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Blairsville Area Information

 

Welcome to Union County located on the northeast border of Georgia which includes the Blue Ridge Mountains crossing through and more than half the county's acreage within the Chattahoochee National Forest, where the possibilities are endless and the memories last a lifetime! Seasons change from winter white to pastel spring to verdant summer to brilliant fall foliage. Bring your camera to catch your own memories to last a lifetime.

 

Population: Union County: 19,000 (2002) estimate), 17,289 (2000), up from 11,993 (1990).
Blairsville: 670

County Information: Union County Acreage, 204,736 (97,843 acres within Chattahoochee National Forest).
Lake Nottely - 4,180 acre body of water (Managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority). Shoreline on Lake Nottely is 106 miles.

Housing: Union County had 10,001 housing units in 2000, with a home ownership rate of 82.3%, well above the state average of 67.5%. In 2000, 401 housing units were authorized by building permits. The county averages close to 500 new units a year.

Elevations: County Elevation Range: 1,600-4,784 feet - Blairsville Elevation: 1,900 feet

Demographics (Averages): High Temperature - July:84F; Low Temperature - January:25F; Annual Rainfall - 65 inches; Annual Snowfall - 3 inches.

Employment and Industry:

  • Union County lists 50 manufacturing firms employing, 1,028, the largest being Aviagen, a poultry breeder, employing 156.
  • Tourism has an annual economic impact of $37 million, supporting 23 businesses and 541 jobs (fiscal year 2001).
  • The largest non-manufacturing employers in the Union County area are: Union County Schools, 300; United Community Banks Inc., 290; Global Employment Solutions, Inc., 168; Brasstown Valley Resort, 150; Union County Government, 150; Home Depot, 150; Union General Hospital, 145; Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, 145.

Helpful Numbers

Windstream 877-407-5741
Better Business Bureau 800-548-4456
Blairsville City Hall 706-745-2000
Blairsville Municipal Airport 706-745-4307
Blue Ridge Mountain EMC 706-379-3121
Board of Education 706-745-2322
Burn Permit 706-781-2398
Dept. of Family & Children's Serv. 706-745-2931
Dept. of Veteran's Serv. 706-745-6341
Ga. Mountain Experiment Station 706-745-2655
Health Dept. 706-745-6292
Humane Society 706-781-3843
Library - Union County Public 706-745-7491
Library -  Mountain Regional 706-379-3732
Lifelong Learning Center 706-781-6342
Mtn. Education Center 706-745-9575
Post Office - Blairsville 706-745-2541
Post Office - Suches 706-747-2611
Suches Medical Center 706-747-9575
Union County Historical Society 706-745-5493
Union County Development Authority 706-745-4500
Union General Hospital 706-745-2111
US Forest Service 706-745-6928
Water Authority - City of Blairsville 706-745-2000
Water Authority - Coosa 706-745-6773
Water Authority - Notla 706-745-4598
Woody Gap School/Suches 706-747-2401

 

Unemployment: Union County's unemployment rate in March was 3.2%, compared to 4.6% for the state, tying Union County for 17th lowest in Georgia.

Education: The Union County Public School System operates five schools and is the fiscal agent for the Union County Head Start Program and Pre-Kindergarten Program.
Personnel: 400 certified and classified; 70% of the 210 certified staff hold advanced degrees; 26% have Master's Degrees; 37% have Educational Specialist Degrees and 1% have Doctorate Degrees.
Facilities: A new middle school building was completed in 1992 and a new $11 million High School opened in 2002. Woody Gap school was renovated in 2000.
Accreditation: All Union County schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Georgia Accrediting Commission.
More information: Please call the Union County Board of Education at (706) 745-2322 or website
www.union.k12.ga.us

Worth Noting: Last year's county-wide third-grade class finished first in the state in the Stanford Achievement Test (reading and math), which compares student scores in third, fifth and eight grades to students nationwide. Union County's children finished in a tie with third graders from Fayette County.

