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National Geographic travel magazine to publish maps of North Georgia driving tours

POSTED: April 23, 2008 5:02 a.m.
TOM REED/The Times

Chris Brooks, left, director of the Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia, talks with Rick Peltz, center, Friday during a tour of the museum. Peltz, alternate federal co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, spoke at the introduction of "Driving Tours: Appalachia" at the Sautee-Naccoochee Center. One of the trails, featured in National Geographic Traveler magazine, is a Folk Pottery Trail from Gainesville to Sautee, including the museum. With Peltz is Concepcian Reyna of the App...

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SAUTEE — State and regional officials unveiled a collection of specialized maps for self-guided driving tours of mountain and regional destinations.

"Driving Tours: Appalachia" features four trails in North Georgia, The Chieftains Trail and Folk Potters Trail run solely through Georgia. The Southern Highroads bisects Georgia, North and South Carolina and Tennessee. Lookout Mountain Parkway is in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

The map is published in the April edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

The unveiling took place near the site of the Folk Pottery Museum in Sautee.

"What we have in this community is a real asset," said Rick Peltz of the Appalachian Regional Commission, who spoke of the agency’s role in tourism in the mountain area of the state. "Since 2005, the Appalachian Regional Commission has invested over $600,000 in Georgia’s Appalachian region for tourism."

The commission, which covers 13 states from the southern tier of New York to Mississippi, is a federal agency charged with creating sustainable economic communities.

"Today, it is so great that we are unveiling this National Geographic map," Peltz said. "Tourism is a big business. In 2003, $29 billion was spent in Appalachia for tourism. There are 600,000 tourism jobs in Appalachia. Cultural tourism is growing at twice the rate of other tourism and Georgia is in the top 10 of states in cultural tourism."

The driving tours map is due to an alliance between ARC and National Geographic to design maps that will stimulate economic development by showcasing the region.

The Folk Potters Trail includes seven locations in the Lula and Gillsville area including the familiar names of the Crocker and Hewell families. The southern portion of the trail begins just outside Clermont and continues to Sautee, where the museum is located. The northern portion includes other legendary names in Georgia pottery including the Craven and Meaders families.

Supplemented with photos and stories, the map will be distributed to the 865,000 subscribers to the magazine.

The map was initially released last month in Washington. Commissioned by the ARC, the map features 28 unique driving trails of the Appalachian region.

The agency conducted a similar project with the National Geographic Society in 2005.



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