Why do people escape to the mountains? For peace, quiet, and some time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life; of course. But if you’re an outdoor lover you probably also escape to the mountains to explore some wonderful hiking trails. In Blue Ridge, we have no shortage of great hiking options. Choose from mountain trails, riverside trails, lakeside trails, wooded trails, and even trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls. Wherever your heart leads you to explore, we’ve got it!
We’ve comprised a list of our top 8 favorite hiking trails to guide you on your next adventure. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a total newbie just wanting to get outdoors, there are trails for everyone. So grab your friends, family, and dogs along too for an adventure of a lifetime and fall in love with some of the best trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains!
Benton McKaye Trail
Located in the heart of the Aska Adventure Area, we love the Benton McKaye Trail because it’s close to so many great activities like Lily Pad Village, Toccoa Valley Campground, and more. Plus it connects to so many other trails that will take you all around Blue Ridge! Benton McKaye crosses the Appalachian Trail about 15 miles south of Blue Ridge. Along the trail you may come across the famous Toccoa Swinging Bridge, Fall Branch Falls, Long Creek Falls, and Springer Mountain; all great spots to stop for a photo-op!
The Benton MacKaye Trail is a great option for day hikers and explorers looking to do some sightseeing. Or if you’re up for an adventure, you can warm up for a thru-hike by doing the entire 300 miles ending in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. There’s always something new to find on the Benton McKaye Trail!
Lake Blue Ridge Loop
Take in the beauty of Lake Blue Ridge for yourself and hike the trails around the lake. The Lake Blue Ridge Loop is a quick 0.8 miles and is well maintained, making it a great hike for all ages. Admire the trees reflecting off the water as you wander along the trail. Once you finish, head on over to the Morganton Point Recreation Area for a quick dip or a much-needed lunch in the picnic area.
Open year-round, these winding trails will take you through the Chattahoochee National Forest and across mountain streams & creeks. You might even run into a waterfall or two! These trails also eventually connect to the Benton McKaye Trail and Lake Blue Ridge Loop. Most all of the trails in Fannin County are connected and ready to take you throughout the most beautiful parts of Blue Ridge.
Jack’s River Trail
Jacks River Trail is a 14.8-mile trail located within the Cohutta Wilderness Area. Be aware that this trail is slightly more advanced and parts of it cross moving water; so make sure you’re up for the challenge! The hike will be a rocky, water-filled adventure that crosses Jacks River and its tributaries over 40 times, but the views will be so worth it.
One of the highlights of the hike is the beautiful, 80-foot Jacks River Falls. The falls are easily one of the South’s most beautiful waterfalls and one of Georgia’s top hiking destinations. You’ll also find wildflowers, mossy river banks, and rocky paths just waiting to be explored! If you’re looking for a rewarding and fun adventure this hike is for you!
Emery Creek Falls Trail
Looking for more water adventures? Hike on Emery Creek Falls Trail for a fun challenge! This intermediate trail takes hikers through 20 creeks and past several waterfalls throughout the 6.2-mile round trip hike. You’ll wander and explore the lush, forested trail and feel like you’re hundreds of miles away from the rest of the world. Along the way, you’ll run into a pair of stunning, beautiful, remote waterfalls. Relax, listen to the sounds of the rushing waterfall, and feel at peace in your own beautiful oasis.
The Hemp Top Trail
Climb some of the highest peaks in Georgia as you make your way along The Hemp Top Trail. Only 10 minutes outside of Blue Ridge, this 6.2-mile strenuous hike is well worth it for the views at the top. You’ll be able to see the Tennessee Valley and surrounding mountains from one of the highest points in the Cohutta Wilderness. This quiet hike will submerge you right into the beauty of the North Georgia wilderness but is recommended for more experienced hikers.
Ocoee Whitewater Center Trails
While the Ocoee Whitewater Center, just across the border in Tennessee, is known for its whitewater rafting, but they also have over 30 miles of trails to explore! The Ocoee Whitewater Center is the site of the 1996 Summer Olympic white water events and has much to see like the Olympic bridges, gardens, historic and forested trails, and a 330-foot suspension bridge. Athletes and Olympic fans will especially love the trails but any outdoor lover can enjoy them! And when you finish your long or short adventure, picnic by the river and imagine the dozens of rafts that floated down that very same river in the Olympic games over 25 years ago!
The hike to Amicalola Falls is a 2.1-mile loop but much of it is uphill. You’ll cross rocky terrain, as you weave through the narrow trail. On your way up to the falls, you’ll hear the sounds of rushing water in the distance and will catch a glimpse of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Once you reach the top of the falls you’ll begin the steep walk down along bridges and stairs. You’ll be blown away by the 730-foot waterfall that cascades down a towering cliff into a pool of water far below.
Soak in the incredible views of the tallest waterfall in Georgia, as you make your way down the stairs; you’ll have plenty of chances for photos of course! Looking for a more challenging hike to the falls? Take the 10-mile hike, past the stone archway at the visitor center onto the Amicalola Falls East Ridge Trail and Appalachian Approach Trail Loop. You’ll still make it to the falls you’ll just have a longer, more challenging hike ahead of you. Whichever route you choose Amicalola Falls is a must-see!
There is not much better than escaping to the Blue Ridge mountains with the whole family for a memorable week creating memories. However, alone time with your partner is much needed too and a romantic getaway can really help to ignite your passion. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. Take time to relax and connect at the cabin, but when you are ready for some nightlife, Blue Ridge has all the hot spots to explore!
Whiskey & Water- Seafood & Bourbon Bar
Start your night off with dinner and drinks at Whiskey & Water; a brand new local spot right in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge! Enjoy their large selection of high-quality, sustainable seafood, cocktails, whiskeys and bourbons from all over the world. Whole Fried Snapper with a whiskey on the rocks anyone? They make their dishes with the freshest of ingredients and with fish caught from the best of America’s coasts. Are you a local to Blue Ridge? You may notice the Whiskey & Water’s location is the old historic 1937 Post Office, beautifully renovated into the new restaurant space. If you’re looking for a nice night on the town with good drinks and good food then Whiskey & Water is the place for you!
Escape Blue Ridge
After a filling dinner at Whiskey & Water it’s time to get active and solve a mystery or two at Escape Blue Ridge. You and your group will find yourselves “locked” in a room and the only way to get out is by solving a series of riddles and puzzles to escape before time runs out. Currently you can take on two different adventures Prohibition– a 1920’s themed room where you and your group are a team of investigators leading the charge on illegal alcohol sales or Black Beard’s Brig– a pirate themed room where you’ll enter in handcuffs and must escape before the evil pirates return and make you walk the plank! And coming soon in March 2022 is a wizard themed room- Wizard School of Magic. You and your friends will have a blast solving puzzles together and going on an adventure!
Not in the mood for an adventure? Throw it back to your youth and be that “Pinball Wizard” you’ve always dreamed of being at Blue Ridge’s most exciting new venue- Vertigo Pinball! No coins, tokens, or bills needed; just buy a wristband and play till your heart’s content! Play on all kinds of themed pinball machines like Marvel, Jurassic Park, Metallica, The Walking Dead, The Mandolorian, and so much more. Also enjoy a selection of beer, wine, and ciders while you play and unique eats like grown-up grilled cheese! Have a night full of fun and games!
Hook & Eye
After a few rounds of pinball or after solving your escape, the fun continues! Head over for more drinks at Blue Ridge’s new rooftop bar- Hook & Eye. Kick back with a cocktail in your hand and enjoy the beautiful view of Downtown below and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. Open Tuesday-Saturday!
