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Archive for the State Parks Category

Filmed in Rabun County: “Killing Season” Movie Trailer

Look for movie scenes shot at Black Rock Mountain State Park and Tallulah Gorge State Park in Rabun County. John Travolta stayed at the Beechwood Inn, and Robert De Niro was seen at Kingwood Resort.

Highlight: Popcorn Scenic Overlook

 

One of the best places in Rabun County GA to check out fall color is at Popcorn Overlook on U.S. Highway 76 headed west from Clayton toward Hiawassee.  The mountains get higher and higher in the view from Georgia into North Carolina, and the result is layer after layer of gorgeous color.  There is a convenient parking area next to the overlook, and picnic benches available to take a break from your travels.

The two information plaques in the photos above read as follows:

 

Your Mountains… More Than Scenery

 Images of the Past

 The forests you see beyond this roadside area are a miracle of regrowth. Much of this land was cut over during the logging boom that began in these mountains during the 1880s and continued through the 1920s. Beginning gradually and swelling to meet a growing national demand for wood, large scale logging operations caused extensive damage and forever changed the character of the southern Appalachians.

Early mountaineers, accustomed to a hard life and little cash, willingly sold timber, land and mineral rights for small sums. Huge yellow poplars, white and red oaks and black cherry were sold for 40 to 75 cents a tree.

Whole mountainsides were cut over and burned, hillsides eroded. Streams that dried to trickles in the fall became raging rivers each spring. Most of this exploitation was financed from outside the region. This destruction generated widespread interest in saving and protecting the mountains.

The Weeks Act became law in 1911, and the first land approved for purchase was a tract of 31,000 acres from the Gennett Land and Lumber Company of Atlanta. By 1930, thousands of acres of mountain land had been acquired to protect watershed areas and provide a timber reserve. The Forest Service had begun its long-term and ongoing effort to provide environmental protection and economic stabilization for the Southern Appalachians. Several large tracts acquired from lulmber companies were “virgin” forest, remote and inaccessible therefore uncut. However, most lands were cut over or culled, and the best trees removed.

Rangers and resource managers of today deal with different problems as they manage your National Forests. Balancing the demands for recreation, timber, wildlife, watershed protection, and wilderness is not an easy task. The forest that you see today is both functional and beautiful, providing wood products and wildlife habitat, challenging the hiker, soothing the hurried urban soul, and silently guarding the quality of our water with its forested slopes.

 Beginning Conservation Efforts

 The first rangers and foresters on the Chattahoochee National Forest worked hard to control destructive wildfires. Roscoe C. Nicholson, “Ranger Nick,” the first ranger in Clayton, Georgia, employed a bloodhound in his fire prevention program.

One of the firebugs whom Nick had his eye on up in that area, Rabun County, had been setting fires each spring to get the country in shape for his stock. The year after the bloodhound’s reputation had gotten around, a friend of his asked if he’s going to burn the woods that year and he said, “No, sir, not me,” he says, “I don’t want any bloodhound tearing the seat out of my britches.” The result was that the fire record for that particular drainage improved considerably.

 Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region.

 

 

 

Greenstone

 Native Americans sometimes used greenstone to make celts or ax heads, tools, and ornaments. It could be easily shaped, kept a sharp edge, and polished well.

 Geology

 Here U.S. 76 cuts across a rare kind of rock known to natives as greenstone. Geologists classify it, somewhat less romantically, as Lake Burton Dunite.

Dunite is hard, grayish or greenish in color, and has several valuable minerals associated with it, such as chromium, nickel, and corundum. Corundum is the source of rubies and sapphires.

Across the highway you can find prospecting pits and trenches dug about 1890. Veins of talc and asbestos cut through the dense dunite rock. Along the old road, bits of asbestos can be found, which closely resemble decayed wood. Dunite breaks into fine-grained and sugary particles, while talc has a greasy feel.

