Spring has sprung, the temperatures are climbing, and
everything is blooming! The last weekend in May, Memorial Day Weekend, is an
excellent time to get away from the hub bub of daily life and Escape to the Blue
Ridge Mountains to enjoy the beauty that is bursting all around us!
Extreme or Serene
There is no shortage of fun to be had around town, but if just relaxing with your favorite people (and pups) in a fabulous cabin is your idea of a good time, we totally get it. Many of our cabins are equipped with game rooms, hot tubs, fire pits, and wooded trails to explore. There is also horseback riding stables, zip lines, and whitewater rafting close by for added immersion into the wonders of Mother Nature.
Downtown Blue Ridge
In downtown Blue Ridge you’ll enjoy attending the 47th Annual Spring Arts in the Park event on Saturday and Sunday, May 27th & 28th. This Southern tradition features more than two hundred arts, crafts, and food booths for you to admire fine arts and mountain crafts. You’ll also be able to see artist’s demonstrations, hear some great music, and support the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association! The event is held rain or shine, and well-behaved leashed pets are welcome. Admission is $5 and children 12 and under are free!
About thirty minutes East of Blue Ridge in the town of Blairsville, you’ll encounter their annual Spring Arts, Crafts, & Music Festival. Saturday morning begins with a Memorial Day Parade and the rest of the day and all-day Sunday you can enjoy more than 200 local and regional artists. Many musicians will also be on site to entertain you and your family. There is no charge to attend, but plenty of family fun is sure to be had!
If you’ve never experienced a trip on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, you should definitely consider boarding in downtown Blue Ridge and taking an enjoyable two hour ride to the revitalized cities of McCaysville, Ga and Copperhill, Tn. Yep, this is your chance to stand in two states at one time! Grab an ice cream or sweet treat at Happy Bear Ice Cream & Treats. Maybe Cuban is more your style and you prefer a Cuban coffee and empanada at the Rum Cake Lady for an afternoon treat. Pick up the latest record at Deaf Man Vinyl or a new treat for your bestfriend at Mainstreet Mutt. There is so much to explore in the Copper Basin’s twin cities!
Whatever plans you make for the holiday weekend, we hope
that you are spending it with all the ones you love creating memories and enjoying
the freedom that we get to enjoy in the great United States of America. As we
approach Memorial Day Weekend, we want to take a moment to thank all of the men
and women that have so courageously given their lives to defend this beautiful
country in which we are so fortunate to live. There is no greater sacrifice one
can make and the patriotism that these honorable souls displayed deserves our
recognition and gratitude, not just one weekend a year, but all year long. Thank
you for your service.
Hot summer days are just around the corner and adventure awaits! Blue Ridge is THE place for outdoor adventures big and small. Will you hike to the tallest mountain or splash in the rapids while whitewater river rafting? North Georgia is your oyster for outdoor activities and sports. Spend your long summer days in the great outdoors! Get an adrenaline rush and feel one with nature as you embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Check out these 9 outdoor activities to get your summer started!
Fun on Lake Blue Ridge
Summers were made to spent on the lake and Lake Blue Ridge has everything you need to make it an awesome one! First stop at the Lake Blue Ridge Marinafor all kinds of boat rentals. Pontoon boats, kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards are all available to rent at the Marina. Bring up to 8 guests on the pontoon boat and jet around the lake all day long. Cool off by jumping off the boat and splashing in the water or rent a 2 person tube to ride along behind the boat and hit the wake. Put your balance to the test by spending a day paddleboarding or choose to paddle while seated in a kayak or canoe. Need a break from your long day on the lake? Also at the Marina is the Boat Dock Bar & Grill, a great place to stop for lunch and drinks, then head back to the water. Also be sure to check out Blue Ridge Boat Rentals. They offer every kind of boat imaginable along with jetskis, waterskis, and towables & accessories like tubes and pool noodles. No matter what boat or craft you choose to spend your day on you’ll have a blast on Lake Blue Ridge!
