You’ve heard of Sherman’s March to the Sea. But, what about the towns he didn’t burn at the close of the Civil War? Georgia’s Antebellum Trail is a 100-mile trek through seven historic communities that were spared and today provide a window to the rich history of the Old South. Discover the lives and legacies of 19th century Georgians on your self-guided tour through Athens, Watkinsville, Madison, Eatonton, Milledgeville, Old Clinton, and Macon, just east and southeast of Atlanta.
Getting to Georgia’s Antebellum Trail:
Georgia’s Antebellum Trail can be traveled from North to South or South to North, there is no right or wrong way.
The northern gateway is the town of Athens.
If you are traveling southbound along Interstate 85, exit 149 is Hwy 441 and the road for the first leg of the trail. Athens is a vibrant college town known for its blend of traditional heritage and trend-setting southern culture and music.
From Athens continue south on Hwy 441 for 9 miles to Watkinsville.
Watkinsville is affectionately known as the Artland of Georgia for having more artists per capita than any other city in Georgia and has been able to maintain the historic beauty of the area.
Continuing along Hwy 441 South for 20 miles to Madison.
A magical southern city, Madison’s National Register of Historic Places is one of the state’s largest collections of 19th century architecture.
Crossing Interstate 20, you will stay on Hwy 441 South for 22 miles to Eatonton.
The Historic District of Eatonton features over 100 antebellum and Victorian era structures, as well as the tales of Uncle Remus’s Brer Rabbit and de critters.
Remain on Hwy 441 South for 20 miles to Milledgeville.
Serving as the Capital of Georgia during the Civil War, Milledgeville still beckons travelers with impressive architecture, historic venues, a glistening lake, trolley tours and an authentic arboretum.
When departing Milledgeville take Georgia Hwy 22 West for 21 miles to Old Clinton.
In 1820, Old Clinton’s population had swelled to 841 making it the fourth largest city in Georgia yet Clinton was located in the direct line of General Sherman’s right wing on their fiery ‘March to the Sea’, accompany that with a large fire and today only 13 original structures remain.
From Old Clinton take US Hwy 129 for 13 miles to Macon.
Founded in 1823, Macon has more historic structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places than any other city in Georgia. Macon is the southernmost town on the Trail or the gateway traveling north. Macon lies on Interstate 75 and the beginning of Interstate 16 to Savannah.
Along your journey, you’ll experience lovely Greek Revival and other Antebellum architecture in our historic house museums, learn from local tour guides and historians, browse through antique shops, dine on southern delicacies, and relax in authentic and distinctive bed & breakfasts and inns. Welcome to the heartland of Southern Hospitality, along Georgia’s Antebellum Trail!