Meeks Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the North Georgia Mountains. It is located about one mile west of Blairsville, Georgia on Highway 515. The park was established in 1992 and named after Bill Meeks. The park is home to seven ball fields, four batting cages, a playground, a skateboard park, basketball court, tennis courts, swimming pool, walking trails, nature trails, a dog park, a disc golf course, several pavilions, and other amenities.
Butternut Creek and Nottely River run through the park making for scenic picnic spots. There are plenty of tables, benches, and swings for relaxing under the magnificent shady oaks. Meeks Park is a great destination for families and others interested in fresh air and sunshine!
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.
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.
Nottely Lake features a swim beach, a camping area, spectacular views of wildlife and provides some of the most gorgeous scenery and best fishing in the Southeast.
Nottely Reservoir Trail
A 1.7 mile trail on the banks of Lake Nottely. Perfect for moderate hiking or biking. This is an easy to use trail that you can even push a stroller or just enjoy a picnic. Opportunities abound for wildlife observation and photography along the trail. Nottely Reservoir Trail can be accessed from two parking lots about ½ mile from Nottely Dam.
Beautiful Brasstown Bald, rising 4,784 feet above sea level, is Georgia’s highest mountain. As such, this is the first place to see fall color. On clear days, the spectacular 360-degree view from atop the mountain allows you to see four states, including Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. The surrounding area is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The Visitor Information Center, located on the summit of the Bald, offers exhibits, video presentations and interpretive programs. From Blairsville, Georgia take US 19 & 129 south for 8 miles then turn left (east) onto Georgia 180 then go 9 miles to Georgia Spur 180 and turn left (north). Go 3 miles to the Brasstown Bald parking lot.
Almost anywhere you go in Union County, you’ll find a hiking trail — whether it’s an easy walk through Meeks Park or a mountain trail that traverses streams, climbs switchbacks, and descends into deep gorges. Consider taking a walk on the legendary Appalachian Trail via the historic Walasi-Yi Center at Neel Gap. It’s the only place where the 2,189- mile-long trail passes through a man-made structure.
For more information on the AT and hiking in Union County:
Blairsville-Union County AT Community
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests provide some of the finest outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources in Georgia. Featuring nearly 867,000 acres across 26 counties, thousands of miles of clear-running streams and rivers, approximately 850 miles of recreation trails, and dozens of campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreation activity opportunities, these lands are rich in natural scenery, history and culture. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
The Blue Ridge Ranger District makes up the middle third of the Chattahoochee National Forest, encompassing nearly 350,000 acres. Within a two hour drive of Atlanta, the district is home to Georgia’s highest peak–Brasstown Bald, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, Lake Winfield Scott, 311 miles of recreational trails and 6 Wilderness Areas. The district manages national forest land in 6 counties including Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Towns and Union.