Toccoa Outdoors

By Julie Paysen

Time to put on those running shoes! In Toccoa, Georgia, the Annual Currahee Challenge 5k and 10k is on the horizon, so mark your calendar for Saturday, October 1, 2016. You will run three miles up and three miles down the Currahee Mountain.

The base of Currahee Mountain is on the Colonel Robert Sink Trail, the Camp Toccoa training site of the 501st, 506th, 511th and 517th Parachute Infantry Regiments, and is also the location of filming sites seen in Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, and The Dirty Dozen.

“Three Miles Up and Three Miles Down…” the trail begins with gently rolling terrain. The farther you go, the steeper the climb and the more strenuous the hike. The surface ranges from stable and smooth to rocky and rough. Runners/walkers begin at the Colonel Robert F. Sink trail marker, which Tom Hanks contributed in November 2000 at the HBO Band of Brothers event. The event was attended by many former “Five-O-Sink” men, along with Colonel Sink’s two daughters. The course is an “out and back” approximately five miles in length.

Col. Sink set himself apart as a leader who could get his troops to do the improbable while training for battle. Inspired by a piece in Reader’s Digest that described a Japanese army battalion’s 100-mile, 72-hour march down the Malay Peninsula, Sink went a step further with his men. Colonel Sink decided that his Second Battalion should march from Camp Toccoa to Atlanta — a distance of 118 miles.

To register for the 16th Annual Currahee Challenge 5k and 10k go to and enter Toccoa.

Perhaps running is not so much your forte, but maybe biking is! On October 22, 2016 Toccoa is hosting the Tour de Tugaloo. The Tugaloo River Corridor is the only remaining untamed portion of the Tugaloo River extending from the Panther Creek/Yonah Dam area south to Lake Hartwell, bordering both Georgia and South Carolina. This area is rich with history and some of the most breathtaking scenery. The roads along the corridor offer gentle to challenging terrain but best of all, there is very little car traffic making this a wonderful area for casual or serious cycling.

Lainie, an avid cyclist and runner, saw the need for bicycling awareness in the community. She was also a visionary and keenly interested in the history of our area and served on the Board of the Stephens County Foundation. Lainie fought and lost a hard battle with cancer at the early age of 57. But her work will continue, her legacy will live on, and in her memory, we ride! Join us for a benefit bicycle ride.

Proceeds benefit the Stephens County Foundation in support of the Tugaloo River Corridor and other community projects. The Tour de Tugaloo has:


  • Scenic Views
  • Less Traveled roads
  • Fall colors
  • Gentle to challenging terrain
  • Great support & SAG stops


Come Ride the River in Toccoa! For more information go to


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.

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