2016 National Rally Things to do


Links ­ Things To Do At The 2016 Backyard Rally


Tail of the Dragon 
Cherohala Skyway
Blue Ridge Parkway
Wolf Pen Gap Road
Moonshiner 28


Rafting the Ocoee
Helen Tubing and Waterpark
Wheels through Time Museum
, Maggie Valley, NC (Offering a $2 discount to COG Member during the rally)


Helen, Georgia
Big Daddy’s – http://www.biggdaddys.com
Paul’s Steakhouse – http://www.paulssteakhouse.com
Hofer’s – http://www.hofers.com
Bodensee – http://www.bodenseerestaurant.com
Troll Tavern – http://www.trolltavern.com
Dillard, Georgia
Dillard House – http://www.dillardhouse.com
Dahlonega, Georgia
Smith House – http://smithhouse.com
Suches, Georgia
Cleveland, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Clarkesville, Georgia
Turner’s Corner Cafe  , Cleveland, GA
KramBonz , Tellico Plains, TN
Jim’s Smokin’ Q  , Blairsville, GA
Hole in the Wall Restaurant , Blairsville, GA
Caffe Rel  , Franklin, NC

Many non-motorcycle attractions/activities are available in Helen and the surrounding area. So much to do for everyone. Come and check it out.

Ways to Play Hard in Our Backyard


For those of you coming to Helen this June, let me be among the many welcoming you to our backyard. The town of Helen and the Southern Appalachians offer much in the way of history, culture, outdoor adventure, state and national parks and, between Helen and these places, all manner of curvy roads.

One could easily spend the entire week in Helen and not have a boring moment. A full listing of Helen’s attractions can be found at this website, Helenga.org.  There will be no end of activities to pursue within walking distance of one’s lodging in the three Rally hotels set up for the event. But, we came to ride, too, didn’t we?  So let’s open up the map a little bit to take a peek inside and find what may be seen elsewhere as one ventures out along some of the nation’s best roads for motorcycling.

The history of the area includes the nation’s very first gold rush around Dahlonega, Georgia (Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site). This gold find was one of the factors which prompted the forcible extrication of native Indians in what became known as the Trail of Tears (Red Clay Historic Site). And, oh yeah, there was that thing known as the War of Northern Aggression that left its mark on the surrounding area (Western and Atlanta Railroad Tunnel, Tunnel Hill, Georgia, the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, Kennesaw, GA), and Chickamauga National Military Park, Chickamauga, Georgia. Coal mining also plays a role in our heritage as evidenced by what one sees at the Ducktown Basin Museum in Ducktown, TN.

Culture abounds in the region. Appalachian crafts can be found at places like the nearby Sautee Nacoochee Center, and the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC. Also outside of Asheville one can get a glimpse of the life of the Vanderbilts at the Biltmore Estate.  Those interested in motorized transportation need look no further than the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley, NC or the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, TN. And one can take a steam locomotive train ride from Blue Ridge on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.

Outdoor adventures have been known to be found nearby at places like Unicoi State Park just outside Helen or Vogel State Park just up the most excellent Highway 129. The highest point in Georgia is located nearby on Brasstown Bald. The southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail is found in Amicalola Falls State Park. Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park also offers trails as well as a glimpse into the Appalachian way of life in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.

When getting out and about many of you will develop a thirst for certain adult beverages. A number of locations offer a glimpse into the making of said adult libations and offer one the opportunity to carry off a bottle or two. These include the Habersham Vineyards and Winery  and Yonah Mountain Vineyards just outside Helen, or the Cottage Vineyard & Winery, Serenity Cellars, CEnita Vineyards and Winery, and Cartecay Vineyards in the surrounding area.  Those interested in craft beers can find their mark at a number of establishments including Fannin Brewing Company, Grumpy Old Men Brewery, and Blue Ridge Brewery, all of which are located in Blue Ridge, Georgia, or these others in the area, (generously speaking):  Andrews Brewing Company and Happy Trout Brewing Company in Andrews, NC, the Nantahala Brewing Company in Nantahala, NC, the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company, in Franklin, NC, the Satulah Mountain Brewing Company, in Highlands, NC, or the Frog Level Brewing Company, in Waynesville, NC. Those seeking harder stuff borne of the Appalachians may want to check out Ivy Mountain Distillery in Cornelia, Georgia or the Stonewall Creek Distillers in Clayton, Georgia.

Any and all of these sites bear a little more investigation on your part as I lay no claim to having a full knowledge of working hours, costs, or menus. This article (and its Internet links!!) will also be posted on the Rally website under Attractions.  

So, ya’ll do a little investigation and come and plan on staying awhile. It won’t take you long to figure out why we love to play so hard in our backyard!