Locate It: Sautee

Sautee-Nacoochee: Experience a Simpler Time, a Deep-Rooted Community and Pristine Nature

Between Cleveland and Helen in the rolling foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, the unincorporated village of Sautee-Nacoochee is a place where you can experience a simpler time, a deep-rooted community and pristine nature.

Between Cleveland and Helen in the rolling foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, the unincorporated village of Sautee-Nacoochee is a place where you can experience a simpler time, a deep-rooted community and pristine nature. The small village of fewer than 400 people offers a wide range of recreational opportunities, including hiking trails, fly fishing, and horseback riding. The area is also home to the Sautee-Nacoochee Indian Mound, which is one of the most photographed sites in Georgia and features the picturesque Yonah Mountain in the background.

The Hardman Farm in Sautee-Nacoochee was renovated and opened in 2014 as an official state historic site. Visitors may now tour the property on the hour and learn more about the 1870s-era mansion at “West End” or the Nacoochee Indian Mound. There are 19 buildings on the property listed in the National Historic Register that provide a perfect backdrop for the many ongoing cultural history programs and events held on site. There is also a nature trail.

Legend states that Indian lovers from opposing tribes are buried within the Nacoochee Indian Mound at Hardman Farm. The Nacoochee Mound is indeed a burial site, with 75 burials having been discovered during excavations in 1915. The graves in most probability were placed there long before the Cherokee Tribe inhabited the area, but the Cherokee did use the Mound as a site for their townhouse and ceremonial rites, possibly ignorant as to the original purpose of the artificial hill.

Explore the Hardman-to-Helen Heritage Trail, a biking and hiking trail designed to showcase the region’s natural beauty. Begin your journey at the Hardman Farm Historic Site and follow the path along the Chattahoochee River to Helen, Georgia.

Horseback riding is a treat in Sautee-Nacoochee. Chattahoochee Stables will gladly take you on guided trail rides that include a three and a half-mile scenic trail ride, one and a half miles right along the beautiful Chattahoochee River. Rides during the summer include going right through the river.

Stop by for wine tastings in the Sautee-Nacoochee Valley at Stonewall Creek Vineyards-Sautee or Sylvan Valley Lodge & Cellars. Follow the Unicoi Wine Trail to tasting rooms at several area wineries and vineyards.

Sautee-Nacoochee is perhaps best noted for the Sautee-Nacoochee Cultural Center, a cultural and community center housed in the restored schoolhouse. The center was founded by the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association (SNCA), which was also responsible for getting both Sautee and Nacoochee Valleys placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The numerous cultural programs at the Sautee-Nacoochee Cultural Center led to Sautee-Nacoochee being designated as one of “The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America” in a book by the same name written by John Villani.

On the grounds of the Sautee-Nacoochee Cultural Center is the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia, which has been featured in Southern Living magazine as a “best travel tip” and in Fodor’s as a “choice travel attraction.” The museum showcases the handcraft skills of one of the South’s premier grassroots art forms and explores the historical importance and changing role of folk pottery in Southern life. More than 150 vessels are on permanent display and there is space for additional temporary exhibits.

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