Black Bear Bier Garten
More drinks can be found at Black Bear Bier Garten. They offer 19 local, craft & imported draft beers. And pair your brewski with one of 9 varieties of wild game sausages or one of their giant pretzels! Even enjoy live music on select nights! Need a girls night out instead? Drop the husbands off at “husband daycare” while you and the girls shop and explore Blue Ridge together. There’s always fun to be had at the Black Bear Bier Garten!
Wine, wine, and more wine! Let the fun continue at Bin 322! They offer regional wines from all over the world, tapas and other delicious international platters. Sit out on the beautiful patio or inside; wherever you choose you’ll appreciate the relaxing and intimate atmosphere while getting the chance to catch up with your favorite. And if you stop by on select Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm-9pm you can enjoy live music from local artists. Bonus; on Monday nights from 6pm-8pm you can join in on SINGO, music style bingo! Bin 322 has great wines and is a wonderful place to relax with friends!
Mona Lisa’s Dessert House
Finish off the night at Mona Lisa’s with a nightcap & a plate full of sweet treats! They have all the desserts you can imagine! From cakes and pies, to dessert martinis and wines; they truly have it all. Ending your night with a delicious and decadent dessert is a perfect ending to a SWEET night of kid-free fun in Blue Ridge!
Be sure to check out some of these NEW spots on your next Escape to Blue Ridge and of course our local breweries and wineries for more kid-free fun. Need more ideas? Check out our Workcation blog for more ways to relax, unwind, and have fun: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/workcation/
Your Blue Ridge Mountain escape deserves to be a unique and special experience that you won’t soon forget. We pride ourselves on offering the most remarkable and luxurious cabins and making them feel like a home away from home for you. Whether you are searching for a cabin with incredible mountain views, a riverside lodge, or a retreat with amenities to entertain the family, we’ll help you find your perfect Escape to Blue Ridge. Let’s take a look at 7 of our most remarkable cabins.
If you like your cabin to have a set theme in every room then Animal Crossingsis just the place! Each of the five bedrooms is decorated with a different animal theme. Upstairs we have Eagle’s Nest and Bear Cave. Downstairs is Deer Haven, Fox Hole, and the kid’s bedroom-Cub Den. The rest of the cabin is beautifully decorated as well; in a modern rustic style that gives off a welcoming ambiance. You’ll especially love the open floor plan of the main living area with its rich woods, natural stone, & exposed beams.
The décor isn’t the only part that makes this cabin one of our favorites; there’s also a downstairs game room filled with a pool table, foosball, puzzles & board games, and a smart TV! And if you want to spend some time with nature head out to the screened-in, main deck where you can relax and grill out. Fun animal themed rooms, long range mountain views, and more, all await you at this incredible 5 bedroom cabin!
Why do so many people vacation in the mountains? For the views of course! High Five Lodgewill provide you with the best mountain views and then some! Perched 2,300 ft. high on Watson Mountain, you’ll have a birds eye view of Blue Ridge. It’s stunning views were even featured in Southern Living October 2015 “Take to the Mountains – Best of the South” article.
High Five Lodge has a couple of great spots to take in the views. Admire the sights from the pavilion style deck curled up next to the wood-burning fireplace, or take it in from your bedroom’s own private deck, or even from the 6 seat hot tub with a glass of wine! The possibilities are as endless as the views. We know you’ll likely want to spend most of your time outside admiring the mountains but the cabin’s interior and amenities do not disappoint! 5 huge bedrooms, a spacious kitchen, a cozy downstairs game room and more! If you’re looking for a spacious cabin with amazing views for your next family getaway then High Five Lodge is the place to be!
Find yourself in a wooded oasis, where you can relax by listening to the calming sounds of the flowing Toccoa River. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Row Harder. Fish or kayak on the river or settle into a swing, rocker or hammock on the porch and instantly feel your daily stresses disappear. This beautiful cabin is truly a nature lover’s dream!
Row Harderis unique in that it has not only the main house but a guest house as well; so there’s plenty of space for the whole family to gather both indoors and out. Inside the main house you’ll find a fully stocked kitchen equipped with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, a beautiful living room with it’s wood-burning fireplace and large windows that overlook the river, and 5 bedrooms between the two houses.
The screened-in living room on the porch is likely where you’ll spend most of your time. It has a TV, comfortable seating, a wood burning fireplace and a spectacular view. Enjoy all this while Dad grills up burgers for everyone on either the charcoal or gas grill on the back deck. After dinner take advantage of the fenced in backyard and play a pick up game or let the dogs run free at this pet friendly cabin. And finish the night off by the rivers edge, roasting marshmallows and swapping stories at the firepit. You’ll leave feeling completely relaxed from your wonderful riverside escape.
Want to be situated right on the water for those hot summer days? Eagles Landingis directly on Lake Blue Ridge and is your ultimate lakeside cabin! You’ll have spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. You’ll find yourself spending most of your time in the water or on the 2-story dock that accommodates up to 16 people. Fish, swim, or relax as you listen to the water lap on the side of the dock. There are also 2 ramps for watercraft as well as accommodations for a motorboat, so you can have everything you need for a day on the water.
Inside you’ll love all the beautiful little details in the living room with a stone gas fireplace that stretches up 18 feet, or the hand-carved spiral staircase that spans four floors, and the unique loft down to the terrace level where you will find the fully equipped game room. Eagles Landingis truly a one-of-a-kind lakeside cabin that’s the perfect place for large groups of friends and family!
Best of Both Worlds
Bearway to Heavenhas a little bit of everything. You’ll have an incredible view of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains but will also be able to see Lake Blue Ridge shimmering in the distance. It’s also close to all the outdoor activities in the Aska Adventure Area while not being far from the shops and restaurants of Downtown Blue Ridge. And it can accommodate up to 12 guests so there’s room for everyone!
This spacious mountain showplace offers everything you crave, with room for everyone you love. It’s tastefully decorated with comfortable furniture that invites you to kick back and relax and has a warm and cozy ambiance that makes you feel at home from the moment you enter. A cozy living room, a fully equipped game room, plenty of outdoor spaces, 5 bedrooms, a hot tub, and a fire pit!? What more could you ask for from this cabin that seems to have everything!
Feel like you’re having a true mountain vacation in Chestnut Lodge; a beautiful log cabin nestled in between the rolling mountains. It’s a beautifully-crafted custom Barna log home, with 3,000 roomy square feet offering plenty of comfortable crevices. The décor combines upscale farmhouse and mountain styling with the newest, top of the line finishes and modern fixtures with a hint of vintage. The whole cabin just screams comfort! Chestnut Lodge was even featured in Log Home Living Magazine! Cook up a meal for the family in the beautiful green stained kitchen with granite counter tops and bronze fixtures. Watch your favorite film in the downstairs home theater while having a drink from the wet bar. Have dinner on the deck and feel as though fireflies are dancing overhead from the muted string of lights hanging above you. Or take a quick cat nap on the hammock off the bedroom porch. You’ll feel right at home in no time at this cozy, 5 bedroom log cabin.
All Around Fabulous
Nestled in the Rich Mountain Wilderness at over 2,000 ft. elevation, Top of the Ridge Chalet combines elegant, modern-rustic comfort with jaw-dropping mountain views. Truly a one-of-a-kind property, you will be in awe of the spectacular, unobstructed views once you reach it (yes, it’s a little bit of a drive up the mountain but well worth it!). Just take a moment to take in the spectacular view and the 1,300 sf. of outdoor decks. Explore the hot tub and outdoor shower area, envision making smores at the outdoor fireplace, and start enjoying the soothing sounds of the man-made waterfall.
