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Vogel State Park
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Lake Trahlyta
As you enter Vogel State Park from U. S. 19 and 129, 22-acre Lake Trahlyta opens to the right and it is a fitting memorial to the Civilian Conservation Corps that both dammed the lake and built the park. Georgia's poet laureate, Bryon Herbert Reece, was born in a cabin on the land where Lake Trahlyta now sits.


At the start of the 20th century Augustus Vogel and Fred Vogel Jr. began a lumber mill in Union County. The mill employed many of the men in the county to cut and process lumber from the 65,000 acres of land owned by the Pfister Vogel Leather Company. They were the second generation of Vogels to run a leather company in Milwaukee with Charles Frederick Pfister, and the lumber in the North Georgia mountains was an excellent source for tannin (or tannic acid), an important raw material in the tanning process.

Oak trees are a major source tannic acid, although most trees have at least some tannin in them. Since this required harvesting a large number of oak, the Vogels also set up a lumber mill on the site of present-day Vogel State Park. Unfortunately, the state of Georgia entered an economic downturn in the mid-1920's and the lumber mill was no longer economically feasible.

Walasi-yi under construction in 1938
In 1929 the Vogels donated nearly 259 acres to the state, much of it still encompassed within the 233-acres within Vogel State Park. Civilian Conservation Corps Company 431 dammed Wolf Creek to form Lake Trahlyta and built housing around the lake for the CCC boys. Cabins 31 through 36 are the only CCC cabins remaining. Cabins originally rented for $2.50 to $4.00 when the park opened in 1938.

The rest of the land donated by the Vogels is under the Chattahoochee National Forest and includes the stone building now known as Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi and Nottla or Nottelly Falls, east of the Byron Herbert Reese Trail parking lot. Originally, Walasi-yi was a restaurant run by the state.

Lake Trahlyta

Trahlyta Falls
The centerpiece of the park is the 22-acre Lake Trahlyta, named for the Cherokee maiden whose grave sits at the center of Stonepile Gap. The lake is formed from Wolf Creek, a tributary of the Nottely River. An easy 1.0 mile hiking trail circles the lake, allowing access to fishing docks and the boathouse. A 0.1 miles side trail takes hikers down to Trahlyta Falls, also know as Spillway Falls.

About Vogel State Park

At 2500 feet elevation the park maintains a cool evening temperature even in the dog days of summer, making this a great stop for camping, but beware. Even with over 100 well-spaced camping, trailer and RV sites the park fills up quickly, especially in the summer and during leaf change. It is best to make reservations in advance. Some of the best hiking trails in the eastern United States are located in or near the park.

The Appalachian Trail runs south of the park, through from Neel's Gap. Access to this portion of the trail is from Byron Herbert Reece Access Trail. Also nearby are the Duncan Ridge Trail and Coosa Backcountry Trail, both strenuous. For those seeking something a little less challenging try Sosebee Cove or Slaughter Creek Trail.

In addition to hiking, this centrally located park provides easy access to Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest peak, and The Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway, Georgia's prettiest drive.

County: Union County

Vogel State Park


11 miles south of Blairsville via U.S. 19/129

North Georgia Parks

Article Links
Appalachian Trail
Brasstown Bald
Byron Herbert Reece Access Trail
Chattahoochee National Forest
Civilian Conservation Corps
Coosa Backcountry Trail
Duncan Ridge Trail
Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi
Slaughter Creek Trail
Sosebee Cove

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