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Retirement Living In Northeast Georgia Mountains

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Area Description

Blairsville-Union County, in the heart of North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of the state’s best kept secrets. Only a two- to three-hour drive from cities like Atlanta, Ga., and Greenville, S.C., it is worlds apart – an authentic pre-Civil War mountain community located deep in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest and enveloped in North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a setting that lends itself, beautifully, to plenty of outdoor adventures.
Beloved by water babies for its pristine bodies of water, Blairsville is home to the 18-acre Lake Winfield Scott in Suches and the 4,180-acre Lake Nottely, with each offer boating, swimming, fishing, picnicking, hiking and camping, not to mention Lake Nottely’s 106 miles of shoreline. Vogel State Park – one of Georgia’s oldest, most popular state parks – has a 20-acre lake and swimming beach plus hiking trails. And Helton Creek Falls has two beautiful falls set in Blairsville’s deep hardwood forest with a total drop of 100 feet.

Hikers can explore the Appalachian Trail. Mountain bikers can head off into the trails of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Golfers can challenge themselves on the varied and rolling terrain of one of several golf courses. Campers will enjoy lots of elbow room in wooded campgrounds beneath a sky studded with stars.

There is pure seduction to the outdoor pursuits of Blairsville-Union County; this Georgia gem is uncrowded, serene and overwhelmingly picturesque. From its high peaks to its green valleys to its verdant forests to its bubbling creeks and streams, Blairsville acts as a lightning rod for those who want an outdoors escape. Shadowed by Brasstown Bald – Georgia’s highest peak – and the ancient Blue Ridge brimming with Cherokee Indian lore, it’s easy to spend a few days exploring all there is do in this magical mountain town.

TIP: Blairsville has nearly two dozen festivals and events, scheduled from April through December. See the list at www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com.

Includes Cities/Towns: Blairsville, Morganton.

Region Characteristics

Area Amenities

Things to Do, Recreation & Fitness

   Water-babies! Getting wet is only half the fun at Lake Nottely. Whether you like just enjoying nature, fishing, swimming, picnicking, camping or boating (Shhhh! The secret’s in the access – it has two marinas and several public boat ramps), you’ll love Lake Nottely with its 106-mile shoreline and 4,180 acres.

Park it! It’s nearly impossible to visit Union County without visiting Vogel State Park – it’s a centerpiece for the community. In addition to those miles of hiking trails within the park’s nearly 300 acres, there are also swimming beaches, picnic shelters and dramatic mountain views. Meeks Park and Poteete Creek Park and Campground round out a nice assortment of picturesque places to play.

Go jump in a lake! Lake Winfield Scott near the community of Suches features a crystalline 18-acre lake complete with picnicking, camping, swimming and . . . well, you get the idea. If it’s outdoors, it’s here.

Go take a hike! Really, go take a hike. Blairsville is smack in the midst of the verdant, towering Chattahoochee National Forest and the Appalachian Trail – the Grand Poobah of all hiking trails – meanders through it at several points within Union County. Vogel State Park, one of Georgia’s crown jewels in the entire state park system, also features 17 miles of hiking trails. Nearly two dozen additional trails crisscross the county among Georgia’s most spectacular scenery.

Polish the brass! Brasstown Bald – its summit was once treeless but no more – lies partially in Union County, and those nearly mile-high views are worth a climb. Not quite up to the challenge of hiking? Take a shuttle bus. You might not get the bragging rights of hiking Brasstown Bald, but no matter. It’s still the top view in all of Georgia, plus it has a rich Cherokee history full of legend and lore.

Get teed off! With several golf courses carved into the naturally rolling terrain, playing the links in Union County is challenging yet enjoyable at the likes of Butternut Creek Golf Course, Old Union Golf Course, Brasstown Valley Golf Club or Cherokee Hills Golf Course.

