Oglethorpe County Natural Resources
Oglethorpe County is located in the northeast section of the Georgia Piedmont Plateau, adjacent and east of Athens- Clarke County. It is approximately 70 miles east of Atlanta. This largest county of N.E. Georgia is 442 square miles of gently rolling agricultural terrain. Agriculture has been the dominant part of the local economy. Cotton was king. Now farming turns to poultry, beef, dairy cattle, horticulture and specialty crops. The county boasts of having more acres in timber than any county in the region. The varied landscape is composed of pine forests, natural woodlands, pastures, and small rural communities connected by well-maintained county roads. The large expanses of open rolling fields and wooded acreage, punctuated with fine old homes, make this county a beautiful and inviting place to live.
The Broad River, considered to be the cleanest river in Georgia, creates the north border. The scenic Broad River, with its many rock outcroppings, shoals, and river islands, is considered to be one of the most unspoiled river corridors in the state. It is the only free-flowing river in the eastern Georgia Piedmont area. The Oconee River sets the southern border.
Flora and Fauna
Oglethorpe County provides an excellent habitat for a variety of species. One can find wild turkey, deer, rabbits, squirrel, raccoons, bobcats, foxes, opossum, quail, doves, waterfowl and many songbirds. Otters and beavers are active in the rivers and their surrounding tributaries and wetlands. The rivers contain large-mouth bass, white bass, bluegill, crappie, carp, bullheads, redear sunfish and catfish.
The county is home to the Oglethorpe Oak a rare and distinct species discovered in the county in 1947. The largest known specimen on record, listed on the National Register of Big Trees, is located in the Goose Pond district in northern Oglethorpe County. Another is found on the left lawn of the historic courthouse in the city of Lexington.
The eastern part of Oglethorpe County overlays one of the richest deposits of monument-quality granite in the world, supporting a number of quarries and granite related industries. Amethyst, aqurite, barite, chalcopyrite, feldspar, gneiss, gold, graphite, kaoline, magnetite, malachite, muscovite, novaculite, ocher, pyrite, quartz, and sand are also found in the county, but only granite is being quarried at the present time. Gold was mined in the county until 1932 and approximately one half of the "Gold Belt" running through Oglethorpe is yet to be appraised.