The sights along Ga. 197

As you drive up north through Habersham County, you’ll test your vehicle’s steering ability on the winding roads of Scenic Highway (state Route) 197. However, the greater challenge on this route will be not stopping for photos.

“… Back in the 1930s and on into the 1950s, it was simply the ‘road along the river’ or ‘the road down from the lake,’” according to Clarkesville-based Once Upon a Time Owner Wally Wenn, in his article titled, “The Moonshine Highway.”

The road was known for heavy transportation during the moonshine trade. The drive today will take you from Lake Burton in Rabun County all the way to downtown Clarkesville. Along the drive, you’ll catch picturesque views of the Soque River and vast landscapes with the North Georgia mountains painted in the background.

Many of the businesses in the area have been around for more than 20 years, like Mark of the Potter and Once Upon a Time.

Mark of the Potter Manager Michael Foust said the number of tourists they get varies greatly depending on the season. However, on the weekends, he said they easily have hundreds who want to shop for pottery, enjoy a porch-side view of the Soque River and maybe feed the huge trout swimming below the store.

“We get people from all over the world,” Foust said. “You get people from Europe, a lot from the U.K. (United Kingdom).”

Ireland, Spain and Scotland were some other mentions.

Foust added that while driving on the road, you may be lucky enough to see bison, bears, turkeys or families of deer.

In regard to lodging, visitors can get cozy at the North 40 Lodge and Cabins.

Those who are interested in trying “the best biscuits in Batesville,”according the Scenic 197 Business Association, can visit the Batesville General Store and Restaurant.

Northeast Georgian

Mailing Address:
2440 Old Athens Hwy
Cornelia, GA 30531

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