The City of McCaysville, Georgia is located on the Georgia-Tennessee state line next to Copperhill, Tennessee and the two towns are called The Twin Cities. McCaysville has a population of 996 and Copperhill has a population of 511.
Copperhill was originally called McCays and McCaysville was Hawkinsville! McCaysville was chartered in 1904, but the area was settled much earlier in Copperhill and Ducktown, where copper was discovered in 1843.
You can stand in Georgia and Tennessee at the same time at The Blue Line that crosses the main street. (The state line has been in dispute for years and even the Blue Line isn’t definite; but it’s a great place for a selfie!)
In Georgia, Main Street is called Toccoa Street and in Tennessee, it becomes Ocoee Street. The river name does the same. As it flows beneath the old Steel Bridge, the Toccoa River becomes the Ocoee River.
McCaysville, Copperhill and Ducktown are all part of the Copper Basin. Copper was discovered in 1843 and mined in the basin until the late 1980’s. Smelting took place at the company in Copperhill. Open smelting and close cutting of timber for fueling, together with harmful gases released, denuded the hills around Copperhill, making the area resemble a moonscape. In 1939, TVA and the Tennessee Copper Company began a long term reforesting project which helped restore the area.
The Ocoee River is one of the most popular whitewater rivers in the country. Dropping over 260 feet in five miles, there is little flat water on the whole river meaning nonstop action. The Ocoee Whitewater Center (Hwy 64 west of Ducktown), built for the 1996 Olympic Canoe and Kayak Slalom competition, is visited by more than 200,000 people every year. With a 30-mile hiking/biking trail system the OWC is one of the premier mountain biking trail systems in the southeastern USA.
The winding Ocoee Scenic Byway (Hwy 64) follows the Ocoee River past historic flume lines and powerhouses to Cleveland, Tennessee.