Looking for the perfect spot for a dip? Morganton Point Recreation Areaoffers easy access to the water. Here you can splash and swim in the water or relax on the beach. They even have kayak and paddleboard rentals as well. Bring a cooler and eat lunch at the picnic tables or order a snack from The Point. Lake Blue Ridge is calling you!
Hike Mountains & Waterfalls
Blue Ridge and North Georgia have some of the best hiking trails in the state! You can hike to the tallest mountain peaks, hike alongside a rushing waterfall, or cross a 270 foot swinging bridge over the Toccoa. Adventure is out there on the trails waiting for you! Benton McKaye Trailis one of our all time favorite trails in the area because it connects to so many awesome spots. Just in the North Georgia area alone, you’ll hike past waterfalls like Fall Branch Falls and Long Creek Falls, cross the Toccoa River on the swinging bridge, and climb to the top of Springer Mountain. The Benton McKaye Trail goes on for 300 miles so there’s even more to explore the further you go!
Another waterfall filled hike we love is the hike to Amicalola Falls, the tallest waterfall in Georgia. Choose either the 2.1 mile uphill loop to the falls or the 10 mile trek to the top, if you’re up for the challenge. When you arrive you’ll be in awe of the huge falls that lie before you.
For a mountain hike check out the trails to the top of Brasstown Baldnear Blairsville. This 1.1 mile trail is short but steep. It’s an uphill climb to the top but it’ll be so worth it when you arrive. Brasstown Bald is the tallest peak in Georgia and from the top you can see 4 states at once!
No matter your experience level anyone is welcome to go on a trail ride through the forests of North Georgia. If you love horses and being out in nature this is an adventure for you! One of our favorite companies is Appalachian Trail Rides. You’ll ride past mountains, creeks, lakes and more as you ride through their 250 acres of farmland. Looking to take a special ride? They offer unique experiences like a proposal ride, dinner ride, buckaroee ride and more.
Blue Ridge is known as the Trout Capital of Georgia! So grab your fishing pole and head to the water to catch yourself a trophy trout. The Toccoa River is abundant with trout and you may even be able to catch them right from your riverside cabin. Be sure to check out the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery and Noontootla Creek Farmsfor more great spots to fish.
Need some assistance on your fishing excursion? Cohutta Fishing Company can help you right from the shop or on the water. Stock up on your fishing gear from their shop on Mainstreet and then join them on one of their guided fishing trips or classes. Cohutta Fishing Company’s knowledgeable and friendly staff will help make your fly fishing experience a breeze.
Also check out Blue Ridge Fly Fishing School! They offer classes and guided tours for beginners all the way up to the most experienced fishermen. And pick up the most beautiful and efficient bamboo fly fishing rods in town, handcrafted by William Bill Oyster from Oyster Fine Bamboo Fly Rods. Blue Ridge is the ultimate place for fishermen or fisherwomen!
Ropes Course & Ziplining
Get your heart pumping by flying through the air at Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge.You’ll spend the day zipping through the treetops, screaming a loud “woohoo” as you zoom all the way down. Admire the scenery as you go and you may even catch a glimpse of the mountain peaks in the distance or Fightingtown Creek below. Zipline Canopy Tours offers 1-2 hour zipline experiences for ages 10 and up. With 13 ziplines to choose from and over 1,000 feet of cable you’ll never run out of zipping fun here!
Pair ziplining with a challenging ropes course at Blue Ridge Adventure Park. They have 3 levels of obstacles ranging from 15 feet all the way up to 50 feet. Feeling like a challenge? Conquer all 35 obstacles like a champ! Then when you’re finished zip on down to the bottom on the zipline. Ages 10 and up are welcome and guests will have an hour & a half to complete the course at their own pace.
