It's all about the creek…and the mountains

Waterfalls – Whitewater Falls

Okay, here’s a quiz – what’s the tallest waterfall east of the Rockies? 
And where can you find it?
Get ready to explore our area’s waterfalls!

It’s Whitewater Falls on the Whitewater River in the Jocassee Gorge area of Jackson County, NC, not far from the town of Cashiers.  Located close the NC/SC state line, Whitewater’s upper falls plunge over 400 feet, making Whitewater Falls the tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.  And just over the border in South Carolina is the lower falls, another 200+ foot spectacular.  Located just south of the town of Cashiers (Highway 64-east), a day trip to visit the both waterfalls, driving through the beautiful mountains and scenery of the Nantahala National Forest, is sure to make memories to last a lifetime.

Whitewater Falls is located in an escarpment of the Nantahala National Forest, and because of the escarpment’s difficult access and rugged, rocky terrain, this area receives fewer visitors than other more popular sights along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The area has remained wild and undeveloped and offers a perfect getaway into the majesty and tranquility of the woods.  Wander along some of the trails in these cool moist woods and you’ll find wildflowers and ferns in abundance. In the springtime, enjoy the flowery show of wild rhododendrons and flame azaleas in bloom. Hike along trails that follow steep slopes to rock cliffs offering vistas of the mountain ranges near and far.

But the highlight of a visit to the Nantahala forest is your first view of magnificent Whitewater Falls. In a series of waterfalls and cascades on the Whitewater River in North Carolina and South Carolina, the river traverses more than 3.5 miles across the state line between the upper falls (NC) and the lower falls (SC).

The best views of the falls are from the two overlooks, accessed from the parking area. Follow the paved, wheelchair accessible walkway from the end of the parking lot to the overlook for the upper falls.  The walkway can generally be managed by people of all ages, from babies to grannies.  Continues down a long wooden staircase to a lower overlook for another view of the falls.

The hike: More energetic hikers can continue down the half-mile spur trail that drops 600 feet in elevation to the Whitewater River and Foothills Trail. As of this writing, the trail was considered difficult due to washouts and large amounts of debris.  Many people follow the Foothills Trail for the hike experience, as the views of the falls at the bottom can sometimes be obscured by overhanging limbs and foliage.

The video below provides a great overview of both the upper and lower falls and a good idea of what to expect if you decide to hike the Foothills Trail from one to the other.

Mountain Country Christmas Light Show

Hiawassee GA – Mountain Country Christmas in Lights at Georgia Mtn Fairgrounds

Don’t miss the Mountain Country Christmas In Lights.  Enjoy Caroling, Arts & Crafts, Food and Entertainment throughout the event.

 Show runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Nov 22nd through Dec.29th
Operating Hours: 6:00PM – 9:00PM
Cost: $5 per person / Children under 12 are free

Live Nativity • Strolling Carolers

While we can’t promise you a light show like that below, the Mountain Country Christmas Lights is sure to light up your holiday spirit and bring a little glow here to our little corner of the mountains!

Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
1311 Music Hall Road
Hiawassee , GA 30546

Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction

Come to the Blacksmith & Fine Craft  Auction at the John C. Campbell Folk School – Saturday, Nov. 3rd from 1pm-4pm
Join us for a memorable afternoon fundraiser on SaturdayNovember 3from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. In silent and live auctions, you can bid on craft, art and unique items donated by artists and other supporters of the Folk School. Admission is free.

Bidding on well-crafted ironwork, textiles, jewelry, pottery, paintings, woodturnings, and other handmade items is a fun way to help us provide our year-round creative-learning classes and community outreach programs.

We appreciate each of the artists who have contributed creative work. We couldn’t do it without their generous support.

Emcee: Jerry Jackson, Executive Director
Auctioneers: Tim Ryan and Bob Grove

Event Information
Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction
November 3, 1-4 p.m.

John C. Campbell Folk School
One Folk School Road
Brasstown, NC 28902

 Learn more…
The John C. Campbell Folk School provides experiences in non-competitive learning and community life that are joyful and enlivening. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.

Folks come together in this haven, tucked in the beautiful western North Carolina mountains, to have creative and fun learning experiences. The Folk School’s motto, ‘I sing behind the plow’, reflects our desire to find joy in our daily lives.

John C Campbell Folk School
John C Campbell Folk School

Sorghum Festival


This is such a fun event! If you haven’t been, there are 2 weekends to choose from and enjoy everything! Come to see us if you are a local, but also if you are coming up to visit! We can’t wait!! 

