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A community's heritage can sometimes get lost or misplaced with the passage of the years. 

The Toccoa Main Street program, however, has made sure that will never happen in downtown Toccoa.

A visitor to the city who walks the city's historic downtown district will find a series of plaques that mark the history of more than 60 buildings. 

In most cases, the buildings still house vibrant businesses that are still going strong after scores of years.

Some say it’s so special because of the solitude and serenity it invokes.

Some say it’s the scenic combination of foliage, sky and nearby mountains that make it one of Northeast Georgia’s treasures.

It’s that time of year again, when leaves and temperatures are falling and lake activity dwindles.

For boat and dock owners, it’s a time to evaluate and prepare their property for the potentially damaging effects the winter months can bring.

Though North Georgia typically experiences mild winters and doesn’t contend with the blistering cold temperatures like far to the north, there are still precautions that need to be taken.

Artist Virginia McClure, owner of Lakemont Gallery in Lakemont, is well-known in the area for her lake paintings.

"If it doesn't have a lake, or water, in it, I don't want to paint it," McClure said.

McClure explains that her fascination with water began when she was a child, and her family had a house on the then-brand-new Lake Lanier.

Libby Mathews, who sells her art through Timpson Creek Gallery, loves painting lakes, water scenes, and of course, the red canoes she's famous for.

For Mathews, the canoes have deeply personal meaning. She painted the first one when her best friend died.

"I was painting her a beautiful wooden boat, and it became a red canoe," Matthews said. She later painted canoes to represent different phases of her sons' lives, including when one of her son's was deployed by the Army to Iraq.

"They all represent a passage," she said.

Lake house decor is as individual and personal as the lake house owner, and what used to be considered "traditional" lake house art -- lake scenes, canoes and wildlife -- is just one piece of the character of the home.

Whether you're doing a full redecoration or just adding pieces to your lake house collection, North Georgia has a plethora of artists and art galleries to choose from.

One of those is Burton Gallery, 150 Burton Dam Road, Clarkesville, owned and managed by Marlene Eck for 14 years.

Looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors and stretch your legs during the late fall and winter months without traveling a long distance to do so?

Try the Frady Branch Trail into the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area about seven miles southwest of Toccoa.

The Frady Branch Trail is only a little over four miles in length, but when you add in other trails it connects to such as the Leatherwood Creek, Lathan Cemetery and Peach Orchard trails, the entire trail system totals some 11.3 miles.

Tallulah Point Overlook (TPO) offers thousands of visitors annually a free, birds-eye view of Tallulah Gorge almost every day of the year.

Melissa Elzey of Rabun County was “honored and surprised” when she learned her photo of Lake Burton after a fresh snowfall was chosen as the winter 2018 cover photo of Lake Living magazine.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “The cover, that’s an honor.”

Lake Living is a publication of Community Newspapers Inc., covering Northeast Georgia’s lakes. Three editions of the magazine – spring, summer and winter – are released each year. The winter 2018 edition includes stories about boat building, fly tying, fishing, lake house art and much more.

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.


Northeast Georgian

Mailing Address:
2440 Old Athens Hwy
Cornelia, GA 30531

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