There’s nothing quite so peaceful as floating down the river, with your head back, soaking in sun.Take to the water and enjoy a day of tubing down the Toccoa River. Toccoa River Tubing Companywill take you and your group out for a relaxing day of floating on calm waters. You’ll tube for about a mile and a half which usually takes 1.5 hours depending on the flow of the water that day. Toccoa Valley Campgroundoffers tubing, rafting and kayaking, but if you’re looking for a relaxing day on the water, tubing is your best choice. They’ve been providing the Blue Ridge area with family fun for over 50 years! You and your group will have a blast as you venture on a private 6 mile stretch of the Toccoa. Drop on by and float, no reservations needed! Blue Ridge Tubingis also a great company to check out for a tubing adventure. Let your worries float away as you float down the river on your day of tubing!
If you want to be out on the river but are looking for more of a challenge why not try out kayaking or canoeing? Take your boats to the water and get ready to paddle down the Toccoa. Blue Ridge Mountain Kayakingoffers both kayak and canoe excursions of the Toccoa River. You’ll journey 6 miles down river and pass by beautiful pastures, mountains, and lovely flora along the way. Before you hit the water though be sure to stop at their snack shack, for cold drinks and snacks to power you up for your day of paddling.
Toccoa Valley Campgroundalso offers a kayaking experience with both single and double kayaks available to take down the river, on their 2 hour journey. Build those muscles up and get ready for a fun day on the water!
The hiking trails in North Georgia are amazing and so are the mountain biking trails! Whip through the winding trails as fast as you can or at a leisurely pace. No matter your experience level there’s trails for everyone interested in a mountain biking adventure. The Long Branch Loopis one of the easier trails and has limited obstacles that may obstruct your path. You can even take a break and admire the falls if you’d like!
For a longer ride, at an intermediate level, check out Jackrabbit Mountain. Here you’ll circle Lake Chatuge on this 15 mile journey. You’ll come across a few simple inclines and declines which makes it a great next step from Long Branch Loop.
For a more difficult ride we’d recommend Stanley Gap. This trail is 10 miles out and back; along the way you’ll find many steady inclines as well as steep declines, perfect for flying down fast. And for those up for a real challenge Hickory Nut Trail is the most difficult of the mountain biking trails. This course is a 19 mile loop that includes 2.500 feet of steep uphill climbing, multiple obstacles, and speedy descents. It’s recommended for experienced mountain bikers only. Hop on your bike, pedal uphill, and check out some of these awesome biking trails.
Whitewater River Rafting
North Georgia and Tennessee (just a few minutes away from Blue Ridge) are known for their whitewater rafting courses. Did you know that the 1996 Atlanta Olympics even had their whitewater events in the upper part of the Ocoee River in Tennessee? How cool is that!? But unless you’re a pro you need a guide to help you navigate the rapids. Lucky for you there are many wonderful and experienced teams out there ready to help you have a fun and safe adventure!Rolling Thunder River Company have been in the whitewater rafting business for over 40 years and will take you on either a half day or full day adventure through the Ocoee River, the Toccoa River, or the Nantahala River in North Carolina. 3 states to choose from and 3 rivers of fun! Each river is a different difficulty level so check their website to find the best fit for your group.
We also love Ocoee Raftingwho are the oldest rafting company in the Ocoee, guiding people since 1976. Splash through Class III and IV level rapids with experienced guides who will help make it an experience you’ll never forget!
There is so much fun to be had in Blue Ridge all year long! Because there is always something happening in town it can be hard to narrow down when it’s the best time to Escape to Blue Ridge. We’re here to help! We’ve comprised a list of 12 seasonal activities and events for you and your family to partake in, one for each month of the year!
January: Discover Bigfoot
Head inside & stay warm during the cold month of January by paying a visit to Bigfoot himself at the Expedition: Bigfoot Museum! There you will learn all about the mysterious creature that is said to wander the forests of North Georgia. Expedition:Bigfoot holds the country’s largest display of genuine Bigfoot artifacts like photos and sketches, sighting maps, life-sized exhibits, and the World’s only Bigfoot Research and Tech Vehicle. There’s so much to see at this family-fun, quirky gem of a museum!
