Located in the southwestern corner of North Carolina in the Blue Ridge chain of the Great Smoky Mountains, Cherokee County was formed in 1839 from Macon County. It is in the western section of the State and is bounded by the states of Georgia and Tennessee and the North Carolina Counties: Graham, Swain, Macon and Clay. The courts were ordered to be held at one of the houses at Fort Butler until a courthouse could be erected. Fort Butler was in the town of Murphy. Murphy is the county seat. The county encompasses an area of about 455 square miles. It is about 32 miles from east to west and about 20 miles from north to south. There are two towns which embody the spirit and charm of small town America. They are Murphy, the county seat, and Andrews. There are also many small communities with colorful and unique names. At the time of the 2000 census, the population of the county was 24,298, with Murphy having 1,568 and Andrews having 1602. However, the area is growing rapidly.

The county contains 300,100 acres, with 92,363 acres of United States Forest Service Land, 8,700 acres of lakes, and 6,000 acres of Indian land, with the remaining area being farmlands. The county is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. The highest elevation in the county is about 5,100 feet, on the corner where Cherokee and Clay counties meet at Fires Creek. The lowest elevation is about 1,200 feet, where Apalachia Lake crosses into Tennessee.

The many lakes and breathtaking mountain views create many scenic backdrops. There are hiking trails, fishing streams, and camping areas, where the air is crisp and clean. There are nearby white water adventures, golfing, boating, horseback riding and many other activities available in the area. Cherokee County has theaters, craft shows, antique shops, festivals and fairs. The crime rate is low and one can find serenity in this beautiful mountain area.

Courteous of Cherokee County NC Gov

Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, is a wide scenic valley where the sun rises and sets over the tree-topped mountains, and the cool clear streams flow gently down the ridges. Andrews is a small town virtually untouched by large city influences and remains a place to enjoy a more leisurely pace of life.

Come by and sit a spell and imagine yourself hiking or trout fishing. Take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad or gear up for the annual WNC Wagon Train. Stroll down Main Street and shop for antiques,clothing, furniture and unique gifts. You may decide to go horseback riding in the Nantahala Forest or whitewater rafting down the Nantahala River. Or ride your motorcycles on the Tail of the Dragon a short distant away. We will show you a good time!

This is the place to lay back, kick off your shoes, wade in the creeks, jump in the river, sing, dance, and enjoy the hospitality of the mountain people. Andrews...the little town with the big heart.



Courteous of Andrews North Carolina Chamber of Commerce

There is still a quiet community tucked away in the southwestern corner of North Carolina where nature's beauty abounds in all its many facets. Beautiful streams, lake and mountains for all to enjoy. That beauty lies nearly unchanged through the years in Clay County. Your own "secret" place may be a secluded mountain top retreat with scenic views and a babbling brook running alongside your cabin. Others may prefer a lake side getaway on the shores of jewel-like Lake Chatuge. A campsite in one of our spacious campgrounds or a favorite spot on the 64,200 acres of US Forest land and 7 miles of the Appalachian Trail lie within Clay County may define your "secret" place.



Info courteous of Clay County Chamber of Commerce

Graham County is located in the far reaches of Western North Carolina in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains of the southern Appalachians. This region is home to the some of the highest and most remote mountains east of the Mississippi with elevations ranging from 1177 to 5560 feet. If you are seeking hiking, biking, boating, fishing, scenic driving, camping, nature photography, motorcycling, whitewater rafting, or vacationing, you will find a full array of natural destinations, quaint shops and inns and the rich history of North Carolinas most remote county!

Graham County covers 433 square miles with elevation ranges from 1,177 to 5,560 feet. Two-thirds of the county is National Forest. It is the home of Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Slickrock Creek Wilderness Area, Snowbird Backcountry Area, Nantahala National Forest, and borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Appalachian Trail winds through the county making its trek from Georgia to Maine. Lake Santeetlah's shoreline is more than 75% National Forest; insurance that it will never be spoiled by development. Graham County's trout streams have earned a national reputation.


Fontana Lake has some 25 miles of waters to explore. The entire north shore is the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and much of the southern shorline is National Forest. Fontana Dam and Historic Fontana Village are a must see for the vacationer.


Robbinsville, the sleepy county seat, has a population of about 800. There are traffic jams twice each year - for homecoming and the Christmas parade. The biggest celebration of the year is the annual 4th of July Heritage Festival. Another big draw is the Graham County Rescue Squad's Ramp Fest held each year on the last Sunday in April.