Higher Education: North Georgia Technical College, Blairsville,; Young Harris College (9 miles from Blairsville); North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega (30 miles); Brenau University, Gainesville (55 miles); Gainesville College (55 miles)

Hospital Information: Union General Hospital (UGH), one of the top-rated rural hospitals in the state, and was named Georgia Rural Hospital of the Year in 2001 and Small Hospital of the Year in 2000. Among the wide range of services offered: chronic dialysis clinic, 147-bed nursing home, and a new cancer treatment center.
More Information: Union General Hospital (706) 745-2111 or
www.uniongeneralhospital.com ; Union County Nursing Home (706) 745-4948- the Nursing home is included in the Union County General Hospital website; Cancer Treatment Center (706) 835-3030; and the Union County Dialysis Center (706) 835-1925.

Utilities and Other Services

Electricity
Blue Ridge Mountain EMC
P.O. Box 9, Young Harris, GA 30582
(706) 379-3121

Telephone
Windstream (877) 407-5741
 

Water
City of Blairsville (7060 745-2000
Notla Water Authority (706) 745-4598
Coosa Water Authority (706) 745-6773

LP Gas
Available through several private companies

Sewage
Provided by city within city limits and by septic tanks in the county

Trash Service
Transfer and Recycle Station located on Deep South Farm Road. For hours of operation and for more information call (706) 439-6102.
Private companies are available for trash pick-up for a monthly fee.

Permits
Union County Building Permit Office
(Located in the U.C. Health Department)
55 Hughes Street, Suite B Blairsville, GA 30512
(706) 439-6039
Burn Permits (GA. Forestry)
(706) 745-2186

Airport
Blairsville Municipal Airport
2223 Airport Road Blairsville, GA
(706) 745-4307
An airport expansion will increase the 3,800 foot runway to 5,500 feet.

Public Transportation
Union County Transportation Service
41 Hospital St., Blairsville, GA 30512
For hours of Operation and Pick-Up Call:
(706) 439-6050

Government
Union County Commissioner

114 Courthouse St. Box 1 Blairsville, GA 30512
(706) 439-6000
Blairsville Mayor
City Hall
P.O. Box 307 Blairsville, GA 30512
(706) 745-2000

Tax Information

Sales Tax
State: 4%
Local: 3% (includes 1% SPLOST)
Union County has a 1% special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST). The money from this tax is used for the county jail, roads, streets and bridge improvements.
 

Property Tax
40% times Fair Market Value; equals assessed value times millage equals property taxes. Real and personal property taxes are levied byt he city, county and state. Rates set at the local level except state tax, which is fixed by Georgia law at $.25 for each $1,000 of assessed value.

Union County Taxes
Payable at the Union County Courthouse. For more information, call (706) 745-2000.

City of Blairsville Taxes
Payable at the Blairsville City Hall. For more information, call (706) 745-2000.

State Income Taxes
Rates range from 1%-6% of taxable income. Income and deductions generally follow Federal regulations. For more information, call the Tax Commissioner's office (706) 745-6018.

 

 

Local Chambers of Commerce

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
Union County Chamber of Commerce
Towns County Chamber of Commerce
Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce
Pickens County Chamber of Commerce
Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce
Clay County Chamber of Commerce

Local Real Estate Attorneys

Byron Wyndam
G. William Little
Angela Panter

Local Schools Website

Fannin County School System
Gilmer County School System
Union County School System
Towns County School System
Pickens County School System
Cherokee County School System
Clay County School System

Points of Interest

Union County Historical Courthouse Museum, Blairsville, GA

A Romanesque style brick and granite structure built in 1899 unique in its Appalachian Georgia setting. The Union County Historical Society was organized in 1976 to restore the Courthouse and the old Courthouse clock which had been removed in the 1950's. The clock is proudly displayed in the Courthouse lobby. Special collections feature the life and works of beloved Georgia poet, Byron Herbert Reece, a native of Union County, and Margarita Morgan's internationally known miniature doll house collection. Visit the Historical Society's museum in the Courthouse, located in the center of Blairsville.

 

  The Appalachian Trail - A wilderness footpath that winds over 2,100 miles along the crest of the Appalachian mountains. It runs through 14 states.

The Appalachian Trail in Georgia extends some 80 miles through the primitive area of Chattahoochee National Forest. Although rising at times to elevations of over 4,400 feet, the Trail is mostly along ridges at elevations around 3,000 feet. It offers unlimited hiking adventure of exceptional challenge and variety. Ascents and descents are sometimes steep, but are often rewarded by scenic vistas from rocky outcrops and open summits.

