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If you're looking for the perfect spot for a getaway vacation in the Northeast Georgia Mountain region, you need look no farther than Lake Seed. It's all here: beautiful mountain vistas, early frontier history, whitewater adventures and quiet Lake Seed for fishing, watersports and lakefront living. The middle lake of three large impoundments created along the Tallulah River by Georgia Power, Lake Seed - also called Seed Lake, is often overlooked in favor of larger and better-known Lake Burton and Lake Rabun. All three lakes, along with other small lakes along the Tallulah River, provide peak hydroelectric power for the Northern and Central Georgia region.
Nestled among the southern reaches of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Lake Seed area in Rabun County was created from Cherokee lands by the Georgia Legislature on December 21, 1819. Early settlers were hardy mountain farmers and trappers. The steep hillsides were never conducive to large farming interests but the natural beauty of the land attracted a particular type of adventurous settler who was self-sufficient and appreciated the solitude of the mountain hideaway. No large cities ever developed here; the county seat is Clayton, incorporated in 1823 and still with a population of only 2000 people. Now, however, the county is well-known as a vacation and retirement haven. The difficult terrain attracts nature-oriented visitors and adventurers. The Appalachian Trail borders the western edge of the county, with the designated 'Wild and Scenic River', the Chattooga, running along the eastern edge. On the north is Rabun Bald, a remote, serene mountain peak at 4696 feet high. The south gateway is the Tallulah Gorge carved from the once-roaring river, now dammed, creating a breathtaking canyon. The Chattahoochee National Forest encompasses 149,500 acres within Rabun County, providing a suitable backdrop for all of these natural treasures.
Lake Seed is the smallest of the three main reservoirs on the Tallulah Rivers. Only 240 acres, the long narrow lake boasts 13 miles of shoreline, with many higher-end custom homes. Remaining shoreline is carefully managed by Georgia Power, which allows limited development for leaseholders under strict regulation. A small public boat ramp is located on the northeast shore and boats are limited to 30 feet or less. The scenic shoreline makes Lake Seed a favorite among canoe and kayak fans, while those lucky enough to live here enjoy their pontoons, paddleboats, sailboats and pleasure boats. Fishing is a popular activity year round, with a healthy population of spotted and largemouth bass, yellow perch, walleye, sunfish and crappie. A variable river current flows through the lake dependent on dam water releases. Current areas are colder water, so most bass are found in the warmer shallows. Several tributary streams into Seed Lake are designated trout streams. A campground along the western shore provides tent camping areas, picnic areas, restrooms, drinking water, and a beach with a swimming area.
Georgia Power has made maximum use of the naturally falling Tallulah River. The Lake Burton Dam forms Lake Burton and a short distance downstream, the Nacoochee Dam forms Lake Seed. Yet farther downstream, Mathis Dam forms Lake Rabun. The mountainous terrain creates a natural gravity-fed system for power production and the surrounding area is well-supplied with spectacular waterfalls such as Upper and Lower Crow Creek Falls, Bad Branch Falls and Minnehaha Falls. The falls are an easy walk within the Chattahoochee National Forest. The Tallulah and Chattooga Rivers are favorites for whitewater rafting and canoeing, with kayakers exploring some of the larger tributary streams. Annual rainfall in this area of the Chattahoochee National Forest exceeds 70 inches and provides for the lush forests and flowering mountain plants, including rare orchids. In late May and June, laurel blooms along creek banks, cliffs and hilltops. Rhododendrons bloom in July and in October, the mountains take on a profusion of fall colors as the leaves turn color. Twenty-nine members of the orchid family are found along with many rare endangered species of plant life. Lake Seed is an ideal spot from which to explore the unusual plant life and to add to the birder's 'life list'.
Rabun County is sparsely populated, with land area averaging 22 acres per person. About half of the residents of the county are part-year residents. The reasons for the Lake Seed area's popularity are many and varied: some come for the authentic antiques still to be found in the area, while others enjoy the opportunities to watch 'Highlanders' practice their traditional crafts and to purchase the finished products. The famed Foxfire series of books was created here near Black Rock Mountain State Park; Foxfire Museum can be visited to observe these native Appalachian crafts and take part in folk festivals. Sky Valley, Georgia's only ski area, is located in Rabun County. The county contains seven sites listed as historical on the National Register of Historic Places, including Hoojah Branch Site archeological mound. Both the Village of Clayton and the tiny town of Tiger are excellent spots from which to explore the surrounding area. And no visit would be complete without a visit to spectacular Tallulah Falls down river from Lake Seed. The series of six falls provides the name for the village of Tallulah Falls. A famed resort town at the beginning of the last century, Tallulah Falls acts as the gateway to 1000 ft Tallulah Gorge and Tallulah Falls State Park. Scenes for the movie, "Deliverance" were shot along the canyon near here.
Near Lake Seed are 21 equestrian-designated trails, a wheelchair-accessible trail, a mountain with a 93-mile view, three golf courses, mountain climbing, white water rafting and mountain biking. For those less inclined to make strenuous hikes, several marked auto trails are available to scenic outlooks and extraordinary natural formations.
Lake Seed is located 90 miles south of Asheville, NC, 83 miles west of Greenville, SC, and 115 miles north of Atlanta. Rabun County calls itself "The County Where Spring Spends The Summer" due to it's moderate climate. Many of the lakes meet 'drinking water quality'. It has been rated as the 2nd best county in the country for retirement. And it's a guaranteed great place to spend a week-end, a vacation or a lifetime.
Bed-and Breakfast lodgings are numerous in the surrounding mountains, and more commercial lodgings are available in most of the larger towns in the area. Private vacation rentals are available on Lake Seed on occasion and real estate is often found with either deeded or leased lake frontage. So, load up the canoe and the binoculars, bring the fishing gear and the camera. Make this crystal-clear lake a part of your future.
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