Take A Walk On The Wild Side
Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.,
Hiked across the U.S.A. . .
She says, Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side. . .
This is where my story and the song go down different paths, my understanding of “Walk on the wild side” is entirely different. When I talk about walking on the wild side, I am talking about hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North GA. Yes, you can go hiking in other parts of north Georgia other than Blue Ridge and Fannin County, but this is a great place to start! In fact, the Appalachian Trail and the Benton MacKaye Trails both start here near Blue Ridge, GA
We are having mild weather for mid-February this year and Blue Ridge is going to be full this weekend with people coming up to Blue Ridge from Atlanta. They are tired of the cold, the snow and especially the ice they experienced so far this winter. Many people will be renting a cabin to come up here to the Blue Ridge Mountains for fishing, horseback riding, some will brave the cold water to kayak and canoe, or just relax. But many will be coming up here to walk on the wild side, and get out in the mountains and hike.
In south Fannin County, lies Springer Mountain, the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail. In early spring, many thru-trekkers arrive at Springer Mountain to begin their quest to hike the Appalachian Trail from end to end. Most people reach Springer Mountain by hiking from Amicalola Falls State Park and hike the access trail to Springer Mountain. I really think it is quicker and easier to approach Springer Mountain from the Blue Ridge side and hike only 0.9 miles to the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
Benton MacKaye Trail
The Benton MacKaye Trail also starts at Springer Mountain. While the Appalachian Trail travels the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Georgia to Maine, the Benton MacKaye Trail travels the western slope of the continental divide.
Other Trails in Area
The other trails in the area are almost too many to name. Here are a few of the local hiking trails near Blue Ridge:
- Aska Trails
- Duncan Ridge Trail
- Brasstown Bald Trails
- Jacks River Trail
- Chattahoochee National Forest
- Cohutta Wilderness Area
- Amicalola Falls State Park
- Vogel State Park
- Ft. Mountain State Park
- and many many more trail for different experience levels
Every year, Blue Ridge hosts the Blue Ridge Mountain Adventure Race. This year on April 9th, and it has a finish line back in downtown Blue Ridge this year in front of the Art Center, all of the festivities (band etc.) will be in the park on that end. The start is secret I have no idea where it is.
On July 24th, 2011 is the Tri The Mountains Triathlon. Contestants compete in a 600 yard swim, 18 mile bike and 5k run.
Family Hiking Adventure
Here are a few locations and suggestions for you to consider if you are planning a family hiking adventure in North Georgia:
- Aska Trails – a series of looped hiking trails bringing you back to where you started.
- Fall Branch Falls – about 0.5 mile uphill hike to this waterfalls
- Toccoa Swinging Bridge – about 0.5 mile hike to the Swinging Bridge from the parking area. The hike in is down hill but it is a gentle slope and not too strenuous on the way back out.
- Brasstown Bald – in the summer and early fall when the visitor’s center is open, they run a shuttle van from the parking area to the top and the visitors center. You can then walk back down to the parking lot from the top.
- Helton Creek Falls – approximately 0.2 miles to this double waterfall from the parking area.
- Springer Mountain/ Appalachian Trail – 0.9 miles from the parking area to the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail. It is uphill most of the way to the Terminus, but it is not too steep.
- Amicalola Falls State Park – I am hesitant to suggest this because if you do it wrong, you will hate me. There are 3 levels of parking for the waterfalls, upper, middle and lower. There are a total of 600 stairs from the top to the bottom. If you go with two cars, drop everyone off at the top to walk down 475 steps, and meet them at the middle area. If you are doing this by yourselves, go to the top and see what there is to see and then drive to the middle parking area where you have a flat, paved trail to just below the waterfalls. If you do this wrong, you will have to walk back up 475 or 600 steps (I learned this the hard way).
- Hiking suggestion for families with small children – do the uphill section of the hike first, before everyone gets too tired. Hiking downhill everyone is usually happy especially if you are on your way back to home or your cabin. Hiking the uphill section on the way back will almost guarantee that you will end up carrying your children.
Come visit us in Blue Ridge for your Walk On The Wild Side. Besides hiking in Blue Ridge, GA there are plenty of things to do in the Blue Ridge area that you should check out. There are several cabins near the Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye and Aska trails. We have many mountain view, riverfront, and secluded & private cabins for rent. You can follow this link to review all of our Blue Ridge Cabin Rentals.
You make my heart sing
You make everything groovy
Wild thing, I think I love you – The Troggs