The Blue Ridge Experience: Spring Edition



Spring Hiking 

There’s no better time to hit the trails than on a beautiful spring day! The weather is absolutely perfect this time of year for a stroll through nature. Temperatures are mild, the forests are lush with greenery and flowers, and the water may be a little chilly but it can be a refreshing way to cool off after a long day of hiking. From trails just a little over a mile to challenging, multi-mile hikes there’s the perfect route for everyone.

And what do you hope to see on your journey? Peaceful babbling brooks, a tall rushing waterfall, a unique swinging bridge that dangles over the waters of the Toccoa River, or views as far as the eye can see? Blue Ridge has miles and miles of trails with everything and more to offer! So bring along your friends, family, and your favorite pup too, and get ready to explore the great outdoors! Discover the best trail for your group here:  https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-blue-ridge-hiking-trails/ 

Ride the Rails 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Scenic Railway

Spring means that train rides are back at Blue Ridge Scenic Railway! Running from March 5th to late December the train is a favorite Blue Ridge activity. You’ll fly past mountains, rivers, and farmlands as you ride through the beautiful countryside of North Georgia. For a short and sweet adventure, take the 2-hour scenic ride but if you are looking to make the trip an all-day event why not go for the 4-hour ride? On the longer ride you’ll have a 2-hour layover in the charming sister cities McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. Stand in two states at once on the Georgia/Tennessee border that lies between the two cities. Go for a quick shopping spree or grab a bite to eat. Then hop back on the train for another scenic journey back to Blue Ridge. Tickets are available online: https://brscenic.com/tickets/ 

Family-Friendly Outdoor Fun

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Williams

The kids are off of school for spring break and there’s no better way to celebrate than with some family fun in the great outdoors! One of our favorite spots for family-friendly activities is at The Lily Pad Village. One of their biggest attractions is their gem mining experience. The kiddos will love sifting through the dirt to find their own beautiful gemstones. The staff is friendly and are always ready to explain to the little ones what they’ve discovered. Not only is this experience educational but it’s also fun & rewarding because the kids can leave with a bag full of goodies.

On top of gem mining, Lily Pad Village also has fishing and mini-golf, so the fun times can last all day long! Another great outdoor activity the whole family will enjoy is horseback riding! You can go on a relaxing trail ride through the forests of North Georgia and become best friends with your horse along the way. Cowgirl Up Stables is great for new riders and Appalachian Trail Rides is always a wonderful choice as well. Giddy on up and bring the whole family along to explore Georgia on horseback! 

Spring at the Orchards

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Mercier Orchards may be known for their apples but there’s more to them than that! The orchards are incredibly beautiful during the spring because the peach and apple blossoms are in full bloom! On weekends, you can take a farm tour to learn more about Merciers and see the blossoms up close, it really is quite a sight. Pay them a visit in May for strawberry season! Pick the biggest strawberries you can find and turn them into your own delicious strawberry pie or eat them straight from the plant! Recover from your strawberry hunting with a refreshing glass of hard cider or wine, made right at Merciers. And before you leave, shop in the market for all kinds of goodies to bring home with you, and be sure to pick yourself up a fried pie from the cafe too!  

Adventure 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Adventure Park

Sometimes you need a heart-pumping adventure! If you like to be dozens of feet in the air then we have just the thing for you! Navigate a challenging ropes course high up in the air at Blue Ridge Adventure Park. You’ll have 4 aerial courses to choose from with obstacles and challenges that range from moderate to extremely difficult. Make your way back to solid ground on the 125+ foot long zipline! Are you up for the challenge?

If you are all about the zipline and would rather skip the ropes course then check out Zip Line Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. You’ll zip through the trees on over 6,000 feet of cables. You’ll feel like you’re flying as your soar past the Blue Ridge Mountains. Get ready for an adventure like no other at these two great spots! 