When you step inside, you’ll see this is not your ordinary cabin! While it’s a true-log cabin, Top of the Ridge Chalet was professionally redesigned, renovated, and redecorated to provide understated luxury within today’s modern-rustic style, with all of the comforts of home. The many decorator touches include crystal chandeliers, a custom wood-burning fireplace, and panoramic windows that frame the breathtaking views!
The temperature has dropped, the colors are popping, and fun events are happening all over the North Georgia Mountains. Book a cabin and explore Blue Ridge by day and cozy up by the fire in the evening. Go on an adventure or kick back and relax. Your perfect mountain vacation starts with an Escape to Blue Ridge!
Partake in a fun run every Thursday night at 6pm. You’ll leave from the Burra Burra, and the 3.1 mile run will take you by the Toccoa river and through town. You’ll get to run through 2 states and cross the famous steel bridge! After the run stay for drinks at the Burra Burra overlooking the Toccoa River. Don’t walk, RUN to this great event!
Visit the winery at the beautiful Paradise Hills hidden in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The tasting room offers Paradise Hills wine, a selection of craft beers, hard cider, and wine slushies as well as cheese and charcuterie boards, tapas, and shared platters. You can enjoy your drinks and snacks as you listen to local artists perform select Fridays from 4pm – 8pm and select Saturdays from 1pm – 5pm. Check their Facebook page for an updated list of musicians.
Misty Mountain Hops is a music-centric restaurant and pub so it’s only fitting that they bring in live music. Stop on by select Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 9pm for great food and great live music from local artists!
November 5th: The Orange Walls Duo November 6th: Match Box Radio
Travis Tritt November 5th Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
See Grammy award winning country artist Travis Tritt live in concert at the Anderson Music Hall on November 5th at 7pm. He’ll play some of his biggest hits including “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” “It’s A Great Day to Be Alive” and “Best of Intentions.” And opening for Travis Tritt is his talented daughter Tyler Tritt! You won’t want to miss this awesome show!
Come on out to this great event at Fannin Brewing Company that benefits Project Chimps! Tickets for the event include a limited edition Project Chimps glass, one pour of “Apele” ale made from Mercier Orchards apples and a food ticket! There will be live music, games, and a chance to learn more about Project Chimps. Drop on by from 2pm – 8pm!
Head across the border to Ducktown, TN for a day full of fall fun! This family fun event runs from 10am – 6pm and will include a bounce house for the kids to enjoy, food & craft vendors, and so much more!
Sip on delicious wine surrounded by the North Georgia Mountains! Enjoy live music select Saturdays & Sundays from 1:30pm – 5:30pm. Listen to the music of local artists while enjoying your wine outside either on the Chimney Patio or the Tasting Barn’s covered porch. Live music, good wine, and beautiful mountain scenery; it doesn’t get much better than that!
November 6th: Travis Bowlin November 7th: Jorge Valenzuela
Get all your Christmas shopping done early this year at Carroll’s Barbeque Christmas One Stop Shop! Local artists and vendors will be selling their wares, so you’re sure to find something great for everyone on your list! Drop by Monday or Tuesday from 5pm – 8pm.
Stop by Grumpy Old Men Brewery select Fridays from 3pm – 6pm for great drinks, great music, and a great time. With indoor and outdoor seating available you can even bring your dog to join in the fun! Enjoy a delicious hotdog from Jeff’s Hotdog’s while you listen to some fantastic local artists!
November 12th: Lindsay Beth Harper November 14th: Sean Bulow November 26th: Dave Dale
Where else can you find regional wines from all over the world, tapas and other delicious international platters, and live music!? At Bin 322 Wine & Tapas Bar! Drop by select Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 9pm to enjoy live music from local artists and choose from their great wine selection. And on Monday nights from 6pm – 8pm join in on SINGO, music style bingo! There’s always fun to be had at Bin 322!
November 12th: Robbie Litt November 13th: Loose Shoes Duo November 19th: 2nd Helping November 20th: Mountain Gypsy Music
Visit art galleries and chat with local artists in the Northeast Georgia area all weekend long! Follow the Art Tour signs in Union, Towns, Rabun, White, & Habersham counties in GA + Clay Co., NC to find where to go and pickup a map from your local Chamber of Commerce. You’ll see artists demonstrating their pottery making skills, painting, creating jewelry and so much more!
Come on out for live music at Tooney’s HUGE music venue select Saturday nights and enjoy the best live music McCaysville has to offer! Check their website often for live music updates. And every Thursday night get ready to take to the stage with open mic night!
November 13th: Smokey Jones and The 3 Dollar Pistols November 27th: Topper
Calling all veterans! This event is for you! Join us for breakfast from 8am – 10am at St. Anthony Catholic Church. Then enjoy the Annual Veterans Parade when it kicks off at 11am. It starts on the corner of East Main and Church Street and concludes in the Veterans Memorial Park. The parade will have the Fannin County High School band, members of the military, antique and emergency vehicles, and representatives from several veterans organizations. And following the parade stay for a memorial service starting at 12pm.
Come see Blue Ridge Community Theater’s comedic play ‘Four Old Broads at Christmas’! The play follows four old ladies who are ready for a new and fun vacation! With the help of a retired Elvis impersonator the ladies try to sneak away to the Sassy Seniors Caribbean Cruise! But will they get to go on the vacation of their dreams? Find out! Shows are Thursday – Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm; and runs from November 18th through December 12th.
Pick up Christmas gifts and goodies from local arts and crafts vendors at the Mistletoe Market! And enjoy some coffee or a sweet treat from The Ridges Resort Café. Join in the fun Saturday from 9am – 4pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm.
Head over to Blairsville for the day and enjoy more than 40+ local and regional artisans selling their wares. From soaps, quilts, furniture, décor, toys, and more, you can find something for everyone! The event runs from 9am – 5pm.
The 7th Annual WhoDunIt art event is a great opportunity to get your hands on amazing art from local artists at a great price! It’s your job to find out who the artist is who created your piece! There will be food, fun, and of course stunning works of art! Tickets ensure you go home with a beautiful piece of art!
Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association will have a variety of art and handcrafted items for sale, all created from their member artists. Find everything you need for the holiday season Tuesday – Sunday, November 23rd – December 18th!
See the Christmas lights reflecting off the waters of Lake Chatuge at the Georgia Mountain Fairground’s Mountain Country Christmas Lights! There will be Christmas music, arts and craft vendors, holiday food, hot chocolate, Cowtown exhibit, pictures with Santa, and beautiful lights around the grounds. The event runs every Thursday and Friday 6pm – 9pm and Saturdays 4pm – 9pm from November 25th – December 23rd.
The holidays are here! And Blue Ridge Scenic Railway has a special, 1 hour train ride on The Holiday Express! On the ride you’ll listen to holiday music, listen to the story of The Night Before Christmas, drink hot chocolate, and munch on delicious goodies. Kids will even get a candy cane, jingle bell, and activity packet as well!