The Appalachian Trail may be reached by way of: Woody Gap on Georgia Highway 60, 4 miles south of Suches; Neel Gap on U.S. Highway 19/129, 14 miles south of Blairsville; and Testate Gap and Hog Pen Gap on Georgia Highway 348 (Richard Russell Scenic Highway,) 15 miles southeast of Blairsville.

Blood Mountain Archaeological Area - Site of Cherokee and Creek Indian Battle before arrival of the white man. For your convenience, there is a Visitor Information Center located at Walasi-Yi Center where the Appalachian Trail crosses U.S. Highway 19/129. The area is located 15 miles south of Blairsville at Neel Gap on US Highway 19/129, via Appalachian Trail.

Blue Star Memorial By-Way - First conceived in 1946 to honor veterans of World War II, Blue Star Memorials became a project of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc.   Since that time, hundreds of Memorials have been dedicated by Garden Clubs throughout the nation honoring our armed forces, who have served, are serving, and will serve in the Armed Forces of the United States.   The name was taken from the Blue Star in the Service Flag.  The bronze marker, dedicated June 6, 1999, is located at Heritage Walk on the grounds of the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce, Highway 515 at Old Blue Ridge Highway, Blairsville.

Brasstown Bald Mountain & Visitor Information Center - 360 degree vista of four states from the observation deck, atop Georgia's highest elevation of 4,784 feet. The Visitor Information Center offers interpretive programs, slide presentations and exhibits that explain the natural history of the mountain area and the changes that occur in flora and fauna throughout the seasons. Hiking trails and picnicking areas are available. Open Memorial Day through October and on weekends in early spring (as weather permits.) Facilities 1/4 mile below. Summit reached by trail or by shuttle bus for a small fee. An elevator was installed prior to the 1999 season to carry the handicapped visitors to the observation deck.  Travel US Highway 19/129 south from Blairsville seven miles. Turn left onto Georgia Highway 180 for nine miles, then north on Georgia 66 for three miles.

Byron Herbert Reece Home place - This farm home place is where Reece completed his writings. Still standing are the house Reece built for his parents, his study, the large barn and home of his sister. About three miles south beyond the home place is the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial Park with hiking trails and picnic area. Located nine miles south of Blairsville on US Highway 19 & 129.

Cooper's Creek Scenic & Recreation Area - 1,240 acres featuring camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing and hunting. Cooper's Creek and tributaries are teeming with trout. From Blairsville, go west on Blue Ridge Highway (Old Highway 76) for three miles. Turn left onto Mulky Gap Road. Follow paved road until pavement ends and turn to gravel. Go three miles and Cooper's Creek is on the left.

DeSoto Falls Scenic Area - Rugged mountainous country with exceptional views and five beautiful waterfalls - 650 acres with 2,000-4,000 feet elevations. Clear streams, camping, fishing, picnicking, and hiking. Take US Highway 19/129 south of Blairsville for 15 miles or north from Cleveland for 15 miles.

Dukes Creek Falls - Drops about 150 feet down a sheer granite canyon and into Dukes Creek. The area offers scenic beauty and excellent gold panning opportunities. There is a slippery-rock water slide. An observation deck affords an excellent view of the falls from the parking are. Travel on US Highway 19/129 south from Blairsville five miles. Turn left onto Georgia Highway 180 for 1/2 mile. Turn right onto Georgia Highway 348 (Richard Russell Scenic Highway) for 12 miles.

Frank Gross Recreation Area - Along beautiful Rock Creek, near Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery. Camping and fishing. Take Georgia Highway 60 north from Suches approximately 10 miles turn left onto Forest Service Road 69 for five miles.

Georgia Mountain Experiment Station - A branch of the University of Georgia established in 1930 to provide a diversified program in agricultural research and demonstrations of fruits, vegetables, field and forage crops as well as ornamentals and beef-cattle winter feeding trials.  Gardens of the Arboretum project is in progress and will center around the Jarrett "Apple" House, an historic building on the grounds of the Experiment Station.  Tours may be arranged by calling (706) 745-2655. Self-guided tours Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Located approximately three miles south of Blairsville on US Highway 19/129.