Biking

Photo Courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes

If you’re into mountain biking Blue Ridge is just the place for it! Weave through the winding mountain trails, with the wind in your face, and the trees zipping past. A few of our favorite trails for a ride are Jackrabbit Mountain, Bear Creek Trail, and Stanley Gap. Learn more about mountain biking in Blue Ridge here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/11-memorable-mountain-biking-trails/ 

Mountain biking not quite your speed? Take the whole family for a scenic ride with Pedego Electric Bikes. Cruise around downtown and get some shopping done in between rides. Or take a bike tour where you can ride around the Chattahoochee National Forest and breeze past the Toccoa River on your way. The whole family will love getting out for a bike-riding adventure in the mountains!

And new to Blue Ridge is the Freedom Rail Bikes! Gather a team of 4 riders and pedal through 5 & 1/2 miles of beautiful scenery. Along the way, you’ll pass by lovely streams, vineyards, ponds, gorgeous mountain homes, and even a covered bridge. Don’t worry about getting tired though, you’ll get a break halfway through the journey to relax & take in the views. Your journey starts at the historic depot downtown; all aboard for this fun and unique peddling adventure! 

Trout Time

Photo Courtesy of KC Outfitters

In Blue Ridge, we are known as the trout capital of Georgia so you’d be remiss not to head to the waters with a fishing pole in hand! Not only is the weather perfect for a day on the water but the trout supply is abundant in the spring. Our favorite spots to fish are on the Toccoa River or at the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery.

If you’re an experienced fisher then, by all means, get out on the water and do your thing but if you need a little extra assistance that’s no problem we’ve got you covered! A few of our favorite fish-loving teams are Cohutta Fishing Company, Blue Ridge Fly Fishing School, and Noontootla Creek Farms. Take your pick but all of these teams will give you the proper guidance and techniques to help you become a fishing expert! Looking for more fishing fun? Don’t miss the Blue Ridge Trout Festival on April 30th! 

Outdoor Picnics 

Photo Courtesy of ExploreGeorgia.org

Nothing says spring like a delicious picnic with your family! We think one of the most beautiful spots for a picnic is at Morganton Point beside Lake Blue Ridge. Set up at one of the picnic tables or spread your blanket out on the grass and enjoy your feast as you gaze out on the waters of Lake Blue Ridge.

For more waterside spots check out the Toccoa River Park to listen to the calming sounds of the river rushing by. You can even picnic in our Downtown City Park, just pick up some to-go from one of your favorite restaurants downtown and enjoy it in the warm sunshine. Or have your picnic premade for you and eat among the apple trees with Deep Roots Orchard’s picnic special at $27 a person. Wherever you choose to picnic you’ll be in the great outdoors and able to enjoy the beautiful spring weather! 

Take in a Festival 

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association

Spring in Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas have so many great events worth checking out! Here’s just a few of our favorites: 

  • The Blue Ridge Trout and Outdoor Adventures Festival: This year’s annual event takes place April 30th in our Downtown City Park. With all-new tents and exhibits, this year will be the best one yet! You can learn all about fishing, hiking, paddling, rock climbing, and more. Plus there will be plenty of craft beer, food, and music. 
  • Easter Egg Hunt: Easter weekend will have lots of holiday activities happening around town. On Saturday, April 16th pay Deep Roots Orchard a visit for a day of Easter fun! There will be picnics, soup bean tastings, live music, blossom tours, food, a professional photographer for family portraits at the orchard,  and of course an Egg Hunt! Also on Saturday is the Zoo Groovy Yard Art Easter Egg Hunt! With over 1,000 eggs hidden there will be plenty to go around! Mercier Orchards also typically hosts an Easter Egg Hunt as well. And stay tuned to our social media pages for more Easter events happening around the area! 
  • Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds events: Take a day trip over to Hiawassee, GA where they have a great line-up of events happening all spring long! They will have concerts featuring country artists Justin Moore, Chris Janson, Josh Turner, and Scotty McCreery. Every weekend from April 22nd-May 22nd you can be one with nature at the Rhododendron Festival. Stock up on all kinds of goodies at the Mile Long Yard Sale or admire cool cars at the Memory Lane Classic Car Show. Drink wine in the gardens at the 1st ever Hiawassee Highlands Wine Festival. And end your spring with a Rodeo on Memorial Day weekend. Learn more about Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds great upcoming spring events & get your tickets here: https://georgiamountainfairgrounds.com/localevents 
  • Spring Arts in the Park: Finish out your spring Memorial Day weekend (May 28th & 29th) by admiring beautiful art in Downtown Blue Ridge featuring over 175+ artists. This is the 46th year that Spring Arts in the Park has brought so many talented artists to Blue Ridge for such a great event! 

