In Chattahoochee National Forest, high in the north Georgia mountains, Fort Mountain Stables serves as the base camp for a 25-mile network of scenic trails at elevations between 1,600 feet and 2,000 feet. The Fort Mountain area has long attracted those daring enough to venture into the thin Georgia air to experience its dense hardwood forests, craggy cliffs, mesmerizing panoramic vistas, and eponymous 855-foot-long rock wall, thought to have been built by Native Americans. Visitors embarking on trail rides venture out into the lush Georgian foliage atop horses suited to their size and skill level while an expert guide points out notable attractions. Along the way, riders may encounter deer, turkey, or bears strolling through their natural habitat. Old talc mineshafts also populate the trails, blowing cool air out of their once-valuable depths in the summer and warm air in the winter, offering a source of warmth more pleasant than yeti breath.
Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters utilizes its location in the Aska Adventure Area to gift outdoor recreation fans with sweeping views during inimitable excursions. Navigate the two provided kayaks down the Toccoa River for the two- to three-hour unguided kayak expedition to encounter serene waters, as well as rainbow trout working on their ROYGBIV dissertations. The kayak rentals come with life jackets, paddles, and a shuttle ride from the Outfitters' Lilly Pad meeting location to the kayak-launching area.
In 1848, railway workers embarked on a project to open up trade between the Midwest and East Coast by digging a 1,477-foot tunnel through the base of the Chetoogeta Mountain. Around them, the town of Tunnel Hill sprouted up, as well as Clisby Austin's antebellum-style home, which would go on to serve as a hospital and the headquarters of William Sherman during the Civil War. Train cars eventually outgrew the tunnel, leading to the construction of a larger, parallel tunnel and the retirement of the Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel in 1928.
Today, visitors can take a step back in time by walking though the restored tunnel's stone arches or gleaning factual tidbits at the Heritage Center Museum. Civil War reenactments bring the grassy fields to life, as the Federals and Confederates engage in battle and hoop-skirted civilians struggle to stitch up the field's time-space wormhole.
Dalton Falls Mini Golf and Laser Tag gives families plenty of options for entertainment. The facility boasts a beautiful miniature golf course that?much like a billionaire's bedroom?features waterfalls, ponds, streams, and hills, as well as realistic contours that mimic the appearance of a fully grown golf course. Away from the mini links, guests can trade in their putters for laser guns and storm into battle in the property's 16,000-square-foot outdoor laser tag arena. Of course, all that action could leave stomachs empty, which is why Dalton Falls fills its freezers with hand-dipped ice cream cones, shaved ices, and various other snacks.
Ellijay Marketplace changes with the seasons. During the summer, an open-air flea market sprouts at its perimeter and during the colder months, it's a purely indoor shopping center. And while it's less seasonal, the indoor space is far from static. The merchandise in the 10,000-square-foot consignment center, for example, rotates regularly, as do the antiques and curiosities sold at live auctions. Local retailers, such as The Man Cave Shop and Kristina Lee's Boutique, also show their wares at select indoor tables. Visitors can shop the market's quirky finds, or simply browse while listening to the eclectic bluegrass performances.
Covering 125 acres of mountainside, Blue Ridge Canopy Adventures? Hell's Hollow Adventure Outpost gives adventure seekers the opportunity to explore Appalachia from high above the ground. After a brief ground session, wherein instructors discuss safety, zipline etiquette, and how to speak Carolina chickadee without an accent, students soar between 12 stations across nearly 6,000 feet of cable. There are bridges and nature walks interspersed along the course, and horseback riding along the area?s old trails may be added as part of the outfit?s adventure packages.