Blue Ridge Area Waterfalls



It’s hard to imagine anything more tranquil, peaceful, powerful and appealing than a waterfall. And if one is good, many are better. Fortunately, in Blue Ridge and Fannin County, there is an abundance of rushing water, and impressive elevations – and, thanks to gravity, it all inevitably leads to waterfalls in various forms or fashion – all about 30 minutes’ drive from town.

Long Creek Falls

Starting with waterfalls closest to downtown Blue Ridge, Long Creek Falls provides easy access and an impressive view of a 50-foot drop in two sections. The bonus here is that the falls are at the intersection of the Appalachian and the Benton MacKaye trails, both of which offer a reasonable, but not daunting hike in.

Fall Branch Falls

Also nearby, is the upper part of Fall Branch Falls, which is a series of cascading waterfalls leading to a single drop of about 30 feet into a deep pool at the base of the falls. Fall Branch is a slightly less dramatic drop, but the hike is more challenging and the sound of cascading falls along the trail can be heard before it’s seen.

Sea Creek Falls

Just north of Blue Ridge, close to Morganton, Sea Creek Falls rewards a hiker’s driving indulgence with a short walk to a series of steep cascades. Like Long Falls, Sea Creek drops in two sections, and at high water times of the year (usually later winter and early spring) these cascading waterfalls are enormously impressive.

Amicalola Falls

It’s not a well-known fact that the Blue Ridge Mountains are older than the Rockies, but it explains the softer and relatively less severe ridge lines, thanks to centuries of weather wearing away the rough edges. Still, there are areas in these mountains that feature geological fissures affording deep drops and in the case of Amicalola Falls, just south of Ellijay, the result is a 729-foot cascading waterfall, the steepest east of the Mississippi.

Amicalola can be accessed by way an arduous hike from Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, or by car through Amicalola State Park. If you choose the State Park route, there are a few viewing options – 1) drive to the top of the falls and look down; 2) walk up the meandering staircase, which features switchbacks and landing platforms; or 3) hike up the backside of the falls to the top and have drinks or lunch at Amicalola Falls Resort. Any and all are good options.

Whatever you choice in waterfall hunting, you can’t go wrong. From pastoral to pounding waterfalls, they are a great destination and a rich reward after a drive, hike, walk or run. Additionally, they are a great way to experience family fun together, build camaraderie among buddies, or add a bit of romance to a relationship. Get out and explore. You’ll be glad you did.

We love to see your Blue Ridge adventures! Please share your favorite waterfall photos with us on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram @escapetobr. We can’t wait to see!

5 Romantic Blue Ridge Cabins



Winter time is the best time for a romantic getaway to Blue Ridge, Georgia. Not only is our little town inviting and festive during this time of year, but our cabins are set up for you and your honey to relax, cuddle, and enjoy each other’s company. After a day full of exploring the North Georgia Mountains, you can come back to the cabin, put on something a little more comfortable and pop open that bottle of wine. You may have selected to pick up a take-out order from Sweet & Southern Sugar Company or prepare dinner together in the fully stocked kitchen. After you have eaten to your hearts content, take a dip in the hot tub or turn on the fireplace for a relaxing evening of laughing, talking, and dreaming.

A Sunset Dream

Good things come in small packages, and that applies to the North Georgia mountain cabin rental A Sunset Dream. Located in Cherry Log in the Hidden Lake subdivision, just seven miles from downtown Blue Ridge, A Sunset Dream is a secluded, private paradise, aptly named for the glorious sunsets you can enjoy from every room. This two-bedroom, 2-bath cabin has an atmosphere that is bright, airy and welcoming. Everything is conveniently on one level: the living room, with its soaring ceiling, leather furniture, stone wood burning fireplace and 44” TV with DirecTV; the well-equipped kitchen and dining table for four; and two cheery bedrooms, each with a luxurious king bed, 32” TV, and private bath with tub/shower combo. You’ll have a great night’s sleep in whichever one you choose. The cabin’s outdoor amenities include a gas grill, six-person hot tub, rocking chairs and a picnic table on the main deck, so you can barbecue your dinner and relax afterward with a drink and a soak as you take in the incredible view.

A Beary Nice View

Tucked into the hillside on My Mountain, A Beary Nice View offers beary nice views indeed. With its sweet and cozy atmosphere, Goldilocks would surely think this cabin is “just right”. This 2-bedroom, 1-bath Gordon cabin is so bright and cheerful it will even keep you smiling through a thunderstorm. You’ll ‘bearly’ believe how much there is to do here. Once you’ve chosen among all the activities in the North Georgia Mountains, you’ll be off and running.