Now weathered to a rounded outcrop about 2600 by 822 feet in size, this rock first appeared millions of years ago on the ocean floor as a molten upwelling from the earth’s interior. Composed of the mineral olivine, the Lake Burton Dunite is quite different from the schists and gneisses that make up our mountains. These differences include alkaline rather than acideic soil conditions and low levels of certain soil nutrients. The plant community you see here is unique.

 Plants

 Pitch pine was probably the first pine species exploited by the American colonists for its resin. Called “candlewood” by settlers, flaming pine knots were used for outdoor torches.

Post oak, as its name implies, was extensively used in fences. The shiny, cross-shaped leaves are characteristic of the species.

The characteristic thin, shredding strips of bark give ninebark its name.

Oil of wintergreen is highly toxic, but has been used as a leaf tea to cure fevers, headache, and colds.

Native Americans used a poultice made from the roots of rattlesnake master to ease snakebite, coughs, and bladder trouble.

The hilltop vista across the road is often called a “pine barrens.” Due to the alkaline soil rather than acidic and lack of potassium, the plant community resembles a wooded prarie dominated by pitch pine, grasses, and post oaks. Acid-loving plants such as laurel, rhododendron, and blueberry, common over most of the north Georgia mountains, are absent here.

Besides pitch pine, plants characteristic of the outcrop are wintergreen, rattlesnake master, and ninebark. The plants found here suggest a much drier environment than the surrounding forest. However, plants often surprise us, and royal fern, normally associated with moist areas, is also found here.

 Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Region.

2012 Lake Burton Fun Run & Duck Tape Regatta

Something about the 4th of July makes people want to run! Most people in the south are familiar with the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, but we have a couple races in the Rabun County area that have grown to be quite popular…  last weekend’s Rabun Ramble and the upcoming Lake Burton Fun Run.

This will be the 28th year of the 5k Lake Burton Fun Run, and participation is limited to 800 runners and walkers. Sign up early online or at LaPrade’s Marina, and race-day entries can be made at Moccasin Creek State Park. Race time is at 9am on Saturday July 7, 2012. Please visit the Lake Burton Fun Run website for more information about the route, rules, and parking.

The 2nd annual Duck Tape Regatta will be at LaPrade’s Marina where teams start building their boats out of plywood and duct tape at 12:30 pm.  The boat race will be later in the day.  This is a lot of fun, and RE/MAX of Rabun was the inaugural winner last year.  

We are sponsors of this event, and I will be at the  finish line RE/MAX of Rabun tent.  Stop by and say hello!

Highlight: Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Falls, Georgia is an extraordinary place. The gorge is the deepest canyon in the United States east of the Mississippi River, and from the edge of the gorge to the rushing water 1,000 feet below, there is certainly something for everyone here. Only 100 gorge floor permits are issued each day, so get there early!

There are remarkable rock formations, waterfalls, and wildlife to observe. Tallulah Gorge is home to several endangered or threatened species, including the Persistent Trillium, an extremely rare species of early-blooming wildflower found only in the gorge. These flowers are typically found on steep slopes growing beneath the plentiful rhododendron. The flowers can be found in late June and early July in rocky, well-drained coves and ravines. Botany enthusiasts will also delight in the Monkey- face, or white fringeless orchid, which flowers from mid-July to late August, and the Fringed Polygala, or flowering wintergreen. The small light pink or magenta flowers were used by Native Americans to treat skin ailments. The green salamander makes its home in the damp, shady clefts of the rocks on the river’s edge and up the gorge walls. The salamander is listed as threatened, though it can be found in isolated pockets in the eastern United States. Its lichen-like green markings are specific to the species, making a glimpse of one of them unmistakable.

Over millions of years, the Tallulah River has cut its way through the quartz to create the gorge, leaving beautiful waterfalls. The river drops about 600 feet in one mile over several falls. The first of the falls over which the water tumbles is L’eau D’or, at about 46 feet high, followed by Tempesta (76’), Oceana (50’), Bridal Veil (17’), and Hurricane. The tallest of these is Hurricane Falls, at about 95 feet. A natural sliding rock can be found just below the falls, and a swim in the crisp water is almost medicinal on a hot day.

