Discover Ellijay

Downtown Ellijay Square

As the county seat of Gilmer, Ellijay has been acknowledged as a neighborhood, then town, as far back as 1755. Though the meaning of Ellijay has been assigned as "many waters" or "place of green things" in popular lore, it is most likely an Anglicized form of the Cherokee Elatsay yi which means "earth green there." All of the above definitions ring true.

The many waters are the three rivers that converge in our beautiful town. With their origins in the nearby Chattahoochee National Forest, the Ellijay and Cartecay Rivers flow west and join near downtown to form the Coosawattee River. Imagine driving through town for your everyday errands and having a view from the road of refreshing North Georgia rivers, not to mention the backdrop of the majestic mountains from which they came. The Coosawattee River then flows through a dam into Carters Lake in neighboring Murray County. This man-made lake has 62 miles of pristine shoreline with no private homes within 200 feet of the shore. There is a marina for your convenience, with boat rentals available. It is the perfect summer playground for the family or for more active water sports.


Urban sprawl has to stop somewhere, right? Gilmer County has 80,000 acres of preserved public land, which is roughly 30 percent of our terrain. Undeveloped or vacant land makes up over half the county. Talk about "earth green there." One never feels cramped here if space and freedom are your desire. The Appalachian Trail begins in Gilmer County, at Springer Mountain near the breathtaking Amicalola Falls. Ellijay is dubbed the Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia as well, with multiple trails for biking or hiking at all levels.

Old Barn

Aside from the physically impressive attributes of the area, the people are what makes the community. Ellijay was designated a Better Home Town for a reason. It has small town charm mixed with economic growth in a county that is dedicated to be the cleanest and greenest county in the state. The schools maintain high standards for your children's education, and your athletic department has a string of state and regional championships. How about school principals who know each student by name?

The downtown area keeps its historical importance intact with wonderfully peaceful streets where you can walk, shop, eat, and enjoy the seasons as they change. Ellijay is also the Apple Capital of Georgia, and there are plenty of apple houses to visit in season.

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