After working up a bear’s appetite, have a late lunch back at the cabin’s outdoor picnic table. Then have an afternoon snooze in the recliner, warm and cozy by the rock gas fireplace. When you’ve awakened refreshed after your brief hibernation, play checkers on the screened-in porch as you witness a breathtaking sunset. Spend some time just relaxing on the porch swing while sipping a cup of tea or perhaps an Irish coffee. Make an easy pasta dish for dinner or simply enjoy a platter of hearty antipasto with a glass of wine. Then settle in to the hot tub on the private open deck for a soothing soak at the end of the day.

 Lil’ Slice of Heaven

This enchanting Georgia mountain cabin rental is indeed a Lil’ Slice of Heaven. Perfect for a romantic getaway or a few couples, this two bedroom cabin has plenty of room but is small enough to feel warm and cozy. It’s a place so relaxed and comfortable; you’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds. Naturally, you’ll also want to make the most of being in the great outdoors. Whether you prefer sun or shade, there are plenty of both to be had on the deck or covered porch. Sip refreshing lemonade while lounging on the porch swing or one of the rockers. Looking through the canopied trees towards the mountaintops, you’ll feel so at peace here in your quaint little haven.

Lil’ by lil’, the sky will change a spectacular array of colors before you as the sun goes down. Enjoy romantic evenings under the stars as you share a champagne toast by the light of the gas fire stand, or while immersed in the soothing bubbles of the hot tub. Snuggle under the covers with the one you love and enjoy a divine night’s sleep. In the morning, you can step out to the deck if you’d like to take in a truly glorious sunrise. Spend some time on cloud nine with your special someone, and enjoy your own Lil’ Slice of Heaven in the North Georgia Mountains.

Blackberry Lodge

The sweet smell of a successful Blue Ridge mountain vacation is in the air as you ascend up the drive toward Blackberry Lodge. Nestled at the end of the road on a wooded lot high atop Long Mountain, this Blue Ridge cabin rental is charmingly named for its flowering and fragrant blackberry bushes.  The fully equipped gourmet kitchen is to your immediate right and features a large island with bar stools, so everyone can gather around as you prepare your meals.

After enjoying a meal, you can relax in the great room that features several large windows, all with wonderful mountain views. Here you can also get cozy and warm by the heavy stone wood burning fireplace. A deep-seated leather sofa and recliner invites everyone to enjoy a movie, or satellite HDTV. Kick back and reminisce about your day’s mountain experiences, as you gaze out the window facing West for the beautiful sunset.

Endless View Lodge

When multiple couples are looking for a place to retreat, look no further than the ultimate ‘Southern Living’ lodge in the North Georgia Mountains. Endless View Lodge is perfectly situated for mountainous seclusion and picturesque views that surround you for miles. This five-bedroom home, all of which are master suites, is an upscale luxury mountain experience.  The lodge is beautifully crafted and immediately inviting with its dormer windows, huge front porch and an amazing 1,300 square-foot wraparound deck, anchored on one end by a covered gathering room and an outdoor rock fireplace.  Professionally decorated, this home’s refined interior is matched only by the beauty of each room’s magnificent long and short range mountain views.  The entire space offers luxurious comfort so you can relax and reconnect with your friends in style.

Endless View Lodge boasts three floors of living space, a stunning two-story interior rock fireplace and soaring prow front windows.  Enjoy good conversation in several open and hospitably placed seating areas from the custom leather and fabric sofas to two, eight-person dining tables, one indoors and one on the outdoor deck.  For the chefs in the group, a gourmet-style kitchen offers a large granite island and high-end KitchenAid stainless steel appliances. Head down stairs to the terrace level for another great seating area featuring a romance-inspiring fireplace.  Curl up to for a movie on the LCD-HD TV with Blu-ray disc player, or try your hand at the hand-carved poker and game table, or one of the many games or puzzles provided.

The Colin Family Takes on Blue Ridge



We have some of the coolest guests that adventure up into the Blue Ridge Mountains for some good quality R&R. Earlier this fall, a beautiful family from the Southwest region of Florida knew they wanted to come up the mountains and experience the spectacular fall season. Fortunately for them, the 2018 season proved to be one of the most colorful seasons we’ve enjoyed in a while! Fortunately for us, they made this awesome vlog about their journey.

