Until the establishment of Cloudland Canyon Park in 1939, Dade County was only accessible through Alabama and Tennessee.
Today, the county is much easier to reach — you can even reach it through its home state, Georgia. Highway 59 now runs directly through the county, bringing adventurers in to enjoy the many things Dade County has to offer.
AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL
The county seat, Trenton, sits at the center of Dade County, making it the perfect location to begin a day of exploring. All quality adventures end with good food, making Thatcher’s Barbeque & Grill the logical ending point for a day spent out in the county. (35 Price St.; 706-657-6465; thatchersbbq.com/Site/Home.html.)
If the discoveries you're looking for revolve around shopping, Trenton plays host to The World’s Longest Yard Sale every August. Stretching over 700 miles, the yard sale starts in Gadsden, Ala., and follows Lookout Mountain Parkway and the U.S. Highway 127 Corridor all the way to Hudson, Mich.
Although the Wild West comes more quickly to mind than Georgia when hearing that phrase, Dade County does in fact boast some of the best canyons and ravines in the state.
Cloudland Canyon is located on the western edge of Lookout Mountain, and offers rugged yet beautiful landscapes and views.
Campsites, yurts and cottages are all available for visitors to use on a trip to the park.
The park offers a variety of trails for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians, ranging from day hikes to longer hikes.
>The park also offers guided wild cave tours by Georgia Girl Guides. Prepare to leave wet, muddy and hungry for more adventure.
READY TO FLY?
Lookout Mountain Flight Park is the perfect spot — not to mention the largest and most popular full-time hanging school in the United States. It is open year-round and offers both morning and evening classes with prior arrangement. (7201 Scenic Hwy.; 706-398-3541; hanglide.com.)
The park also offers a resort with cabins, a swimming pool, volleyball courts and more.
STATE OF DADE
According to local legend, Dade seceded from the Union when Georgia couldn’t make up its mind whether to or not. Historians have yet to agree on whether Dade every truly seceded, and no other government recognized the purported move. But one thing’s for sure: The county symbolically rejoined the nation on July 4, 1945, with much fanfare.