Fun Things to Do, Sight Seeing

North Georgia Farm Trail Events Near Big Canoe

North Georgia Farm Trail Big Canoe Village Festival
Published on September 5, 2014

"There is no WI-FI out here but I promise you'll find a better connection." Unknown

The North Georgia Farm Trail runs along the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway (Highway 515) north of Atlanta, winding through five counties. This is where dozens of Farmer’s Markets in North Georgia offer fresh, homegrown produce and handmade treasures against a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains changing into its fall colors.

For Boomers living in the Big Canoe gated mountain community in Georgia, this means even more opportunities to enjoy crisp autumn days filled with festivals and fairs not far from their Big Canoe homes. From apple picking to winery tours and juried art shows, new and tasty experiences await all along the Trail. For example, here is a list of fall happenings at the Union County Farmer’s Market, open on Saturdays from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Old Smokey Road in Blairsville:

Saturday Farmer's Market Events:

  • Sep. 6 College Colors Revelry – wear your school colors!
  • Sep. 13 Food Fight Championship (local chefs recipe competition)
  • Sep. 20 Apple Dumplin’ Festival
  • Sep. 27 Northeast GA Hay Contest & Corn Yield Contest
  • Oct. 4 Beans and Greens Day
  • Oct. 11 A Taste of Appalachian Sweetness
  • Oct. 18 Great Butternut Creek Pumpkin Contest & Celebration
  • Oct. 25 Season Finale

A complete guide to all Farmer’s Markets in North Georgia as well as events, historical sites, and other delicious stops along the North Georgia Farm Trail can be found on the interactive map at

It’s no secret among Baby Boomers that one of the key ingredients to an active, healthy retirement is a variety of fresh, high quality food. Locally grown produce, grains, and meats harvested at the peak of freshness not only taste better, but positively impact health and well-being. Big Canoe residents can enjoy the benefits of locally sourced foods, whether purchased at a Farmer’s Market for a home-cooked feast or when dining at nearby farm-to-table establishments such as Madeline’s Café & Bakery or 61 Main. The trend towards choosing to support sustainable ventures and lifestyles appeals to Baby Boomers throughout the country, but here in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachians, Big Canoe residents enjoy the luxuries of availability and proximity nearly year ‘round when it comes to fresh, wholesome vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses and dairy products, breads, herbs, jams and jellies, wines, and sauces.

Besides the bountiful harvests, artisans and crafters produce locally made art, furnishings, and beautiful handmade items. Often, after a downsize and a move, it’s difficult to fit an old lifestyle into a new home. With one-of-a kind finds or custom handwork, residents make their Big Canoe homes as individual as they are. At this wonderful gated mountain community in Georgia, friends and neighbors entertain and interact – and the fall season with its mild, breezy, colorful days and crisp evenings is the perfect time to organize a treasure-hunting junket along the Farm Trail. Who will return with the most fabulous quilt, painting, or piece of pottery? Decide over plates of fall’s bounty brought from the Farmer’s Market when you have the neighbors over for a backyard BBQ featuring locally grazed beef and that “just perfect” wine from a North Georgia winery.

The North Georgia Farm Trail starts about an hour north of Atlanta at the end of I-575 where it becomes Hwy 515 at the Pickens County line. The Trail continues north and east through Pickens, Gilmer, Fannin, Union, and Towns counties, running right past Big Canoe. In addition, the community has its very own Big Canoe Village Festival every Saturday. Start there and make it an all-day adventure!

The Big Canoe Village Festival, open since April, is located on Steve Tate Highway just about a mile outside the entrance of this friendly, gated mountain community in Georgia.  Here, within a brisk walk, bike ride or horseback ride from Big Canoe homes, vendors sell fresh produce, plants, homemade breads and cheeses, fresh seafood, sausages, lamb, and beef, as well as  pottery, baskets, jewelry, and more. The Village Festival is open from 9:00AM to 12:00 PM, bustling with residents and visitors selecting juicy pies, pure honey, and handmade soaps.

Foodies, collectors, responsible sourcing activists, and adventurers alike – all find value and fun shared experiences here in the stunning fall landscapes of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Big Canoe. If you are looking at places to retire in a gated mountain community in Georgia, a weekend meander up the North Georgia Farm Trail with a special stop at Big Canoe is definitely something to put on the agenda.

This established gated mountain community in Georgia nestled between lakes and mountains offers 27 holes of championship golf on a Joe Lee designed course and resort-style amenities such as a lodge-style golf clubhouse overlooking Lake Sconti, 16,000 square foot Fitness Center, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, ball fields, dog parks, 10 lighted tennis courts, 22 miles of hiking trails, private lakes stocked with trout, bass, bream and crappie, and community boat docks. In addition to an active outdoor lifestyle, there are plenty of social clubs, dining, and shopping opportunities at Big Canoe.