The City of Blairsville is the county seat of Union county and it is located near Vogel State Park and Georgia’s northern border with Tennessee. According to the U.S. Census in 2000, Blairsville had a population of 659 and a total land area of 1.1 square miles. Blairsville was named after Francis Preston Blair, an editor for the Washington Globe, and it was incorporated as a city in 1835. Because the region surrounding Blairsville was almost inaccessible by road, commercial development stagnated until the 1950’s when most of North Georgia’s state highways were completed.
Vogel State Park became one of Georgia’s first state parks soon after the Georgia State Park System was founded in 1931. At 2,500 ft. above sea level, Vogel State Park is situated at one of the highest altitudes found in any Georgia state park and it is also one of Georgia’s most popular state parks. Located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest on U.S. Highway 19/129, Vogel State Park contains many streams, a waterfall, the 22 acre Lake Trahlyta and the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum.
Lake Trahlyta was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps when they built a dam across Wolf Creek during the 1930’s and the museum commemorates their work. The Civilian Conservation Corps workers also built the first cabins, picnic areas and camping grounds at Vogel State Park. Outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in Vogel State Park include boating, swimming, fishing, camping, hiking and backpacking through 17 miles of trails.
Real estate in Blairsville
Blairsville is situated in a remote part of the Blue Ridge Mountains that exemplifies the North Georgia country lifestyle. The estimated median home value in Blairsville was $130,267 in 2007, having appreciated from $72,900 in 2000. The cost of living index in Blairsville is 94.8 and the average population density is only 667 people per square mile. The residential real estate market in Blairsville is characterized by 3-bedroom single family homes in quiet and well maintained neighborhoods that are close to the center of town and larger homes in the countryside on 5 to 10 acres of land.
A significant amount of undeveloped land in Blairsville is already zoned for development. More upscale residential developments are anticipated in the future because the demand for high value properties in the North Georgia Mountains has steadily increased. The demand for commercial real estate is strong Blairsville because the large number of tourists creates profitable economic potential for businesses that are located in the city.
Hotels in Blairsville include Best Western Milton Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Seasons Inn Motel. Because Blairsville is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are many romantic bed and breakfast inns to choose from including Arkaquah Valley Inn, the Davis-Reid-Sampson House, Highland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn, Your Home in the Woods and Lane’s End Bed & Breakfast. Cabin and cottage rentals are available at Alpine Cabins, Kilin Tyme Cabins, Paradise Cabins Resort & Spa, 2’s Company Farm Creek Cabins, 7 Creeks Housekeeping Cabins, Brasstown View Chalets and many other facilities.
Vogel State Park has 103 tent, trailer and RV campsites, 18 walk-in campsites and 35 cottages for rent. 95 of the campsites have electrical and water hookups. The park also contains 4 picnic shelters, a group camping facility, a Pioneer Campground and several primitive backwoods campground areas. Lake Trahlyta has a swimming beach and a boat launch for non-motorized watercraft. Pedal boat rentals are available during swim season and fishing is allowed with a fishing license. Lake Trahlyta is a breeding ground for bass and bream and it is stocked during each trout season with about 5,000 trout.
Camping is also available at private campgrounds in Blairsville. Lake Nottely RV Park contains 80 campsites with full hookups including 25 lakefront campsites and 35 campsites with mountain views. Situated on 300 acres of meadows, Trackrock Campground has 90 campsites and rental cabins. Lake Winfield Scott Campground has 36 campsites overlooking the beautiful Lake Winfield Scott and Canal Lake Campground on Lake Nottely also has tent campsites.
Families with children will enjoy visiting the Misty Mountain Model Railroad in Blairsville. The Misty Mountain Model Railroad contains America’s largest O-gauge train display, a 3,400 sq. ft. layout featuring 12 bridges and 4 trestles with trains travelling through 15 different tunnels. For those who love horseback riding, Trackrock Stables offers one hour walk-trot trail rides through gentle terrain and two hour trail rides through their 250 acre property. Step Above Stables is another horseback riding facility in Blairsville whose services include boarding, training, breeding, and riding lessons for both adults and children.
The City of Blairsville sponsors many festivals for public enjoyment. Blairsville’s most famous event is Georgia’s official Sorghum Festival in October. The Sorghum Festival celebrates Georgia’s sorghum industry with sorghum biscuit eating contests, original arts and crafts, and a good old fashioned square dance. Blairsville’s Southeastern Bluegrass Festival in September features live bluegrass music performances on three different stages. Over Labor Day weekend the Mountain Marketplace Heritage Festival in Blairsville showcases authentic Appalachian mountain crafts and in June, Blairsville’s Scottish Festival & Highland Games celebrates Georgia’s Scottish traditions with bagpipe and drum bands, a Scottish village exhibit, and the famous Kilted Golf Tournament Classic.