On Friday Downtown Blue Ridge will have a special Blue Friday event where there will be store discounts, food vendors, strolling entertainment, and Christmas cheer! The Gingerbread Village will also open that afternoon as well at The Arts Center. Then on Saturday the real fun begins! Santa will be in town ready to take photos with kids in the gazebo from 12pm – 5pm. And downtown will be filled with food vendors, strolling Christmas entertainment, and even more Christmas cheer! Then at 5:30pm the Christmas Parade starts at the corner of East Main street and Church street. It’s going to be a wonderful weekend of holiday fun!
Drop by the Historic L&N Depot for a fundraiser to benefit the Tri-State Model Railroaders and the Historic Mineral Bluff Depot! You’ll embark on a 5-mile round-trip ride by Railroad Motor Car. When you’re done you can even take a ride on a genuine Railroad Hand Car. And there’s plenty of fun activities for children of all ages to enjoy as well! Be sure to check out the inside of the Depot before you leave to learn all about L&N railroads. Donations are welcome!
McCaysville has their own light up celebration on Friday, November 26th. There will be shopping, dining, pictures with Santa, and holiday cheer all along the river. The fun starts at 4pm and the tree lighting is at 7pm!
Come on out for the 14th Annual Blue Ridge Tuba Christmas! Stay to watch the show or join in the fun and register to participate. Tuba & Euphonium players of all ages and abilities are welcome! The performance will begin at 11:45am!
Whether your kids are doing virtual learning this year or are physically going to class there’s still lots of fun to be had when your family stays with us! We’ve comprised a list of 6 science experiments for kids to try, while parents can both relax and spend some quality family time together. These are fun, easy to do experiments with materials you can find in and around your cabin.
While you stay with us make sure to try at least a couple of these experiments with your kids. It’ll get them outside and exploring in nature as well as teach them basic science concepts. Not only that, but they’re fun too! These experiments are sure to be fun memories from your trip that will last a lifetime.
Why Do Leaves Change Color?
This first experiment is brought to us by Sarah on howweelearn.com and is perfect for the fall season! It will teach your kiddos all about why leaves change their colors in the fall.
Here’s what you need:
3 leaves (from the same tree)
Plastic baggie (or plastic wrap)
Paper Coffee Filter
Small bowl or pan
Have your child break the leaves into tiny pieces and put in the jar.
Pour rubbing alcohol over the leaves until they are just covered
Mash and stir the leaves into the rubbing alcohol until the alcohol turns slightly green. Really give it a good mashing – this is key.
Cover the jar with the baggie or plastic wrap and place the jar in a small bowl and pour hot water into the bowl.
Leave (ha!) the jar in the water for 30 minutes, swishing the jar occasionally to stir the leaves a bit. The alcohol should be a very dark green (leave longer if needed). If you can resist, wait even 45 minutes or an hour.
Cut a strip in the coffee filter so the strip can just reach the rubbing alcohol.
The liquid will travel up the coffee filter and the colors will separate as the alcohol evaporates off the coffee filter. Let this happen for about an hour for the full effect.
Who doesn’t love s’mores!? This experiment was found on growingajeweledrose.com and is perfect for your kids to try out on those cool fall days. This will teach them all about solar energy and leave them with a sweet treat as well!
An empty box
A box cutter/knife
Use a box cutter or knife to carefully cut the lid of a pizza box on 3 sides, leaving it attached on the back end.
Line the inside of the box with foil. Then, tightly cover the opening that you cut with clear plastic wrap.
Line the bottom of the box with black paper or foil.
Once the solar oven is assembled it is time to cook up some s’mores!
Have kids build s’mores, and then place them into the solar oven. Once the s’mores are in the box, close the portion of the lid covered in plastic wrap, and then prop the foil-covered flap open.
It is now time to observe and wait……after about 20 minutes they will be ready to eat!
This experiment is great because your kids can go out in nature and collect the flowers they need. Once they’ve gone out and collected the materials needed, your kids will learn all about how plants suck in nutrients and water. We found this experiment on www.redtri.com by Erin Lem. It’s a fun way to teach plant science and allow your kiddos a chance to get outside too!
Three white flowers. Some suggestions are daisies, roses, carnations, or even celery!
Four glasses of water
Food dye: blue, yellow, green, red
Mix the food coloring into each of your glasses, until you have four glasses of different colored water. The stronger you make the colors, the better.
Add two flowers to two colors of your choice and set aside. You should have two colors and one flower remaining at this point.
Take your last flower and slit the stem. Now take the two remaining colored glasses and part the stem, placing each half of the stem into different colored glasses. In other words, your flower should now be drinking from two glasses at the same time.
Place the water glasses away from the sunlight and watch what happens. You’ll start to notice some fascinating results within an hour or so, as the colored water creeps up the stem and begins to color the leaves. But wait a few days and keep observing the petals for fuller color displays.
Flower Pigment Experiment
Here’s another great flower experiment, this time from Kate on happilyevermom.com. This experiment is super fun because it not only teaches your kids about flower pigment but gives them a chance to get messy! And what kid doesn’t love to get messy every now and then?
Put down some aluminum foil and then layer your flowers on top. Next, cover the flowers with a paper towel. Then, start hammering!
Watch the pigment from the flowers seep through onto the paper towel.
Learning during Flower Science Experiment
Explain pigment (the substance that can be extracted from each flower which is used to make paints, dye, etc.)
Correspond colors on the paper towel with the flowers underneath – which match?
Hammer at different variations to see what happens to the colors – what happens if you hit lightly versus hitting harder?
Vocabulary words: pigment, absorb, extract, darker/lighter, parts of the flower (petal, leaves, stem)
Bonus: The smashed flowers can create a gorgeous piece of art too!
This is another great experiment for the fall season brought to us Vanessa Levin on www.pre-kpages.com. If you’re planning on picking apples while staying with us, pick up a couple of extras so your kids can try this fun experiment out! It’s a perfect experiment for the little ones, showing them how different liquids can affect the apples and teaches them many early learning concepts.
Apple Science Experiment Recording Sheet (optional)
Set out five containers with a few apple pieces in each one. Label the five containers with the name of the liquids you are going to be using.
Pour the appropriate liquids into each cup. Also be sure to set up a “control” cup of apple pieces without any liquid.
Now wait and see what chemical reactions will occur.
After a few hours, check on the progress and discuss your observations. Record observations on a Recording Sheetif you choose.
Our last experiment is another great one for fall and involves collecting pinecones. We found this one from Dayna on www.lemonlimeadventures.com. This experiment is a fun way for kids to learn more about nature. It will teach them why pinecones open and close depending on air temperature and moisture.
3 Pinecones (all the same size)
The set-up for this experiment is really quite simple. Start by measuring, sketching and observing your pinecones. Then place 1 pinecone in each jar.
Label each jar and fill two jars with water to the top. One jar should be filled with warm water and one with cold water. The third jar is your control and should be left open with only air to use as a comparison and to document the change you see over time.
What changes do you see? How fast are the changes occurring? Any other observations you notice?
Halloween is quickly approaching and to get us in the spooky spirit we’ve comprised a list of 7 creepy crawlers located here in Blue Ridge. While many of these creepy crawlers are local to Blue Ridge and might look extremely scary; in most cases, they will not hurt you, as long as they do not feel threatened. So if you run into one of these creatures while you’re out exploring, make sure to leave them be and you’ll stay safe. After all this planet is their home too! How many have you seen? Share your creepy crawler photos with us by tagging @escapetobr on your social posts.
While the Copperhead Snake is one of the most common snakes found in North America, they are also venomous. They get their name because of their copper-colored heads but are also commonly referred to as Water Moccasins. They’re a medium-sized snake, averaging anywhere between 2-3 feet long. They have hourglass-shaped markings on their skin which sets them apart from their commonly confused partner, the Corn Snake, who is not venomous.