The Players

The Patriarch, Andres Colin, is a talented singer-songwriter in and around the Sarasota area. His lovely wife, Kristen, is an equally talented photographer. Together they have one beautiful little girl, Aria, and another bundle of joy on the way. So, needless to say, life is pretty busy for the Colin family, but that wasn’t going to stop them from getting away. A local Sarasota artist, Jay Tyler of Steel View Art, recommend the family Escape to Blue Ridge and stay in a cabin called Woolly Bugger.

The Adventure

Have you driven eight hours with a toddler before? Well, lets just say the eight hour drive from Sarasota took more like twelve hours, but their reward was coming! Alas, they arrived in the mountains along a quiet dirt road and stepped out of the car to experience the crisp mountain air and check out their home away from home.

You will delight when you watch the family explore the lakes and mountains of the Appalachian region, your heart will melt when you hear Andres sing Happy Birthday to Kristen, and you will thoroughly enjoy Andres singing Una Guitarra by Gerardo Pena.

With any good road trip, food is a critical factor. Luckily for the Colin Family, there are no shortage of good restaurants in the Blue Ridge area. You may think a little mountain town only survives on bbq, cornbread, biscuits, and sweet tea. While that is absolutely 100% true, but we also have a taste for the finer things in life including healthy options offering gluten free and vegan selections.

With memory cards filled with pictures and hearts full of family memories, the Colin Family has to begin their journey back to their regular lives.  One last stop in Georgia finds the family in Valdosta at the most delightful downtown market and café, Birdie’s. That’s when the Colin’s knew. They’ve been bitten by the Travel Bug and they will make a point to get out and travel more. There is just too much in life to experience.

Take about six minutes and enjoy this very well done and beautiful vlog by Andres Colin and his family’s Escape to Blue Ridge!

Thankful in Blue Ridge



As we approach the commencement of the holiday season, we want to take a minute and reflect on the things that we are most thankful for not just this week, but every week. It is our absolute pleasure and privilege to provide our guests with the most outstanding vacation properties in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you are seeking relaxation or adventure, we have cabins that will suit your needs and feel like your home away from home.

Thank you, Guests

There is always a great reason to escape to Blue Ridge. Spring is delightful with all the budding flowers, sparkling lakes in the summertime, changing leaves in the fall, and snow in the wintertime. However, there is something special about that time between Thanksgiving and the New Year that makes a Blue Ridge escape extra special. Maybe it’s the cheerful joy of the season. Maybe it’s the time for extended families to come together. Maybe it’s the opportunity to unplug from our chaotic lives and get back to the simple things. Whatever your reason may be, we are so grateful that you choose us as your go to vacation rental company.

Thank you, Team

We are certainly grateful for the entire team that works tirelessly to make Escape to Blue Ridge the leading provider of North Georgia vacation rentals.

To our reservation planners, maintenance personnel, housekeepers and many other hospitality professionals, you go above and beyond your call of duty on a daily basis. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Thank you, Partners

We are most thankful for the property owners that entrust us with their real estate investments. We take pride in cleaning and caring for each and every home that is enrolled in our program like it is our very own. We are so fortunate for the opportunity to promote and represent your beautiful properties.

Thank you, Blue Ridge

Lastly, the love we have for this community is second to none. The beauty of the area, the kindness of the people, and the quaintness of the downtown area make Blue Ridge the most amazing community to live in and visit. Adventures abound and tranquility awaits almost everywhere you look in this wonderful little mountain town! We truly hope, wherever in the world you may be, that you and yours gather together, eat some delicious food, and enjoy each other’s company.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Das Kaffee Haus



If you’ve never stepped foot in the cutest coffee shop in North Georgia, you are truly missing out. Das Kaffee Haus is the definition of gourmet chic. Not only will you find aromatic coffees and knowledgeable baristas, but the quaintness of this Blue Ridge coffee shop will make it a fast favorite every time you are in town.

During the week, you can mingle with the locals. Das Kaffee Haus is a popular space for friends and business acquaintances to meet up and begin the day with a high-octane espresso or their favorite cup of joe. During the day you can plug into their Wi-Fi and keep working while you get your afternoon pick-me-up. On the weekends, the tourists discover the magic of this shop and enjoy the friendly service and inviting atmosphere.

What’s Inside

For the last two and a half years, Das Kaffee Haus has been building their reputation with providing their customers with the most flavorful and delicious coffee selections. Quality and consistency along with the friendliest people is what makes this coffee shop so special. Utilizing only the highest quality of beans roasted from Batdorf & Bronson out of Marietta, Georgia, you will think that you have been transported to a little café in Italy when you taste your first sip.

