Why Our Mountains?
First, our area is easily accessed by four-lane highway
from Atlanta, with average travel times of about an hour and a half.
Many Florida residents can also reach our area with an easy day’s
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The February 2002 issue of the Wall Street Journal's
Smart Money magazine named Blue Ridge, Georgia as one of the five best
places to buy vacation homes in the U.S. "Why is this town a choice
retreat? No worries about overdevelopment .... After hiking the Appalachian
mountain trails, head to the 100-year-old downtown to furnish your new
house at the antique stores and galleries" (page 62).
For most of us, it is the mix of relaxed lifestyle, natural beauty, and outdoor recreational opportunities that make our area so desirable. Because the four-lane highway was only completed in the last decade, the area as a whole is far less developed than other comparable resort areas in Georgia. Development has also been more nicely done here than elsewhere. Our wilderness areas are really wild, and Fannin County continues to be 42% national forest. Lake Blue Ridge has approximately 100 miles of shoreline, with 80 miles of it being national forest shoreline.
Our area includes two different mountain chains, the Cohuttas and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It has three major lakes, Carter’s, Blue Ridge, and Nottely. It is home to five major rivers, the Toccoa/Ocoee, the Nottely, the Cartecay, the Coosawatee, and the Ellijay, along with one large creek especially beloved by trout fishermen, Fightingtown Creek. It is home to two major wilderness areas, the Cohutta/Big Frog and the Rich Mountain Wilderness, along with a number of Wildlife Management Areas. According to the Georgia Conservancy’s Guide to the North Georgia Mountains, the Blue Ridge region has the greatest mixture of temperate climate plants in the world, except for eastern temperate Asia, because it comprises the northernmost range of many southern species and the southernmost range of many northern species.
With these advantages, we have become a very popular area for second homes, and we have a growing full-time population of retirees and people who commute elsewhere for work. We’re secluded without being remote, and many Atlanta residents visit their mountain cabins on a weekly basis, year-round. We also have a very strong weekend rental market, which allows buyers to leverage their investment by realizing income on their properties.