- 54 miles (86 km)
- 1-2 hours, more if multiple stops are made.
Beginning at historic Prater's Mill in Whitfield County, this byway rolls past pastoral lands, quiet country roads, views of the Cohutta Mountains and the Chattahoochee National Forest.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway (GA)
"All Aboard! All Aboard!"
Who doesn't thrill to the call of the old train conductor as he calls for you to board the train traveling back through history?
A train ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway certainly qualifies as a thrill-producing experience. Enjoy not only the scenic views but also the history of the area as you travel along. Listen to the older folk reminisce while the youngsters stare wide-eyed at the surrounding sights. Watch the children throw conductor-provided carrots out to mules seen along the way.Experience the unbelievably fast speed of nearly 10 miles per hour over the better parts of the trip!
Once you reach McCaysville, you have time for lunch or browsing in the intriguing nearby shops before the train whistle again summons you for the return trip to Blue Ridge. You'll see a different view on the return trip as the sun sets and casts shadows on the landscape. You can also watch the fishermen pull their trout catches from the Toccoa River. All too soon the train pulls into the station at Blue Ridge, and once again you must face the reality of our modern world -- that is, unless you can spare a little more time to visit the antique shops near the depot!
From Chatsworth take Hwy 252 east to Hwy 2. Turn north on Hwy. 2 and go to Blue Ridge. The train is located at 241 Depot Street.
Chief Vann House (GA)
This classic two-story mansion has been called the "Showplace of the Cherokee Nation." Built by Chief James Vann in 1804, it was the first brick home located within the Cherokee Nation.
Chief Vann, loved by few and feared by many, was considered both a rogue and a hero. He brought the Moravian missionaries to the Cherokee Nation to build schools. On the flip side, he was notorious for killing his brother-in-law in a duel, firing a pistol at dinner guests through a hole in the floor of an upstairs bedroom, and even for shooting at his own mother! He was killed at a local tavern in 1809, supposedly for killing his brother-in-law.
His son, Joseph, also known as "Rich Joe Vann," inherited the home. In 1835 he was evicted by the Georgia Militia for unknowingly violating a new law which made it illegal for an Indian to hire a white man. Joseph then settled in the Cherokee Territory in Oklahoma until his death in 1844.
Fort Mountain State Park (GA)
Who built this stone wall...and when?
New Echota was established as the capitol of the Cherokee national legislature in 1825 and was the site of the first Indian language newspaper office. It was also the site of a court case which went all the way to the US Supreme Court, as well as the site of numerous other historical events.
Visitors can see such original and reconstructed buildings as the Council House, Court House, Missionary Samuel Worcester's home, the Print Shop, and an 1805 store. Various outbuildings include smoke houses, barns, and corn cribs.
Original Native American arts, crafts, and music may be purchased at the visitor center. Interpretive exhibits and a 17-minute film are also available there for viewing.
Take I-75 to exit # 317, then to SR 225 and on to New Echota.