February: Fire & Ice Chili Cookoff & Craft Beer Festival
Embrace the cold at Blue Ridge’s 11th Annual Fire & Ice Chili Cookoff & Craft Beer Festival! This year’s event takes place February 19th from 12pm-4pm and will have all kinds of winter fun! There will be ice sculptures and live music, as well as chili and craft beer to keep you warm & toasty from the cold mountain air. Help determine the winner of “The Peoples Choice Award” chili by purchasing taster tickets for $10. Sample the competition and pick your favorite to win! And be sure to take some time to admire the beautiful display of award-winning ice sculptures from the National Ice Carving Champion Rock On Ice. You’ll even get a chance to see how the process works by watching ice sculpting demonstrations. You won’t want to miss out on this great winter event, so bundle up and join us for the fun!
March: Shop & Eat Local
March is a great time to hit the downtown area because it’s not too busy! You’ll easily be able to visit all of your favorite shops & get in for dinner at some of the best spots in town like Chester’s, The Black Sheep, or Harvest on Main. Discover unique finds at the shops downtown and stock up on souvenirs from your Blue Ridge adventure. Check out Pezrok for cool rock formations and handcrafted furniture to bring back or pay a visit to Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company to bring some Blue Ridge flavor home with you! After a busy day of shopping and dining be sure to end your day with dessert from Mona Lisa’s Dessert House, The Sweet Shoppe, or with a Rum Cake from The Rum Cake Lady.
April: Take a Scenic Drive
As the weather warms up and spring finally arrives in the mountains there’s no better time to take a scenic drive! Bring the whole family and drive through winding mountain roads where you’ll admire the beauty all around you. Flowers will begin to pop up, the Blue Ridge Mountains will be in their full blue color, and the drive will be alive with nature. There’s no better way to celebrate the end of winter than by taking in the beautiful views. Follow our scenic drive blog for the perfect routes: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/5-scenic-north-georgia-overlooks/
May: Spring Arts in the Park
Come celebrate the beautiful weather and local artists at the annual Spring Arts in the Park event! This year the popular event, hosted by the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association, takes place May 28th & 29th, for the holiday weekend. Typically the family-friendly event draws almost 20,000 people to the Downtown City Park of Blue Ridge! And with over 170+ vendor booths for various artists, exhibitors, and food vendors there’s so much fun for everyone! And this 46th year of the Spring Arts in the Park will be no different! Admission is $5 and children 12 & under are free!
June: Explore the Trails
With summer arriving there’s no better time to hit the trails! Explore miles and miles worth of hiking trails that will take you through some of the most naturally beautiful places in the state! Discover stunning waterfalls standing at a few hundred feet tall, be brave and walk across the swinging bridge, push yourself and climb to mountain peaks, and go for peaceful hikes along rivers and lakes. There’s so much waiting for you on the trails in Blue Ridge! Learn about a few of our favorite hikes here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-blue-ridge-hiking-trails/
July: Hit the Lake
Beat the summer heat and take to the waters of Lake Blue Ridge! Whether you’re cruising on a boat, splashing in the water, or sunbathing on the sands of Morganton Point; Lake Blue Ridge is the place to be for the summer! Lake Blue Ridge Marina is a great starting point to prep for your lake day adventures. They have boat rentals and all the supplies you need to get out on the water. And after a long day on the lake be sure to drop by the marina again at The Boat Dock Bar & Grill for great food, drinks, live music, and a beautiful view of Lake Blue Ridge. It’s a perfect way to unwind after a busy summer day. The fun on Lake Blue Ridge goes on all summer long but one of our favorite times to be out on the water is the 4th of July! See fireworks light up the night sky and reflect off the lake for the annual “Fire in the Sky” fireworks display. The fireworks are shot off over the Lake Blue Ridge dam and can be viewed by boat or along the shore. It’s become many visitors and locals alike favorite annual tradition!
