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Archive for July, 2009

Along the Southern Highroads Trail, you don’t have to venture far into South Carolina to find natural beauty. When you drive through SC, there are many available places to pull over to see the scenic views, and even more opportunities to pull over to see natural beauty. Let me provide you some examples:

stumphouse_tunnelStumphouse Tunnel – The tunnel was a project that was planned in the 1850s to connect South Carolina to the Midwest with a direct rail line.  Unfortunately, work on the project was abandoned during the War Between the States due to the lack of funds. 1,300 feet of the tunnel is open to the public.

Issaqueena Falls – A short easy walking trail leads from Stumphouse Mountain Park to Issaqueena Falls, a beautiful 200-ft. cascade. Legend has it that the Indian maiden, Issaqueena, rode to the nearby fort to warn of a pending Indian attack and then escaped pursuing Indians by pretending to leap over the falls, but actually hiding beneath them.

chattooga_riverBrasstown Falls – Brasstown Falls is a series of three equally dramatic cascades that drop over 120 feet: Brasstown Cascades, Brasstown Veil, and Brasstown Sluice. If you are searching for more, look for Little Brasstown Falls, a 40 foot waterfall, located just above the Brasstown Cascades!

Chattooga River – Designated the South’s first National Wild and Scenic River in 1974, the Chattooga is one of the premier whitewater rafting rivers in the Eastern United States, dropping an average of 49.3 feet per mile. Made famous in the movie “Deliverance,” the Chattooga is one of the longest and largest free flowing mountain rivers in the Southeast that remains in a relatively undeveloped condition. The Chattooga forms the boundary between South Carolina and Georgia and offers wonderful boating, fishing and rafting experiences.

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Now Featured on Mile-by-Mile

I’ve traveled on the Southern Highroads a few times and now I’m pretty much a pro at it, but many are riding it for the first time and many people want to know what they’ll see on the scenic highway. Well, there’s Mile By Mile that will help take the guessing out for you on exactly what cities and counties you’ll be going through.

We do still offer our free brochure, but this is your chance to see the turns, some images from the trail, and getting detailed information about the trail. Thanks to milebymile.com for setting us up with this and being so quick!

Georgia Scenic Highway
South Carolina Scenic Highway
North Carolina Scenic Highway
Tennessee Scenic Highway

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There’s always excitement when you’re driving along the highway and you stumble upon a festival that you can pull over and have a good time for a few hours. What a nice break from driving and a great way of experiencing local culture, good food, and maybe good music.

This year is the 1st Annual Mountain High BBQ Festival in Franklin, NC in the first week of August

One of the big festivals is the Georgia Mountain Fair in Hiawassee. Full of entertainment, competitions, parades, culture, and carnival fun. Currently running from July 15 – July 26

Helen to Atlantic Balloon Race – The South’s oldest hot air balloon race set in Alpine Helen. Watch 30 bright coloured hot air balloons race through the sky! Flying in the first part of June

Blairsville Scottish Festival – Celebrating Scottish culture and heritage in Blairsville, GA! Bagpipes, shopping, golfing, demos, parades, and men in kilts (Am I right ladies? Oh yea!)

There’s Easter events such as the Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro, NC or the Easter Eggstravaganza in Cleveland, GA.

If I missed an event or you would like to add one here, feel free to let me know by leaving a comment and I’ll update this post!

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The town of Highlands, NC has been around for 134 years. It was founded because a couple of savvy business men of the day thought they had found the ideal trading Mecca for the future. It was the sincere vision of Clinton Hutchinson and Samuel Kelsey that travelers would eventually have to cross this point and that this would be their shopping destination along the way. Although their prediction may not have developed quite the way they had imagined there is shopping to be done in Highlands, NC to this very day.

Highlands, NC is located near the southwestern tip of the state. Cradled in the grasps of the great Appalachian Mountains the beauty of the Nantahala National Forest allows food for the soul. The area did not develop into a major trading center but this little town offers so much more. The Highlands area gave birth do a very desirable tourism destination. The natural beauty of the landscape provides scenic satisfaction that is hard to comprehend until you have witnessed it first hand. The opportunity for fishing, camping and shopping is ever apparent. Highlands may only support a normal population of just shy of a 1000 but during the tourist season that grows to over 15,000. Where there are tourists there is shopping.

Highlands, North Carolina is home to many eye catching shops and retail locations. For example if you are going to set out on an adventurous journey into the area surrounding Highlands you need to be well equipped. Bear Mountain Outfitters is just the shop to satisfy the proper clothing you need. They are open all year long for your shopping convenience. If you are looking for something unique to take home from the Highlands you can visit Dick and Barb at Mountain Rarities. They offer everything from Gems, Silver and Gold to Butterflies and Eclectic items to make you smile.

If you are into crafting and quilts you have to check out the Cut n Patch Quilt Shop in Highlands, North Carolina. Quilts make great gifts and there you can create your own design. For unusual gifts you can visit Twigs. You are sure to find that unique item you have been looking for. If you want to pick up some home furnishings you can stop by The Summer House where they offer the complete package for your home. There are numerous classic antique shops as well like the Elephants Foot or Highlands Antiques. There is shopping for everyone in Highlands, North Carolina.

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If you are looking for a place to rest your weary soul there are few options that will compare to the little piece of heaven known as Highlands, North Carolina. You can find this quaint little getaway in the southwestern corner of North Carolina nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. This area, which finds itself right in the midst of the Nantahala National Forest, is a sight to behold. Although the population in Highlands is only around a thousand people that changes during the tourism season when about 15 times that amount is drawn to the area for relaxation and recreation. That is a huge gathering but where did it all begin?

The town of Highlands, NC was created way back in 1875. It seems that these two fellows named Clinton Carter Hutchinson and Samuel Truman Kelsey were looking at the existing map and searching for a central area that might one day become a commercial crossroads with outstanding economic opportunity. The story has it that they began drawing lines from Baltimore to New Orleans and Savannah to Chicago and drew the conclusion that all these lines crossed the central area that was to become Highlands.

These two men were convinced that they had located an area that would one day become an outstanding trading Mecca. Well they may have been off just a bit and Highlands, North Carolina may have never become the envisioned trading location of their dreams. Instead it became a destination for tourism and travel. Ironically, it became a place where people could get away from the hustle and bustle of the great trading centers. The most important item traded in Highlands; North Carolina today is the exchange of stress for relaxation. One glance at the beauty that engulfs the Highlands area and your heart is forever attached.

Over the last 134 years people from all over the country have flocked to Highlands, North Carolina to get away from it all. There is something in that Appalachian Mountain air that seems to infiltrate the human condition and offer soothing relief from the problems that plague us on life’s great journey. Highlands allows us to become one with nature and ourselves once again. It provides the opportunity to slow down and do a little fishing, hunting or golfing. It reminds us what life is truly all about and that is a crossroads worth crossing.

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