Summer Outdoor Adventures



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

Photo Courtesy of Lake Blue Ridge Marina

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 Marina for 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 Area offers 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 

Photo Courtesy of @nannert31

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 Trail is 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 Bald near 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! 

Horseback Riding 

Photo Courtesy of Appalachian Trail Rides

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.

For newer riders check out Cowgirl Up Stables. Ride through the beautiful Blue Ridge countryside as the horses guide you along the trails. And check out Cohutta Stables, Blanche Manor, and Blue Ridge Mountain Trail Rides at Hells Hollow for even more fun. Giddy up and gallop your way to one of these great stables soon! 

Trout Fishing 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Fly Fishing School

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 Farms for 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 

Photo Courtesy of Zipline Canopy Tours

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. 

Tubing 

Photo Courtesy of Toccoa Valley Campround

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 Company will 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 Campground offers 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 Tubing is 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! 

Kayak/Canoe 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Mountain Kayaking

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 Kayaking offers 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 Campground also 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! 

Mountain Biking 

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 Loop is 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 

Photo Courtesy of Ocoee 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 Rafting who 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! 

Best North Georgia Waterfalls



Escape to Blue Ridge and you’ll soon discover nature’s beauty all around you. One of the top must-see sights, when you come to town, is North Georgia’s stunning waterfalls! Some of the falls are easy to get to and others require a longer trek, but no matter which falls you choose to explore you’ll be blown away by their breathtaking beauty!

There are so many great waterfalls within Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas it’ll be hard to visit them all in one trip, so we recommend seeing a different waterfall each time you visit! Here’s a list of our top 8 absolute favorite North Georgia waterfalls: 

Cover photo Courtesy of Hike The Ridge. Which by the way, we highly recommend Eric for guided hiking tours of our area including waterfall hikes!

Long Creek Falls

Photo Credit Courtesy of @_willsbeenhere

We’ll start off with one of Blue Ridge’s most famous falls, Long Creek Falls. Not only is it close to the heart of downtown Blue Ridge but it’s also easy to access. You can find the falls at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail and Benton McKaye Trail (two of Blue Ridge’s biggest & most popular trails). The hike to Long Creek Falls is only 2 miles there and back. You’ll follow alongside Noontootla Creek where you’ll see smaller falls as you go. Once you arrive at Long Creek Falls you’ll be in awe of the beautiful 50-foot double-tiered waterfall before you. Sit on one of the boulders on the edge of the falls and take in the sights! 

Fall Branch Falls

Photo Courtesy of at @k4fish

Another waterfall close by is Fall Branch Falls, which is only 20 minutes from Blue Ridge. The hike to the falls is a bit more challenging because of the slippery rocks but it’s only a quick half-mile loop. You’ll see water cascade down 30 feet into the deep pool at the bottom. Take some photos from the observation deck or have a picnic at the base of the falls. There is lots to take in when you arrive, plus the trek to Fall Branch Falls is a great one to bring your four-legged friends along for! 

Turtletown Falls

Photo Courtesy of Annette Shaw

Venture across state lines to Turtletown Falls in Tennessee. Along the 3.8 mile loop you’ll pass by Turtletown Creek, the Hiawassee River, and the upper and lower parts of Turtletown Falls. Turtletown Falls splits into two and lands in a pool at the bottom. Relax and listen to the peaceful rushing of the water over the rocks as you admire the view. These beautiful falls are just under 20 miles from Blue Ridge.

Jacks River Falls

Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Trails

Jacks River Falls in Epworth, GA is one of the most visited sights in the Cohutta Wilderness Area and for good reason! While the journey to the falls is a challenge, the views at the end will make it all worth it. The Jacks River trail stretches for over 16 miles through lush wilderness and past rushing rivers. Jacks River Falls is a beautiful but roaring and rocky waterfall, mimicking that of the rough terrain you’ll pass along the way.  Hiking experience is highly recommended to get to these falls. 

Amicalola Falls

Photo Courtesy of @ancole75

Amicalola Falls is the tallest waterfall in Georgia, standing at 729 feet! Located in Dawsonville, GA, just over 30 minutes outside of Blue Ridge, these falls are one of the more popular ones to visit because of their extreme height. There are 3 ways to reach the falls each varying in difficulty, the first is a simple drive to the top of the falls, the next is the steep but short hike to the top on the 2.1 mile loop, or you could take the 7.5-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail. Luckily, no matter your hiking experience level you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of these stunning and massive falls! 

Raven Cliff Falls

Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Trails

Raven Cliff Falls trail will take you past trout-filled streams, beautiful greenery, and end with a stunning, cascading waterfall. Raven Cliff Falls is located in Helen, GA, and is situated on a 5.8 mile out and back trail. Along the way, you’ll pass by many cliffside waterfalls until you arrive at the moss-covered cliffside where the waters of Raven Cliff Falls tumble down. Raven Cliff Falls trail is one of the most beautiful and popular hiking trails in all of Georgia and only about an hour from Blue Ridge!

Sea Creek Falls

Photo Courtesy of @Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide

About an hour outside of Blue Ridge in Suches, GA is the double waterfall Sea Creek Falls. The falls can be accessed after just an easy 0.1-mile walk. When you arrive you’ll notice that Sea Creek Falls splits into two sections and drops down 30 feet into a shallow pool at the base of the falls. We recommend visiting in late winter/early spring when the water levels are high or after a heavy summer rain because that’s when the falls are the most extraordinary to behold. 

Helton Creek Falls

Photo Courtesy of @hikes_with_ash

Not far from Blue Ridge in Union County, GA is Helton Creek Falls. Helton Creek Falls is made up of a pair of two large falls, the smaller Lower Helton Creek Falls which you’ll arrive at first, and the larger Upper Helton Creek Falls where the water rushes down a 50-foot cliffside. You can easily access this pair of falls by taking a brief .3 mile hike. Admire the beauty of the falls from the observation deck and remember to snap a few photos! 

