We Struck Gold
On October 27, 1828, Benjamin Parks was taking a stroll through the mountains outside of Dahlonega when he kicked a rock. Although there is nothing spectacular about kicking a rock -this rock was different. He stopped to notice the rock was pure gold! Five different people have claimed to make the original discovery, but the result was the same… thousands of miners rushed to the mountains of north Georgia to mark the start of the Gold Rush! The gold rush brought with it triumph and wealth, but not without great tragedy and suffering, as the gold rush was a major reason for the removal of the Cherokee people from this area in 1838. Spend a day learning about north Georgia’s place in history, and if you are lucky you may also take home a nugget of gold for yourself!
Amicalola Falls State Park
Spectacular scenery and natural beauty await students on their first stop of the day. At 729 feet tall, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast. The morning hike begins at the top of the falls with a personal guide that will take your group on the trail through the cool, streamlined paths that lead down the falls. Students will hear from their guide about the history of the area and how the falls became known as Amicalola Falls. The hike will take students from the top of the cascading falls to the natural pools where the falls culminate.
Birds of Prey Class
Georgia is home to some of the most amazing predatory birds on Earth. In this Birds of Prey class, you will be taken up close and personal with multiple species of owls, hawks and falcons. These animals, each with their unbelievable visual acuity, quick thinking and precision accuracy, will fascinate and captivate you as you listen to expert handlers discuss the special qualities of each unique species.
Lunch at the Smith House
Since 1899, The Smith House has had its doors open and ready to provide healthy portions and plenty of southern hospitality to patrons! After leaving the Birds of Prey class, students will have the opportunity to visit one of the most decorated and celebrated restaurants south of the Mason-Dixon line. Students will get to eat in the restaurant and see the Dahlonega Village.
Shopping in the Village
After a delicious lunch at the Smith House, students and teachers will have some time to see the Dahlonega village and peruse the shops. Whether finishing off lunch with a sweet treat from the Dahlonega Fudge Factory, or picking up a gift for Mom at the glassblowing shop, students will surely enjoy some leisure time between stops!
Tour of Consolidated Gold Mine
In this interactive lesson, students get to learn about the North Georgia Gold Rush – a period that both brought wealth to many miners from all over the Country, and is partially responsible for the removal of the Cherokee people from this area in 1838. Students will even learn about the process of panning for gold, and will be given the opportunity to mine for gold or gems and will take home whatever they are able to pan!