Giddy-up, cowboy and cowgirl! Bring your own horse or rent an equestrian ride at one of several stables, but either way, horseback riding along the wildflower-and-woods trails of Union County is one of the best ways to “hoof it” and see the countryside.

Take a shower! Under a waterfall, that is. Fewer sounds on Earth have the ability to mesmerize and cleanse the soul as a waterfall, so plan a day to visit local favorites such as Helton Creek Falls, Wolf Creek Falls at Vogel State Park, DeSoto Falls and Raven Cliff Falls.

So this is paradise! Noontootla Creek Farms, west of Blairsville, has earned its moniker of “outdoor sportsman’s paradise.” Quail hunt, trout fish or sporting clay shoot to your heart’s content. Afterward, stay over at their Farm House Lodge for a restful night’s sleep.

Channel Indiana Jones! Become an archaeologist for a day at Trackrock Archaeological Area by trying your hand at deciphering the petroglyphs of early Indian origins. Study the carvings resembling animal and bird tracks, crosses, circles, and even human footprints.

Cultural Activities

Shopping for designer jewelry, original oil or Giclée paintings, magical dwellings in miniature and skeins of alpaca yarn may seem more Big City than rural mountain community, but these treasures and more may be found along the 22-mile artisan corridor in Blairsville, Ga.

Blairsville is home to a thriving arts community that encompasses a former Disney artist who now constructs fairytale houses that are pure whimsy, a nationally renowned “kinetic” sculptor who creates with recycled materials, a gallery owner with a penchant for green-minded artists – even herds of alpacas whose fleece goes into some of the softest, most luxurious yarn your fingers will ever feel.

All have found their way to this town of approximately 700 people perched in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains of north Georgia. Distinguished by the peaks and valleys of the surrounding mountains, pristine lakes and streams, the twin cascades of Helton Creek Falls, and winding country roads marked in one spot with mysterious petroglyphs, Blairsville remains at heart an authentic pre-Civil War mountain community – in spite of its burgeoning artistic savvy.

Along the artisan corridor visitors discover art galleries, working artist studios and boutiques and quirky general stores showcasing local crafts, everything from functional to fashionable, charming to exquisite. What you won’t find are any made-in-China labels; Blairsville is a community that loves its handcrafted character. At Sundance Gallery, for instance, owner Lynne Sapp actively seeks handmade jewelry, pottery, basketry, metal art, soaps and fragrances – even candles that not only look like works of art but are smokeless, scentless and sootless. And if the items are crafted from recycled materials, such as the copper and sterling silver jewelry, all the better.

Public transportation

There is no public transportation available in Union County, however, the County does provide a van to assist people getting to doctors appointments and getting groceries. Additionally, each of the senior communities offers transportation for their residents.

Medical Facilities

Union General is a modern 45-bed hospital that sits on a 71 acre-medical campus that is home to a dialysis clinic, a cancer treatment center, a rural health clinic and a 112-bed nursing home. There's also a 20,000 square foot wellness center that's open to the public, as well as numerous specialist offices fanned out across the property.

What Will The Climate And Weather Be Like If I Retire In Northeast Georgia Mountains?

For those of you that retire in Northeast Georgia Mountains, you will have hotter temperatures than other areas of the USA.

Winter temperatures are cold with averages in the upper 30's and highs in the low 50's. Nights are cold with lows in the upper 20's. Expect a lot of rainy days in the winter, great for a day of shopping in Northeast Georgia Mountains!

If the weather in the spring is too cold for the outdoors, enjoy some indoor activities in Northeast Georgia Mountains such as a movie, a visit to a museum, dining, nightlife or some shopping. Spring temperatures are cool with averages in the mid 50's and highs in the upper 60's. Nights are cold with lows in the low 40's. Expect a lot of rainy days in the Spring, great for a day of shopping in Northeast Georgia Mountains!

