Gold City Tour ~ Dahlonega to Blairsville Georgia

It all started here and the rush was on.  Discovery of gold in Northern Georgia ended decades of broken treaties and unscrupulous land deals with the Cherokee People. No more wars, no more debates the Cherokee had to go and the beginning of the Trail of Tears was put into effect.  Even though the Cherokee had legal rights granted by treaty technicalities arose the largest exodus of Native Americans in U.S. history began here in the mid 1830’s. President Andrew Jackson turned a blind eye to the Cherokee People and allowed the state of Georgia to exercise their own will creating a gold stampede.  It wasn’t gold that Georgia was so interested in it was the wealth of the Cherokee land that drove the state ambitions.  The military was brought in and those who didn’t exit of their own free will were round up at gunpoint and forced from their homelands, they numbered into the thousands.  

Gold was discovered earlier in North Carolina yet the first major gold rush in America began in what is now Lumpkin County, Georgia between 1828 and 1832.  The California gold rush didn’t begin until 1848. The southern Blue Ridge Mountains are considered the gold belt of the Eastern United States.  Ferdinand De Soto first sought gold here in the 1550’s on an expedition from Spain. His company of 600 men and horse weren’t necessarily looking to dig for gold they were rather more concerned with easy pickings’ by taking the gold from the Native American.  De Soto under estimated the Native Americans, they had a general lack of interest in the yellow stone, they mostly used for some ornaments and some trade value.  This caused De Soto to come up pretty much empty handed during his long exploration even though the mountains he traversed were full of un-harvested gold.

The 1830’s gold strike drew gold prospectors into the southern Blue Ridge Mountains on North Georgia in hordes.  The mountain town Dahlonega in Lumpkin County became the gold capital and mint of the United States of America.  Dahlonega was the launching site of numerous expeditions into the mountains.  The old Native American trails were becoming the new mountain roads into the rugged interior of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Though no particular scenic tour has been established the Blue Ridge Highlander has personally map out a mountain road trip that will take you into the heart of mountain gold country and back.  This customized tour will begin in Dahlonega travel into the heart of the North Georgia Mountain reaching the historic town of Blairsville in Union County and end up back in Dahlonega.  What the Highlander has first decided to do here is to guide you on a road trip that’s composed of several main routes and let you discovery for yourself a land more rich in beauty than the gold itself.