Hiking, Festivals, Fairs and Fun

Hiking and FunIt’s great to get out and find a wonderful hiking trail.  Go out early on a Saturday morning and hike a few miles, set up camp and have a great night out in the wilderness.  But, what about getting up Sunday morning, heading out and finding a local festival?  All across the country there are local fairs, festivals, carnivals, shows, bands and all sorts of unique activities going throughout the year.

When you are planning a hiking, camping or backpacking getaway, why not search the internet for an event going on near the trailhead?  Here in Georgia, there are countless opportunities for any taste to enjoy.  Here are a few ideas just too wet your appetite:

  • Ellijay Apple Festival (early to mid October): Who doesn’t like a fresh apple right off the tree?  The growers around Ellijay have over twenty different varieties to try.  Well, even if you don’t like apples, there is an abundance of other food to try.  This year it boasted over 300 vendors offering handmade crafts.
  • Burt’s Farm (September to November): This is an Atlanta favorite.  No, they are not in Atlanta.  They are located just outside Amicalola Falls State Park.  Burt’s Farm offers Hayrides, Pumpkins and an assortment of homemade goodies.  After picking out your Halloween pumpkin, drive right across the street and hike.  Amicalola offers trails from less than a mile to over 8 miles.  What a great day of fun for the entire family.
  • Tallulah Gorge Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike (November): You can hike at night accompanied with a park ranger, down into the Gorge under a full moon.  What a unique experience!
  • Lighting of Town’s Christmas Trees (November and December): Just about every town in North Georgia has a lighting of the Christmas tree.  What a great time to take a hike in the morning, enjoy a nice dinner at a local restaurant and celebrate the season in a small town, watching the lights come on.  Is there a better way to get into the holiday spirit?
  • Wine and Chocolate Lovers Celebration (February): Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Chocolate and Wine.  Have a romantic weekend with you special someone.  Take in some wilderness hikes and enjoy some chocolate and wine at Three Sisters Vineyards in Dahlonega, Georgia.
  • Bear on the Square Mountain Festival (April): A unique experience of bluegrass music, food, art and fun.  Don’t miss the Saturday night street dance.  This too is in Dahlonega.
  • Wurstfest (May): Helen, Georgia is known as a German town hid away in the mountains.  It’s located just minutes from a multitude of great hiking trails.  All year round activities go on in Helen.  This one is great for the Wurst lover.  There are contests and an evening dance.
  • Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games (June): Don’t like German Food?  Put on your plaid and enjoy the Scottish festival.  They tout music, games, dancing and food.  (Why is there always so much good food?)  This year they have a Geocaching contest.
  • Gold Rush Days (October): Dahlonega, known for its gold, has an annual gold rush festival.  Gold panning, food, music, dancing and a lot of kids activities.  Dahlonega really is in the center of the North Georgia Mountains.  It’s a great place to end or begin any hiking weekend.

As you can see there is something for everyone, families, couples or large groups.  When planning next your hike, check out some of these festivals to make your weekend even better.  These are just a few of the many activities available.  If you don’t see anything you like in this list, just go online to find something that you love.  I assure you, you will.

These festivities are not limited to North Georgia.  Find a festival near you.  I am sure you will find just as varied a list.

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