- Apple Capital
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Ellijay is in the heart of Georgia’s Apple Country. From late August to December, roadside markets are bursting with the best, tree-ripened mountain apples you can imagine. Apple Orchard Alley is the picturesque valley along Hwy 52 East. Eleven of the county’s 18 apple orchards are dotted along the highway
Georgia Apple Festival, Apple Arts of the Square & Parade
Producing 600,000 bushels of apples each fall, Ellijay/Gilmer County is Georgia’s Apple Capital, so it’s only natural that the 2nd and 3rd weekends of October each year, people from all over the nation come to Ellijay to celebrate the apple. Handmade arts and crafts, homegrown entertainment, and plain old fun, combine with every apple product imaginable to make the weekends a family adventure. Throw in the colorful fall leaves, crisp mountain air, sky-blue days, and star-studded nights and you’ll want to visit again and again. Sponsored by the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce and the Ellijay Lions Club, the festivities include a car show and a parade. Shuttle buses run every few minutes between downtown Ellijay and the Fairgrounds.
Leaf Peeping – Middle – Late October/Early November
Beautiful leaf color throughout the region – crisp mountain air, pristine fall days and a breath taking scenic show put on by Mother Nature!
Dogwoods, Mountain Laurels, Rhododendron
In the spring – what a wonderful time to be in the mountains!
Located near Ellijay off GA Hwy. 136. Carters Lake is more than 450 feet deep with 3,200 surface acres. The dam is the tallest earthen dam east of the Mississippi River. The scenery if spectacular with mountain and valley views of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. Its sparkling waters and rugged shoreline provide a beautiful surrounding for a variety of recreational opportunities which include fishing, picnicking, boating, mountain biking and hunting. Launch ramps by fee. Carter’s Lake is stocked with Walleye, Hybrid Bass and Striped Bass.
20 miles Southeast of Ellijay on GA Hwy. 52 East – Its easy to see why this is one of Georgia’s most popular state parks. Amicalola, a Cherokee Indian word meaning tumbling waters, is an appropriate name for these 729-foot falls the tallest cascading falls east of the Mississippi River. An eight-mile approach trail leads from the park to Springer Mountain, the southern end of the 2,150-mile Appalachian Trail. However, numerous other trails are available for shorter journeys.
Fort Mountain State Park
18 miles North of Ellijay on GA Hwy. 52 W – Eighteen miles North of Ellijay on Hwy 52W; Fort Mountain derives its name from an ancient 855-foot-long rock wall which stands on the highest point of the mountain. The mysterious wall is thought to have been built by Indians as fortification against other more hostile Indians or for ancient ceremonies. Situated in the Chattahoochee National Forest close to the Cohutta Wilderness area, this park offers a variety of outdoor activities. Hikes wind through hardwood forest and blueberry thickets, occasionally crossing streams and providing spectacular vistas. Great picnic area.
Hiking – Benton MacKaye Trail
Less tame path than the Appalachian Trail, steep in places, rough in spots, a mixture of occasional road walks and single-track footpaths treading along ridgelines and streams. Many sections have permanently fixed routes, while other sections are still being rerouted. The trail’s namesake, Benton MacKaye, was the man who actually conceived the idea of an “Appalachian Trail .” The Benton MacKaye Trail starts at the same place as the Appalachian Trial, Springer Mountain in Georgia. It heads north through the Chattahoochee National Forest and crosses The Appalachian Trail a few times during the early part of the 93-mile journey to its current terminus at the Ocoee River in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest.
Golf – Whitepath Golf Course, Ellijay, GA. For reservations call: 706-276-3080
Bicycling – Great mountain biking! There are dedicated cycling lanes on GA Hwy. 52 E.
Tennis in Ellijay
A picturesque recreation complex on the banks of the Coosawattee River, the park offers picnic areas, tennis courts, and a walking trail. Old Highway 5 South, along the Coosawattee River. South of the Dairy Queen. Lighted tennis courts. No charge. One hour time limit if someone is waiting.
Wildlife Rehab Sanctuaries
Ellijay Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary 5 miles East of Ellijay. A 50-acre facility that medically cares for all species of orphaned and injured wildlife indigenous to Georgia and the Southeast. The sanctuary is a state and federally licensed facility. Several years ago, the sanctuary began to offer outdoor education and summer camp programs to serve the people of the community. It is open to the public, Sunday through Friday for tours by appointment only.
Fishing in Ellijay – There is great fishing in Ellijay on Old Hwy. 5 in the park area, from the banks of the Coosawattee River. Take your fishing pole and enjoy. There is also a 1 mile walking tract along the river with a great picnic and playground area.
Pearson Pond Ranch & Llama Co.
The ranch is located down an old logging road and up a holler known as Pleasant Valley on 98 acres, surrounded by mountains once roamed by Cherokee Indians. Started here in 1981 there is a sizable herd that represents the finest bloodlines available, including Argentine, Chilean, Bolivian, Australian, Canadian and North American. Visitors by appointment.
Burt’s Pumpkin Farm
Burt’s has pumpkins that range from an eye popping 150 lbs. to a modest 1 lb. in every variety imaginable. Burt’s also offer hay rides and field trips that take you through a winding trail filled with nature and beauty.
The Heritage Museum
The Heritage Museum of Gilmer County is located in the Gilmer Arts and Heritage Association Facility at 207 Dalton Street (also known as 52 West). Located two blocks west of the roundabout, the museum is open from 9am through 5pm, Monday through Friday. t covers the history of Gilmer, including prehistoric relics, the Trail of Tears, early pioneer days, gold rush early tourism and the large hotels of the 1800’s, the War Between the States, and much more. House wares through the ages is the current rotating exhibit.
Ellijay Historic Sites
A tour of local Native American sites; call Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce for information, 706-635-7400.
Ellijay City Cemetery
Best panoramic views of the city, valley and mountains; South of the Square, Ellijay.
Old Cartecay United Methodist Church
Established 1834, oldest Methodist Church in North Georgia, call (706) 276-7400 to arrange a tour; Highway 52 East & Roy Road.
Built in 1867 by James Kell, the farm is occupied by his descendants. A marker in the cemetery commemorates Kell’s Revolutionary War exploits.
East Ellijay Offers
Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce Information Center, Movie Theater, Movie rentals, Super Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Barbeque, Mexican, Chinese, Italian & Cuban fare available at local and franchise restaurants, good grocery stores, a fresh seafood market and package stores.