Blairsville is an outdoor oasis in the North Georgia Mountains. We love visiting here for the history, the waterfalls and the beloved Vogel State Park. Here are nine FREE things to do if you find your way here, too.
Blood Mountain. Blood Mountain is one of my most favorite Georgia hikes. The views are spectacular. Kids will adore the boulders and the AT shelter. It’s a moderate hike, but well worth the effort.
Mountain Crossings. Special thanks to Atlanta Trails for turning me on to this place. It’s a fun shop to nose around, with gear and books and whatnot. The best part is the story behind the building. It’s the only covered section of the AT! You can catch a glimse of thru-hikers or see their boots hanging from the rafters. Some weekends you’ll hear live music, too. Be sure to climb the stairs behind the building for more great views.
Track Rock Gap. Imagine reading a story told by Cherokee Indians over 1,000 years ago! You can do that at Track Rock Gap. We made this pit-stop by accident, and I am so glad we did! Tucked into the mountain side, you can see rock carvings, or petroglyphs, in the soapstone.
Tips from the website: Track Rock Gap is open to public visitation and no fee is charged. We have several suggestions to enhance your visit. Please print the drawings of the boulders on this site to take with you. This will help you to identify the figures you see at the site. Intensity of natural lighting can influence how much you are able to see. Bright mid-day sun makes it hard to see most of the figures, and the best times to visit are early or late in the day, when the light is at a low angle. Please be respectful of other visitors and the people who made these carvings. Previous visitors removed pieces of the boulders, thus depriving future visitors of the chance to see what they thought was so special.
I admit, it is a small selection….maybe not worthy of a special trip (unless you’re a budding archeologist specializing in Native American petroglyphs,) but if you are in Blairsville, this is a must-see. At first, we had a difficult time detecting the etchings, but here is another little tip….when we held the camera phone over the rock, the highlights and shadows became more apparent in the phone screen. With that information, our eyes adjusted to better pick them up on the rocks.
I encourage you to watch the video and read about the boulders before you go. I wish we had done this…it would have made for a more rich experience for the kiddos…but it was still amazing. Good stories never die.
Meeks Park. Enjoy batting cages, a nice playground, disc golf, a dog park and skateboard park. Walk the 4+ miles of trails. There is a small fee for the seasonal pool.
Lasso the Moon. This alpaca farm is free of charge to visit (A donation is appreciated.) It isn’t open on a regular basis, though. If you plan to visit the city, call ahead to make an appointment. You’ll meet the alpacas, learn what they do with the fibers, and shop the store. There is also an open house three times a year, including July, Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.
Byron Herbert Reece Farm. There is a fee for adults, but kids 12 and younger are free. Explore the farm of this famous poet, take a hike and stroll along the gorgeous creek.
Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center is just a few miles from Vogel State Park. It had just been open a short time when we stopped in for a visit. We started in the Visitor Center, which doubled as a gift shop and museum. The boys like the old fashioned spinning wheel here.
Then we headed outside, following the walk along the Poetry Trail. The large stones here each represent a season, with an inscription of Reece’s poetry. It was a lovely way to introduce him to the kiddos. Using the map we picked up earlier, we followed the trail through five barn buildings, a replica of his home, and a trail along the water.
Helton Creek Falls. One of the best waterfalls in the area to play with the kiddos. It’s only a short walk from the parking lot, too. The lower falls are super for spending the day together!
Sleepy Hollow. See the works of a former Disney designer. Explore the whimsical “fairy houses” and then tour the store. The colorful creations will delight your soul.
Vogel State Park. Yes, there is a parking fee ($5,) but I am hoping that if you have followed us a while you have invested in an Annual Georgia State Park Pass. With that, you can leave your cash in your wallet when you visit any State Park. Vogel offers a lake with lake activities, mini golf, a man-made (but still pretty) waterfall, and more!