Destinations: Dahlonega, Ga.
Visit Dahlonega, Ga., home of the first gold rush, and great mountain roads, Georgia’s wine country and the Gold Museum.
Dahlonega, Ga., offers several opportunities to experience rich local history and take some scenic rides.
Photo By Joe Berk
What: Dahlonega, Ga. Southern hospitality, a rich heritage, a beautiful town square, local vineyards and great riding!
How to Get There: Georgia’s SR 400 (which runs concurrently with US 19) from Atlanta will work from the south, or SR 60 if you’re rolling in from the north.
Best Kept Secret: Trahlyta’s Grave, marked by a large pile of rocks at the intersection of US 19 and Georgia’s SR 60. Trahlyta was a Cherokee woman of extraordinary beauty who, according to legend, discovered a natural spring that intensified her beauty and youth. The legend is that if you place a rock on the pile marking her grave, you will remain young and happy. We did. It seems to be working.
Avoid: Just passing through downtown. You need to visit the Gold Museum, stop for a meal in any of the local eateries and wander about a bit in the town square to appreciate Dahlonega’s magic.
More Info: Dahlonega, Ga.
More Photos: MotoFoto.cc
“Thar’s gold in them thar hills!” Like most folks, I always thought of California’s gold rush when I heard that line, but I sure was wrong. Dr. Matthew Stephenson actually said “there’s millions in it” and he was referring to Dahlonega, site of the first U.S. gold rush in 1829. Nestled in the mountains of north Georgia, Dahlonega is a magnificent destination with a rich heritage — a beautiful little town surrounded by some of the best riding in the country.
Originally populated by Cherokee and Creek Native Americans, the 1828 discovery of the purest gold ever found in the U.S. had a predictable outcome for the Dahlonega region. By 1829, America’s first gold rush was an all-out land grab. The political pressure was intense: Dahlonega’s largest gold mine was owned by none other than John Calhoun, our seventh U.S. vice president, and Calhoun was one of the principal proponents of the Indian Removal Act. That act led to the Trail of Tears and the ultimate displacement of approximately 37,000 Cherokee and Creek to Oklahoma.