My Top 12 Things To Do In Blue Ridge

toccoa swinging bridge near blue ridge, georgiaMy top 10 11 12 things to do in Blue Ridge.  The number is going to keep changing as we add other things to the list.  As I was sitting here today, I came up with #11.  I am sure 12 will follow soon. Now #12 is here, I am thinking that #13 may be coming soon, because I love taking pictures, and video too! 

All of the links on this page will take you to more information about these things.

Sunset in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Sunset at Brasstown Bald

1. Watch a sunset at Brasstown BaldBrasstown Bald is the highest elevation in Georgia – 4,784 ft.  My youngest 2 boys and I went 14 times last year, we even went to Brasstown Bald three times in two days!  Every sunset is different, even on back-to-back days.  Some days you are in the clouds and can’t see anything.

 

 

upper waterfall at Fall Branch Falls

2.  Discover WaterfallsAmicalola Falls, Helton Creek Falls, Desoto Falls, Fall Branch Falls, Benton Falls, Sea Creek Falls, Jacks River Falls are the most popular waterfalls in the area. The funny thing about waterfalls is that they don’t put them by the side of the road most of the time. You can expect to hike anywhere from 0.1 miles to 9.2 miles to view the waterfalls. Several of these we have not visited and we will report to you what we find. The water falls we visit most often is Helton Creek Falls, near Brasstown Bald. We make a adventure of Brasstown Bald, Helton Creek Falls and a picnic at Vogel State Park, all close to each other.

Toccoa Swinging Bridge

Toccoa Swing Bridge on the Appalachian Trail

3. The Toccoa Swinging Bridge -part of the adventure is getting there, but it is not the easiest thing to find and you will have to travel 3 miles down gravel roads to get to the parking lot. The Benton MacKaye and Appalachian Trail merge to cross over the Toccoa River and this 265’ long suspension bridge. The bridge was built in 1977 From the parking lot, you will hike down a well worn trail about ½ mile to the river and the bridge. The area around the bridge is a popular camping and picnic area, and some people brave the water and swim here in the summer. This is not a strenuous hike, and is short enough that young children will enjoy the hike.  Make time to explore the Toccoa Swinging Bridge during your visit to Blue Ridge.

 

Whitewater Rafting on the Ocoee River

Whitewater Rafting

4.  Whitewater Rafting – this is a must do! The Toccoa River changes names to the Ocoee when it crosses into Tennessee. On both sides of the state line, there are numerous rafting companies which will take you on a whitewater rafting adventure; they supply you with everything including a guide for your trek. This river is part of TVA and there is a schedules for times and dates for water release on the river. Certain sections are only available for whitewater rafting and kayaking on the weekends. Plan ahead and make arrangements to experience this, or contact Sundance Cabin Rentals to help arrange a whitewater experience for you and your group. The Ocoee River is traveling through the Cherokee National Forest, and children under 12 are not permitted to participate in this adventure.

Horseback Riding in the Blue Ridge Mountians

Horseback Riding

5.  Horseback Riding – there are numerous places where you can experience horseback riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. There are also several horse trails and guides to take you out on more extreme adventures.

ATV Riding at Davenport Mountain OHV

ATV Riding

6.  Zipline/ Canopy Tours – There are several ziplines and canopy tours in the area, we have not explored all of them yet.  But they are a blast.  I’m afraid of heights, but I felt entirely safe and really enjoyed myself.  And yes, I will do it again!

Hiking in the North Georgia Mountains

Hiking

7.  Hiking – trails, trails, and more trails! The Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, Duncan Ridge Trail, Aska Adventure Trail, and many more trails abound in the Blue Ridge area. With the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee just across the state line and numerous wilderness areas, there are hundreds of miles of hiking trails in the area certain to satisfy every skill level of hikers. Your biggest challenge in hiking may be getting back to your vehicle. Most trails have access points where you can park a vehicle, unless you drop off a second vehicle at your exit point, you will have to hike back to get to you vehicle. There are several loop trails in the area as well. Do a little research before you lace up your boots and head for the woods, locate maps and supplies from local outfitters, and make sure someone knows where you are going. Most of the areas you will explore will be out of cell phone range.

