Johnson City to Hiawassee, GA

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Johnson City to Hiawassee, GA

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:09 am

We are going down to Hiawassee/Helen, GA for the Fall Festival in Hiawassee and Oktoberfest in Helen. Living in JC, we always go over the mountain via I26 to Asheville. I was just wondering what taking I81 down to I40 near Newport and going across to Asheville that way was like. I've never been that way. There are two or three long climbs via the I26 route. Just wondering if the 81 to 40 route was any less mountainous? It's not a "bad" route via 26, but I'm always looking for an easier path to follow!

We are going down on Thurs. the 10th and coming back on Mon. the 14th. Staying at the Geoagia Mountain Fairgrounds campground.

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Re: Johnson City to Hiawassee, GA

Post  merrykalia on Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:46 pm

The last time I went down I-40, about 7-8 years ago, it was an okay drive, but it was curvy with some 50 mph speed limits. I believe that is what it was.

It just seemed to me like a harder drive than across Sam's Gap and we were not pulling a trailer.

I don't know where you are coming from, but seems to me that it would be several miles and quite a few minutes out of the way, at least for me in SW Va.

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Re: Johnson City to Hiawassee, GA

Post  rconkin on Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:04 pm

We considered that route when going to Jekyll and after talking to a fellow camper in Asheville that travels 40 from there to 81 we decided just to go across Sam's Gap. We live 1/2 way between Fall Branch exit and 26 exit off 81 and it was still closer to go through JC. It was 50 miles further for us so it would be 65-70 miles farther for you depending where you live in JC.
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Re: Johnson City to Hiawassee, GA

Post  Richard on Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:56 pm

I find the I-40 route to have less grade when I am going to Montgomery, AL, but I don't see how you could get to Helen without a lot of mountains. I'd go I-26.
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Re: Johnson City to Hiawassee, GA

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:01 pm

We ultimately took I26 across Sams Gap, which I will NEVER complain about again.lol!  That was a piece of cake compared to the 3 to 4 mile long 8% grade climb and decent in the Nantahala National Forest. That made the drive interesting. It was a slow climb going, and had my first experience with heating the brakes up while coming back down on the way home. I think I need to adjust the trailer brakes. We started smelling brakes about half way down. Popped the truck into a lower gear and babied it to the bottom, stopped for a cool down session, and continued on home! (We need a bigger truck!) We had a great time though. Stayed at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. We got the last site that would accommodate our camper. Water and electric. Made it four full days on our grey and black tanks. We went to Helen, Ga. on Friday for German beers and a 30 dollar t-shirt. And Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder was at the fairgrounds on Saturday. I would definitely recommend that area for anyone thinking of giving it a try. It's beautiful and there is a lot to do for such a small town(area). I'll try to post some pictures this weekend.


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Re: Johnson City to Hiawassee, GA

Post  Richard on Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:33 am

Sounds like you had a great trip, well other than steep grades and steep t-shirt prices.
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