Entry is $5 for 13 years and up. Children 12 and under are free. Free Parking!

Sorghum is truly a versatile crop that can be grown as a grain, forage or sweet crop. Sorghum is one of the top five cereal crops in the world. The United States is the world’s largest producer of grain sorghum, having produced 480 million bushels in 2016. 

Sorghum is among the most efficient crops in conversion of solar energy and use of water and is known as a high-energy, drought tolerant crop that is environmentally friendly. Due to sorghum’s wide uses and adaptation, “sorghum is one of the really indispensable crops” required for the survival of humankind. 

Grain sorghum can take many shapes and sizes from a tight-headed, round panicle to an open, droopy panicle that can be short or tall. There are various types of sorghum including red, orange, bronze, tan, white, and black colored sorghum. Red, orange or bronze sorghum is traditionally grown and is used in all segments of the sorghum industry. Tan, cream and white colored sorghum varieties are typically made into flour for the food industry, while black and burgundy varieties contain beneficial antioxidant properties and are utilized in other food applications. Depending on which species and variety is selected, sorghum can be used for grazing pasture, hay production, silage and green-chop. Forage sorghum typically grows 8-15 feet tall and is most popular for use as silage for feeding livestock.

Sorghum is traditionally grown throughout the Sorghum Belt, which runs from South Dakota to Southern Texas, primarily on dryland acres. Acreage increases are seen in non-traditional areas like the Delta and Southeast regions. In 2017, sorghum was planted on 5.6 million acres and 364 million bushels were harvested. The top five sorghum-producing states in 2017 were:

  1. Kansas – 2.6 million acres
  2. Texas – 1.65 million acres
  3. Colorado– 410,000 acres
  4. Oklahoma – 315,000 acres
    5.South Dakota– 270,000 acres

Harvest Festival

Cane Creek Vineyards

Harvest Festival At Cane Creek Vineyards

Get yourself into the spirit of the fall season by joining us on October 20th for our annual Harvest Festival! Come enjoy live music, local vendors, delicious home-made food, winery tours, hayrides, and, of course, wine!  Your $25 admission will include a stemless Harvest Festival wine glass, a tasting of 5 of our wines made right here at the vineyard, lunch, and all the fun fall festivities throughout the day!

Enjoy Fall – We  look forward to seeing you on October 20th!

Saturday, October 20th!

Toyota Bassmaster Angler Of The Year Championship

bass fishing

Toyota Bassmaster Angler Of The Year Championship!  
Our little corner of the mountains is hosting the Toyota Bassmaster National Championship!  The championship will be managed at the tournament headquarters in Hiawassee, but you can bet they’ll be lots of anglers heading right up here to the north end of the lake to try their skill and luck at landing a record trophy.

Before the fishing begins, the best bass anglers in the world gather for the Night of Champions. Brandon Palaniuk speaks from the heart in front of the anglers who inspired him to win his Angler of the Year title in 2017. The self-professed B.A.S.S. geek, shares how he went from living in a trailer to a professional bass angler.

lake chatuge

Craig Lamb writes on the tournament’s website:
“YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Duplicate a rotation of tactics, lures and locations that put bass in the livewell and you have a pattern. Whoever scores with the best pattern this week will win the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Lake Chatuge.

There is a hitch. Before the winner patterned the bass, he will likely have patterned the bait. The old adage “find the bait, find the bass” rings more true here than most tournament fisheries.

Bass are so adaptive to a given lake environment they will favor whatever forage is most plentiful and easy to prey upon. The prolific and fast-growing blueback herring fit the bill on many lakes, including Chatuge.

Throughout the 7,500 acres of the north Georgia impoundment is an overabundance of the landlocked saltwater baitfish. By their open-water, nomadic nature they stay on the move. Coincidentally so do their primary predator. That is the spotted bass, also an open-water species that spends a lot of time searching for their favorite source of food. 

Committing to fishing specific spots is risky business on a herring-dominated bass lake. Keeping up with blueback herring movements is the wiser approach. And that is the hitch. Pattern the herring and you will likely pattern the bass. 

“When they are not spawning blueback herring are deeper than most baitfish, and they roam even more,” said Davy Hite, a native South Carolinian and analyst for Bassmaster LIVE. “That makes them tough to find, and keep up with, but that can be your only choice when the bass are in a feeding mode.”