August: Go for a White Water Rafting Adventure
The end of summer is the height of white water rafting season! Gear up for an adventure of a lifetime as you paddle your way through the rapids of the Ocoee River. The Ocoee River is located just over the border in Tennessee and is THE place to go for whitewater rafting. The upper part of the river was even used during the 1996 Olympics for their whitewater events! Check out Ocoee Rafting, the oldest outfitter on the Ocoee, Rolling Thunder River Company, or the Wildwater to start your adventure. Talented and trained staff will help guide you safely through the rapids. If you’re brave enough to give it a go, it will be an experience that you won’t soon forget!
September: Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival
Every year Downtown Blue Ridge prepares for the Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival! As the weather starts to get cooler and the leaves begin to change it’s the perfect time to come together to enjoy some great music and delicious food! The day is always filled with a great lineup of talented artists and great local food vendors. The event typically takes place mid September so stay tuned for the date!
October: Pick Apples at Mercier’s
There’s nothing quite like fall in Blue Ridge! The weather is perfect and the mountains are aglow with the beautiful fall leaves that cover the trees. And what says fall more than apple picking? Mercier Orchards has quickly become a favorite spot in town for not only the apples but other great aspects as well, like their winery & hard cidery, the marketplace, farm tours, and of course their amazing fried pies of every flavor imaginable! At Mercier’s come for their U-Pick events where you can pick your apples straight from the tree. Pick the best ones and then bring them home with you for a delicious and healthy snack or bake them into a scrumptious pie! Join in the fall fun at Mercier’s all season long!
November: Light Up Blue Ridge & McCaysville
Ring in the holiday season with these two great Christmas events! On Friday after Thanksgiving Downtown Blue Ridge holds a special Blue Friday event with store discounts, food vendors, strolling entertainment, the opening of The Gingerbread Village, and lots of Christmas cheer! Then the following day Santa comes to town! There will be more vendors, a Christmas Parade, photos with Santa, and beautiful lights around town. And more holiday fun awaits you in McCaysville! They have shopping, dining, pictures with Santa, Christmas lights all along the river, and their famous tree lighting. There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than attending one (or both) of these great festive events!
December: Ride the Holiday Express
The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a treat all year long but especially during the holiday season when it transforms into the Holiday Express! On this special, hour-long train ride you’ll sing along to holiday music, listen to the story of The Night Before Christmas, drink hot chocolate, munch on delicious goodies, and get the chance to meet Santa. Kids will also get a candy cane, jingle bell, and activity packet. This is a great family-friendly activity perfect for the holidays, but be sure to get your tickets in advance because they sell out quickly!
No matter the season there’s fun for everyone in Blue Ridge! We hope you’ll choose us for your next mountain adventure & Escape to Blue Ridge!
The moments when we conquer our fears are the moments when we feel most alive! Extreme activities in the great outdoors allow you to capture the place we all call home from an entirely different perspective. You’ll be chasing the adrenaline rush for days to come! And what better place to try out a new and unusual outdoor activity than in the Blue Ridge Mountains?
These 7 extreme activities will swipe you off your feet…literally!
Choose from 13 extraordinary zip line adventures ranging from 25-75 feet at this property. Ages 10 and up are welcome to experience any of the zip lines. While zipping through the treetops, you’ll catch views of mountain peaks, pastures, and Fighting Town Creek. There are one-hour and two-hour guided tours available to pick the route most suitable for you. The cable lines extend up to 1,000 feet in length so you’ll be soaring as far as the eye can see!
After you’ve completed your zip line tour, head over to the Blue Ridge Adventure Park, located only 15 minutes away from the Zipline Canopy Tours site. This park features climbing walls, zip lines, suspension bridges, and other exciting obstacles. There are three courses with varying levels of difficulty offered for ages seven and up. The paths are designed to stretch your physical and mental ability!
If you’re looking for an action-packed day of fun, you can find it at Rolling Thunder River Company. This thrilling experience can be shared with friends or family and can be enjoyed for a half-day or a full-day long. The two scenic options for whitewater rafting include the Ocoee River in Southern TN or the Nantahala River in Western NC. The Ocoee River rafting center is located only 15 minutes from downtown Blue Ridge, and holds the most continuous class III and IV rapids in the country! These river waters were chosen as the whitewater events venue for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, making them a popular destination since then. A whitewater rafting trip will leave you with a new-found passion, a greater appreciation for wilderness, and probably soaked clothes!