What sets apart this java from any other coffee shop, besides the quality of beans and the friendliness of the staff, is both the water and the Astoria espresso machine. Heads and shoulders above other espresso machines, the Astoria is Italian made and when used correctly can produce hundreds of porta filter espresso shots, a specific barista tool of the trade. In fact, a traditional espresso shot is actually a double shot. This is the base of all their drinks and they can custom make any requests. The coolest part is they are true to the brew and don’t use super sugary and fake sweeteners. Most of their sauces and syrups are completely natural and organic. Staying true to their organic profile and the true flavor of the bean is why people rave about this place and it keeps people coming back time and again.

The Science

Manager, Anthony Vitters, and his head barista, Alex Cruz have undergone extensive training to ensure the perfect nectar of the gods. After all, the coffee industry is not strictly about latte art. There is a science that goes into the perfect espresso shot. The roast, the grind-off, the timing, and the water all make a difference. Speaking of water, Das Kaffee Haus invested in a special filtration system to take the already refreshing Blue Ridge mountain water and remove all the chlorine and chemicals from it while leaving all the healthy minerals in place.

Besides perfect espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes, Das Kaffee Haus is supplied by its own bakery / full kitchen offsite, (which is the Fudge Shop owned by the company as well) . There they bake up tantalizing treats like freshly baked muffins, cookies, and cakes. Recently added to their repertoire, you can now find savory treats like spinach and egg puff pastries. You never know what type of sweet or savory treat they will create, so be sure to stop by often and see what’s new! Need something Vegetarian or Gluten Free? It can be done per request.

Meet the owner

Das Kaffee Haus is the brain child of owner Michael Fuerst and wife Cherie Fuerst. Mr. Fuerst is originally from Bavaria, Germany and didn’t come to America until he was 31 years old. While in California, he fell in love with a Georgia girl, Cherie. Together they vacationed back east, and Michael realized that this is where he belonged. The mountain landscape reminded him so much of the geography back home, that he knew this is where he wanted to take his next step in life.

With a background in business and marketing, Michael has vast experience in the food and beverage world. Getting his start in the industry back in Germany, he transferred his knowledge and opened up a restaurant here in the states. When the opportunity came up in Blue Ridge, Michael didn’t think twice and jumped on the chance to blend his business knowledge, restaurant experience, and passion for coffee.

No stranger to working hard, this ambitious man also owns the previously mentioned fudge shop (Fudge & Company) in Ellijay and is working on another business opportunity right here in Blue Ridge. About ten months ago, Michael and his wife opened a local art and home décor store called Down to Urth Provisions which is adjacent and just below the coffee shop. Stay tuned to see what’s next for this dynamic entrepreneur couple!

Here We Grow Again

The story is not complete with this amazing little coffee house. There are certainly more great things to come in the future. It was important to Michael and his team to not grow too fast and compromise the quality of their product. Now that they are established and have a strong base, they are ready to add events to their repertoire. You can look forward to acoustic musical performances, poetry readings, and other live music on their outdoor deck. Now complete with electricity, lights, fans and heaters, you can sit out on the deck soon and watch the passersby below warming up from the inside out with a nice café au lait.

Escape To Blue Ridge

We’ve just shared with you yet another reason to leave the concrete jungle and escape to the adorable town of Blue Ridge. Book one of our cozy cabins or grand lodges and enjoy the slower pace of life in the mountains. When you venture into downtown, be sure to stop and have a cuppa at Das Kaffee Haus. From now until December 31st, if you say “Hansel & Gretel” you will get a free cookie to go with your coffee selection! Because at Das Kaffee, when you have the right roast, the right equipment, and the right barista, you know you are at just the right spot!

Top 5 Blue Ridge Adventure Cabins



Sometimes it’s challenging to motivate for outdoor fun when it is so chilly outside. However, being active outdoors is a great way to enjoy the mountains in a whole new way. Not only is it less crowded, but there are no bugs to contend with! To make the most of your outdoor adventure and not be cold and uncomfortable, layer your clothing so you don’t wimp out and head back for the cabin. Here are a few inspiring North Georgia cabin rentals to keep you active in and around Blue Ridge.

A River Runs Through It

The Aska Adventure Lodge is located in the much sought after Aska Adventure area. Did you know Aska is the Cherokee Native American word for “winter retreat”? However, this cabin is perfect in every season. The Lodge has three bedrooms and three bathrooms and can easily accommodate ten people with king beds in the two master suits, a queen bed in the guest room, and two futons in the loft and game room.