The Copperhead can be seen outside in the day during the fall and spring, but in the summertime they are nocturnal. They do; however, like to be out on humid nights after rainfall. Copperheads are masters of camouflage because their brown coloring helps them to blend in with wooded areas. If you look at the picture above we’ve circled the snake so that you can find him. The camouflage helps them to ambush their prey. They mostly use the “sit and wait” method for their hunting, where they bite their prey and then wait for the venom to kill it. And much like other snakes, they eat their food whole. It’s hard to believe, but they only eat 10 to 12 meals a year. Copperheads bite more people every year than any other U.S. snake species. And while they are venomous, their bite is rarely fatal, for their venom is not very potent.
Chances are you’ve probably run into this strange insect before. The Praying Mantis is so named this because the way they stand makes them look as if they are praying. They camouflage in with their surroundings, turning a green or brown color to blend in with the plants around them. They then snatch their prey in the blink of an eye with their spiked long legs.
The mantis can also turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings, making them even more of a formidable predator. The females are even more vicious, sometimes even eating their mate after mating. While they may seem like they’d be aggressive towards humans, as far as we know they cannot hurt you. They have no venom and cannot sting. Still, I know I’m certainly not brave enough to hold one in my hand, like Deanna here.
When you think of rattlesnakes you probably think they’re only located in hot, desert climates. But on the east coast, we do have the Timber Rattlesnake, which is a venomous pit viper typically found in eastern North America. It is, in fact, the only rattlesnake species in most of the northeastern United States.
Adult Timber Rattlesnakes can be anywhere between 30 inches to 6 feet long! They can be found in a variety of different habitats from pine forests, to the mountains, swamps, rivers, and farmlands. They do, however, typically stay away from more urban areas. They hibernate during cold weather, so they are only active from late spring to late fall. When they are out and about, they typically stay in the coiled position, ready to ambush their prey. They use their venom to immobilize their prey. Don’t worry too much though, while their venom can be fatal to humans, the Timber Rattlesnakes will not attack unless they feel threatened and they primarily feed on small mammals anyways; so we’re in the clear! Still, if I ran into one of these on a hike I’d turn the other direction!
Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar
These funny looking caterpillars will one day turn into the beautiful Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly which you’ve likely seen in nature. But before these little guys can turn into beautiful butterflies they have to go through their life cycle, which takes about 2 months. The Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly will lay its eggs on a large variety of different plants. In about a week, the eggs hatch baby caterpillars. Even right after they’ve hatched you can see their “false eyes” start to come in. These fake eyes are to fool predators into thinking that they’re a snake and then they will hopefully be left alone. They stay in the caterpillar stage for about 3-4 weeks. They are typically green for most of their caterpillar life until they are just about to turn into a chrysalis, then they turn brown. While in the chrysalis stage they almost look like little sticks and they stay this way for 1-3 weeks. Finally, they emerge from their chrysalis as beautiful Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies! The strange-looking caterpillars have an ugly duckling story. They were once odd-looking creatures who transformed into something beautiful!
I’ll be honest, just looking at pictures of this spider freaks me out! I keep screaming every time a picture of them comes up, so they definitely fit under the creepy crawlers category! The Trapdoor Spider is a medium-sized spider that builds underground burrows made of different materials including silk, soil, and vegetation. When in their burrows they are extremely hard to see because the plant and soil materials help to camouflage it. They are nocturnal, so at night the spider waits for their prey while holding on to the trapdoor with their claws. Their prey is captured when they disturb the ‘trip’ lines, alerting the spider. The spider then uses vibrations to find their prey and when it is close enough, the spider leaps out and ambushes it. The Trapdoor Spider mainly eats insects but can also eat arthropods and small vertebrates. In the U.S. the Trapdoor Spiders venom is not very strong and almost feels like a bee sting, but they are still terrifying to look at. In Georgia alone, there are 8 different species of these spiders.
Most of us have probably never run into these creatures walking around Blue Ridge. The Hellbender Salamander is an incredibly rare, giant salamander that lives in parts of Northern Georgia. Believe it or not, the Blue Ridge Mountains have the largest diversity of salamanders anywhere in the world. Since salamanders are amphibians they hibernate until heavy rainfall occurs, so they’re already a rare sight.
The Hellbender Salamanders spend their time hiding under rocks in cold streams. They can grow up to 2 feet long and live to be as old as 20 or 30! They have wide mouths that make it look like they’re almost smiling. But don’t be fooled, they are not cute and cuddly; they’re slimy and very strange looking. They’re prehistoric creatures, dating back to 65 million years ago; long before humans roamed the earth. But today they’re starting to go extinct because the streams they live in are becoming polluted. Hikers also sometimes hurt the Hellbenders when they find them. Even though they may look creepy, make sure you leave the peaceful giants alone if you see them in the wild.
Black Widow Spider
These spiders are VERY common to North America so I’m sure you’ve had encounters with them before. While they may be small, they have unusually potent venom. While their bites rarely kill humans if you are bit you should seek medical attention right away because it can make you extremely sick. However, female Black Widows are the only bites that can be harmful to humans because of their large venom glands.
The females are the ones who are typically a dark, shiny color and have a red hourglass on their abdomen. Much like the Praying Mantis, female Black Widows also often eat their mates giving them the name “widow spiders”. To catch their prey the Black Widows create their silky, strong web and then nest on the ground in dark areas. When its prey is caught, the spider rushes over and wraps it in silk. There’s a reason there are so many references to Black Widows in pop culture today because these are creatures you don’t want to mess with!
Blue Ridge Activity Booklet
For more family fun and educational opportunities in Blue Ridge, we put together a fun educational activity booklet for you and your kids to enjoy that you can download here. Visit our Educational Things To Do in Blue Ridge page for historical more educational fun in history, biology, natural science, geology, Native American culture, physical science, and hands on activities.
Fall has finally arrived! And that means apple picking, fall festivals, family time, and great local events. Make sure you don’t miss out on the crisp weather, changing leaves and fun in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia! Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year to create memorable traditions with your loved ones! Check out the events below and Escape To Blue Ridge!
Join in the fall festivities September 4th – October 31st! Your $15 entry fee includes all kinds of fun activities like: cow milking, wagon rides, cow train, new Jump Pad and Ball Zone, live entertainment, pedal karts, big and little kid trike tracks, petting farm, apple tree maze, mini-golf, moonshine and apple museums, big slides and playgrounds, Fall photo spots, swimming pig races and duck races! PLUS there will be all kinds of great foods and of course apple ciders & slushies! The Apple Picking Jubilee is sure to be a blast for the whole family!
Picnic beneath the apple trees at Deep Roots Orchards! Bring your closest friends and family to relax under the colorful fall trees. Deep Root’s will provide you with everything you need; the picnic basket, blanket, and food. All you need to bring is your wonderful self! Be sure to check out Deep Roots Orchards other group experiences like the “Special Occasion Picnic” and “Food, Folic, and Flow”. Prices start at $27 per person; call 706-492-7753 to book your picnic today!
Come on out for live music at Tooney’s HUGE music venue every Friday and Saturday night and enjoy the best live music McCaysville has to offer! Check their website often for live music updates. And every Thursday night get ready to take to the stage with Open Mic night!