Rolling Thunder River Company 20 Hughes St. McCaysville, GA 30555 | (800) 404-7238 | Hours: Reservations can be made 7 days a week, 10am-5pm
This activity is truly next level! This place is an amusement park for ages 15+ and where every artillery enthusiasts’ dreams come true. At Tank Town USA, visitors can drive real tanks, crush cars with tanks, operate construction excavators, and shoot M-1919 machine guns. These activities are once in a lifetime opportunities or you can become a regular visitor! Group rates are available. Tank Town USA is designed for anyone willing to put the daredevil within them to the test!
Tank Town USA 10408 Appalachian Hwy, Morganton, GA 30560 | (706) 633-6072 | Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday by reservation only
It’s time to let the wind take you away! At Lookout Mountain Flight Park you can learn to hang glide or paraglide through the sky. With stunning views of the Georgia and Tennessee mountains and valleys, this is an activity that will allow you to gain some wings! There are solo and tandem flights available. After lessons and practice with instructors, you will be soaring high with the clouds!
Freefall like never before! Take a chance and fall from an aircraft 14,000 or 18,000 feet in the air. The Chattanooga Skydiving company offers various levels of packages, and their team has been providing skydiving instruction for over 50 years. The skydiving experience is done with a highly experienced skydiving instructor strapped on your back. The instructor will film your jump from their perspective for free!
You can capture the beautiful North Georgia mountains and lakes all in one trip. Their flight packages are available with tours in Gainesville, Blairsville, Blue Ridge, and Hiawassee. The Blue Ridge aerial flight takes passengers around the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake Blue Ridge, and Lake Nottely. The flight tours range from 15 to 60 minutes. Reach new heights with Wing-N-It seaplane adventures!
Wing-N-It Seaplane Adventures 1660 Palmour Dr. Gainesville, GA 30501| (678) 971-9922 | Hours: Vary. Call for reservations
As we ring in not just a New Year, but a new Decade, 365 opportunities await you to get out and explore the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Here are a few of our favorite ideas to enjoy your 2020 Escape to Blue Ridge!
1. EAT BLACK-EYED PEAS & COLLARD GREENS
After all, it’s a southern
tradition. Eat these as your first meal for the New Year and you will
increase your luck and prosperity for the year ahead. The Village Restaurant
will be open and ready to serve you the very best in Southern Cuisine
2. WALK THE LINE
Take a walk on the state line between the twin
cities of McCaysville, Ga and Copperhill, Tn! This newly revitalized town
features great shopping, delicious restaurants, and plenty of photographic
3. HIT THE LINKS
Farm is the seven-course meal of golf courses in North Georgia. It took a
few years to fill out the full complement of 18 holes, but the first nine,
which has been open since 2015, was enough to garner stupendous compliments and
comparisons to the likes of Augusta National. Now with the back nine open, and
the layout reconfigured, Old Toccoa is by far the best of the best in this neck
of the North Georgia woods!
4. ENJOY LIFE ON THE LAKE
Blue Ridge offers 3,290-acres of crystal-clear water to explore. Bring your
own water craft, rent a pontoon boat, or take a guided tour with Capt’n
Joe. Whether you are kayaking, tubing, fishing, or just floating along,
there is no prettier place in the world than where the mountains meet the
5. SADDLE UP & RIDE
There is nothing more enjoyable than unplugging form the
digital world, saddling
up on horseback, and heading out into the countryside. In Blue Ridge, forty
percent of the county’s land is located within the Chattahoochee National
Forest and has countless miles of trails to explore and enjoy.
6. TAKE IN A FESTIVAL OR 5
There is always something happening in these here mountains.