This retreat is conveniently located less than five minutes from the quaint town of Blue Ridge, Georgia. Nearby access to the Toccoa River and Lake Blue Ridge is easily accessible. Our friend, Dell Neighbors, at Fly Fishing North Georgia would be happy to take you on a guided fly-fishing trip to the area’s many cold-water streams and rivers. When you return from a great day of fishing, you can throw your freshly caught trout on the grill of your expansive deck and reflect on the successes of the day. Cap off your evening by lighting the outdoor fireplace and relax on the deck as the sun sets behind the expansive Blue Ridge Mountains.

A Gallop and a Trot

Vista Ridge is a distinctive Georgia mountain cabin rental that offers the peaceful get away from your everyday life that you are craving. Named for the spectacular view that overlooks the Toccoa River and stretches all the way to Tennessee and North Carolina, this four-bedroom, three bath home is your perfect base camp to explore the Blue Ridge area.  To get a better feel for the view, saddle up a horse with our friends at Blanche Manor and go on an adventure through the unspoiled beauty of the mountain wilderness.

After a long day on the trails, soothe your sore muscles in the hot tub and watch the sun set behind the mountains. Back inside, turn on the gas fireplace and snuggle into the leather couches. Before your weekend is over, challenge your partner to a game of pool in the game room and make the looser take you out to a fabulous dinner at Harvest on Main.

Fly Like an Eagle

Eagles Landing is as bold, majestic and unique lodge that is the epitome of rustic elegance. This spacious custom home has seven bedrooms to accommodate nineteen guests. Situated directly on Lake Blue Ridge, this spectacular showplace has incomparable views of the surrounding mountains. The hand-carved spiral staircase spans four floors, from the unique loft down to the terrace level where you will find the “grown-ups’ game room”. There are three decks spanning the length of the home, a hot tub, swings, and a picnic table to enjoy views and privacy that cannot be found anywhere else.

Close by you can channel your inner eagle and zip through 165 acres of beautiful North Georgia mountain property with our friends at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. Here, you’ll experience the mountains from the treetops, you’ll zip into the valley, soar over pastures, and cross over Fighting Town Creek. From 75’ in the air you can squeal with delight take off on 6,000 feet of cable, crossing thirteen platforms and three walking bridges.

A Walk in the Woods

It’s impossible to walk in the woods and be in a bad mood at the same time. Fortunately, the mountains are rich with hiking trails to explore and Take a Hike cabin is the perfect home base. Beautifully situated on Mt. Pisgah, this cabin overlooks absolutely fantastic mountain views. It also has three massive decks to enjoy them and from where you’ll be inspired to plan the many and nearby open-air activities that surround you. This home has great sleeping accommodations for up to 7 people and is a perfect set up for two families vacationing together or a good-sized group.

Explore the Cohutta Wilderness just off of your back porch where you can pick from delicious blueberry and blackberry bushes for snacking along your easy hike to a waterfall, cave or to Colonel Magnum’s memorial. A quick ten-minute drive will get you to major hiking trailheads including Dally Gap, Jacks River, Benton Mackaye and Hemptop.  Whichever route you choose, you will find peace and tranquility both in the woods and back at the cabin.

A Winery, Why Not

You have a lot of choices in Blue Ridge cabin rentals, but if you’re looking for comfort, privacy, and great views, Wine Down is the perfect vacation destination. This beautifully appointed mountain retreat is the kind of place that invites you to settle in, wind down and relax with a glass of wine, like its name suggests. The cabin’s four roomy bedrooms beckon you with comfort, but the real appeal is outside. Wine Down’s covered outdoor living room on the main deck has a gas grill, table for eight, plenty of seating, and a 60” TV above the wood burning fireplace.

Wine down is located on Aska Road less than four miles from the shopping and restaurants of downtown Blue Ridge. A short drive will take you to the nearby winery at Serenberry Vineyards.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy a mountain wine tasting. Their Skeenah Red is a perfect Merlot-Cab blend, but if you prefer something sweeter, you should definitely try the Apple-lachian. Fruity and sweet, it’s like a little apple pie in a bottle!

Fall in Love with Blue Ridge



Fall took a little longer than usual to arrive this year, but as soon as we had our first frost, BAM, the colors started popping! Now everywhere you look you can find brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows. So, grab your favorite boots and cozy sweater and Escape to Blue Ridge for leaf peeping at its best!

