By Julie Paysen
“Come on men. Let’s go. One foot in front of the other. 3 miles up. 3 miles down. You, grab that man there. We never leave anyone behind. You are the newest weapon for the Army. You are strong and brave. You are Airborne.”
Toccoa-Stephens County, home of Camp Toccoa, made famous by the 101st Airborne and made more famous by the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers does have its share of military history and adventure. Currahee mountain is still there and yes, if you want, you can climb 3 miles up and 3 miles down the mountain. Granted, you will feel and hear old soldiers on your trail but I am sure they will be encouraging you. For a more relaxing time in some air conditioning, visit the Currahee Military Museum which has plenty of artifacts from the many divisions that trained here.
“Wake up boys…wake up. Rifle training today. Need to make sure you can shoot straight and true at the enemy. You know the drill…just a small walk to the rifle range at Clemson University. 30 miles away but we are Airborne. The best. Let’s go men. It doesn’t matter that it is 98 degrees outside because when the fighting is around you, the heat doesn’t matter. Grab your gear and fall in line.”
Panther Creek Trail in Toccoa-Stephens was listed as a “Top 100 Hikes in America” by Backpacker Magazine and Outdoor Life Magazine listed us among the “200 Best Towns for Outdoorsmen.” Water sport enthusiasts love us because our entire eastern border with South Carolina is water. Lake Hartwell, the largest man-made reservoirs east of the Mississippi, awaits you. Here you can delight in fishing, boating, swimming and all things refreshing and relaxing.
June 5, 1944:
“No jump tonight. Weather conditions aren’t right. Get a good night sleep men. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Getaway to the Georgia Baptist Conference Center nestled on 850 wooded acres on serene Lake Louise. Outdoor activities include fishing, lake swimming, 150’ water slide, hiking, canoeing, tennis, basketball, and a lake-view dining room with southern cooking at its finest. www.mytoccoa.com.
Camp Mikell, a perfect place for retreats and conferences. Mikell boasts beautiful creeks and trails, a boardwalk in a wetland, high and low ropes courses, a climbing tower, swimming pool, volleyball court, and nature center. www.campmikell.com.
Georgia Camp Fire USA and Camp Toccoa are on 176 wooded acres featuring beautiful hiking trails, relaxing cool water streams and breathtaking waterfalls. www.camptoccoa.org.
If you would rather stay in a log cabin circa 1700s, then the Trembly Bald Mountain Resort is yours. This resort features 1 to 8 bedroom original log cabins that were carefully moved and restored by local craftsmen using cedar and chestnut interior designs to create their beauty and authenticity. www.tremblybald.com.
June 6, 1944:
“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, towards which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you…Your task will not be an easy one…We will accept nothing less than full Victory.”
CURRAHEE… “Stand Alone.”
Toccoa…means more than beautiful. Discover Toccoa at www.VisitToccoa.com.
Julie Paysen is an Atlanta native and is President of the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce. A graduate of Georgia State University with a background in sales & marketing most recently with Georgia-Carolina Radiocasting, Curtis Media Group/Raleigh, and Cox Media Group/Athens.