Festival season begins in February and ends in October, plus holiday activities
are abundant in November and December. You will be blown away with the ice
sculpting that takes place at the annual Fire and Ice
Chili Cookoff. Blue Ridge festivals are family friendly, pet friendly, and
7. FLY FISH IN THE TROUT CAPITAL OF GEORGIA
Brown trout, rainbow trout, and native trout are abundant in
our freshwater mountain streams. Stop by and see Andy Bowen at the Cohutta Fishing Company for some
flies and a pole. Then head out to the headwaters of the Toccoa River,
Noontootla Creek, or Rock Creek for premier trout fishing.
8. WALK IN THE WOODS
There are few better places to hike
than on the hundreds and hundreds of miles of trails that crisscross the Blue
Ridge Mountains in North Georgia. Not only is this an area that speaks to the
hiker in familiar terms – Appalachian
MacKaye Trail, Amicalola
Falls – but it’s the wide variety of experiences, from the casual to the
challenging, that make these hikes some of the most popular in America.
Plan to visit EXPEDITION:
BIGFOOT! The Sasquatch Museum. You may be giggling on the way in the door,
but you will leave with a new appreciation for your next walk in the woods. You’ll discover why Big Footers from around the globe
make the pilgrimage to Blue Ridge just to explore this museum and its many
11. SWING INTO THE NEW YEAR
Pack up a picnic and hit either the Benton MacKaye Trail or
the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail to the Swinging
Bridge. This 270-foot-long suspension bridge is the longest swinging bride
east of the Mississippi River! If you do decide to jump in the middle, make
sure you are faster than your travel buddies or you might get thrown off!
12. CHASE WATERFALLS
A short, family friendly hike makes Fall
Branch Falls a must do activity for the young and young at heart. Explore
both the upper and lower area of the falls and take time to relax on the rocks
and enjoy the views. Don’t forget to bring your best friend. Dogs will enjoy
the trail as much as their humans.
13. CHOO CHOO
The iconic Blue Ridge Scenic
Railway is a must do when in town. Enjoy the scenery every season of the
year as the train departs from Downtown Blue Ridge and travels the countryside
to the revitalized towns of Copperhill, TN and McCaysville, GA
14. DRIVE IN
If you haven’t been to a drive-in movie since you were a
kid, we encourage you to make plans to go to the Swan Drive In Theater
and take in a show or a double feature! A throwback to yesteryears, there is
just something so fun about watching a movie outdoors.
15. FAIRY CROSS & TRAIL TREES
Legend has it that as the Native Americans embarked on the
Trail of Tears, they shed tears of sorrow that fell to the ground and formed
tiny crosses of stone known as Fairy
Crosses. Commonly known as staurolite crystals, these minerals are abundant
in Fannin County.
16. HIT THE RAPIDS
The Southeastern United States is known for having some of
the best whitewater
around. Here in Blue Ridge we are within 1 hour of 3 action packed, exciting
rivers and 2 hours away from one of the most challenging rivers in the state!
If you are looking for a new hair style, a total manicure
and pedicure, body scrub, massage, or a special facial treatment/peel, you will
find an amazing staff of creative and accomplished cosmeticians, estheticians
and stylists, the caliber you would only expect to find in a metropolitan area,
in the Mountains.
18. TAKE IN A SHOW
Immerse yourself in the culture of the area at Blue Ridge Community Theater.
This cozy community theater offers quality productions, live music, and a
robust children’s program. The 2020 line-up includes the first ever Blue Ridge
Film Festival, surprisingly saucy comedies, musicals, and even a sweet summer
19. SCENIC DRIVES
Mother Nature’s landscape specialist (shall we call her
Flora?) takes a particular interest in altering our mountainscape on a quarterly
basis, cloaking it in very different hues, depths of foliage, and fragrances.
Drive the 41 miles of Georgia’s only national scenic
drive, The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway as it circles around the
Chattahoochee National Forest.
20. BOOK AN ESCAPE TO BLUE RIDGE
There is just something about these mountains that is so
good for the soul. Whether you want to come for a romantic getaway, to
reconnect with friends and family, or to enjoy the abundant outdoor adventures,
we have the
perfect cabin for you!
