From the four lanes of Hwy 365 through the beautiful scenic drive of Hwy 197, the “Habersham County Loop—Southern Highroads Trail” is now officially marked.
“If you have noticed new Georgia Department of Transportation signs marking “Habersham County Loop—Southern Highroads Trail,” these have been in the making for a while,” said Judy Taylor, Habersham Chamber of Commerce President.
“Habersham was not part of the original four-state trail through north Georgia. Yet, it is a major link to the trail from Hwy 365,” Taylor explained. ”The Chamber started working on getting Habersham designated as a loop over three years ago. This had to be approved by the Southern Highroads Trail Board, and then it took a while to get the signs made and erected,” Taylor said.
County Engineer, Lewis Canup, interfaced with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to get these signs approved. Steve Bailey, Southern Highroads Development Association, worked that end of getting the signs approved. The Southern Highroads Development Association covered the cost of making the signs, and the GDOT erected them. “It was a three-way collaborative effort that did not happen quickly,” Taylor noted. “The wheels of progress turn slowly sometimes, but this is one that was worth the wait.”
“The Chamber covers an annual membership fee, through hotel/motel excise tax, to keep Habersham County tourism active on the Highroads publicity,” Taylor noted. “This trail now well marked through Habersham should bring many visitors to the county.”
Over ten years ago, promoters of the Southern Highroads Trail began seeking the development and designation of a scenic driving tour through northeast Georgia, western North Carolina, southeast Tennessee and the western tip of South Carolina.
The trail is a 364-mile loop across the Appalachian Mountains that winds through four national forests and embraces some of the South's most beautiful scenery. Each season offers a different display of colors, wildlife and natural beauty.
Learn more about the Southern Highroads Trail at www.southernhighroads.org.