Chenocetah Fire Tower open for Saturday tours

The Mountain Traveler - Summer 2018

The famed Chenocetah Fire Tower, high atop Chenocetah Mountain in Cornelia, offers some of the best views of Habersham County and greater Northeast Georgia.
Now open for tours from 9 a.m-1 p.m. every Saturday through Nov. 4, the public is invited to visit, take breathtaking photos at the top from an elevation of 1,830 feet, and learn about its history from a local historian.
Included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, this 40-foot-high stone tower was built in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration for the U.S. Forest Service, according to The website also states local craftsmen used native granite to construct the tower, named with the Indian word meaning "see all around."
Referring to it as "the only granite fire tower in the United States," Cornelia Community Development Manager Jessie Owensby said she thinks the tower, though a popular tourist attraction, gives residents a sense of place.
"They feel nostalgic about having it here as they were growing up,"ù she said. "I have been up there several times with natives of the area. It never fails ó they always account memories made from their childhoods.
"For visitors, I think it gives them a sense of peace,"ùOwensby continued. "Every time I go there, a peace washes over me. This is truly God's country and when you are at that tower, you can see it."
The tower overlooks Richard B. Russell State Park, including Lake Russell, and is surrounded by a number of mountain-biking and hiking trails.
"I call the tower 'Cornelia's lighthouse,'" Owensby said. "It's like a lighthouse on a hill overlooking all of our beautiful landscape."ù
For more information, call 706-778-8585, ext. 280, or send an email inquiry to

This story comes from our free publication, Mountain Traveler magazine.

Northeast Georgian

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