Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center

This superb 415-acre property has been set aside for agricultural research, development and education, lies within the rolling foothills and farm lands in south central Union County. The Center is a branch of the University of Georgia’s Department of Agriculture. The Center’s focus is on the area’s bio-diverse nature of the Southern Appalachian Ecosystem, and how they can contribute to the survival of a great variety of plant species with properties suitable for medicinal, craft and culinary uses.

The Georgia Mountain Research and Interpretive Center saw its’ beginning in 1935 as the Jarrett Apple House & Orchards. Previously known as the historic Christa’s Farmhouse built in 1898. Today, gracing the front yard of the historic farmhouse, is a first-rate herb garden and informational kiosk.

There are other historic structures at the Research Center; Stone Community Cannery Interpretive Centerlike the stone Community Cannery Interpretive Center, constructed in 1935. This building was renovated in 2009 and serves as a Visitor Center and classroom.

Additional featured structures are; a restored Spring House, a rustic outdoor amphitheater, a picnic pavilion and tables, an enclosed food preparation building, a stone outdoor fireplace with extended stone curved seating, a large green house and barn facility, the administration office and other out buildings.

Of the many special features at the Center, is the Georgia Mountain Ethno-Botanic Gardens and Woodland Medicine Trail. Many of the wild plants found in these two gardens were saved from the destructive forces of regional development projects.

The Woodland Medicine Trail is a 1/4-mile loop through a typical lower elevation Appalachian forest. At the beginning of Georgia Mountain Research Woodland Medicine Trailthe trail is a rustic outdoor amphitheater for guided group tours. Along the trail there are woodland wildflowers, herbs, ferns and shrubs. Of the many plants and medicinal herbs encountered along the trail, the endangered Lady Slippers, a plant species that finds a home here, nurtured by the woodland surroundings and rich soil. These delicate plants are native to local soil, climate and elevation and cannot be transplanted in other geographical regions (they won’t survive). Lady Slippers are a unique beauty to behold and photograph, normally they are found only in the wild.

The Ethno-Botanic Garden is located across from the Woodland Trailhead. The colorful wild flowers in the garden Georgia Mountain Research and Interpretive Center Woodland Trailflourish, basking in the sunlight along the southern slope of a hill, while those needing more moisture thrive along the creek and in the bog garden. The plants contained in the garden are the types harvested and often cultivated by early regional inhabitants for a variety of medicinal, food, and craft uses. Upon entering the garden setting one passes through a covered trail-bridge crossing a small creek leading to a wooden deck trail. Crossing the covered bridge leaving the gardens, visitors will notice on the left rail a rustic birdhouse, push the button and it will tell you the story of the gardens. The platform trail travels either to the left, or right, then up the slope of the hill with individual terrace gardens located along the slope of the hill. The trail to the left also follows Ethno-Botanic Gardenalong the creek bank to a bog area. Bogs, or spring seeps, as they are also known, are mountain wetlands created on creek or stream floodplains, forming a unique water garden of wild plant life, a favorite to butterflies. The trail to the right also follows the creek to a bench swing fitted with covered roof. A wooden deck trail leads up the hill slope to a large vine covered trellis, fitted with benches.

Another fine feature located at the Ethno-Botanic Garden, the Woodland Trail, and Jarrett Apple House & Herb Garden, are several informational kiosks, displaying a colorful mixed media rendition of each site and scene, created by local artist Zoe Schumaker.

Educational programs for children and adults. Throughout the Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center are additional gardens, a large apple orchard, and small vineyard. These research areas are only occasionally open to the general public. Each September the orchards host a ‘Johnny Apple Seed Event,’ opened to local schools for kindergarten children.

The Center offers educational programs for children and adults. Guided tours of the Ethno-Botanic Garden and Woodland Medicine Trail are offered every Monday from 9 am to 1 pm (May through September) except on holidays. Special group tours are available by appointment only.


For more information about these programs, email
Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center
195 Georgia Mountain Experiment Station Road  • Blairsville, GA 30512

Welcome Center

Blairsville Union County

Each Season Something New Each season there’s something new in Blairsville-Union County! Spring and summer outdoor lovers will hike endless trails, see breathtaking views atop Brasstown Bald, visit rushing waterfalls, and relax on serene Lake Nottely. Delight in the explosion of autumn leaf color or cuddle up in a cozy winter cabin.

Vacation Cabin Rental Property Management


Whether you purchased your mountain home as an occasional getaway, an investment, or the destination of your future retirement, we realize the importance that it be respected as your home first and foremost.

It is our objective to provide you with both quality property management as well as a rental program to help offset some of the expense of owning a 2nd home. Through the combined knowledge of all of us at Great Mountain Cabin Rentals, we have the expertise to help you understand and create a Great Mountain Cabin Rental.


