North Georgia Garden Trail An Ideal Spring Outing

Nothing says spring quite like blooming gardens, and here in Northeast Georgia we have a bevy of them for you to visit. They are all part of the North Georgia Garden Trail, a collection of 26 public gardens that showcase landscapes filled with blooming bushes, trees, babbling brooks, and snippets of American history.

A nice bonus to visiting these gardens are the pretty mountain drives you get to enjoy as you travel from one community to the next.

A closeup of a deep rose-colored rhodendrum.Head due north from Lucille’s Mountaintop Inn & Spa to Hiawassee to view the Hamilton Gardens and the largest collection of rhododendrons (more than 1500!) in the southeast United States. Located on the shore of Lake Chatuge, this woodland paradise covers 33 acres and has a wonderful diversity of native wildflowers, plants, trees—with 3000 plants in all, including nearly 400 varieties of rhododebdrons.
Hamilton Gardens
96 Pavilion Road, Hiawassee, GA
Open year-round, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Golf cart and guided tours, $5/person
Weekend plant sales, mid-April – mid-May, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Head west from here to Reece Heritage Farm, which is just north of Vogel State Park in Blairsville. The former home of poet and novelist, Byron Herbert Reece, this pretty mountain spot showcases mid-20th Century rural Appalachian life.
Reece Heritage Farm
8552 Gainesville Highway, Blairsville, GA
Open April – November, Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Blairsville is also home to two more places on the Garden Trail, the Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center (GMREC) and The Herb Crib. GMREC is known for its Ethnobotanic Gardens and Woodland Medicine Trail, which showcases native plants used by early inhabitants for medicine, food and crafts. The Herb Crib, a peaceful escape high in the mountains, is known for a wonderful organic herb garden and botanical sanctuary, and has a selection of organically-grown herbs, vegetable, native plants and wildflowers for sale.
Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center
195 Georgia Mountain Experiment Station Road, Blairsville, GA
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Garden tours are free
Guided tours of Gardens and Cannery Interpretive Center: Mondays, May – September, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The Herb Crib
298 Track rock Church Road, Blairsville, GA
Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

South of Helen are two more places on the trail. The Gardens at BabyLand General Hospital in Cleveland offers a wonderful display of flowering trees and shrubs—dogwoods, azaleas, forsythias, hydrangeas, and more. At Mauldin House and Garden in Clarkesville, winding brick paths lead visitors through a pretty display of shrubs and perennials, many native to the area. These surround historic buildings, one of which houses the town’s Welcome Center.
BabyLand General Hospital
300 N.O.K. Drive, Cleveland, GA
Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Mauldin House and Garden
458 Jefferson Street, Clarkesville, GA
Monday – Friday, 8;00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

And one more not to miss places, Red Oak Lavender Farm in Dahlonega, the largest lavender farm open to the public in Georgia. Visit here in June, when nearly 2,000 plants are in bloom.
Red Oak Lavender Farm
2882 Red Oak Flats Road, Dahlonega, GA
March – December: Wednesday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Plan to stay at Lucille’s for several days and we’ll help you plot your visits to all of these great places. Call us today to make your reservation!