The Marietta and North Georgia Railroad made an economic decision to avoid Fannin's county seat of Morganton, building the railroad through the long, relatively flat Toccoa River Valley. Col. Mike McKinney founded the town of Blue Ridge in 1886 along the route of the railroad. When it arrived in Fannin County it gave the county a market for its agricultural products. What had taken days to deliver now took hours. In the early 1920's construction began on U.S. Highway 76, further increasing access to this once remote area.
Tourism picked up with the completion of the railroad to Blue Ridge, but this boom was short-lived. Starting in the 1950's tourism surged again in the county. With the completion of the Georgia Mountain Parkway in 1986 this trickle became a flood.
Much of the land in Fannin County is under Forest Service management. Beginning as the Cherokee and later the Georgia National Forest, today's Chattahoochee National Forest is a gem in Fannin County's crown. Managed for use by all Americans the land creates jobs, offers recreational opportunities and preserves ecologically sensitive areas from overuse.
Historic Discovery - Appalachian Communities Self Guided Experience