade Falls

cascPack a lunch and hike the Pine Mountain Trail,  a 3.7 miles around trip, to and from the waterfall inside FD Roosevelt State Park.   Visit Atlanta Trails for a map and directions to the falls.

  • 2970 Georgia Highway 190 – Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • $5 dollar parking pass for day

Callaway Gardens

Blooms, Beaches, Butterflies, Birds, and Bridges.  Callaway has so many things to see and bfly 093do you can spend several days here!  You can zip through the tree top on zip-lines, relax in the spa, have fun on the rope course and see the beautiful gardens.

  • 4500 Southern Pine Drive Pine Mountain GA 31822
  • 800.852.3810
  • $20.00/adults $10.00/children

DinoVillage

Pine Mountains newest attraction may not be open yet.  Call to see before going!

dino

  • 214 South Main Ave. Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • 706-489-3466
  • Wed 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Thu – Fri4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Sat – Sun12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • $19.95\person for unlimited rides and fossil dig

The Little White House

LWhFDR first came to Warm Springs in 1924 hoping to find a cure for polio. His hopes was the 88 degree waters would heal him.  Visit his home and see the unfinished portrait that he was posing for when he had a stroke and passed away.

  • 401 Little White House Road – Warm Springs, GA 31830
  • 706-655-5870
  • Daily 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
  • $12.00\Adults $7.00\Children

Wild Animal Safari

Drive through the park where animals roam free and come right up to your window to feed.

  • giraffeGo early! It’s hot and it gets crowded.
  • Animals eat in the mornings so it is when they will be most responsive.
  • 1300 Oak Grove Road – Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • 706-663-8744
  • Hours Vary by day – check site
  • $76.95 – Includes 2 adult tickets and 2 children’s tickets or $21.95/adult $18.95/children

Butts Mill Farm

Check out the go-carts, bumper boats, archery, beach area, creek swings, train ride, gazebo, covered bridge, horse shoes and so much more!  A great family place.

  • Go early it gets crowded
  • 2280 Butts Mill Rd – Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • 706-663-7400
  • Open only on weekends Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm
  • Ages 10+\$15.95 Children 3-9 \$13.95

Horseback Riding @ Roosevelt Stables

Take a trail ride on horse back.  Reservations are requested, walk-ups are available basis.  You can take a guided ride or bring your own horse.

  • 1063 Group Camp Road – Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • 706-6287463
  • Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – last ride out at 4 p.m. Sunday – noon – 4 p.m.
  • Prices vary check site

GRUB

The Irish Bred Pub

  • 727 3rd Ave., West Point, Georgia 31833
  • 706-645-2600
  • Mon-Wed 11am-10pm, Thur-Sat 11am-2am
  • Check the website for nightly entertainment such as Bingo, trivia, and Karaoke

Cakes by Debbie

  • 1201 2nd Ave Westpoint GA, 31833
  • (706) 501-1400
  • Tuesday–Friday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
  • Winner of TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off in 2010-11 sells pastries and lunch boxes for picnics!

Charlie Joseph’s Famous Hot Dogs and Hamburgers

  • 2238 Westpoint Rd – LaGrange, Georgia, GA 30240
  • (706) 884-0379
  • Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-4, Closed Sun
  • Charlie’s has been serving hotdogs in LaGrange for over 90 years.

 

 

 

7 Georgia Festivals to Visit August 24-27 2017

Football Fest at Georgia Football Hall of Fame

  • Aug 26, 2017
  • 250 Marietta Street NW – Atlanta, GA
  • Free with ticket to the Hall of Fame which is $21.99/adult 17.99/child

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

  • Aug 26, 2017 – Aug 27, 2017
  • 700 Boulevard Avenue SE – Atlanta, GA
  • Free Admission

German Bierfest

  • August 26, 2017
  • Wooddruff Park – Atlanta, GA
  • Tickets $35/advanced $40/day of  $10 Designated Driver ticket

Chattooga County Agricultural Fair

  • Aug 24-27 2017
  • 34 Middle School Road – Summerville, GA
  • Tickets are $5 – Sunday is Free Admission

Rabun County Fair

  • Aug 24-26 2017
  • 115 Longview Dr. – Tiger, Georgia 30576

  • Free Admission

Pigs & Peaches Bbq Festival

  • Aug 25 2017
  • Adams Park, 2753 Watts Drive – Kennesaw, GA
  • Free Admission

Villa Rica Frontiers Rodeo

  • Aug 25-26
  • Villa Rica Civic Center – 1605 GA-61 -Villa Rica, GA 30180
  • $13/Adult $7/Children

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran

7 Georgia Festivals to Visit August 19-21 2017

Butterfly Festival, Dunwoody Dunwoody Nature Center

  • August 19th
  • 5343 Roberts Dr. Dunwoody, GA 30338
  • Adults $8/Children $4

Brooklet Peanut Festival –  Brooklet, GA

  • Aug 20, 2017
  • 29 Parker Ave. Brooklet, GA
  • Free Admission

Tomato Daze Festival – Young Harris, GA

  • August 18-21st, 2017
  • Crane Creek Vineyards 916 Crane Creek Road Young Harris, GA
  • Eclipse Party on 21st 1pm to 5pm
  • Free Admission – Everything is A la Cart

Southern Wing Showdown – Atlanta, GA

  • Aug 20, 2017 – Aug 20, 2017
  • 916 Joseph E Lowery Blvd NW Atlanta, GA
  • Adults $30

Eighth Annual Piedmont Park Arts Festival – Atlanta, GA

  • Aug 19, 2017 – Aug 20, 2017
  • 1215 Piedmont Avenue Atlanta, GA
  • Free Admission