3 Falls and a Car

The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway is a nationally designated Scenic Byway that is 40.64 miles in length and makes a loop through the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest.  Beginning in Blairsville take Hwy 129 South towards Blood Mountain. Turn left on Hwy 180 then right onto Hwy 348 – The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway. Along the way, you will pass Hatchet Creek Road that leads to Helton Creek Falls. Stop and enjoy both the Upper and Lower falls. The hike is short and easy, less than a mile long and super rewarding!

Continue up the mountain passing Tesnatee Gap, home to the original Old Logan Turnpike Trail. Just around the bend you’ll find Hogpen Gap which has an amazing overlook and picture-perfect opportunities. If you are up for a more challenging waterfall hike, Hwy 348 passes right by the trail-head for Raven Cliff Falls. While Raven Cliff is one of Georgia’s most popular waterfalls, be prepared to take a 2.5-mile journey through the woods.

The last waterfall opportunity on your travels down the Russell-Brasstown Byway is at Dukes Creek Falls. A happy medium between Helton Creek and Raven Cliff, Dukes Creek Falls is a two mile round-trip hike. Passing several small falls along the way, you’ll be rewarded at the end of the trail with a 150 foot, multi-tiered waterfall.  The Russell-Brasstown byway dead ends into Hwy 75 which will take you into the Alpine Village of Helen, Georgia.

See 4 States

The Southern Highroads Trail can be traveled in its entirety or in sections.  This very scenic route travels through four national forests (Chattahoochee, Nantahala, Cherokee, and Sumter) and four states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia).  Enjoy shopping, dining, entertainment and outdoor activities in all 13 counties the route passes through.

Another way to see four states without all the mileage is to visit the top of Brasstown Bald. The approach to the Bald is worth the car ride alone. Turning onto Hwy 180 from Hwy 129 South in Blairsville, travel approx. 9 miles to Spur 180. Wind yourself up the mountain and be cautious of the hairpin turns, they’re liable to take your breath. Once you get to the top parking area, you still have another mile to go to reach the highest peak in Georgia at 4,784 feet above sea level! You can choose to hike the steep summit trail or take a shuttle bus up to the top. Either way, you will enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree view of four states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia) from the observation deck. Inside you’ll find a museum featuring Georgia and Native American History. It is even said that you can see the Atlanta skyline on a clear day from the top of the Bald!

An Adventure

Just on the other side of downtown Blue Ridge, you’ll find the outdoor adventure area of the Aska Trail Systems. Here you can hike, fish, bike, and leaf peep. Being that Blue Ridge is the Trout Capital of Georgia, access to the Toccoa River is just off Aska Road. If you get hungry the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant is ready to serve you fresh trout, a top sirloin or a plethora of sandwich and salad options. They even have a full Pooch Porch Goodies menu featuring canine cuisines for Fido!

Whether you are biking or hiking, you can choose from strenuous to moderate trails. Our favorite is the hike down to Fall Branch Falls. This is a short half mile, family friendly hike that follows the Benton MacKaye Trail and ends at one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Georgia. The trail is mildly challenging, and the path is mostly uphill, but it is definitely worth the effort! As you approach you will hear the roar of the falls get louder as you near the multi-tiered falls. Notice a short side trail and take this down to the observation deck.

Pinnacle of Beauty

If you really want a mountain experience, you need to take the back roads and experience the simple life we enjoy here in the mountains. Take Highway 60 towards Dahlonega. Start your trip off right with a wine tasting at the picturesque Serenberry Vineyards. When you’ve built up your nerves of steel you can test your balance on the Swinging Bridge. This 270-foot-long suspension bridge is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River!

Continue down highway 60 to Georgia’s best secret, Suches, or the Valley Above the Clouds. At 3k feet above sea level, the Suches area provides a stunning view of picture perfect landscapes and glorious mountain views. Here you’ll also find the smallest public school in Georgia educating children from Kindergarten through 12th grade all in one building.

Take Hwy 180 to Lake Winfield Scott. This secret hideaway is a recreation area in the Chattahoochee National Forest. With a beautiful lake as the centerpiece, Winfield Scott beckons you to get out of the car, stretch your legs and take in the untouched beauty of this special part of Georgia. Continue down Hwy 180 with its hairpin turns and lush forest to Vogel State Park, Gerogia’s most beloved State Park. Here you can enjoy the beauty of Lake Trahlyta and take a short walk down to Trahlyta Falls.