Luxury Cabin Rentals

My Cozy Cabin Rental

Pet Friendly - My Cozy Cabin is a wonderful 2-bedroom, 1-bath cabin located in Blairsville Georgia. This cabin has easy access from Hwy 515, yet has privacy with a great yard to play in. Bring your fishing gear and see what you can find in the pond. This cabin has plenty of decks great for outdoor entertaining. A fire pit beside the house offers the opportunity for great campfire stories and smore roasting. Wake up in the Master Bedroom, open the balcony doors to the fresh mountain air. What a great way to wake up to the mountains. This cabin is equipped with tons of family friendly movies to keep the kids entertained.

Enchanted Mountain Retreats

We pride ourselves with excellent customer service. We treat each guest as an individual and address your needs specifically so that we can tailor a perfect vacation package just for you and your family. We take care to choose the best cabins available to insure that your stay with Enchanted Mountain Retreats is a great mountain experience. Rest assured that you will find your cabin clean and in good repair, we also empty, sanitize and refill our hot tubs between each rental. Our standards are high and that benefits you, we check your cabin before you check in the make sure it is ready for your arrival.

Real Estate

Tim Noland, Realtor - Buyer's Agent

When looking to buy mountain property, you need someone that not only understands the mountains, you need someone that specifically represents you, the buyer. When you choose to work with a Buyer's Agent you are assured that you have an agent that is truly looking for your best interests, someone that will not only find what you are looking for, but someone that will negotiate the best price possible.

ERA Carolina Mountain Homes in Murphy North Carolina

Based in Murphy NC and serving highly satisfied customers since 1978, ERA Carolina Mountain Homes is a full service real estate office ready to serve YOUR needs. We cover five mountain region counties in NC and GA - the Murphy, Andrews, Brasstown and Hayesville NC areas; and the Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Young Harris/Hiawassee areas. Go directly to our Web Site to view available properties.

Residential and Commercial Builder

Tighe White Construction, Residential and Commercial Builder

Over the years, Tighe White Construction has developed an excellent reputation in the North Georgia and Western North Carolina mountains, for their attention to details, caring customer service and high level of workmanship. Tighe uses cutting-edge CAD software to quickly and efficiently design your new construction. This allows our clients to preview realistic 3-D views of the exterior and interior of their new construction, so that you can visualize the finished look and feel, long before we break ground.

Outdoor Adventure

Whitewater Rafting

The Ocoee River is often described as the roller coaster of the southeast. Come experience what has been called the greatest whitewater center in the world.


Professional river outfitter with over 30 years experience. Our safety record is unsurpassed in the industry. We believe our staff is simply the best in the business. Guides are chosen for their character and enthusiasm for sharing the outdoors with you.

Whitewater Express Adventure

Adventure Camp on the Ocoee & Nantahala Rivers


White Water Rafting on the Ocoee and Nantahala Rivers • Horseback Riding • High and Low Ropes Course • Giant Swing • Caving • Paint ball • Mountain Biking • Camping & Cabin Rentals

Catch the surge and ride the rapids on the exciting Ocoee River in Tennessee or North Carolina's Nantahala River for an experience you won't forget. Challenge your skills on the high ropes just for the thrill. Sit tall in the saddle for a leisure ride through the beautiful scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Camp out or stay in log cabins while letting the kids sleep in groups in one of several bunkhouse's. We will help you create a custom retreat for you or your group.

Canopy Tours on the Nantahala Gorge, Chattooga Ridge and Pigeon River

Zip Line Canopy Tours
on the
Nantahala Gorge • Chattooga Ridge • Pigeon River

Whichever course you choose you are sure to enjoy the newest outdoor adventure to hit the US. All our courses offer a soaring and gliding experience naturally fueled by a gradual drop in elevation. All trips offer fully guided tours with 2 or more Rangers on at least 10 zips, 4 bridges beginning with a training course at each location.

Guided Fishing Trips on the Nottley River and Lake Nottley

Fishing Trips in the Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Great mountain adventures is offering the "Best Fishing" available in the Mountains. We create a fishing trip, designed specifically towards your needs with a professional fishing guide to guide you to make the most of your fishing adventure on the Finest Lakes, Rivers and Streams in the Southern Appalachians! Trout Treks • Bass Fishing • Wade Trips • Pan Fishing • Fly Fishing Instruction • Private Trophy Trout Waters • Drift Boat Trips. So much water to choose from and an adventure you'll never for more information.

Blue Ridge Community Theater

Blue Ridge Community Theater

There is nothing like the energy you feel when attending a live performance and we are here to help you experience that feeling. Blue Ridge Community Theater's mission is to enrich the cultural life of residents and visitors through performances, productions and education of all aspects of contemporary and classic theater.

Farmer's Market

Union County Farmer's Market in Blairsville GA

The Union County Farmer's Market has over 60 covered vendor spaces in our outdoor setting. The facility located at 148 Old Smokey Road off of Weaver Road is home to a variety of events and festivals outside of the seasonal market. Those events include a ramp festival, strawberry jubilee, trash to treasures sale, relay for life event, and an outdoor business expo.