Helton Creek Falls - There are two falls on Helton Creek in the Chattahoochee National Forests. The upper falls which has an observation deck is about 50 yards above the lower falls. The total vertical drop is more than 100 feet. A 300 yard trail leads to the falls. (The rocks are deceptively slippery; please exercise caution). To reach these falls take US 19 and 129 south from Blairsville for about 11 miles. Turn left onto Helton Creek Road, the first road past the entrance to Vogel State Park. Travel 2.2 miles to the parking area on the right. The trail begins on the right just before the parking area. The first mile of this road is paved, fairly narrow, and surrounded by summer homes. The rest of the road is gravel.

Horse Trough Falls - Another lesser known but no less spectacular waterfall awaits you in Union County within easy distance of Helen. It's Horse Trough Falls, a shimmering 70 foot falls on Little Horse Trough Creek. To reach Horse Trough Falls, take Georgia 17/75 north from Helen (in White County) to FS44. Then turn left onto FS44. At 9.3 mile you'll pass a waterfall on Spoilcane Creek. Then, at about 3.4 miles you'll come to FS44F which turns off to the right. FS44F soon fords Henson Creek. Once you're across Henson Creek stay to the left for 0.2 miles to a road-blocking pile of debris and park your vehicle there. Now look for blue blazes marking a trail leading upstream along the Chattahoochee River. Hike upstream. You'll soon ford the river. Several hundred feet upriver Little Horse Trough Creek joins the river from the left; follow the creek upstream for a tenth of a mile to the base of the falls. From there hiking distance to Horse Trough Falls is about 0.3 miles.

Lake Nottely - A 4,180 acre body of water with a 106 mile shoreline. Recreation areas provide opportunities for boating, swimming, fishing, picnicking and camping. For your convenience there are two marinas and public boat ramps along the lake. Travel nine miles north on US Highway 19/129, turn left onto Georgia Highway 325, two miles to view 184 foot dam.

Lake Winfield Scott - Clear 18 acre lake high in the mountains with picnicking, camping, swimming, fishing, boating and hiking. Covered pavilion and bathhouse near swimming area. Take US Highway 19/129 south from Blairsville for 10 miles. Turn west onto Georgia Highway 180 for seven miles.

Lake Woody - Named for Arthur Woody, widely known for establishing rainbow trout in the cool mountain streams, and bringing deer back to the mountains of north Georgia. Take US Highway 19/129 south of Blairsville for 10 miles. Turn west onto Georgia Highway 180 for 12 miles to Suches near the Georgia Highway 60 intersection.

Richard Russell Scenic Highway - 14.1 miles of scenic mountain drive, overlooks. The Highway crosses the Appalachian Trail. Elevations range from 2,040 feet to 3,644 feet. Direct route from Blairsville to Helen. Travel south of Blairsville on US Highway 19/129 for five miles. Turn left onto Georgia Highway 180, 1/2 mile to designated Georgia Highway 348.

Sosebee Cove Scenic Area - 175 acre tract of prize hardwoods set aside as a memorial to Arthur Woody, the "Barefoot Ranger," who served as US Forest Ranger form 1911 to 1945. No facilities, 1/2 mile trail. Abundant spring flowers. Take US Highway 19/129 south of Blairsville for 10 miles. Turn west onto Georgia Highway 180 for two miles.

Trackrock Archaeological Area - 52 acre area with preserved petroglyph of ancient Indian origin. Carvings resemble animal and bird tracks, crosses, circles and human footprints. Historical marker locates the area. Travel US Highway 19/129 south of Blairsville. Turn left onto Town Creek School Road. Turn left at Harmony Grove Church onto Trackrock Gap Road, approximately three mile.

Vogel State Park - One of Georgia's oldest and most popular state parks. Major facilities include 280 acres in the mountains, 110 tent and trailer sites, 36 rental cottages, 20 acre lake, miniature golf, swimming beach, four picnic shelters, pioneer camping, pedal boats, family group shelter. There are 17 miles of hiking trails for the outdoor enthusiasts. Annual special events include the Wildflower Program in April and the Mountain Music Festival in September.

Woody Gap Recreational Area - Scenic view of Yahoola Valley. The Appalachian Trail crosses Georgia Highway 60 at this point. Located four miles south of Suches.

 

 

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