Paris & Company for Great Take-out Meals


Paris & Company is the one of the best places for great take-out meals in the Hayesville area! I had read about Paris & Company in several local papers and saw their page on Facebook,
but never really understood what it was all about.  But I’ve been house-sitting in the Young Harris area and decided to seek them out and see what the chatter is all about.
And boy oh boy I am glad I did!

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
~~J.R.R. Tolkein


Paris & Company
Paris & Company

Although know locally as a top-tier catering company for conference, special events and all sorts of gatherings, the cooks at Paris & Company offer some of the freshest and tastiest meals found anywhere in the region.  They pride themselves on “Deliciously Different and Fresh!” entrees, salads, sandwiches and soups. 

Paris & Company
Paris & Company
2367 State Hwy 66
Young Harris, Georgia

(706) 379-4174
*Call ahead to see what’s cooking…!

Paris & Company sign
Paris & Company team

Here’s what others have said about Paris & Company…

“As my husband and I were waiting for a tow in the hot Georgia sun, this lovely owner Nina, who was working on catering a private party, gave us a delicious pasta dish, mini eclairs and cream puffs as we waited. What a lovely person to be so kind and generous. What a treasure to find in Young Harris….Excellent food with a French flair!! We sat on a bench outside as her restaurant was closed and had the most delightful time!!!We will certainly be back to Paris & Company!!”

“Amazing food prepared fresh and served with a smile! Nina and her staff are so friendly and take great pride in the food they serve. I have had the croque monsieur, quiche, southern macaroni salad (to die for), grilled cheese and tomato basil soup…all are amazing. You definitely get your money’s worth here at Paris & Company, whether you drop in for lunch or take home dinner on the fly. The venue is clean and well kept and you can watch them make your order too. Make sure to put Paris & Company on your list of must do’s and send your friends and family too, they won’t want to miss this great place!”


“Always great food! Nina does an amazing job making fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, quiche’s and desserts. I have had the croque monsieur, quiche, garden salad with blackened chicken and southern macaroni salad. Everything is presented so nicely and with great pride. I will definitely be back. Please send your friends over to Paris & Company for lunch or dinner. Catering available too! I wish you much success!!”

“This is not take out food!! It is far beyond that! This is more like gourmet food with the ease of no fuss and no mess! Presentation is perfection. All foods are fresh and flavorful. I have tried the potato soup and the wedding soup. I have also had thelasagna and chicken & dumplings. Their salads are SOOOO fresh! The garlic ciabatta bread is addicting. What a true pleasure to eat your food PARIS & COMPANY! I will see you again this week!!!”

cheese and fruit
take-out food

“This is definitely one of the area’s best-kept secrets when it comes to great food.  If you order the lasagna, keep in mind that it’s big enough to share, easily two full portions, especially if you’re also going to have a salad, garlic bread and of course, dessert!  Speaking of dessert, you’ve got to try the chocolate brownies and then share an order of the mini-eclairs and creme puffs… delicious!  They might be a little out of the way, but your GPS will find them without a problem (mine did), not to mention that it’s a beautiful drive through farm country with all sorts of mountain views along the way.”

“WOW!!! Excellent food!!! I had the lasagna with a chef salad. I was able to get 3 meals out of the salad an my son finished off the lasagna. That’s how big the portions are. An I don’t know about anyone else but when I go out to eat that’s one of the major things I pay attention to, “portion size”. Of course, with 2 teenage boys that I’m going broke trying to feed!! You look for places that have’em…. So, YES, this place ROCKS!!! I’d give y’all 100 stars, but it only has 5…. Keep it up!!!!”

“I stopped by Paris & Company this afternoon because I was house-sitting nearby and needed something other than a frozen pot pie for my dinner tonight. I brought home their vegetable lasagna and it was some of the best I have ever eaten. Much better than the lasagna at several of our local Italian restaurants. The garlic butter they gave me to heat up on the french bread was delicious. And I topped it off with the mini cream-puffs and eclairs (get two orders of these if there’s two of you… you can easily eat the whole bunch yourself).”

 “One cannot think well, love well and sleep well if one has not dined well…”

Pizza Pizza Pizza! Right here in Hayesville

Pizza Pizza Pizza! Right here in Hayesville we now have more choices than ever for the best pizza around, dining in or take-out.  While we’ve already talked about the Valley River Brewery and the Tusquittee Tavern, we’ve got a couple more places for you to check out when the pizza bug strikes. 

