Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 36

outdoors, foodways and Cherokee culture
unique to Western North Carolina."

Chattahoochee River

MEREDITH TRAVEL MARKETING

20th centuries, copper mining and smelting devastated the environment. The
environmental reclamation efforts were
started almost 100 years ago; and the area
is still working to correct the damages.
Get Involved:
* Friends of the Hiwassee Ocoee State
Park (friendsofthehiwasseeocoeestatepark.
com): "To preserve and protect the park's
natural resources and scenic beauty."

Nantahala River
The power of water on rock is no more evident than along an 8-mile stretch of this
river in North Carolina, carving its gorge
between 5,000-foot mountain peaks.
Description: Sheer rock cliffs (some
reaching 2,000 feet tall) and deep forests
hold in place the gentle, whitecapped waters of this 40-mile river. The water temperature is a frigid 45 degrees even on the
hottest summer day. Why? The sun only
completely lights the gorge floor at noon,
hence the Cherokee name for "canyon (or
land) of the noon-day sun."
What to do: There are several maintained pull-outs to park as the road travels
in tandem with the Nantahala. Continue
your drive along paved and unimproved
roads on this section of the Mountain Waters National Scenic Byway.
In addition to a mild yet thrilling
whitewater experience and exceptional
fly fishing, cross the river on a suspended
bridge and photograph a waterfall from
an accessible observation deck. In nearby
towns, hop on a train for a scenic tour

36

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

of the surrounding mountains. Or connect with the Appalachian Trail for a
challenging switchback hike to see the
views at the 5,062-foot summit of Cheoah Bald.
Challenges: A recent release of warm
water by the dam's energy company killed
hundreds (some estimate thousands) of
trout with the effect reaching several miles
downstream. The integrity of the ecosystem affected by the dramatic temperature
increase is still being monitored.
Get Involved:
* Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
(blueridgeheritage.com): "Steward of the
living traditions of our region, protecting
and promoting the unique music, crafts,

STOCK ADOBE - MCCPHOTO

ABOVE: The
Nantahala
River, North
Carolina, is gently
whitecapped for
much of its 40mile flow.
RIGHT: The
Chattahoochee
River begins its
flow in north
Georgia, on the
way to the Gulf of
Mexico.

The course of this waterway traces some
of the Earth's earliest geological timelines.
When the river leaves the mountains and
begins its journey to the Gulf of Mexico,
it crosses the Atlantic Seaboard Fall Line-
the meeting point of the Piedmont and
Atlantic coastal plain and former seaside
edge of the Gulf.
Description: The cold, clear and steady
path of "The Hooch" starts as a mountain
stream in the southern Blue Ridge of Georgia, flows to and through Atlanta, forms
the southern half of the Alabama/Georgia state line, joins the Flint at the Florida
line, and empties 430 miles away into the
Gulf of Mexico.
What to do: The River Paddle Trail beginning south of Helen (GA) is 36 miles
of perfect canoe or kayak paddling. Plan a
visit to one of the 16 parks located along
the river's route.
Challenges: Water rights issues amongst
the three states remain controversial with
environmental concerns about the decrease of water reaching the gulf and its
ecosystems at the forefront.
Get Involved:
* Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (Chattahoochee.org): "An environmental advocacy organization dedicated solely to protecting and restoring the Chattahoochee
River Basin."


http://www.BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020

Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 3
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 4
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 5
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 6
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 7
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 8
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Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 23
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 24
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 25
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 26
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 27
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 28
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 29
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 30
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 31
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Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 33
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 34
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 35
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 36
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Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 40
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Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - 50
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Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country July/August 2020 - Cover4
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