No matter your spring break plans we’re happy to provide you with the perfect cabin to call home for a few days. Our cabins are not only comfortable and accommodating, but there’s fun for everyone with game rooms, hot tubs, fire pits, and more. Let us be your home base for all your spring adventures! 

Spring Break in Blue Ridge

Photo Courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes Blue Ridge GA

After all, we only get 18 school years with our kids, so we should make each and every school vacation count! Because if we’re being truthful, you are dying for a reason to escape from the stresses of work and Spring Break is the perfect guilt-free excuse for a fun family trip!

The Blue Ridge region is a mountain playground full of fantastic opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, including hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, as well as waterways for paddling, fishing, and boating. So go ahead, take that much-needed vacation, get recharged, and finish the school year strong. Here are a few of our ideas for a perfect family-friendly Spring Break experience.

Mountain Adventure

Play: Breathe in that fresh mountain air and take in all the views from your own electric bike. That’s right! You don’t have to worry about any family members getting too tired when you have an electric bike to help out and keep you moving when you run out of energy. Adventure out on your own or take one of their four guided tours provided by Pedego Electric Bikes in Blue Ridge. Choose a tour through the Chattahoochee National Forest and visit Fall Branch Falls, experience the Tennessee National Forest around the Ocoee whitewater Trails, adventure around the Toccoa River and Shallowford Bridge, or just cruise around downtown Blue Ridge!

Photo Courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes

Eat: Mystic Mountain Pizza is a family owned and family friendly pizza restaurant has fantastic food and an inviting atmosphere often featuring live music. They have a passion for crafting fresh salads, all-beef gourmet hot dogs, wings, desserts, and specialty pizzas in their oak-fired brick ovens. You’ll be happy, stuffed, and a part of the Mystic Mountain Pizza family before you finish your first slice of pie. Now that’s amore!

Photo Courtesy of Mystic Mountain Pizza

Sleep: Perched on a mountaintop more than 3,000 feet above the trees with dramatic, sweeping long-range mountain vistas in the distance, The Owl’s Perch is like a magnificent picture postcard come to life. Located northeast of Lake Blue Ridge on a large lot in Morganton that borders unspoiled U.S. Forest Service land, it’s a calm oasis far removed from stressful city life, but just a short drive away from the shops and dining of downtown Blue Ridge. The western-facing view from the cabin offers you magical sunrises, revealing the mountains as the fog lifts across the lake, and spectacular sunsets that will take your breath away.

There are two spacious, comfortable living areas: the main floor has French doors and huge windows to bring the outside in, and the lower level space doubles as a game room, outfitted with foosball and ping pong tables, puzzles, board games, TV with DVDs, and a PlayStation with games. The main floor kitchen features wood cabinets, new stainless appliances, granite countertops, drip and Keurig coffeemakers, a blender, crockpot and all the dishes, pots and pans, utensils and implements you need to prepare, cook and serve. Plastic dishes are available for children and outdoor use. The dining table has room for ten, plus two at the breakfast bar. There’s a selection of toys, blocks, games, a pack n’ play, and movies for younger kids. The road to the cabin is paved, leading to a roomy gravel driveway. You’re welcome to bring up to two dogs with you as you relax, recharge, and enjoy a memorable stay at this cabin above the clouds.