Mariolino’s Italian Restaurant
One of the newest places in town is Mariolino’s Italian Restaurant.  With a large and varied menu, Mariolino’s offers something for everyone.   Mariolino’s is located just east of the Hayesville schools complex on Hwy 64-Business, right by the traffic circle east of town.  A big, family-friendly place, Mariolino’s has several different sections of dining rooms with big roomy booths, large tables for family meals and a private dining room for special events– meetings, birthday celebrations, wedding and baby showers, and more.
Address:  495 US Hwy 64-Business, Hayesville
Eat-in or pick-up only (no delivery). 

  “Round pizza, triangular slices,
       SQUARE box!
  Uh, what’s wrong here,
       someone’s a real dumb ox
  A round box would be better…
      It would fit like a sweater…”
                                              ~ Ilene Bauer

Angelo’s Pizzeria
Located in downtown Hayesville, right on the square and opposite the newly refurbished historic courthouse, Angelo’s Pizzeria has been the go-to place for some of the best pizza anywhere in the mountains.  In addition to their great pizzas, the menu offers a large selection of pasta dishes, specialty sandwiches and salads. Angelo’s is the perfect spot to grab a pizza for dinner on Friday nights, then head on over to the gazebo on the square for some great bluegrass and country music at Hayesville’s free Friday Night Concert Series
Address: 45 Main St., Hayesville
Phone:  828-389-2500
Eat-in or pick-up only (no delivery). Cash or local checks only (no credit cards).

Roma’s Pizzeria
Located in a small strip of stores just west of the Ingles and Hwy 69, Roam’s Pizzeria is a local favorite for its large and varied salad bar in addition to some of the best New York-style pizza anywhere.  As one pizza-eater said on Facebook: good thin crust pizza is hard to find (especially with my husband) but we have been very pleased with each visit. As a former waitress, I know the importance of building relationships with customers and they have gone above and beyond to keep repeat customers, learn their names and build relationships with us. I have seen such improvement since opening and we love going back. Keep up the good work!
Address: 165 US-64, Hayesville
Phone:      828-389-6366
Eat-in or pick-up only (no delivery).

Giovanni’s Pizzeria
Giovanni’s Pizzeria is located on Hwy 69, just about a mile south of the traffic light at Hwy 64 & Hwy 69.  Here’s what one happy customer recently wrote: 
Giovanni’s is easily one of my favorite restaurants in the area! The owner grew up in Brooklyn and his family has been in the pizza business for decades – and you can tell! The pizza is delicious, fresh and not greasy.  This is a great place if you specific dietary needs, especially in an area where southern cooking has dairy, gluten, meat, etc in everything. They have a delicious, crispy, gluten-free crust that they carefully prepare away from other gluten-containing ingredients, and the pepperoni and sausage are gluten-free (I am unsure if it celiac-friendly). I have been eating it and my gluten-triggered migraines don’t make an appearance. They also have a couple of vegan cheese options. This has quickly become a favorite with my family and many of our friends. If you love pizza, Giovanni’s is the place to go!
Address:  18 Creekside Circle, Hayesville
Phone:      828-415-1615
Delivery sometimes offered – call ahead and inquire.

Alpacas – Love These Fuzzy Friends


Love those alpacas!  Love that fluffy feeling! Love those baby-faces!


Looking for a different kind of family fun?  Head to Two Crows Farms Alpacas!  
Two Crows Farm, located in the southwestern most corner of North Carolina outside of Murphy, is home to 43 delightful alpacas, 1 noble llama, 5 loyal dogs and 2 working cats. Two Crows Farm promotes the rural lifestyle, which for its owners, Woody and Mike Hamm, includes raising alpacas for their luxurious fiber. Woody and Mike invite you to come learn about raising livestock, processing yarn, growing your food and the sense of community that living in the country brings. 

And after you’ve made friends with all the alpacas and their crias and all the other farm critters at Two Crows Farm, be sure to visit their shop, filled with some of the most luxurious alpaca items you’ve ever run your hands across. With everything from scarves to shawls to baby items and running socks, the Two Crows shop is everything alpaca.  Here’s a sampling of some of the beautifully woven items you’ll find in the shop.


Q: What do you call Alpacas taking over the world? A: The Alpacalypse!

But first, let’s learn a little bit more about this amazing animal…
Related to the llama and the familiar one- and two-hump camels seen at the zoo, the alpaca is one of six species of camelids that exist today.  There are two alpaca breeds, the huacaya and the suri.  Huacaya alpacas have dense, fluffy fleece while suri alpacas have long, curly fiber.  Their fiber is sheared once every one to two years and can be processed to create blankets, clothing, and other beautiful products.  Suri is a less common variety of alpaca. The fiber of suri alpacas grows parallel to the body and hangs down the sides of the body in curly ringlets. Suri fiber doesn’t stand out from the body, but parts along the backbone and hangs along the sides giving the animal a slender, sleek look.

