Weekend away in Blairsville, Georgia

I went to a photography workshop a few weekends ago, but the clouds covered the Milky Way, so this trip is attempt two at getting some shots of the Milky Way.

My friend Jeanne and I headed towards Blairsville Friday at about noon. We took backroads so we could ride with the top down. First stop of the day was at Georgia State Botanical Gardens in Athens, Georgia. The State Botanical Garden is located at:

State Botanical Garden of Georgia
2450 S. Milledge Avenue
Athens, GA 30605

You can see more details of some of the best Botanical gardens in Georgia at Georgia Botanical Gardens.

We arrived at our VRBO around 6 pm. The house was very cute and decorated nicely in a boho style.

VRBO in Blairsville

We had dinner at Hiawassee Brew and listened to some live music.

Saturday we woke up and headed to meet my uncle for breakfast at The Skillet in Blairsville for breakfast.

After breakfast we headed to DeSoto Falls. Upper DeSoto Falls is a 3/4 mile and Lower is 1/4 mile trails. The lower falls is a tougher hike, but all downhill on the way back. It was a very nice morning and got to hear a lot of stories from my uncle since it’s been a long while since I’ve seen him.

Upper DeSoto Falls
Me and my uncle
Me and Jeanne
Lower DeSoto Falls

After hiking we visited Grandaddy Mimm’s Distillery Co at 112 Welborn St, Blairsville GA. We tried a few of their moonshine and vodka cocktails. You can also do samplings, distillery tours, and visit their gift shop.

Next we headed to Odom Creek Winery at 637 Odom Road, Blairsville, GA. The owner and her daughter were the ones working the bar; they were very kind and attentive to all the visitors. Jeanne and I both got wine flights and a cheeseboard to share since we skipped lunch.

Wine flight

Then it was back to the house to shower and get ready to head to Brasstown Bald and hope that the sky was clear for at least a little while.

The sunset wasn’t too exciting, but we were surprised that the clouds parted for the Milky Way.

Sunset at Brasstown Bald

The Milky Way showed its face, but it was in a tricky position with the gear that I took. I could have used a wider angle lens, but I’m happy we atleast got to see it and photograph it. We arrived back to the house about midnight, so we were so tired.

Milky Way at Brasstown Bald

Sunday morning we leisurely woke up and headed to Sunrise Grocery to pick up a few essentials before our hiking adventures.

It just so happens that the owner, Jason Clemmons, of Sunrise Grocery is also one of the photographers that led the Milky Way workshop; so I had planned on visiting the shop before we left town. It worked out perfectly because it was between the house we stayed in and Vogel State Park off of 129.

You can check out Jason’s beautiful works there in the store or visit his website at JMC Photography

Sunrise Grocery has been there since the 1920s and it has been in the current owners family for about 20 year. They plan on being around for a long time! Be sure to check them out if you’re near Blairsville.

After we got our essentials we headed to Vogel State Park to photograph the waterfall there. Trahlyta Falls is located on a 1.1 mile round trip trail beginning near the visitor center. The trail goes all the way around the lake and down to the falls. It is a pretty easy trail with a little decline/incline to get to and from the falls off of the main trail.

Lake Trahlyta
Trahlyta Falls

After Vogel State Park, we headed to Helton Creek Falls. Helton Creek Falls is located down a gravel/dirt road (about 2 miles off the main road) on a .6 mile round trip trail. There is a lower falls area where you can slide down the rocks into a pool. If you climb a little farther up, you get to the upper level and it is so beautiful. You can also dip your feet in and swim in the pool at the base of the upper waterfall. We drove the convertible, but the road is suited more for a small SUV. The road is narrow and parking is limited.

Lower area of Helton Creek Falls
Upper area of Helton Creek Falls

After Helton Creek Falls, we decided to head home. Jeanne and I had a great weekend in the mountains!



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