We wish each of you and yours a prosperous year ahead filled
with lots of love, exciting adventures, and many opportunities to make
heartfelt memories. Happy New Year!
The Southeastern United States is known for having some of the best whitewater around. Here in Blue Ridge we are within 1 hour of 3 action packed, exciting rivers and 2 hours away from one of the most challenging rivers in the state! Our cabins make the perfect Home Base for day trips, exploring the beauty of Mother Nature and soaking up the Appalachian Lifestyle.
Just thirty minutes from downtown Blue Ridge, you can access the put-in to the 91-mile Cartecay River off Highway 52. This class I-II river starts in foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and runs West and if you follow it pass the common commercial takeout, you’ll float right through the center of town! The river begins with a nice, calm current as it meanders through the valley. About halfway through your float, the rapids begin to increase in frequency and in fun! The last quarter of the river offers some fun rapids that aren’t too terribly technical and end in a last hurrah at Blackberry Falls. This intimidating looking rapid is really just a big slide and is tons of fun to run down regardless of the your water vessel. There are two outfitters, Cartecay River Experience or Ellijay River Outfitters, to help you with shuttle assistance or to rent you a tube, kayak, or canoe.
Bonus: Since Ellijay is the Apple Capital of Georgia, there are plenty of Apple Houses around to stock up on cider, breads, and of course a wide variety of apples!
About an hour Northeast of Blue Ridge after passing through
the mountain towns of Murphy and Andrews in Western North Carolina the road
will narrow up and you will begin to drop down into the Nantahala Gorge. There’s
just something about this gorge that’s special. You can hang a right on old
river road and watch the pro kayakers take on the Cascades and Upper Nantahala
or continue straight to the lower Nantahala and stop at one of many outfitters that
offer guided and non-guided rafting adventures.
The 8-mile Nantahala River is a Class II-III River that runs
right along US HWY 76 deep through the Nantahala National Forest. There is no shortage
of fun on this exciting river! The opening rapid Pattons Run is a good class
III rapid to get your blood pumping right off the bat! After that enjoy a good
hour or two of fun, fast, cold water and about 20 named rapids. The river ends
with the Grand Finale of The Falls. This class III rapid has an observation
deck for passerby’s to stop and watch as the kayaks, canoes, and rafts navigate
the technical section of fast white water as they try to pick the perfect line to
conquer The Falls!
Bonus: Eat at River’s End after a fun day on the water. Enjoy delicious food, friendly service, and a spectacular view of the river below.
Traveling a little less than an hour Northwest from Blue
Ridge the Ocoee River, home of the 1996 Olympics is 10 miles of Whitewater fun!
The aforementioned Olympic competition took place on the upper section of the
Ocoee River. This super technical section of the river features some of the
biggest most challenging rapids and is only able to be experienced for 34 days
per year. The Middle Ocoee is 5 miles of class III and IV rapids. Hop on Mother
Nature’s natural roller coaster and squeal with delightment as your trusty raft
guide navigates you and your party down the river with great care to maximize
the fun! From the put in at Grumpy’s to the ending rapid at Hell’s Hole, you
will never forget the fun and excitement of a trip down the Ocoee!
Bonus: Love to mountain bike? The Cherokee National Forest features miles of mountain biking trails.
Made famous after the filming of the movie Deliverence, the
Chattooga River is about two hours from Blue Ridge. Flowing across both Georgia
and South Carolina, the Chattooga River is divided into 4 sections with section
4 being probably the hardest in the Southeast. The class III section increases
in difficulty from a mild beginning to a challenging final rapid at Bull Sluice. Being that section 4 of the Chattooga begins at
the hardest rapid on section 3 should lead you to believe that this will be a much
more challenging run, and you’d be absolutely right about that. The crux of
section 4 is at the Five Falls Section of the river. These Class IV rapids are
no joke with a 75 foot drop from the beginning to end.
Bonus: Add to your adrenaline rush by booking a Zipline trip where you fly through the sky, over lakes, and among nature!