Editor’s note: Just in time for Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, we at Reporter Newspapers offer another set of Road Trips for folks who want to get out of the house, roll down the windows in the family car and take off to see some of the countryside. For the second of our periodic Road Trips articles, we’re featuring some of Georgia’s prime “roadside attractions.” Our Road Trips focus on unusual places and spaces within about a two-hour drive of Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Brookhaven and Dunwoody.

These strange constructions people build alongside public highways generally are called “roadside attractions.” Some apparently express their maker’s deepest feelings. Others seem to have been conjured simply to amuse the casual passersby. Whatever their reason, they’re out there. A ride on Georgia’s back roads can convey you to street-side visions of museum-quality art, public political statements or light-hearted amusements.

Here are five of our favorites.

The Georgia Guidestones, sometimes described as an 'American Stonehenge,' can be found north of Atlanta, in Elbert County.

The Georgia Guidestones, sometimes described as an ‘American Stonehenge,’ can be found north of Atlanta, in Elbert County.

The Georgia Guidestones

The Guidestones, sometimes described as an “American Stonehenge,” appeared in this out-of-the-way hilltop in Elbert County in the 1970s. It stands nearly 20 feet tall, works as an observatory, and is inscribed with advice to the people of Earth in eight modern languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, Spanish and Swahili) and several ancient languages, including Sanskrit and Babylonian. A local granite company built the monument, supposedly to the specifications of a mysterious visitor who called himself “R.C. Christian.” The Guidestones – which have been praised by some and attacked as demonic by others – now are so well known that they have their own Wikipedia page.

Where it is:

Guidestone Road, N.W., Dewy Rose

How to get there:

Take I-85 North to Ga. 51 East (Exit 160). Take Ga. 51 to Ga. 145. Continue on U.S. 29 North. Turn right on Clay Brown Road, which becomes Bio Church Road. Turn right onto Ga. 77 South (Elberton Highway). Turn left onto Guidestone Road.

This metal horse, defaced by UGA students in the 1950s, stands in a field near Greensboro.

This metal horse, defaced by UGA students in the 1950s, stands in a field near Greensboro.

The Iron Horse

This metal horse stands tall (10-plus feet) in a field in central Georgia like some giant abstract scarecrow. It surveys the landscape, its hindquarters turned toward Athens, home of the University of Georgia, where it was made. University officials briefly displayed the sculpture on campus in 1954, but students, apparently not ready to accept abstract art, defaced it with spray paint and balloons, and tried to set it on fire. University officials quietly removed the horse and kept it in a secret hideaway. Five years later, it appeared on this farm north of Greensboro, where, head held high, it has stood since.

Where it is:

On Ga. 15, north of Greensboro

How to get there:

Take I-20 East to Ga. 44 (Exit 130). Go north on Ga. 44 into Greensboro. Take Ga. 15 North toward Watkinsville; after you cross the Oconee River, look for the statue in a field on the right side of the road.

Note:

The statue stands on private property, but usually can be seen clearly from the road.

Paradise Gardens showcases more than 46,000 pieces of folk art, created by artist Howard Finster.

Paradise Gardens showcases more than 46,000 pieces of folk art, created by artist Howard Finster.

Paradise Garden

Folk artist Howard Finster created visions of paradise at his north Georgia home. Finster started work on his garden in 1961, according to the garden’s website, and there, in 1976, he had a vision that he should paint and produce sacred art. He created more than 46,000 works (he numbered them) before his death in 2001. His garden, a maze of buildings and structures he made from recycled objects such as bicycle parts or tools, now is operated by the Paradise Garden Foundation and is open for visits Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m., according the website. Finsterfest, an annual folk art and music event held to raise money for the foundation, is scheduled for May 31 and June 1.

Where it is:

200 N. Lewis St., Summerville

How to get there:

Take I-75 North to Ga. 140 (Exit 306). Take Ga. 140 West to Ga. 1/U.S. 27 (the Martha Berry Highway). Turn right and take Ga. 1/U.S. 27 through Summerville. Turn right on Rena Street. Take third right onto North Lewis Street.

Pasaquan is described as 'equal parts mysticism, geometry and snake handling.'

Pasaquan is described as ‘equal parts mysticism, geometry and snake handling.’

Pasaquan

Eddie Owens Martin, sometimes known as “St. Eom,” transformed his home in the little west Georgia town of Buena Vista into a place like no other in the world, perhaps like no other in this universe. With concrete and bright paint, Martin added walls and outbuildings, sculptures of giant heads, painted mandalas and portraits of folks who could fly. RoadsideAmerica.com describes Pasaquan as “equal parts mysticism, geometry and snake handling.”

In recent years, the house has opened for weekend visits and special tours, but the Pasaquan.com website and a recording on the facility’s phone say it will not open this year so that long-awaited restoration work can be done.

Where it is:

238 Eddie Martin Road, Buena Vista

How to get there:

Take I-285 West to I-85 South. Take I-85 to I-185. Take I-285 to U.S. 280. Take U.S. 280 East to Ga. 26. Take Ga. 26 into the town of Buena Vista. From the Buena Vista town square, drive north 1.4 miles on Ga. 41, then turn left onto Ga. 137. Go west 4.4 miles on Ga. 137 and take a right onto Eddie Martin Road. Drive 0.4 miles north to 238 Eddie Martin Road.

The Hill of Pigs brings attention to a roadside barbeque restaurant.

The Hill of Pigs brings attention to a roadside barbeque restaurant.

Pig Hill of Fame

This hillside display of affection for little wooden piggies got its start in the 1980s when barbecue restaurant owner Oscar Poole decided he needed to draw attention to his roadside eaterie. Poole put up signs shaped like pigs, and soon customers were paying $5 apiece to have their names painted on a wooden pig and added to the porcine display. There now are hundreds of colorful pigs staked on the hill behind the restaurant. Poole’s place has become something of a draw in Republican Party circles – the names of a number of prominent Republican officeholders appear on several pigs – and claims visits from celebrities ranging from radio and TV personalities to Miss America.

Where it is:

164 Craig St., East Ellijay

How to get there:

Take I-75 North to I-175/Ga. 5 North. Continue on Ga. 515 East to East Ellijay. Turn right on Cross Street and then right on Craig Street.

0Shares