To those in the know, Northern Georgia is where it’s at for mountain scenery and recreation. Less than two hours from the cultural and economic powerhouse of Atlanta, the Chattahoochee National Forest offers big-city visitors and small-town dwellers alike an opportunity to reconnect with nature and history. The Chenocetah Fire Lookout Tower was built in 1937 and added to the National Register in 1984. The tower’s construction served two purposes: first, to leverage the Works Progress Administration program to employ farmers in poverty during the Great Depression, and secondly to assist the forest in spotting wildfires. The tower was used for fire observation purposes for 38 years. By 1975, technology advances ushered in other methods of land surveying, such as aircraft, and the tower was retained as a historic resource. Today it is only opened to the public one day per year, during the Big Apple festival of Cornelia, GA.
According to our partner, “It is a 54-feet high granite tower with a 14-footbase, with raised mortar and wooden observation room and hipped slate roof. Elongated 4/1 wood windows are featured on all elevations of the masonry structure and are arranged in a steeped pattern. The fire tower observation room contains three aluminum replacement windows with 1/1 sliding sashes and plexiglass panes on each elevation. The observation room is accessible by an interior steel staircase. The steel staircase, concrete flooring on the first floor, and metal door/wood door trim are painted a grayish-blue color.” The mountain is also home to one of the largest stands of rhododendron in the country!
The tower, located on land originally inhabited by the Cherokee and Yuchi nations, is located at the top of Chenocetah Mountain. Its name means “see all around” in the Cherokee language. Learn more about how Euro settlement of northeast Georgia impacted the Cherokee from the Rabon County Historical Society.
Volunteers will enjoy camping in the sublime Lake Russell Recreation Area.
PROJECT PARTNER: Chattahoochee National Forest
We will camp just 15 minutes away at Lake Russell Recreation Area and commute to the jobsite daily. The drive up to the lookout tower should be pleasant! Tent campers, truck campers, and those with small-to-medium RVs/trailers can access this campsite. However, there are no hookups. There are heated bathrooms and showers! NOTE: Camping conditions will be chilly. Lows can get into the low 30s, and highs can reach into the 50s. Volunteers should come prepared.
ABOUT VOLUNTEERING: HistoriCorps projects are free for volunteers! HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the campsite, sleeping equipment, work clothes and boots, and other personal gear.