Clay County NC
Clay County is a quiet community tucked away in the southwestern corner of North Carolina where nature's beauty abounds. That beauty lies nearly unchanged. Located in the Mountains, just over the state line from Hiawassee GA, it's a nature lover's paradise. Outdoor activities are plentiful, and available most of the year. Lake Chatuge offers boating, fishing, kayaking and swimming. There are many places to camp in tents and RV's but even with all of this it's never overcrowded.
Lake Chatuge Aerial Photo, Hayesville NC and Hiawassee GA
The Hiwassee River flows into and out of Lake Chatuge. Controlled by the TVA, water releases are used to generate electricity, but also to preserve the health of the river itself. Fly fishing is a favorite past time. Rainbow's, Brown's and Brook trout can be caught all year. I mostly catch Rainbow Trout so I assume there are more of those!! The Hiwassee River also offers tubing, kayaking and canoeing. Hiking, bicycling, photography, horseback riding and motorcycling are also popular here. The "Tail of the Dragon" is not far away for motorcycle enthusiasts. The Blue Ridge Parkway is another great ride both for cars and motorcycles.
The County seat is Hayesville, a very small town with somewhere around 400 people. Clay County population doesn't go much over 10,000. This is a friendly town and you are very likely to run into friends at the grocery store or post office. Clay County schools rank in the top third for the state. Tri County Community College is just a few miles away, in Murphy NC and the very popular John C. Campbell Folk School is located right here in Brasstown as well.
Clay County was formed in 1861 from the southeastern part of Cherokee County. It was named for Henry Clay, famous American statesman, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century. Clay County's first courthouse was built on the square in Hayesville, NC in 1888 which qualified it be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. We now have a new one, located not far from the square. Here's the Clay County Government website.
Clay County is the smallest county in area in North Carolina. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 221 square miles of which 215 square miles is land and 6 square miles is water. 80.4% of Clay County is forest land, one of the many reasons for the natural beauty of the area.
Clay County is bordered to the south by the state of Georgia and the Chattahoochee National Forest. The Nantahala River forms part of its northeastern border. The county is drained by the Hiwassee River. In the southern part of Clay County is Lake Chatuge, on the North Carolina–Georgia border. Much of Clay County exists within the Nantahala National Forest. Fires Creek Bear Reserve is north of the township of Tusquittee
Brasstown, Hayesville, Hiawassee, Shooting Creek, Sweetwater, and Tusquittee are the 6 townships, in the county; Hayesville, Warne and Brasstown are the 3 towns.
Located about 2 hours from Atlanta, Chattanooga and Asheville, it's the perfect spot for your mountain getaway. It's also the perfect spot for year round living...because it's only 2 hours away from the big cities. Close enough for an easy day trip but far enough to keep the city life out!!