Flyfishing on the Toccoa Tailwaters

Flyfishing

8.  Fishing – lake fishing, creek fishing, river fishing, fly-fishing. . . it’s all here. You can fish Lake Blue Ridge for Walleye, Small Mouth Bass, White Bass, Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Channel Catfish and Flathead Catfish. Fish the Toccoa River, Rock Creek, Cooper Creek, and Noontootla Creek for some of the best trout fishing in Georgia. Fishing guides will instruct and guide you in the fishing trip of your dreams.

Boating on a mountain lake

Boating

9.  Boating – If it floats, launch it. Lake Blue Ridge has over 100 miles of shoreline for boating and jet ski enjoyment. On the Toccoa River, you can experience the Toccoa River Canoe Trail, and canoe, kayak or tube on the upper and lower Toccoa. Whitewater rafting and Kayaking begin where the Toccoa changes names as it crosses into Tennessee.

 

fireplace in a cabin

Relax in front of the fire

10.  Relax – I saved the best for last, because this may be the hardest for you to do!  There is a thing up here called “Mountain Time” it runs a little slower than regular time.  Nothing is urgent, and we’ll get around to it in a little while.  It may take you a few days for your body to adjust to “mountain time” from your hurried pace of life, so save this one for later in your trip, or start out with it, or just experience this activity only on this visit.

You may need a “technodectomy” to participate in this activity. Turn off the cell phone, close the laptop, turn off the Xbox and TV, unplug you IPod, and lose the BlackBerry. Start by gathering everyone to watch the Fire Channel (the fireplace, wood-burning stove, or fire pit will do), relax in the spa at your cabin, sit in the rocking chair on the back porch and take in all of the beauty of your surroundings, play cards at the kitchen table, read a book out on the dock, take a nap. Shopping and dining may be included in this activity, as long as you don’t make them a competitive sport.

Spend time with your friends and family, building memories and rekindling relationships, after your vacation is over, the fondest memory should not be what you did, but the time you spent together. As I look back on all the vacations I took as a child and now as a father, the details of each vacation fade away, but the memory of the time spend together it still there, and it is priceless. (Note: there are no links to this activity, you will have to figure it out for yourself).

Drive In Theater

Swan Drive-in

11.  Swan Drive-in – I know this will sound weird, but did you go to drive-in theaters when you were growing up?  Have your children even heard of a drive-in theater?  Well, there is one here in Blue Ridge.  We have even been to a movie in November, it was cold!  We pulled up opened up the back of the SUV and pulled out the lawn chairs and listened to the movie on the radio from the car.  We came prepared with lawn chairs, blankets, extra coats and hot chocolate, bring whatever you think you would like to have when watching a movie.  In the summer, it is cool enough that you can sit outside and watch the movie (not in the car with the a/c on)!

Snow on the Mountain

Snow in the North Georgia Mountains

12 Snow! – Your first thought is probably, he says this because he is from Florida!  That is true, but I grew up in Germany, upstate New York, and Maryland so snow was a part of my life.  Some one once told me, “Snow in Georgia is God’s way of saying, Take The Day Off!”  That is exactly what we do when it snows here.  When it snows up in the mountains, you become a child again and go play! The state and county do a great job of plowing and salting the main roads, but many of the back roads will remain covered with snow for a while, especially if they happen to be on the north side of a mountain.

Watch the weather, plan ahead and hopefully you will be in a cabin when it snows.  You can call back to the office and tell everyone you are snowed in, and can’t get back for a few days!  Don’t let your fear of the cold prevent you visiting Blue Ridge in the winter!

Now that you have some idea about all the things to do in the Blue Ridge area, it’s time for you to decide which cabin you are going to stay in.  Please visit our North Georgia Cabin Rental website


View My Top 10 Favorite Things To Do In Blue Ridge in a larger map
Check back every once and a while. We will continue to update this and provide you with more information and we discover more of the area to share with you.

Note there are plenty of other things to do here in Blue Ridge!  Other things you will want to consider are:

Note:  the links on this page will take you to more detailed information about these activities.

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