The Blue Ridge Region of Georgia

A Virtual Exploration of Northeast Georgia's Highest Mountain Range

By Georgia Public Broadcasting

Physiographic Regions of Georgia (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

The Blue Ridge region covers the entire northeastern corner of the state and is named for the Blue Ridge Mountain range that extends into the area. Georgia’s tallest mountain, Brasstown Bald, is located here, as is Springer Mountain, the southernmost terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

Blue Ridge Region Map (2016) by Georgia Public BrodcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

The Blue Ridge receives the most precipitation of all the regions in Georgia and hosts the headwaters of the Savannah, Chattahoochee, and Coosa Rivers. Because of abundant rainfall and elevated slopes, soil erosion occurs frequently and farmland is consequently scarce.

The counties of Habersham, Rabun, and Lumpkin are found in the Blue Ridge region. Lumpkin County is especially known for the city of Dahlonega, which was the center of the first major gold rush in the United States.

Georgia's Largest Cities - Blue Ridge Region (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Georgia's Minerals - Blue Ridge Region (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

The Blue Ridge region has mineral deposits of marble, granite, gneiss, feldspar, and mica. But it is probably best known for pockets of gold discovered in the 1800s.

Marble Wall (2014) by Kaasik, AleksanderGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Marble is a metamorphosed limestone that is characterized by extreme hardness. It has a long history of usage in the state, supported by Native American archaeological finds from as early as the 1400s. Marble is still mined today in Pickens County, Georgia.

Over sixty percent of the monuments built in Washington, DC, including the Lincoln Memorial, were made from Georgia marble.

Gold Nugget (2010) by James St. JohnGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Known as the element “Au” on the periodic table, gold is a yellow, malleable metal that effectively conducts electricity and does not tarnish. Due to these and other qualities, gold is considered one of the most valuable metals on earth.

Gold is used to make electronics, jewelry, and dental crowns and fillings. The 1828 discovery of gold in Georgia led to the state’s historic gold rush and the ultimate removal of the Cherokee people who owned the land at that time.

Blue Ridge Mountains | Regions of Georgia by Georgia Public Broadcasting and 2016Georgia Public Broadcasting

Fall Colors from the Blue Ridge Parkway Just South of Asheville (2012-10-20) by Trudeau, FranGeorgia Public Broadcasting

The Blue Ridge Mountains are the namesake for the Blue Ridge region of Georgia. A province of the extensive Appalachian Mountain system, the Blue Ridge is the highest mountain range in the state.

Mountain Sunset (2013) by Maxim BGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Originally called Shaconage or "the land of blue smoke" by the Cherokee people who first inhabited the area, the Blue Ridge Mountains paint a beautiful picture across the horizon.

We now know that water molecules and natural hydrocarbon particles in the air help to scatter the light a hazy blue, but the view is still magical.

North Georgia Canopy Tours: The Physics of Zip Lining | Fast Forward (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Sign at the End of the Appalachian Trail (2016-11-18) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian Trail begins at its southernmost terminus on Springer Mountain in the Blue Ridge region of Georgia and extends all the way north into Maine. The trail is 2,200 miles long.

Georgia Court Week (1942-05) by Bernard HoffmanLIFE Photo Collection

The city of Dahlonega has a very rich and complex history and is considered to be the starting point of Georgia’s gold rush. In 1838, a branch of the United States Mint began operating in Dahlonega and by 1861, it had produced more than 1.5 million gold coins.

Dahlonega | Hometown Georgia by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Brasstown Bald Observation Tower (2007-09-30) by Gonzalez, MichaelGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Brasstown Bald, the highest mountain in the state, is located in the Blue Ridge region. It stands 4,784 feet above sea level and is surrounded by the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Relief and Elevation of Georgia's Cities (2015) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Did You Know - Blue Ridge (2016) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Did you know that the Blue Ridge region is home to countless waterfalls and whitewater rapids?

Amicalola Falls (2011-11-25) by Thomson2000Georgia Public Broadcasting

Amicalola Falls is the largest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Standing 725 feet tall, this Blue Ridge waterfall is considered to be one of Georgia’s seven natural wonders.

Georgia's Rivers and Lakes (2015) by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

Crashing Water: Georgia Waterfalls | Georgia Outdoors by Georgia Public BroadcastingGeorgia Public Broadcasting

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