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Summer Vacation: A Mountain Crossings Way of Life

By Carlie Gentry

Here at Mountain Crossings we believe that life is too short for waiting on a traffic light for several rotations or sitting at a dead stop on an interstate. As far as we can tell, life is just long enough to throw out a few casts or stroll through a tunnel of Rhododendrons. We believe that there is no need to wait until retirement to claim your piece of the good life in the mountains. We encourage everyone to take hold of the opportunity to bask in the mountains full time and to take advantage of the endless enjoyment in North Georgia.

For those who are city mice, small mountain towns like Blairsville, Blue Ridge, Helen and Dahlonega offer a quaint dining and shopping experience among the blue, silhouetted mountains of Appalachia. Countless festivals and celebrations take place in the summer along side weekly farmers markets and flea markets.

Year round restaurants, pubs and breweries offer a range of food all the way from down home southern cooking and bar-b-que to fresh seafood, desserts, farm to table and an array of cuisine from around the world. Wineries dot the countryside throughout and offer a great, fun filled day for those who don't like playing in the dirt.

For the country mouse, the real fun kicks in when you get to the backcountry. Tubing on the Nottley or Chattahoochee Rivers or paddling the Chatooga or Cartecay Rivers bring a thrill to the adventure seekers. The surrounding lakes, Blue Ridge, Nottley and Hiawassee offer excellent fishing along with North Georgia's many pristine trout streams. Four wildlife management areas, copious recreation areas and many state parks provide a wealth of land for outdoor recreation of all sorts.

It is easy to brag about your home when it is both beautiful and full of entertainment. As an outfitter and hostel along the Appalachian Trail, we pride ourselves in providing services for all who come to discover the great outdoors we love so deeply. Alongside neighbors like Vogel State Park and Lake Winfield Scott, Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi makes up a string of iconic buildings of unmatched beauty in the area, all which were built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Crops.

Nestled at the bottom of Blood Mountain in Neel Gap, our job is to take in fledgling thru hikers of the Appalachian Trail and assist them in having a successful trek to Maine. After our spring hoards die down, we shift focus to outfitting section hikers and taking care of the needs of local outdoor enthusiasts. In 2014, Outdoor Magazine named us one of the Top 100 Outdoor Retailers in the US, hopefully reflecting our devoted excitement in sharing information with all who walk through our door.

Mountain Crossings is located on US 19/129, 16 miles south of Blairsville and approximately 20 miles north of both Dahlonega and Cleveland. Come pay us a visit for a snack after a day of hiking, for directions to nearby waterfalls or to take care of any backpacking gear needs or local trail questions you may have!

For more information please check out their website at www.mountaincrossings.com.

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