Relaxing Rides

Play: The iconic Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a must do when in town. Enjoy the scenery aboard an eleven-car train as your ramble down the tracks through the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Toccoa watershed. Enjoy a relaxing 26-mile round trip journey beginning and ending in downtown Blue Ridge with a stop in the newly revitalized twin cities of McCaysville, Ga & Copperhill, TN.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Eat: Made famous for their four flavors of incredible rum cakes, the Rum Cake Lady Cuban Food Cafe offers two locations to serve you. The downtown Blue Ridge Café is similar to a Cuban walk-up window, or “La Ventanita”. They offer fresh, authentic Cuban sandwiches, tamales, empanadas, plantains, rice, and beans. Their Copperhill location includes indoor seating, dinner hours, the same great menu plus a Cuban grocery. Both locations boast the best Cuban coffee in the mountains, but their dessert is what made them who they are so how can you not take home a rum cake or 3? We must admit, their guava and cheese pastelitos are pretty incredible and we would be hard pressed to pass on their tasty caramel flan or Tres Leches cake!

Photo Courtesy of the Cuban Rum Cake Lady

Sleep: Blue Mist Heaven is a luxurious mountaintop cabin with spectacular 180° views that can be yours for a very special vacation getaway. This tri-level showplace is decked out with designer touches and upscale features. Ideal for large families or a group of friends, this spacious cabin sleeps 12 in its four bedrooms and library/loft, with king beds in the upstairs master, main floor and downstairs bedrooms, twin bunk beds and twin over double size beds in the second downstairs bedroom that kids will love. There’s also a full size crib and Pack ‘n Play in the closet.

Outside, three sets of stairs lead down to a large, level backyard with a lighted covered Gazebo, four bench swings and a rock fire pit.  The backyard has a giant playground set for the kids with slides, swings and playhouse. Also, there is an additional large deck with a picnic tables, swings and chairs to lounge in while you take in the view and watch the kids at play. Blue Mist Heaven’s other amenities include high-speed wireless Internet, a movie room with recliners, giant 82” TV, two-person cocktail game table with 412 games installed and a wet bar.

Heart Pumping Fun

Play: Bring a little excitement into your family’s life when you try zipping through the Blue Ridge Mountains at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge. Here you’ll get to see the mountains from the treetops with over 6,000 feet of cable, it includes 13 zips ranging from 250 feet to 1000 feet and 3 sky bridges to cross. Your whole family will giggle with delight as you zip into the valley and soar over pastures before landing on the banks of Fighting Town Creek!

Photo Courtesy of Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge

Eat: Nourish your body with the most delicious tasting BBQ in the mountains at Carroll’s BBQ. This family owned restaurant doesn’t skimp on their portions and if you leave hungry, it’s your own fault! Offering classic pulled pork options, we highly recommend you try their fall-off-the-bone ribs or brisket. A kid’s menu is available, but whatever you do, save room for dessert because you really NEED to try their banana pudding. It’s so good it’ll make your tongue jump out and lick the eyebrows right off your head!

Photo Courtesy of Carroll’s BBQ

Sleep: If you are imagining a scenic mountain getaway that the whole family will enjoy when searching for your North Georgia cabin rental, look no further than EddieBear! This inviting cabin was named for the owners’ constant canine companion Eddie, who loved being in the mountains. The cabin even has a fenced-in yard so everyone, including your best buddy, can safely play in the beautiful outdoors. Perched on a wooded hillside with sweeping mountain views, the cabin has a traditional log cabin exterior and warm pine interior that beckons you to step in and start relaxing. A striking wood-burning fireplace made with large river stones will keep you warm as you stretch out on the leather sofa or reclining armchair and watch the game or read by the light of the distinctive wine barrel chandelier.

Step down to the lower level into the game room and engage in some friendly competition at the dart board or billiards table that converts to a ping-pong table, a poker table and even a roulette table! There is a flat screen TV and an adjacent kids room with a chalkboard wall, games, small rocking chairs, and a pullout sofa. As you venture outside onto the lower deck, sink into the steamy waters of the hot tub, recline in the wooden lounge chairs, or have a snack at the wooden table that seats four. Directly off the deck is the fenced-in yard where you can play or gather around the fire pit and roast marshmallows for S’mores you can eat at the nearby picnic table.