Caribbean festival – Jonesboro, GA

  • August 19, 2017 (1 to 8 p.m.)
  • 2300 Highway 138, SE Jonesboro, GA
  • Free Admission

Get Off the Grid Fest Solar Expo & Sustainability Fair – Blairsville, GA

  • August 18, 2017 – August 20, 2017
  • 73 Saddle Club Drive Blairsville, GA
  • $10/day $30/weekend

 

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran

15 Georgia Festivals that Give Back

People love festivals for various reasons.  Some people go for the crafts, others for the music. Some people like the livestock shows and others for the carnival rides.  I go for the atmosphere and Shane goes for the food.  It doesn’t matter the size of the festival to me. It could be a small town celebration with 20 tents, or a huge production with fair rides and livestock shows.  I enjoy the people watching and eating an apple dumplin’ served up from a trailer by friendly southern folk.  Festivals are a great way to get businesses or organizations some publicity.  Some festivals have a purpose in mind: to raise funds for a community project.  Below are 15 festivals in Georgia that give back to their community.

Decatur BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass Festival

JeepFest

  • August 31-September 3, 2017 –  Japser, GA
  • 100% of proceeds go on to help kids in and around community.
  • Jeep owners and enthusiasts come from all of the United States to attend.
  • Admission is free for spectators and passengers. $75.00 to register per Jeep

  • JeepFest – https://www.sheriffsjeepfest.com/event

AJC Decatur Book Festival

  • September 1-3, 2017 – Decatur, GA
  • Benefiting the DBF – Promoting a year-round literary community by hosting a series of fundraising and literary events.
  • Free Admission
  • https://www.decaturbookfestival.com/

Rock’n Ribville

  • September 16, 2017 – Lawrenceville, GA
  • Benefiting Lawrenceville Police Benevolent Fund this event is in it’s 10th year.
  • Enjoy live music and eat southern style barbecue
  • Free Admission
  • http://www.rocknribville.com/home

Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Festival

Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival

Tiny Home Mountain Festival

  • September 23-24, 2017 – Elijay, GA
  • Benefiting the local area Boy’s and Girls Club and Gilmer County Food Bank
  • Explore Tiny Home Living at this festival.
  • $10 for Adults, $8 for Kids and under 3 will be free
  • https://www.tinymountainfestival.com/about

People First Fall Festival

  • September 30, 2017
  • Benefiting People First of Henry Count offering free socials for special needs families throughout the year
  • Come out and enjoy music, food, games, prizes, bingo, hay ride, social for special needs children and adults.
  • Free Admission
  • People First

Historic Oakland Foundation 40th Anniversary

  • October 1, 2017 – Oakland Cemetery – Atlanta, GA
  • All proceeds benefit the Historic Oakland Foundation
  • Come dressed in your best Victorian garb at the 38th annual Victorian-inspired festival features a variety of live musical entertainment, living history demonstrations, Irish dancers and an opportunity to enter some of the magnificent mausoleums.
  • Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children aged 4-12, and free for children 3 and under
  • http://www.oaklandcemetery.com/?event=sunday-in-the-park-2

Foxfire Mountaineer Festival

  • October 7, 2017 – Clayton, GA
  • Benefiting the Foxfire Fund, Inc. and support many educational programs at museum and in schools.
  • One-day celebration of the rich heritage of the Southern Appalachian mountains, featuring traditional music from numerous regional performers, showcases and demonstrations of time-honored heritage skills and trades, and all manner of traditional games and puzzles for young and old alike.
  • $5 per person, children age 5 and under are free
  • http://theblueridgehighlander.com/calendar/index.php?eID=3287

Alive Festival

  • October 21, 2017 – Suwanee, GA
  • Benefiting Project Green and Back to Basics Kids Camp
  • Health & Wellness, Green Living Eco Festival help attendees learn how to integrate health and wellness plus natural, organic and green products into environmentally responsible eco living and to create a positive impact on the world as a whole.
  • Free Admission
  • http://aliveexpo.com/alive_festival.php

Gold Rush Days

  • October 21-22, 2017 – Dahlonega, GA
  • Benefiting Empty Stocking Fund
  • It is a time for thousands to come and see fall colors peaking and celebrate Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold. Over 300 art and craft exhibitors and food vendors gather around the Public Square and Historic District in support of this annual event. It is estimated that a crowd of over 200,000 visits over the weekend to join in the fun and excitement!
  • Free Admission
  • https://dahlonegajaycees.com/gold-rush-days/

Humming Bird Festival

  • October 21-22, 2017 – Hoganville, GA
  • Benefiting the Hogansville Charitable Trust.

  • A true small town festival, featuring 200 vendors, food court, live music, kids area, artisan crafts, and more.

  • Free Admission
  • http://www.hummingbirdfestival.com/

Moonshine Festival

Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-off and Bluegrass Festival

  • November 4, 2017 – Cabbagetown Neighborhood, Atlanta, GA
  • Benefiting Cabbagetown parks, green spaces, and community center
  • A little bit of country in the big city,  featuring music that was popular when residents and mill workers. They played that old-time music and preserved rural traditions right here in the middle of Atlanta! Hard work and home-cooking, small houses and big hearts, recipes and religion, family and friends, stories and songs – relics of times past kept the community vibrant as it struggled to keep strong in a fast changing world.
  • This is a token event.  Purchase spoons and drink tokens on website if you want to avoid lines. They’ll also be available the day-of at each of our 5 Welcome Centers (we will accept cash or credit / debit).
  • http://www.chompandstomp.com/