Legend Has It

So interesting fact, Lake Trahlyta was named after a Cherokee Indian Princess.  Vogel State Park is located at the base of Blood Mountain where the Native Americans fought many years ago. They say that Slaughter Creek, which runs adjacent to Blood Mountain ran red for 3 days with all the blood that was shed. Lake Winfield Scott, just above, Vogel and Lake Trahlyta, was named after the General that led the Indians out on the Trail of Tears. You can take the full Suches loop around and pass by Trahlyta’s grave which is the rock pile at Stonepile Gap. Legend has it that if you stop and place a rock on Trahlyta’s grave, you too can be as young and happy as she once was.

Photo of Lake Winfield Scott courtesy of Gene Crawford.

Weird Oh!



There has been quite the buzz of late regarding the revitalization happening in the twin cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. Word is there is an investor that has been helping to spur along the progress where the state lines meet. So, we decided to go check it out. And Wow! What a turnaround!  Things are definitely changing for the better in these two little towns, but our favorite stop of the trip was this obscure little shop, right on the corner as you come into McCaysville called Weird Oh!

Weird Oh! is not a product of the fancy investor. Weird Oh! is the brainchild of a very special lady with a gigantic heart. Once upon a time, proprietor Erin Hawley, earned a living as a comedian on the coast of North Carolina. Her favorite destination to vacation was in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. As her life progressed and her three children grew in age, she decided it was time for a change and she relocated to her vacation spot.

McCaysville, Ga

Since there were no comedy clubs in Blue Ridge, she thought maybe that would be a great business venture. However, space in downtown Blue Ridge is hard to come by. One day Erin and her eight-year-old son were walking around the McCaysville area and she thought “what do children do here for fun?” So, for the next few days, they walked the area, mother and son, back and forth, thinking and talking. Then one day on their regular walk, a for sale signed appeared in the window of the ugliest building you have ever seen. It was red and orange and just an eye sore.

As a creative artist, Erin saw a diamond in the rough and contacted the owner. For weeks she single handedly, with only the help of her youngest child, worked tirelessly to give a major facelift to this corner building. There may have been some gawking of townsfolk as Erin worked. You see, Ms. Hawley does not look like your typical business owner. Tall and gorgeous? Yes! Conservative and formal? No! Erin loves her makeup, her fashion, and it is very unlikely to catch her in any shoe other than high heels. And since she is an artist, you should expect that her body has been used as a canvas so don’t be surprised by her colorful expressions.

The Deets

So, what exactly is Weird Oh!? Well, it’s a magical emporium of fun! Better known as an unusual place for unusual people, inside you will find peculiar treasures and trinkets. It’s a place where kids can be kids and adults can be kids too! Everything can be touched, moved, and you can even write on the walls and not get in trouble! The only rule that you will encounter is that laughter is a must! No matter what. Laugh, have fun, pick up a toy, purchase a gag gift that will make someone laugh. Giggle a little, chuckle a lot, let out a guffaw if something strikes your funny bone. You won’t be judged, because Weird Oh is all about fun!

Like we told you in the beginning, Erin has a very big heart. Her whole purpose in opening Weird Oh! was to have a place for kids to come in and be kids. She gives gifts to almost every little one that opens the “Alice in Wonderland” door. Additionally, she supports Shop with a Cop, little league teams, and every opportunity for a child to get a toy that makes them happy. Being called a weirdo her whole life, Erin embraces her uniqueness and uses it in a way to positively impact the youth of the area.

Stop in next time you ride the Blue Ridge train or when you just find yourself exploring the twin cities of Georgia and Tennessee. Bonus tip: If you yell out “Dang, You’re Beautiful!” you get 10% off your whole order!

Blue Ridge Winery Spotlight – Bear Claw Vineyards



Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains you will find the most delightful winery to check out – Bear Claw Vineyards. Owned by Kevin & Michelle Swim, these Atlanta natives moved up to the mountains six years ago for a slower paced life. Little did they know that a whole new adventure was about to begin.

Interestingly enough, the temperate climate and the rich soil quality in the North Georgia Mountains are ideal for grape vines to prosper. So what better idea for the Swim’s than to begin planting a vineyard and prepare to open a tasting room. With the help of family and some close friends, Bear Claw Vineyards was born! Open seven days a week, you can sit back, relax, and drink wine Sunday through Thursday from 12-6pm and Friday & Saturday from 12-8pm.

