Facts About Blue Ridge
Fast Facts About Fannin County and Blue Ridge, Georgia
- Blue Ridge is located in Fannin County, Georgia, near the Tennessee-North Carolina line. Blue Ridge is 90 miles north of Atlanta, via I-575 and Highway 515.
- The southern terminus of the Appalachian Mountain Chain is located in Fannin County.
- Fannin County was created in 1854 and named for Colonel James Fannin, a hero in the Texas War for Independence.
- Blue Ridge was incorporated in 1887 by Colonel Michael McKinney. Colonel McKinney helped get the Marietta and North Georgia railroad routed through Blue Ridge, connecting the mountains with Atlanta.
- Early Blue Ridge industries were timber, agriculture, mining and moonshine.
- 106,000 acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest are in Fannin County. The area has 300+ miles of hiking trails.
- The 40,000-acre Cohutta Wilderness in Fannin County is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River.
- The 2,000+ mile Appalachian Trail begins at Springer Mountain in Fannin County.
- There are 12 waterfalls within 30 miles of downtown Blue Ridge.
- The longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River spans the Toccoa River.
- Fannin County is the “Trout Capital of Georgia,” with 100+ miles of creeks, streams and rivers.
- 3,290-acre Lake Blue Ridge was created by Toccoa Electric Power Company in 1930. The Lake has 65 acres of shoreline; 80% of shoreline is national forest.
- Horseback riding on mountain trails is a popular pastime.
- The 171-seat Blue Ridge Community Theater runs seven shows and eight concerts annually.
- The region has 16 self-guided driving tours.
- Downtown Blue Ridge has an array of restaurants, cafés, wine bars, shops and galleries.
- Visitors can stand in two states at once in nearby McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee.
New and Notable
- Treo, located in the heart of downtown Blue Ridge, is a great new addition that features new southern cuisine in a casual, fine dining atmosphere.
- Agritourism is popular here, with farmer’s markets, farm-to-table restaurants, vineyards, farm tours and U-pick farms.
- Tank Town USA is a new 5-acre attraction with real military tanks and trucks and heavy equipment for those seeking the ultimate driving experience.
Only in Blue Ridge
- Blue Ridge Scenic Railway transports visitors on vintage railcars from a 1905 depot through the countryside along the Toccoa River.
- Swann Drive-In is one of Georgia’s three remaining drive-in theaters.
- Open year-round, Mercier Orchards is the largest and oldest-operating orchard in the Southeastern U.S.
- Cook’s Farm organic gardens just outside downtown Blue Ridge hosts summer kid’s camps and other farm-to-table events.
- The Toccoa River is one of the few Southern rivers that flows north.
- Blue Ridge is one of the few places in the world with staurolite crystals or “Fairy Crosses.” Some believe the unique stones formed when fairies heard of Christ’s crucifixion or when Cherokees wept on the Trail of Tears. Others think the crystals surface through erosion.
- Sportsmen travel from around the world to attend Bill Oyster’s bamboo fly rod workshops in Blue Ridge.
- With 1,000 members, Art Center Galleries is one of North Georgia’s largest galleries.
- The Escape to Blue Ridge Tri The Mountains Triathlon occurs in July.