Stop by Grumpy Old Men Brewing select Fridays from 3pm – 6pm for great drinks, great music, and a great time. With indoor and outdoor seating available you can even bring your dog to join in the fun! Enjoy a delicious hotdog from Jeff’s Hotdog’s while you listen to some fantastic local artists!
October 1st: Surrender Hill October 8th: Gregg Erwin October 29th: Doctor Paul
For award winning wine, live music, and food truck delights, Bear Claw Vineyards is the place for you! Join them every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for live music and great wine. Kids and dogs are welcome too! The live music schedule for each weekend is shared on their website each Thursday so be sure to check back!
Visit the winery at the beautiful Paradise Hills hidden in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The tasting room offers Paradise Hills wine, a selection of craft beers, hard cider, and wine slushies as well as cheese and charcuterie boards, tapas, and shared platters. You can enjoy your drinks and snacks as you listen to local artists perform select Fridays from 4pm – 8pm and select Saturdays from 1pm – 5pm. Check their facebook page for an updated list of musicians.
Misty Mountain Hops is a music-centric restaurant and pub so it’s only fitting that they bring in live music. Stop on by Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 9pm for great food and great live music from local artists!
October 1st: Andrew Chastain October 2nd: Rusted Melody October 8th: Lindsay Beth Harper October 9th: Adrian Stover October 15th: Travis Bowlin October 16th: Hush Money Band October 22nd: Doctor Paul Constantine October 23rd: Frankie Sparks October 29th: Ryan LittleEagle October 30th: Rusted Melody
Where else can you find regional wines from all over the world, tapas and other delicious international platters, and live music!? At Bin 322 Wine & Tapas Bar! Drop by select Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm – 9pm to enjoy live music from local artists and choose from their great wine selection. And on Monday nights from 6pm – 8pm join in on SINGO, music style bingo! There’s always fun to be had at Bin 322!
October 1st: Robbie Litt October 2nd: Zack Alexander October 8th: Loose Shoes Duo October 9th: Mountain Gypsy Music October 15th: Rusted Melody October 16th: Trevor Ciognoli October 23rd: Trailer Hippies October 29th: Surrender Hill October 30th: Mook & Mimi
Come see the musical based off of the hit movie and book Matilda at Blue Ridge Community Theater! Follow Matilda’s journey through life as she deals with her cruel parents and headmistress while she creates a special bond with school teacher, Ms. Honey. There’s nothing Matilda can’t get out of with her smarts and wits! The show starts at 7:30pm Fridays & Saturdays and 2pm Sundays. You won’t want to miss it!
Come on out for the annual Indian Summer Festival at Georgia’s smallest public school. There will be vendors selling pottery, quilts, jewelry, homemade goods, leather crafts, furniture and so much more! And there will be great food options like BBQ, hot dogs, hamburgers, funnel cake, and cotton candy. It’s sure to be a great event of family fun!
Sip on delicious wine surrounded by the North Georgia Mountains! Enjoy live music at Cartecay Vineyards select Saturdays & Sundays from 1:30pm – 5:30pm. Listen to the music by local artists while enjoying your wine outside either on the Chimney Patio or on the Tasting Barn’s covered porch. Live music, good wine, and beautiful mountain scenery; it doesn’t get much better than that!
October 2nd: Sarah Forde October 3rd: April Cummings
Enjoy this wonderful outdoor market every Saturday from 8am – 12pm now till November (weather permitting) right in the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge! There will be all kinds of vendors offering food, artisan goods, arts & crafts, furniture, and more!
Take a quick drive to Cherry Log, GA for their Fall Festival, happening the first 2 weekends of October! There will be arts and crafts, home-cooked goodies and treats, bluegrass, country, and gospel music, and of course lots of fall fun in Downtown Cherry Log!
Stop by Blue Coyote October 2nd from 8pm – 11pm for live music from Topper Voices Unplugged. As always enjoy some great food while you listen in. And karaoke is every Tuesday from 7:30pm – 10:30pm. Be on the lookout on their website for more live music updates!
Partake in a fun run every Thursday night at 6pm from now till November. You’ll leave from the Burra Burra, and the 3.1 mile run will take you by the Toccoa river and through town. You’ll get to run through 2 states and cross the famous steel bridge! After the run stay for drinks at the Burra Burra overlooking the Toccoa River. Don’t walk, RUN to this great event!
In Hiawassee, GA you can join in all the fun at their week-long Georgia Mountain Fall Festival! There will craft vendors, delicious food, musical performances, educational demonstrations, and so much more! You won’t want to miss out on the fun, happening daily October 8th – 16th! Admission is $12 and children 12 & under are free!
See some of the most spectacular homes in North Georgia showcased at this great event! Ticket purchases benefit the area’s local youth through the Parade of Homes Scholarship Foundation. Check out these incredible homes and get an idea for your dream mountain home!
Watch a free movie under the stars at Deep Roots Orchards. The movie is “Practical Magic” and starts at 7:15pm. Bring blankets and pillows and get comfy as you enjoy your movie. And if you’re in the need for movie snacks, concessions will be sold as well!
If you love the sounds of a marching band this is the event for you! Over 2,000 marching band members are expected to participate so the Fannin County football field will be filled with the sounds of music! The bands will range in size from 40 member to 150+ members.
Calling all art lovers! The popular Arts in the Park event is back this fall! Beautiful art, great live musical performances, and delicious food. Plus you’ll get a chance to admire the stunning and colorful fall trees that surround the park! The event takes place October 9th – 10th in Downtown Blue Ridge and continues into Veterans Memorial Park. Admission is $5 a person and children get in free!
You can’t have fall without apples so head over to Ellijay, GA for The Georgia Apple Festival! With over 300+ vendors, an antique car show, a parade, and so much more it’s sure to be a blast! Visit Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds on weekends October 9th – 17th to have an “apple”achian good time!
The Sorghum Festival is one of the longest-running festivals in North Georgia. The event kicks off with a parade and then there will be crafters, cloggers, bluegrass music and more! Visit Meeks Park Road in Blairsville, GA Saturdays & Sundays October 9th – 17th to take part!
Bring your furry friend to the park for a fun filled day at Paws in the Park! Local Animal Rescue Groups come together to create awareness about the needs & concerns of the homeless & abandoned animals. There will be a parade of animals starting at the corner of East Main and Church Street at 10am and Ultimate Air Dog Dock Diving as well!
Ronnie Milsap & Mark Wills October 16th Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
Country artists Ronnie Milsap and Mark Wills are ready to put on a show for you at Anderson Music Hall! They’ll play their biggest hits and have you singing along in no time!
Check out The Haunted Copper Plant Rides on the grounds of the old historic Tennessee Copper Company October 16th – 31st for a perfectly scary time! Go beyond the gates of historic copper company and go for a 45-minute ride with 6 scare scenes!
Celebrate Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold at Gold Rush Days Festival, October 16th – 17th in Dahlonega. Take in 300+ food and art vendors all weekend long! This HUGE event always features amazing craftsmen, fantastic musicians, and has been voted as one of the Top 20 Events in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.
Craft brew lovers will flock to Hiawassee, GA for the Appalachian Brew, Stew, and Que Festival at Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. If the name didn’t give it away there’ll be 60+ breweries, delicious food, and awesome Appalachian music all happening on October 23rd!
Jamey Johnson October 23rd Location: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
Country legend Jamey Johnson, known as “one of the greatest country singers of our time”, is performing live at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds! Tickets are going fast but General Admission is still available! To purchase tickets call the office at 706-896-4191.