The rock formations in the gorge are not only spectacular, but rich in history and folklore. The legend says that a Cherokee maiden named Tallulah, daughter of the chief Grey Eagle, found a wayward white hunter on one of the trails near the gorge. She took him to her father at his camp at Council Rocks, where it was decided that the hunter could stay the night in Grey Eagle’s camp. The young men of the tribe became jealous of Tallulah’s affection for the hunter, and it was considered a bad omen for a white man to be in the camps of the Cherokee, so they convinced Grey Eagle to sentence the man to death, bound and thrown over the edge of the gorge. Distraught, Tallulah ran and leaped over the edge as the white hunter’s sentence was carried out. This place came to be known as Lover’s Leap. After the death of his only daughter, Grey Eagle moved his camp from Council Rocks to an area two miles away, near Hickory Nut Mountain. Another striking rock formation on the gorge’s floor is Witch’s Head. This rocky ledge resembles the gnarled face of an old woman, and is a popular subject for photographing. According to Cherokee myth, a race of “little people”, known as the Yunwi, inhabited the many caves and hollows of the gorge. Cherokee medicine men declared that they had tried to talk peacefully to the little people as to the whereabouts of a group of hunters, but to no avail. The medicine men resolved that the band of hunters had been tricked by the little people into plunging over the rocks of the gorge. In the late 1800s, men began to try to cross over the chasm via tightrope. Professor Leon completed the feat in 1866, despite the fact that one of the main guywires stretched over the gorge broke. The second man to attempt crossing the gorge was Karl Wallenda, who performed the act in 1970 in front of a crowd of almost 40,000 people. The columns that held the wires still stand.

A good place for learning more about the history of Tallulah Falls, from Cherokee legend, geology and botany, to engineering, tourism, and tightrope walking, is the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center. This 16,000 square-foot facility is open to the public, has a variety of exhibits and sponsored events. Gorge and park passes are issued here. 

Cyclists and hikers can appreciate the Shortline Rail Trail. It is a gentle, paved, 2.5 mile trail that takes walkers and cyclists through beautiful woods and over a high suspension bridge. Plaques along the way tell the story of the railroad. Full Moon hikes are a popular activity in the gorge. This is a vigorous hike, washed in mountain moonlight along the North Rim Trail and down into the gorge, across the suspension bridge over Hurricane Falls and back up.

Could there possibly be more? Why, yes! In 1913, Georgia Power dammed the river, creating the 63-acre Tallulah Lake. The lake is clean and cool, with a sandy beach, camping areas, tennis courts, and picnic area. The park area offers many more hiking and biking trails, and several times a year, plays host to scheduled whitewater releases. Paddlers can enjoy a thrilling paddle through the gorge in the spring, and hikers can enjoy the aesthetic releases in the fall, though no gorge floor permits are issued because of the high waters. These releases are beneficial for the environment and provide spectators with the opportunity to see the water crash and tumble over the rocks as it did in the days before the construction of the dam. After a Saturday of hiking and paddling, swimming, visitors are welcome to attend the Bluegrass Jam down town. Saturday evenings, April through November, anyone is invited to watch or play. Be sure and visit the Tallulah Point Overlook to shop around for unique gifts, old-fashioned sodas and candy, and an amazing view.

Tallulah Falls is a stunning and unique place to visit or to live. We would love to welcome you! Come and visit.  

 

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1) Hickory Nut Mtn Rd, Tallulah Falls, GA 30573, Rabun Co.  
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$247,777
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2) Hickory Nut Mountain Rd, Tallulah Falls, GA 30573, Rabun Co.  
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$275,000
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The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange/Broker Reciprocity Program of Georgia MLS. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than RE/MAX of Rabun are marked with the Internet Data Exchange/Broker Reciprocity logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers.
The broker providing this data believes it to be correct, but advises interested parties to confirm them before relying on them in a purchase decision. Information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. © 2014 Georgia MLS. All rights reserved.
Data updated as of: 04/24/14, 6:16 AM


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