From extreme south-central Pennsylvania the Blue Ridge Mountains run
to the south and west, including land that ranges from high peaks (such
as the Shenandoahs) to rolling hills like those throughout much of the
southwest portion of Virginia. In North Carolina the geologically
complex mountain range once again reaches lofty heights, with some
individual mountain peaks over 6,000 feet, highest in the eastern United
In southern North Carolina this high eastern ridge
turns west, and continues to Springer Mountain, in southern Fannin
County, Georgia. While the Blue Ridge range does continue to the west it
is at this point that both the Benton
begin their northward trek along the ridges of the Appalachian
Mountains. The Benton MacKaye follows the western ridge of the
Appalachians while the Appalachian Trail follows the eastern ridge.
The Blue Ridge Range comprises the majority of the
Appalachian Mountains. The Appalachians are a loose-knit series of
mountain ranges that extend from Maine to Alabama and include portions
of New Hampsire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticutt, New York, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North and South
Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. These mountains formed the greatest
barrier to the westward movement of European and American settlers until
the 19th century.
West of the Blue Ridge range is a second series of
mountains that runs from West Central North Carolina to Fannin County,
Georgia. In Georgia, this range is known as the Cohuttas; further north
they are called the Smoky Mountains. The Cohuttas and the Smokies are
part of the Blue Ridge province, yet they are actually geologically
distinct from the Blue Ridge Mountain Range and quite a bit older.
In Fannin County, Georgia, the Gateway to the Blue
Ridge Mountains, the Cohuttas rise in the west and the Blue Ridge to the
south and east. The Cherokee consided the Cohuttas to be the "poles of
the shed," holding up the sky in this, their "Enchanted Land." Many
Cherokee would farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains, leaving them during the
winter and staying at the Cherokee village of Aska, or "winter home."
These mountains also held wealth for the early
settlers. Although agriculture was the major industry in the area,
lumber and mining in both the Cohuttas and Blue Ridge Mountains
contributed significant income to the north Georgia settlers. Once the
lumber had been harvested the federal government bought the mountain
land and created the Chattahoochee National Forest.
During the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps
worked to improve the environmental conditions of the mountains,
reforesting areas all across Fannin County. There were two camps listed
in Fannin County, Georgia, Camp Sea Creek and Camp Wilscot. Other camps
outside Fannin County, specifically Camp Woody in Suches, did
significant amounts of work within our county.
Today, more than 100,000 acres of land in Fannin
County is managed by the United States Forest Service. The Fannin County
Chamber of Commerce and local businesses work closely with the Forest
Service in many aspects of the management of the land within our county.
Fannin County, Georgia is known as the Gateway to the
Blue Ridge Mountains. People from Atlanta, Chattanooga and the entire
Southeastern United States think of Fannin County, Georgia as the place
to start their Blue Ridge Mountain vacation because of the multitude of
outdoor recreational opportunites, the wide array of available lodging,
excellent restaurants and easy access to the mountains thanks to the Georgia Mountain Parkway