There are twenty-two natural basic colors of alpacas ranging from black to white—including many different browns, grays, tans, and creams.  Alpacas tend to be more a single, uniform color than llamas, but occasionally will have white markings on the face, neck, or legs. Alpacas weigh approximately 150 to 200 pounds and are about 3 feet tall at the withers.  A baby alpaca, or cria, is born weighing about 15 pounds after approximately 11 months of gestation.  The average life span of an alpaca is 15 to 25 years.  Unique features of an alpaca include their soft padded feet with 2 toe-nails, their dental pad rather than upper teeth, and their use of humming and spitting as a form of communication.

Q: Wanna go on a picnic? Alpaca lunch.

Some fun facts about these fuzzy friends…
1) Like their cousins the llamas, alpacas spit when angry or annoyed. Many a too-close camera lens has been the bulls-eye for well-aimed wad of ick!

2) Alpacas are good lawnmowers– when alpacas grass, they snip off the top of the plant unlike some other animals that pull the grass up by the root.

3) Alpacas have soft pads on their feet, which don’t churn up the ground like a cow or horse’s hooves do— another reason to hire a young’un to chomp your grass.

4) The animals have interesting pooping habits. On some farms, the alpacas have grown accustomed to pooping in a giant-sized litter box—no muss, no fuss!

5 No middle of the night calls– mothers almost always have their babies in the morning. 

6) Females have an 11-month gestation period and when it’s time, they just go into labor and deliver the baby within an hour.  There’s gotta be some jealous moms out there reading this about now.

7) Alpacas love to sunbathe. You might see a herd of alpacas all lying down on their side in a field—it can be pretty weird looking since they kind of look like they’ve dropped dead.


Two Crows Farm
1495 Boiling Springs Road
Murphy, North Carolina 28906
(828) 837-1678

alpaca baby

Anejo Mexican Grill

Anejo Mexican Grill – the first stop for the best in TexMex and authentic Mexican food here in our little corner of the mountains.   When you’ve tried the local BBQ joints and have had your fill of burgers & fries, when you’ve got a hankering for a bowl of chips and salsa, maybe some guacamole and a frosty margarita, then it’s time to head on over to the friendly folks at Anejo Mexican Grill in Hayesville.  

Anejo Mexican Grill
18 Creekside Plaza*
*on the east side of Hwy 69, just 1/2 mile south of the traffic light at Hwys 64 & 69

I’m convinced that anyone who doesn’t like Mexican food is a psychopath.
~Jim Gaffigan, “Mexican Foodland,” Food: A Love Story, 2014

Don’t know what to order when you’re out for Mexican food?  Worried you won’t understand the menu, or that you don’t speak Spanish?  Don’t worry – the team at this family-owned restaurant speaks English and the friendly servers are happy to explain their menu items and help you make your choice.  Can’t handle red-hot chili peppers? Then simply ask for your dish to be created “mild”. 

Here’s what folks have said about their meal at Anejo Mexican Grill…

Paul C. says:  Small town surprise that rivals any authentic Mexican anywhere else in NC.  Fresh chips and salsa and a house margarita are a great opener.  Enormous menu full of old favorites and new ones. Had (and LOVED) the Quesadilla Mucho Grande.  Enough food to feed a family of 2-3 for $8.50!  Creamy cheese, marinated chicken and juicy shrimp with refried beans and amazing guacamole (creamy with a perfect kick of garlic) on the side. Great value, wonderful food, and some sweet ambiance to boot.  Highly recommended.

Brandi W. says:  This was our first time here. We came in based on others reviews and we are happy we did. The service was excellent and the food was amazing! The prices we very fair based on the portions and quality. Other reviews mentioned it didn’t look like much on the outside but it’s very nice inside. We will definitely return the next time we are in the area.

Nina S. wrote:  This place was a riot — jam packed on Sunday night at 7pm, we were seated quickly and in the middle of full-on Mexican kitsch.  I had a Texas margarita, which had some kick to it, and enchiladas rancheros…I swear I got 2 chicken breasts in those enchiladas.  The waiter was very attentive (‘cause we were beside the cash register). He brought me a hotter sauce for my enchiladas, and tried to get me to buy another drink.  The food was good- my patient hubby with the sensitive tummy got a cheese fajita.  Enjoyed our meal & the surroundings.