Dress up and head to Project Chimps October 30th – 31st for “Chimp or Treat”. Not only will kids get a goodie bag full of treats but they’ll also get a close-up look of the chimpanzees in their habitat.
Run 3.1 miles through 2 states! The 5K takes place in the beautiful twin cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. Food, drinks, and music will be ready for your enjoyment before and after the race. Come on out and get ready to RACE, costumes encouraged!
Coming to Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds with a refreshed lineup and newfound energy, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band remains one of the most accomplished bands in American roots music! See them perform live on the Anderson Music Hall stage!
Fall is by far one of our favorite times in Blue Ridge. The weather is crisp and comfortable, the leaves are bright and colorful, it’s sweater weather and pumpkin spice time! We encourage you to take some time to soak in the fall beauty of Blue Ridge. Enjoy taking a scenic drive through the mountains, go apple picking, explore a waterfall, or simply relax in your luxurious mountain cabin sitting by the fire and enjoying the views! Find the perfect cabin for all your fall adventures and Escape to Blue Ridge this season!
A Bushel or A Peck of Apples
Nothing says fall like a trip to the apple orchard! Take a trip to Mercier Orchards where you can pick out your own apples and sweet goodies from the market & bakery. Their fried apple pies and apple cider donuts are a MUST! And be sure to sample their selection of wines and ciders while you’re there as well.
Want to pick your own apples straight from the tree? Pay a visit to Deep Roots Orchard where you can pick your own delicious apples. Then take the kiddos on a wagon ride through the orchard and even a barn tour! Our wonderful, local orchards always have something going on in the fall!
Hit The Road
When the leaves reach their peak color in late October it’s the absolute perfect time to go on a scenic drive around the Blue Ridge mountains.
Grab the whole gang and drive around the surrounding mountains and forests to take in the views. Some of our favorite routes include The Russel-Brasstown Scenic Drive and Highway 60 through Suches. Check out our fall driving guide for more routes & pitstops: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/5-scenic-fall-drives/
Want to lay back and relax while someone else drives? Take a ride on The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway! You’ll pass by the rushing waters of The Toccoa River and the North Georgia Countryside. You can admire all the fall foliage from the comfort of the train as the trees zoom by!
Fall is also a great time to put on your boots and hit the trails! The weather is perfect, not too hot and not too cold; just the right temperature and very few bugs! You’ll love exploring the forests of Blue Ridge as you watch the wind rustle the colorful leaves in the trees surrounding you. Hike to a waterfall like Long Creek Falls or Helton Creek Falls, or up a mountain like Springer Mountain or Brasstown Bald, or even cross the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi. The journey is yours to decide! Our hiking guide: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/seven-blue-ridge-hikes/
Go to a Coffee Shop
Stay warm and cozy this fall and visit a coffee shop! Pay a visit to Das Kaffee Haus in Downtown Blue Ridge for a delicious cup of your favorite coffee or a European classic. And don’t forget to pick up a dessert as well; choose from cakes, truffles, and more!
Visiting the twin cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN? Then check out Yellow Bird Coffee Shop! Sip espresso by the Ocoee River or if you’re in a hurry go through the drive-thru and take your coffee to-go! We know fall and coffee shops go hand in hand; so don’t forget to get yourself one of those pumpkin spice lattes! 😉
Have a Bonfire
There’s nothing quite like a bonfire on a cool fall evening. Roast s’mores by the fire, swap ghost stories, and gaze up at the stars in the clear night sky. You’ll feel relaxed and cozy in no time curled up by the fire with your favorites!
Fall in the mountains is filled with many great festivals and events in and around the Blue Ridge area!
Take a quick drive to Cherry Log, GA for their fall festival, the first 2 weekends of October! There will be arts and crafts, homemade goodies and treats, bluegrass, country, and gospel music and of course lots of fall fun in Downtown Cherry Log!
In Hiawassee, GA you can join in the fun at their week-long Georgia Mountain Fall Festival! There will craft vendors, delicious food, musical performances, educational demonstrations, and so much more! You won’t want to miss out on the fun, daily October 8th-16th!
You can’t have fall without apples so head over to Ellijay, GA for The Georgia Apple Festival! With over 300+ vendors, an antique car show, a parade, and so much more it’s sure to be a blast! Visit the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds on weekends October 9th-17th to have an “apple”achian good time!
The 52nd Annual Sorghum Festival is one of the longest-running festivals in North Georgia. The event kicks off with a parade and then there will be crafters, cloggers, bluegrass music and more! Visit Meeks Park in Blairsville, GA Saturdays & Sundays October 9th-17th to take part!
Calling all art lovers! The popular Arts in the Park event is back this fall! Beautiful art, great live musical performances, and delicious food. Plus you’ll get a chance to admire the stunning and colorful fall trees that surround the park! The event takes place October 9th-10th in Downtown Blue Ridge and Veterans Memorial Park.
Celebrate Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold at Gold Rush Days Festival, October 16th-17th in downtown Dahlonega. Take in 300+ food and art vendors all weekend long! This HUGE event always features amazing craftsmen, fantastic musicians, and has been voted as one of the Top 20 Events in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.
Pay a visit to Talking Rock, GA for the 2021 Heritage Day Festival. Arts & crafts, antiques, live music, great food, and interesting demonstrations await you October 16th-17th.
And craft brew lovers will flock to Hiawassee, GA for the Appalachian Brew, Stew, and Que Festival at Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. If the name didn’t give it away, there’ll be 60+ breweries, delicious food, and awesome Appalachian Music all happening on October 23rd!
We’ve many a haunted spot around just in time for Halloween!
Check out the Haunted Copper Plant Rides on the grounds of the old historic Tennessee Copper Company October 16th-31st for a perfectly scary time! Go beyond the gates of historic copper mining company and go for a 45-minute ride with 6 scare scenes!
Join the master of Horror himself as Edgar Allen Poe guides you through a frightful evening of his most terrifying and popular works. Love & Death by Poe will be on stage October 28 – 31. Don’t miss this frightful night of terror at the Blue Ridge Community Theater!
And visit Deep Roots Orchards, October 30th for a night of horror movies! The double-feature will be Blair Witch Project and Halloween. Grab your popcorn!
Trick or Treat
Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a bag full of candy and a great costume! Head to Downtown Blue Ridge or the twin cities of McCaysville and Copperhill on October 30th for an evening of trick or treating! The kids will love dressing up and trick or treating from shop to shop. There will also be the Big Foot Boogie 5k, pumpkin carving, costume contests, food, and entertainment!
Looking for something a little more non-traditional for your tricks and treats this year? Dress up and head to Project Chimps October 30th-31st for “Chimp or Treat”. Not only will kids get a goodie bag full of treats but they’ll also get a close-up look of the chimpanzees in their habitat!
Spend your Thanksgiving in the mountains with the friends and family who mean the most to you! Select a fabulous cabin, cook up a delicious meal in our fully-stocked kitchens, take in the mountain views, and gather around the table for a great meal made with lots of love!
Take full advantage of the beautiful weather and great events happening this fall in Blue Ridge! There’s nothing quite like fall in the mountains!
Saddle up! It’s time to hop on a horse and take in the beautiful countryside and forests of Blue Ridge. Nothing is more relaxing than listening to the sounds of nature, taking in the sights, the relaxing gate of the horse beneath you, and creating new memories with the ones you love. We’re incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful stables nearby that offer trail rides for the most beginner of riders all the way up to the most experienced. Escape to Blue Ridge on horseback!