Summertime in Northeast Georgia Mountains is a great time to enjoy your retirement with a day at the lake, an outdoor concert, a local festival or other outdoor activity! Summer temperatures are mild with averages in the low 70's and highs in the mid 80's. Nights are cool with lows in the low 60's. Expect a few days above 90°. Humidity may feel "sticky" with muggy evenings. Expect a lot of rainy days in the Summer.

If you retire in Northeast Georgia Mountains, you can look forward to fall weather activities such as biking on a bike path, hiking, enjoying a walking path and more! Fall temperatures are cool with averages in the upper 50's and highs in the low 70's. Nights are cold with lows in the mid 40's. Expect some rainy days in the fall.

Monthly Temperature Ranges

 Month  Low  Avg  High
 Jan  25  37  49
 Feb  28  41  53
 Mar  34  47  61
 Apr  41  55  69
 May  50  63  76
 Jun  59  71  83
 Jul  63  74  86
 Aug  62  73  85
 Sep  55  67  80
 Oct  43  57  71
 Nov  35  48  61
 Dec  28  40  51

Monthly Average # of Hot and Cold Days

 Month  Days Greater Than 90 F°  Days Less Than 32 F°  Days Less Than 0 F°
 Jan  0  23  0
 Feb  0  19  0
 Mar  0  14  0
 Apr  0  6  0
 May  0  0  0
 Jun  2  0  0
 Jul  5  0  0
 Aug  4  0  0
 Sep  1  0  0
 Oct  0  5  0
 Nov  0  14  0
 Dec  0  21  0

Rain & Humidity

 Month  Rainfall  Rainy Days  Humidity
 Jan  5 "  11  29 %
 Feb  5 "  10  31 %
 Mar  5 "  11  36 %
 Apr  4 "  10  42 %
 May  5 "  11  54 %
 Jun  5 "  12  63 %
 Jul  5 "  12  66 %
 Aug  4 "  11  66 %
 Sep  5 "  9  60 %
 Oct  4 "  8  47 %
 Nov  5 "  10  39 %
 Dec  5 "  11  32 %


 Month  Snowfall  Snow On Ground Days  Snowy Days
 Jan  2 "  1  1
 Feb  1 "  0  1
 Mar  1 "  0  0
 Apr  0 "  0  0
 May  0 "  0  0
 Jun  0 "  0  0
 Jul  0 "  0  0
 Aug  0 "  0  0
 Sep  0 "  0  0
 Oct  0 "  0  0
 Nov  0 "  0  0
 Dec  1 "  0  0

Natural Disaster Areas

Cost of Living for Northeast Georgia Mountains

Northeast Georgia Mountains cost of living for Housing, Healthcare, Transportation, Taxes, Utilities, etc.:

Cost of Living




Political Party


Senior Housing Options

One of the charms of Union County is that is accommodates so many styles of living - from rustic and remote to in-town and convenient. Take a leisurely drive through our country roads and you'll discover charming neighborhoods, soaring mountain properties and even amenity-rich communities that include golf, tennis and swimming.

Here, you can wake to a million dollar long-range views from a mountaintop perch, or savor the charm of waterfront living with a home on the lake or alongside a clear running creek.

Well appointed independent living communities with maintenance-free, single level cottages or apartments are one option for retirees. Assisted living, nursing and personal care facilities are also available.

Senior Assistance in Northeast Georgia Mountains

Northeast Georgia Mountains offers the following assistance for seniors:

Blairsville-Union County is an ideal location for laid back retirement living. In fact, almost a third of our residents are age 60 and older. There's always something going on at the Union County Senior Center where you can enjoy favorite activities or discover new ones. Companies are available that offer errand, transportation and home-care services to seniors who desire to remain in the comfort and privacy of their own home.

What Job or Volunteer Opportunities Does Northeast Georgia Mountains Offer For Retirees?

A wide array of resources for both employment and volunteer opportunities are available at the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce. Email info@blairsvillchamber.com for more information.

Additional Information

Visitor Information

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