Courteous of Graham County Travel and Tourism

Surround yourself with the beauty, relaxation and natural fun that are uniquely Georgia’s Blue Ridge Experience. Leave your cell phone and laptop at home and enjoy the splendor and exhilaration of a day hiking to nearby waterfalls, horseback riding on forested trails or whitewater rafting in our unspoiled mountain beauty. Looking for quiet romance or peace of mind? Try spending the day watching the sun glimmer across the aqua blue waters of Lake Blue Ridge or crystal clear Toccoa River. We’re waiting to delight you in one of our cozy mountain cabins overlooking pristine valleys and ridge tops. Take a nap in the fresh, clear mountain air lulled by the hypnotic sound of a nearby trout stream.


Or perhaps you’re looking for a little excitement. Discover the sheer joy of a whitewater rafting adventure or a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Spend a day exploring our mountain art and culture, past and present, in the many galleries across the region or browse for antiques in the shops that line our mountain towns.


After a day spent outdoors or relaxing with your favorite book in front of the fire or counting the fireflies in the early evening mist, choose from a variety of dining experiences to cap off your night. Whether you stay for a day, a weekend, a month or a lifetime, you will surround yourself with the memories and the magic of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Experience.

You may think we're a little biased, but the weather in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains is simply stunning. Warm days and cool nights during the summer mean a break from hot cities. During the winter our highs are in the 50's, dropping below the freezing mark at night. Snow blankets our mountains 3 or 4 times a year.


Information courteous of Faninn County Chamber of Commerce

Union county, where the possibilities are endless and the memories last a lifetime! Located on the northeast border of Georgia, the county encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. More than half of Union County's acreage is within the Chattahoochee National Forest. Seasons change from winter white to pastel spring to verdant summer to brilliant fall foliage.


One of Georgia's oldest and most popular state parks, Vogel is located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Driving from the south, visitors pass through Neel Gap, a beautiful mountain pass near Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. Vogel is particularly popular during the fall when the Blue Ridge Mountains transform into a rolling blanket of red, yellow and gold leaves. Hikers can choose from a variety of trails, including the popular four-mile Bear Hair Gap loop, an easy one-mile lake loop, and the challenging 13-mile Coosa Backcountry Trail. Cottages, campsites and primitive backpacking sites provide a range of overnight accommodations. The park's 22-acre lake is now open to non-motorized boats. During summer, visitors can cool off at the scenic lakeside beach.


Beautiful Brasstown Bald, rising 4,784 feet above sea level, is Georgia's highest mountain. On clear days, the spectacular 360-degree view from atop the mountain allows you to see four states, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The surrounding area is home to a wide variety of plants and animals.


Courteous of Blairsville Chamber of Commerce

Towns County, the 117th county formed in Georgia was created in 1856 from parts of Union and Rabun counties. It was named for George Washington Bonaparte Towns, who was the governor of Georgia from 1847 to 1851.

Young Harris was originally named Young Harris College in honor of Judge Young Loftin Gerdine Harris of Athens. It soon shortened to Young Harris, although there is still a Young Harris College located there.

Hiawassee is a Cherokee word meaning "meadow". Chatuge Lake is located in the northern part of the county and reaches into North Carolina. It is a storage facility for the Tennessee Valley Authority, and is also a public preserve.

Courteous of Towns County Chamber of Commerce

Chatuge Reservoir, located on the Hiwassee River in western North Carolina, is 13 miles long and extends southeast from the dam into north Georgia. The reservoir is named after a nearby Cherokee settlement.


Sport fishing is popular at Chatuge, both in the reservoir and in the Hiwassee River below the dam. Concrete weirs have been installed below the dam to provide a steady flow of water and to increase oxygen levels for fish and other aquatic animals. Wade fishing for trout is popular here since fish are attracted to the weirs, where food is abundant.


Chatuge is operated for many purposes, including flood control, power generation, and augmentation of water flows for navigation downstream.

Hiwassee Reservoir is located on the Hiwassee River in western North Carolina, stretching 22 miles northwest to southeast. It is immediately upstream from Apalachia Reservoir. Surrounded by the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests, Hiwassee and the adjacent Apalachia Reservoir serve as a rich habitat for deer, wild turkey, and other animals.

Below Hiwassee Dam a day-use park on Apalachia Reservoir provides access to boating, fishing, and exploring the reservoir and its tributaries. The Hiwassee is exceptionally beautiful and well suited for canoeing, rafting, and learning the basics of whitewater boating. The flow of water in the reservoir comes from deep below the surface and is chilly, even in the summer. In addition to recreation, Hiwassee Reservoir serves a number of other purposes, including flood control and power generation.