Unlike most of my trips, this one isn't divided into days and nights, and doesn't necessarily take you on one complete loop. During my visit to the area, I had a free place to stay near Tate, Georgia, so instead of traveling in a circle, I journeyed out and back every day. I've tried to organize the trip into a couple of circles to make it more practical for others.
You could easily begin this trip in Atlanta. I've chosen Amicalola Falls State Park as the beginning to this trip. From there, you explore the foothills of the Appalachians, visiting waterfalls like De Soto and Toccoa, crossing the Appalachian trail several times, and seeing the highest point in Georgia, Brasstown Bald. You can also walk down into the depths of Tallulah Gorge, gaze at the Big Red Apple in Cornelia, and wander through the tiny community of Townville, SC. The second loop takes you north into Tennessee, passing through Copperhill and McCaysville, two towns divided by a diagonal state line, the old copper mines at Ducktown, a TVA-constructed dam, and the Cherohala Skyway. After that, it's the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, Tennessee--which offers great attractions like Rock City and the Lookout Mountain Incline.