- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 18, 2003

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The little town of Hartwell, Ga., where we stayed during our fishing excursion on the Lake Hartwell giant impoundment, is worth a visit even if you’re not into fishing.

Located in historic Hart County, Hartwell showcases a thriving main street dotted with delightful restaurants that offer everything from medium-priced family dinners, to massive platters of chopped barbecue or ribs, as well as pricey but wonderfully thick steaks. (Yes, there are the inescapable fast-food restaurants as well.)

My temporary fishing headquarters, the local Jameson Inn, was staffed with the friendliest people I think I’ve ever met. Now add antique stores, shops that offer fine art, and a couple of gas stations where only days ago the price of a gallon of regular stood at $1.19 and you can see how easy it is to become enchanted with this part of northeastern Georgia, only a hop from the South Carolina line.

Golfers will enjoy the quiet elegance of the nearby Cateechee Golf Club. Cateechee was named after a Choctaw Indian maiden who, legend has it, was a Cherokee slave who accomplished a daring escape from her captors. There also is the Hartwell Golf Club, a championship, par-71 course.

For fishing or simply sightseeing at the 56,000-acre Lake Hartwell, the Harbor Light Marina in Lavonia, Ga., offers pontoon boat rentals. The boats range in length from 18 to 28 feet and can be rented two days at a time. Call 706/356-4119 for details.

Cabins can be rented from Lake Hartwell Vacation Rentals, and some of the rentals come with fishing boats, canoes or kayaks. Call 800/610-0020, or visit the Web site at TheLakeStore.com.

If you’re interested in guided fishing trips for stripers or largemouth bass, including exciting night outings with large sodium lights and generators, get in touch with Mark Waller, 706/376-4407.

For more information about Hart County, call 706/376-8590, or go to the Web site at www.hart-chamber.org.

—Gene Mueller

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