Kid-Centric

Play: On the outskirts of downtown Blue Ridge in the Aska Adventure Area, you will find the uber kid friendly Lilly Pad Village. Here you can mine for large and colorful gemstones. Your kids will especially love “gemstone magic” where a large gemstone or two magically appear out of nowhere in their trays! Here you can also play a round of mountainside mini golf. If you think regular putt putt is challenging, just give this nine-hole course a try! Bonus: Children under 7 play free! The fun is not over yet at Lilly Pad Village. Pick up a pole and some live bait and throw a line or two in their cute little catch & release fishing pond.

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Williams

Eat: There is no shortage of tasty items at Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge. The main location features a bakery boasting several varieties of fried pies, as well as apple cider donuts, and a large variety of bread, cookies and many other delectable baked goods. The Market Café (open 7am-6pm daily) serves a delicious breakfast each day till 11 am. Lunchtime is just as scrumptious with a wide variety of sandwiches including their specialty pecan chicken salad which we highly recommend you trying it in a stuffed tomato with pimento cheese! 

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Sleep: If you’re looking for the perfect place to bring your whole family on your next vacation, look no further than Toccoa Playground, a Blue Ridge, GA cabin rental that promises you and your children a fun-filled getaway. True to its name, this spacious cabin in the woods near the Toccoa River, considered to be some of the best fly fishing in the Southeast, is a playground for both adults and kids, with plenty of child-friendly features and amenities.

Large family? No problem: the cabin sleeps ten, and has two sets of twin bunk beds in the downstairs bedroom and twin beds and a toddler bed in the upstairs loft, perfect for your young ones. The loft’s play area includes a puppet theater, play kitchen, a 32” flat screen with Blu-ray, and toys to delight kids of all ages, and the swings, slide, and playhouse on the railing-protected deck will provide hours of fun.  A crib, bassinet, baby swing, carrier, portable child seat and high chair are available, and there are safety gates on the stairs.

Educational Vacay

Play: Project Chimps provides lifelong care to former research chimpanzees at its 236-acre forested sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sanctuary is not regularly open to the public, but they do offer periodic tours and events including their Chimp Rock and Discovery Days. You may even consider making your trip a Volunteer Vacation where you have the opportunity to give back, see chimpanzees up close, meet other animal enthusiasts, and enjoy the mountains!

Photo Courtesy of Project Chimps

Eat: It’s hard to pass up a good burger joint, but when the locals know it as “the best hamburger in town” you just have to stop in and try one! Sue’s Burgers is the oldest restaurants in town, so they’ve had some time to perfect their craft and perfect they did! If you like your burgers big and juicy, then you are going to be a happy camper here. For the hungry one in your group, Sue features a double or triple stacked bacon cheeseburger you can even add a beer battered onion ring on every layer!

Photo Courtesy of Sue’s Burgers

Sleep: Everyone has their own idea of paradise on earth, but if yours is an exquisite mountain retreat with awe-inspiring, absolutely breathtaking views, the North Georgia cabin rental Uplifting is the answer to your vacation prayers. Located on a hillside in Mineral Bluff, 13 miles from the shops and restaurants of downtown Blue Ridge, this stunning showplace is your own private resort in a glorious sylvan setting. Handsomely constructed with natural log beams, natural pine walls, custom hardwood and cobblestone tile floors, the cabin is professionally decorated in an elegantly rustic style with upscale furniture. The adjacent kitchen offers everything you need to prepare meals for your family and friends.

When it’s time to turn in, you’ll sleep well in your choice of three professionally decorated bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. The upstairs master has a king bed, vaulted ceiling, 36” TV, and a sliding barn door that opens to reveal the amazing mountain view through the windows of the living room below. The main level master also has a king bed, a 31” TV, and, like the other master, an en suite bath with walk-in shower and double sinks. The third bedroom has a queen bed and a 39” TV, and its adjacent bathroom features a shower/tub combo and double sinks. A queen sofa bed in the game room and twin bunk beds behind a sliding barn door—great fun for kids—bring the sleeping accommodations to ten.