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Outdoor Recreation
Butternut Creek Golf Course

Butternut Creek Golf Course features rolling valley holes and challenging slopes with mountain views from all 18 holes. Each hole is unique - none remotely similar to another. Golfers ask , "Why haven't we heard about this gem before?" We invite you to visit us in Union County and enjoy all that the we have to offer! Owned and operated by the Union County Recreation Department, Butternut Creek Golf Course sits in downtown Blairsville below beautiful Ivy Log Mountain. Butternut Creek plays to a modest 6,500+ yards, but 4 to 6 tee boxes on every hole give challenging options for every player. Water comes into play on 13 holes. Mounds, undulating greens, and elevation changes are found throughout the course.

Butternut Creek Golf Course boasts Penncross Bent Grass greens and Tifton 419 Bermuda fairways and tees. The roughs and mounds have common Bermuda and love grass.

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Butternut Creek Golf Course

Old Union Golf Club

Nestled in the foothills of Blairsville comes a golf experience like no other. Old Union, a golf course designed by world renowned architect Denis Griffiths is a 7,681 yard masterpiece offering shot makers of all abilities the chance to play a golf course with a true Scottish feel. With five different sets of tees, golfers will be able to choose a set of tees that best suits them.

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Old Union Golf Club

Brasstown Valley Resort

The Brasstown Valley Golf Course has been ranked by both Golf Digest and Leading Golf Courses of America as one of the top courses to play in Georgia. Designed by Denis Griffiths, the golf course winds through wildlife preserves, ponds and streams framed in by the mountains. With five sets of tees, all skill levels will be able to enjoy a layout that is maintained to standards you'd expect. It's great for the corporate outing, couple's getaway or the guy's weekend.

The facility also offers full practice facilities, well equipped Pro Shop and customized special tournaments. Golf lessons and clinics are also available through Director of Golf, Steve Phelps, PGA Professional.

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Brasstown Valley Resort

Lakes & Rivers Lake Nottely

Lake Nottely (also called Nottely Reservoir) is one of many reservoirs of the Tennessee Valley Authority. It is located entirely in Union County, Georgia in the United States. Formed in 1942 by the damming of the Nottely River, Nottely Reservoir extends 20 miles (30 km) upstream to the town of Blairsville. Construction of Nottely Dam began in 1941 and was completed in 1942. The dam is 184 feet (56 m) high and stretches 2,300 feet (701 m) across the Nottely River. Lake Nottely has a flood-storage capacity of 61,588 acre feet (75,968,000 m3). Its primary purpose was for flood control in the Tennessee River watershed, but in the 1950s a single 15 megawatt generator was installed for power generation.

Approximately 70% of the shoreline is under the jurisdiction of the United States Forest Service and undeveloped. In recent years, many new homes and properties have contributed to Lake Nottely's growing importance for recreation. Its proximity to Atlanta (2 hours) is resulting in increased use of this reservoir.

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Lake Nottely

Nottely River

The Nottely River originates in the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia. The river flows for 51.1 miles (82.2 km)[1] into the artificial Hiwassee Reservoir in North Carolina. The Nottely River is dammed in Georgia, creating Lake Nottely.

In its upper reaches, the Nottely River is a foothills and mountain stream, with small, class I and II rapids and secluded, pastoral surroundings comprised of farms, fields and low ridges. The lower Nottely runs through the sprawling Union County Forest Wildlife Management area, offering a more remote experience for boaters.

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Nottely River

Ocoee River

In the upper reaches of the highlands, natural springs release pure natural essence down the mountain slopes. These waters gather themselves into streams that find their way to creeks, flowing along until they merge with mountain rivers as they journey across the land and out to sea.

The Ocoee is one of these river mountain rivers. Its headwaters descend from the high country of northern Georgia into southeastern Tennessee, weaving its rushing whitewater westward, down the Ocoee Gorge and into Lake Ocoee. This particular river has been a favorite to rafters, kayakers and canoeist since 1977.

The upper Ocoee riverbed had been dry throughout most of this century, this allowed the manipulation and construction of a world class racing course. The Ocoee Gorge is also wider at this point with plenty of room for spectators. The Ocoee is approximately 100 miles north of Atlanta, all three of these factors made the Ocoee River the ideal place to hold the 1996 Summer Olympic's Slalom Canoe/Kayak competition. July 1996 brought 14,000 spectators and more than 1,000 volunteers/staff to the banks of the Ocoee River to witness the excitement of approximately "135 World Olympic Competitors."

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Ocoee Whitewater

Hiking & Camping

Vogel State Park

One of Georgia’s oldest and most beloved 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 4-mile Bear Hair Gap loop, an easy lake loop that leads to Trahlyta Falls, 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 open to non-motorized boats, and during summer, visitors can cool off at the mountain-view beach. This park is rich in history, with many facilities being constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp during our nation’s Great Depression. The “CCC Boys” story is told in the park’s museum.

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Vogel State Park

Chattahoochee National Forest

The Chattahoochee National Forest today covers 18 north Georgia counties. The Chattahoochee currently has three ranger districts:

  • Blue Ridge Ranger District, Office in Blairsville, GA
  • Chattooga River Ranger District, Office in Tallulah Falls, GA
  • Conasauga Ranger District, Office in Chattsworth, GA

It includes over 2,200 miles (3,500 km) of rivers and streams (including about 1,367 miles (2,200 km) of trout streams). There are over 450 miles (720 km) of hiking and other recreation trails, and 1,600 miles (2,600 km) of "roads." In addition to the Chattooga River and the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River, natural attractions within it boundaries include the beginning of the 2,174-mile (3,499 km) Appalachian Trail, Georgia's highpoint, Brasstown Bald and Anna Ruby Falls. The Chattahoochee also includes ten wildernesses that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, all of which are managed by the United States Forest Service. Parts of these wilderness extend outside Chattahoochee National Forest, as indicated. The wildernesses are:

  • Big Frog Wilderness (Cherokee NF in Tennessee and Chattahoochee NF in Georgia)
  • Blood Mountain Wilderness
  • Brasstown Wilderness
  • Cohutta Wilderness (Chattahoochee NF in Georgia and Cherokee NF in Tennessee)
  • Ellicott Rock Wilderness (Nantahala NF in North Carolina; Sumter NF in South Carolina; and Chattahoochee NF in Georgia)
  • Mark Trail Wilderness
  • Raven Cliffs Wilderness
  • Rich Mountain Wilderness
  • Southern Nantahala Wilderness (Chattahoochee NF in Georgia and Nantahala NF in North Carolina)
  • Tray Mountain Wilderness
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Chattahoochee National Forest

For more information about these and other outdoor opportunities in Union County, please visit the Union County Chamber of Commerce website.

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