Wines

Kevin heads up the winemaking and boy does he have a talent for producing quality blends. In fact, just recently, five Bear Claw wines were entered into a Georgia Wine competition. Each wine received a medal, and two of them were gold – the Vidal Blanc and Chardonnay (stainless). While these options are fabulous, we highly recommend you try the Dreamcatcher. This Cayuga White is a blend of Schuyler and Seyval Blanc. It is light and refreshing with fruity notes. If red wine is more your style try their Cabernet Sauvignon. As we type this, a new red is about to be bottled out of the barrel, so you will have to come try their new yield.

Family Friendly

Bear Claw Vineyards is welcoming for every member of the family, both two legged and four. Well behaved pets are welcome and there are plenty of games to keep the kids busy while you catch up with your friends and family. Soon, the kiddos will delight with the addition of gypsy vanner horses. The majestic animals will remind you of Clydesdales with their beauty but are much smaller in size. If you or your littles get hungry while enjoying the winery, light snacks like cheese, crackers, and chocolates are always available to purchase. On Fridays you can check out a food truck that they bring up for your dining pleasure.

Live Music

Every Saturday and Sunday you can enjoy live music on the patio. Local talents like Chip McCain and Jeannie Caryn will add to your afternoon ambiance. Larger names like the Indigo Girls and the Marty Ray Project have also performed at the vineyard. Coming up on Saturday, October 27th you’ll be in for a real treat with Confederate Railroad. Opening for the CR are Steven Phillips & The Midnight Express and local favorite, the Gregg Erwin Band. Tickets are still available and are only $19!

Weddings & Events

There is not a much more stunning venue than a vineyard wedding. Small or large, Bear Claw can accommodate your weddings, birthdays, and anniversary celebrations. Intimate ceremonies can be held at the winery and elaborate ceremonies can take place at their newest venue – The Club at Bear Claw. Formerly known as the Blue Ridge Swim & Tennis Club, the property consists of a swimming pool, four tennis courts, and a large reception hall. Onsite event planner, Tonya Ross, is available to help you with all of your event coordination.

Blue Ridge Halloween



When it comes to Halloween the first thing that comes to mind is all the miniature ghosts and goblins running around seeking out candy by the truckload. Halloween doesn’t have to be just for the little ones, there are a lot of fun things for adults to enjoy. So, channel your inner child, get out your best costume, and prepare to be spooked in Blue Ridge!

Adult Only!

Have you heard about Old Man Jones? Legend has is that Old Man Jones owned most of the section of Blue Ridge where the Fairgrounds now reside. In the late 1800’s Mr. Jones suffered more personal tragedy than many realized. In keeping with the fashion of the day, these “happenings” were not public knowledge and were never published in local papers.  Come see the history for yourself or are you too scared? If you dare to purchase tickets, Click Here.

Shadow Ape Returns to The Blue Coyote Bar and Grill on Friday, October 26th from 8pm-11pm. Put on your best costume for the and enjoy the Halloween Costume Bash while jamming out to Classic rock, 90’s alternative and Southern rock. On Saturday, October 27th The Bone Daddys will have you tearing up the dance floor.  Maddie invites everyone to come out for a Spooktacular good time! Let her know Escape To Blue Ridge sent you.

The Boat Dock Bar and Grill at the Lake Blue Ridge Marina is hosting a Bon Voyage Costume Party on Saturday, October 27th. Oh and hey, hey it’s the Georgia/Florida game! Enjoy food and drink specials all day and the party heats up around sunset!

A Halloween Costume Party and Live Music will be going down at the Copperhill Brewery this Saturday, October 27th from 6pm-10pm. You know why you need to go? Because they have your favorite Ichabod Pumpkin Pie Ale on tap!

Family Friendly

The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is hosting a Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 27th from 11am-3pm. Enjoy games for all ages, live music by The Whistle Stop Band, interactive displays, delicious carnival snacks, face painting, prizes, costumed characters, and plenty of photo opportunities!

Fall-O-Ween Fest at Mercier Orchards features tractor rides, pumpkin decorating, face painting, carnival games, a movie in the orchard at dusk and more on Saturday, October 27th from 12pm-7pm.

Have little ones to take trick or treating? Ellijay, Blairsville, Blue Ridge, and Copperhill all have safe trick or treating options in their downtown areas. Ellijay has festivities beginning at 5pm and continuing until 8pm.  Trick or treat around the Square in Blairsville from 6pm-8pm. In Blue Ridge, the Halloween Safe Zone begins at 5:30pm. Trick or Treat the merchants in the twin cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. on from 5pm until 7pm.