Blue Ridge Scenic Railway - The train route consists of a 26-mile round trip through historic Murphy Junction along the beautiful Toccoa River. This railroad was built over 100 years ago and is the only mainline railroad excursion service based in Georgia. Each trip begins at the depot in Blue Ridge, Georgia and includes a stop in McCaysville which permits passengers to disembark and stretch their legs while exploring the downtown communities of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee. Each round trip takes approximately 3 1/2 hours.
Cherokee Chieftain Downtown Johnston Park - The Cherokee carving sculpted by wildly famous artist Peter Toth stands in the park as a reminder of the Cherokee heritage.
Cherokee Heritage Trails - From the serene peaks of the Balsams to the muddy banks of the Little Tennessee River, Cherokee Heritage Trails wind through the southern Appalachians, telling the story of the Cherokee people, Ani-Kituhwa-gi, who once commanded all of the Southern Appalachians. Although most of the Cherokee were forcibly removed to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears in 1838, a small group remained in their homeland, becoming the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Today they own about 57,000 acres - the Qualla Boundary, a remnant of their ancestral lands.
Cherokee National Forest - Cherokee National Forest is a place of scenic beauty that provides opportunities for anyone interested in nature and history. The Forest stretches from Chattanooga to Bristol along the North Carolina border. The 640,000-acre Cherokee National Forest is the largest tract of public land in Tennessee. It lies in the heart of the Southern Appalachian mountain range, one of the world's most diverse areas. These mountains are home to more than 20,000 species of plants and animals.
The Lost Sea
The Lost Sea, which is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's largest underground lake. Deep inside a mountain near Sweetwater in East Tennessee is a remarkable body of water known as The Lost Sea. The caverns have been known and used since the days of the Cherokee Indians. From the tiny natural opening on the side of the mountain, the cave expands into a series of huge rooms. Nearly a mile from the entrance, in a room now known as “The Council Room,” a wide range of Indian artifacts including pottery, arrowheads, weapons, and jewelry have been found, testifying to the use of the cave by the Cherokees.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
Relive the golden age of railroading at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, the largest operating historic railroad in the Southeast. Experience the classic Missionary Ridge Local, take an all-day excursion to Summerville, Georgia, or see the beautiful Hiwassee River Gorge.
Festivals in Etowah:
• Annual Chilhowee Gliderport Oktoberfest
Chilhowee Gliderport- 9 Miles south of Etowah. This is Chilhowee Gliderports event of the season. People from all over the Southeast bring their gliders for a weekend of food, fun, and fellowship.
• Etowah Annual Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration
Etowah begins its 4th of July Celebration with an Annual Boy Scout Breakfast at 7:00 a.m. Events for the day include a road race, family games, food booths, live entertainment, and other events taking place throughout the entire day. The climax of the event begins at 8:00 p.m. with music from a live band, followed by the largest fireworks display ever in Etowah provided by ThyssenKrupp-Waupaca Foundry. Bring your lawn chairs and plan to stay the entire day. L & N Depot Grounds- Downtown Historic Etowah. 423-263-2228. www.chilhowee.com