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On a cool, rainy November afternoon when it seems winter is just around the corner, Al Olsen has opened the shop behind his Lake Hartwell home. He and his golf partners had attempted, that morning, to get their usual 18 holes of golf in, but the rain wiped out his groupís round.

He has returned to his shop to talk about his passion, Chris Craft boats, and in particular a Chris Craft boat that he is currently rescuing from neglect.

It is a project he estimates he'll spend roughly 200 hours on, but he doesn't consider the project "work." 

Clay Keller is no professional angler, but his experience fishing the lakes of North Georgia — and places farther north like Canada — might as well qualify him as one.

Keller was secretary of the Appalachian Striper Club for 15 years and the Hartwell Largemouth Club for 18. He has the experience of a lifetime of fishing on Hartwell and other North Georgia lakes like Russell, Chatuge, Lanier and others.

“I’ve stirred up the water a little bit,” Keller quipped.

In that time, he has learned one universal truth: fishing in North Georgia is a year-round endeavor.

I first heard from Jabe Hilson about a year and a half ago via email. He dropped by one of the restaurants – a cold call – to see if the beverage director might like to taste his wines. I wasn’t around, but he left with my card. The message he sent – in which he told me a bit about his Clayton winery, Noble Wine Cellar – was noteworthy for a couple of reasons.

Northeast Georgia has scenic wonders to enjoy in its forests and along its rivers and streams. Many of its picturesque waterfalls have relatively short and easy trails, while others require a more strenuous effort. Some of the waterfalls are close to each other and can be visited on one trip. Many of the waterfalls offer breathtaking views and quiet places for contemplation. Access and degree of difficulty varies.

There are plenty of opportunities to wander on public access hiking trails Dawson, Habersham, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union and White counties in Northeast Georgia. The following is a county-by-county listing with general directions provided.

Inside Amicalola State Park
Amicalola Falls East Ridge Trail.
This is a steady, strenuous climb to the top of Amicalola Falls;

Once upon a time, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources owned a huge tract of land in White County — more than 1,000 acres, heavily forested, with a beautiful lake. But the DNR didn’t want to spend the money to develop and manage the property, so they handed it over to the White County Board of Commissioners — for the grand sum of $1.

Do you know where Cabbage Patch Kids come from?

Guests can visit the home of these kids at the sprawling BabyLand General Hospital in Cleveland. When patrons walk in the front doors of BabyLand General, they are greeted with the sight of Mother Cabbage and a plethora of dolls sprouting up from cabbage.

Tying your own flies can be considered an art or a utilitarian craft to catch just about any kind of fish.

Three local fly-tyers — Justin Aldrich and Jacob Brewster of Habersham County, and Scott Low of Rabun County — shared what they love about the art.

Aldrich got into tying flies, he said, “just to catch trout,” and now he ties flies for a living.


Northeast Georgian

Mailing Address:
2440 Old Athens Hwy
Cornelia, GA 30531

Phone: 706-778-4215
Fax: 706-778-4114