Cowgirl Up Stables
Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains right here in Blue Ridge is Cowgirl Up Stables. They are an all-female-owned and operated stable, which is where their clever name comes from. Cowgirl Up Stables specializes in rides for beginners, so if you’re just starting out this is the place for you. You’ll go on trail rides through the beautiful Blue Ridge countryside led by their experienced and professional trail guides. Not only are the staff there to help you, but the horses also know how to do their jobs well and are great for riders of any experience level. Choose from a variety of ride options including; The Novice Ride, The Intermediate Ride, The Sunset Ride, The Picnic Ride, The Proposal/Romantic Ride, and the Valley River Ride. No matter what ride you choose it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!
Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides at Hells Hollow
If you’re looking for a safe and fun outdoor family adventure right here in Blue Ridge then Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides at Hells Hollow is your place! With over 25 years of experience, the staff knows exactly what they’re doing and are happy to help riders from beginners all the way to experts. Enjoy trail rides with stunning views of the Cohutta Mountains! Or take advantage of the pony rides, sunset rides, riding lessons, or a custom ride/event. They have every kind of horseback riding experience you can imagine! After the ride, plan to have a picnic by the woodland stream or visit with the baby goats. And in the spring you can even gem mine and fish! Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides has everything you need for a fun-filled day outside!
Cohutta Stables is a family owned and operated stable here in Blue Ridge. With over 40 years of experience and specializing in work with gaited horse breeds, their services include everything from training, boarding, sales, riding lessons and trail rides. The trail rides range from half day to full day through the Cohutta Wildlife Management Area, and are meant for more experienced riders. They offer personalized and private trail rides that will take you and your group along 13 miles of beautiful trails in the Chattahoochee National Forest. You’ll cross rivers and creeks, climb up mountains, and explore nature all around you. At Cohutta Stables their goal is to not only provide riders with a great experience but to also help riders find the horse to meet their individual needs, and to facilitate a memorable horseback riding experience. If you’re an experienced rider looking for an adventure then look no further!
Appalachian Trail Rides
Venture a little ways outside of Blue Ridge to Mineral Bluff for Appalachian Trail Rides at S&T Stables. With more than 30 years of experience their trail guides will help to make your ride a memorable one! With 250 acres of land to explore as well as lakes, creeks, and stunning mountain views; you’ll have plenty of sights to take in along your ride. From trail rides, dinner rides, pony rides, and even proposal rides; you can ride any day or for any special occasion.The staff and horses at Appalachian Trail Rides are happy to help you have a great and memorable time!
Blanche Manor Horseback Riding
Venture on over to Copperhill, TN (just 15 minutes away from Blue Ridge), to Blanche Manor Horseback Riding. Perfect for riders of all experience levels, there will be something for everyone in your group. The experienced and professional staff help to ensure customer satisfaction and safety. Explore beautiful forest trails and admire the Blue Ridge Mountains as you ride. Enjoy any of Blanche Manor’s wonderful rides like private rides, trail rides, sunset rides, proposal rides, and pony rides. Don’t want the adventure to stop there? You can even combine your horseback riding experience with an Ocoee Rafting trip or ziplining at Canopy Tours. There’s so much fun to be had at Blanche Manor that you won’t want your great outdoor adventure to ever end!
Shop like nobody’s business in all the wonderful shops located in Downtown Blue Ridge! Pick up something to use in the cabin or something extra special to remember your mountain trip always. We know that Blue Ridge is known for its beautiful mountains and outdoor excursions; but it’s also home to countless shops most of which are located right in the Downtown area. Here you’ll find a variety of unique and trendy shops like antique shops, art galleries, artisan goods, clothing, outdoor gear, and so much more. It’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or ten from your Escape to Blue Ridge because not only is there something for everyone, but it’s a great way to remember your North Georgia trip! Downtown Blue Ridge has every type of shop you can imagine so the only question is where are you going first? Let us help with our guide of favorite shops.
For the Family
The whole family will love all that Huck’s General Store has to offer! Here, you’ll feel like you’re stepping back into a time of small mountain town shops complete with old school candies, artisan goods, canned & pickled fruits and vegetables, soaps, and more. The kids will love picking out their favorite candies and games; while the adults stock up on snacks, funny signs, and nostalgic gifts. This is also a great place to pick up a Blue Ridge hat or t-shirt! Once you’re finished shopping grab your goodies, an ice cold drink, and relax on the back porch rockers while you watch the train pass by.
For the Art Lover
Are you an art lover or just looking for something beautiful to take home with you? Look no further than High Country Art Gallery. The walls and shelves are stocked with paintings, sculptures, jewelry, pottery, and other beautiful crafts. A majority of the art is crafted by local artists from Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And many of the artists are willing to create a personal piece of your choosing, so you can bring home something extra special. There’s always something beautiful and unique to find here.
For the Collector
Blue Ridge Antique Mall & Consignment is the place to be for antique lovers! They have a large selection of vintage and unique items; you never know just what you’ll find! Deck out your home with everything from furniture to collectibles, textiles to glassware, ceramics to art; they have it all! They also have locally made products, perfect for a mountain souvenir or gift for a special someone back home.
For the Kids
Lily + Coco is a magical & colorful shop that the kids will absolutely love! What fun toys will the kiddos find? How about unicorn themed gifts for your favorite little girl? A slingshot with felt ammo for the boys? Or unique, one-of-a-kind décor for the holidays? Lily + Coco is truly a one of a kind shop filled with “fanciful finds & whimsical whatnots”. The kids and you won’t be able to get enough of this colorful and super fun shop!
For the Fisherman
Stock up on your gear and apparel for your next fishing excursion at Cohutta Fishing Company! They don’t coin the phrase “Your Local Fly Fish Shop” for nothing; they have everything you’ll need to get out on the water like fly rods and reels, packs and luggage, fishing vests, boots, apparel and more. Pick up your gear and then book a guided fishing trip on the Toccoa River! Cohutta Fishing Company’s excellent staff provides great service both in the shop and on the water.
For the Ladies
If you’re looking for cute accessories and apparel for you next night out then check out The Owl’s Nest of Blue Ridge. They have everything from jewelry, gemstones, purses, shoes, t-shirts, and more. With all kinds of beautiful bling and accessories your new look is sure to be the talk of every get together!
For the Men
The guys like to look good too! So men be sure to check out OAR Finer Goods, an accessory shop for modern gentlemen. They have everything from men’s jewelry, ties, socks, books, fun trinkets, novelty gifts, and more. Some of their brands include Fulton & Roark, Brackish Bowties, Studebaker Metals, and OAR leather goods. Dress to impress at your next special occasion!
For the Foodie
The Pasta Market has everything you could possibly imagine from pasta, sauces, wines, seasonings, baked goods, candles, kitchen & home items and so much more! They even have a secret wine bar where they offer wine tastings and tapas-style platters. And they also now offer charcuterie boards and cannolis to enjoy in the shop or on the go! Pick up something amazing to use in a family dinner at the cabin or bring it home to remember your special trip.
For the Furry Friends
Not only does Blue Ridge Adventure Wear have plenty of apparel and outdoor gear for the whole family but they also have treats and toys for your favorite furry friends! They’ve got everything your dog could need from toys, treats, collars and leashes, fun dog themed shirts for you, and even dog friendly donuts! Your dog will love exploring the mountain trails near our dog friendly cabins and the gifts you so thoughtfully picked out for them at Blue Ridge Adventure Wear!