Friday Dan(e)wich run
This is a mostly “Moderate” drive through some of the most beautiful, less traveled parts of the North Georgia Mountains. If the group is up for it, we can dial up the pace to “M+” when conditions permit. Because we’re traveling in a counterclockwise manner, there will be a lot of left turns, so it’s important that we keep the group together at each turn.
Leaving Brasstown Valley Resort, we will go west/south a couple of miles on 76 to make a left onto Trackrock Gap Road. It’s a narrow country lane with many tight, fun curves. Two miles in, we’ll make a short stop at Track Rock Gap Petroglyph Site to get the group gathered back up. Bonus points to those who can locate the faint Nested Rings on Boulder 2.
After the restart, keep your eyes open for a left turn onto Trackrock Church Road, heading south until it dead-ends. A right turn onto 180 will bring us out to US 19, where another left turn will send us south, past Vogel State Park, across the Appalachian Trail at Neels Gap. This is a very enjoyable road, with good pavement and incredible views, working our way uphill toward the Gap. If there’s room to park at Neels Gap, we’ll stop again and enjoy the scenery.
Next, we head for the seriously fun, downhill run on US 19/129, with its banked corners, past Blood Mountain toward DeSoto Falls, loosely following Frogtown Creek. At Turner’s Corner, we’ll stay straight on 129 towards Cleveland. The road will level off a bit and give your brakes a chance to cool off.
In Cleveland, we’ll make a left turn onto GA 115 and make our way to Clarkesville. The lunch break will be in The Attic, in downtown Clarkesville, one of the many quaint small towns in NE Georgia. Strangely, it’s located at street level, but the food is great.
After lunch we will take a few back roads eastward to 17A, which will bring us to Toccoa Falls. At 186 feet, Toccoa Falls is 26 feet taller than Niagara Falls and one of the highest free-falling waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. After a short stop at Toccoa Falls we will go north again on New Liberty Road, through the rolling hills of Habersham County. This section is fairly narrow again, and more developed, so the pace will be moderate for a while.
Inexplicably, the road changes name to Oakey Mountain Road and becomes more challenging, with many tight turns, until we reach Batesville Junction, take a right on GA 197 and enjoy another beautiful stretch along the shores of Lake Burton. A left turn will take us north on the most scenic parts of US 76, through Macedonia and Hiawassee at Lake Chatuge, and back to Brasstown Valley Resort.
This drive is 124 miles and just over 3 hours driving time (not including stops). There are several additional opportunities for excellent detours along the way. We’ll let the group decide how many of those we take.