Union County offers recreation possibilities that appeal to people of all age groups. Mountain trails abound for walking, biking and horseback riding. Fishing, all-terrain vehicle trails as well as swimming, tennis and disc golf are all available within the county or just a short drive away.
Hiking: The Appalachian Trail, which winds from Maine to Georgia crosses through Union County, draws many hikers to the area. You do not have to be a trekker to enjoy many of the day hikes that can be accessed here. Hiking to mountain waterfalls or just through the quiet of the woods reveals an array of scenery and beautiful views. Day hikes range in length from 0.6 mile to the top of Georgia’s highest peak, Brasstown Bald, to the 5.5 mile Arkaquah Trail through the Brasstown Wilderness. Long trails include the 60 mile Duncan Ridge Trail loop and the 11.8 mile Coosa Backcountry Trail. Information on these and other hiking trails can be picked up at the Chamber office or the U.S. Forest Service office in Blairsville.
Fishing: Lake Nottely, a 4,180 acre lake located in Union County is just the ticket for a day of fishing with the family. The lake offers many coves and quiet places to drop a line and catch dinner. Local trout streams are home to the brook, brown and rainbow trout. Seasonal streams are open from the last Saturday in March through October 31st each year. Trout fishing opportunities include heavily-stocked high-use streams, wilderness streams and streams with special regulations. Information on fishing is available from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the local Forest Service office.
Mountain Biking: Designated mountain biking trails are a short drive away when you are in Union County. Jack Rabbit trail, located in Hiawassee is a 20 minute drive from Blairsville. The Tanasi Trail Systems, accessed from the Ocoee Whitewater Center located in Ocoee, TN offers single and doubletrack biking trails. For more information on these and other trails go to www.sabacycling.com. The U.S. Forest Service also has two locations for mountain biking in the area, Aska Trails, located near Blue Ridge and the Jake and Bull Mountain multi-use trails near Dahlonega.
OHV Trails: There are two OHV areas within Union County regulated by the U.S. Forest Service. They are Davenport Mountain and Beasley Knob. These OHV areas are for any motorized vehicle that travels off paved roads for recreational purposes. OHV's include: motorbikes such as mini-bikes, dirt bikes, enduros and motor cross bikes; four-wheel drive vehicles such as jeeps, land rovers, and pickups; all-terrain vehicles such as the popular four-wheelers; and dune buggies. The open and closed status of these trails are determined by weather and local conditions, so it is always best to contact the Forest Service before transporting your vehicles to these areas. Trail maps are available online or at the Forest Service facility located in Blairsville. A fee is charged to access Davenport Mountain. It is 5.9 miles in length and is suitable for ATV’s and motorcycles. Beasley Knob is also fee based and is 10.6 miles and suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles, ATV’s and motorcycles.
Horseback Riding: There a several private horseback riding establishments in Union County which are members of the Chamber of Commerce. For information on these businesses please check our Member Directory. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest also allows horseback riding. You can now ride on any designated open or closed road in the forest or any designated trail that is open to horseback use, about 200 miles of trails.
For more information on any of these activities you can access the U.S. Forest Service website at www.fs.fed.us, choose Georgia, and click on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest link.
Meeks Park: A recreation complex, includes picnic areas, children’s playgrounds, baseball/softball fields, a soccer field, tennis courts and a public swimming pool. A paved scenic walking trail bordering Butternut Creek set Meeks Park apart from similar complexes. The park includes a designated dog walking trail and a newly added Disc Golf Course. Meeks Park is home to the Butternut Creek Festival, Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games, Fourth of July fireworks, and many other community activities.