2022 Bucket List



2021 is over? Already? Although the year went by quickly, we hope it was filled with as much fun, love, and joy for you as it was for us. With the world slowly going back to normal we’ve been happy to have visitors escaping to Blue Ridge once again. While 2021 was a great year, we want to make 2022 even better! Check out our 2022 Blue Ridge Bucket List and see how many of these places & activities you can cross off your list in the New Year!

Smash into the New Year

Photo Courtesy of Tank Town USA

Smash into the New Year at Tank Town USA in Morganton, GA. If you have ever wanted to be an action movie hero now’s your chance! You’ll feel on top of the world as you drive a tank over cars crushing them flat, drive construction vehicles and fire off machine guns. Grab your friends and have a blast driving big vehicles and crushing everything in sight! 

First Day Hike

Go for a “First Day Hike” on the first day of the New Year, on any of our wonderful hiking trails. We have over 300 miles of trails ready for you to explore. Some of our favorites include the Benton McKaye Trail, the Aska Adventure Area trails, and Jack’s River Trail. Won’t be in town for New Years? That’s okay, our trails are always there for you and great no matter the season. 

Grab a Drink

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyards

Blue Ridge has so many great bars, breweries, and wineries so why not grab a drink or two? Downtown you can grab a cocktail at Whiskey & Water, The Dogwood, or Hook & Eye. Bar hop to Misty Mountain Hops, Blue Coyote, and Black Bear Bier Garten. Then play a round of pinball with a drink in your hand at Vertigo Pinball. And even relax lakeside with delicious food and great drinks at the Boat Dock Bar & Grill on Lake Blue Ridge. For local breweries we’d suggest Grumpy Old Men Brewing or Fannin Brewing Company. And for wine check out Bear Claw Vineyards or Serenberry Vineyards. Even Mercier Orchards has hard cider! 

Eat a Fried Pie

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

Mercier Orchards is famous for their amazing fried pies of every flavor! Which one will you try? After eating your tasty treats explore the market and stock up on all the goodies. Then pick some of the “in season” fruit, to make your own pies with! And even take a farm tour of the whole orchard to admire all the sights. 

Find a Fairy Cross

All over Fannin County, you can find what are called staurolite crystals or what are more commonly known as Fairy Crosses. 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. See how many you can find out in nature! And if you have trouble finding them yourself, you can always pick up a few at Pezrok downtown. 

Try Something New & Adventurous 

It’s a New Year so it’s time to try something new and out of your comfort zone! Live a little! Soar to new heights at Blue Ridge Adventure Park where you can zip through treetops and climb up to 50 feet in the air. Or let someone else do the flying and take a ride with Blue Ridge Helicopter Tours. You’ll get stunning scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains below and see the town from a new and different perspective. Or even hop on the Georgia Mountain Coaster in Helen, the first-ever alpine coaster in Georgia! And we can’t forget about the Toccoa Swinging Bridge! Jump on the bridge and give your friends & family quite a scare. We promise it’s nice and sturdy though, and the perfect adventure spot! Seek all kinds of new thrills and have a blast doing it! 

Shop & Eat Local

We may be biased but we love our local Blue Ridge shops and restaurants! With dozens of unique stores downtown we’ve got a little bit for everyone! Fashion boutiques, artisan good shops, home décor, pet toys, and so much more. And after you finish a busy day of shopping grab a bite to eat at any of our amazing local restaurants. Some of our favorites are Chesters, The Black Sheep, Rum Cake Lady, and Carroll’s Barbecue. Yum! 

Bond with Nature

Photo Courtesy of @littlebitty87

Become one with nature as you ride horseback through the winding trails of the Chattahoochee National Forest. You and your beautiful steed will bond as you take on a trail ride with Appalachian Trail Rides or Cowgirl Up Stables. Both stables have options for beginners and more advanced riders. Also, get a chance to feel more connected with nature by checking out one of our many local waterfalls. Some of our favorites are Long Branch Falls, Fall Branch Falls, and Amicalola Falls. You’ll feel all your daily stresses roll off your back and finally feel at peace as you listen to the water rush over the rocks. Horseback riding and waterfall chasing; perfect mountain experiences. 

Push Yourself 

Photo Courtesy of Whitewater Express

Push yourself to new limits as you hike to some of the tallest peaks in Georgia. Some of our favorite mountain hikes are Brasstown Bald, Fort Mountain, and Springer Mountain. The hike up will be strenuous but once you reach the top the views are all worth it. And you’ll be proud of yourself for the hard work you put in to get there. Or you can take to the water instead and try your hand at Whitewater River Rafting. Head over to the Ocoee River and make your way through waves and rapids with a team of others. It’ll be quite a workout but a fun experience you won’t soon forget! 

Ride a Train

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Many of our guests all time favorite things to do when they come to town is to ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway! Enjoy the scenery every season of the year as the train departs from Downtown Blue Ridge and travels through the countryside to the twin cities of Copperhill, TN and McCaysville, GA. The views from the train are beautiful year round but some one of our favorite times to go is in the fall when the leaves are changing. And you can’t forget about the Holiday Express every December where kids will get the chance to meet Santa on this festive ride! 

Appreciate Local Artists

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Ridge Arts Association

Local artists are always performing and displaying their art in Blue Ridge! Catch a show at Blue Ridge Community Theater where there are always local thespians ready to perform! Admire local artists’ works on display at High Country Art Gallery or Blue Ridge Arts Association. And listen to live music from local artists almost every weekend at venues like Tooney’s, Misty Mountain Hops, Bear Claw Winery, Grumpy Old Men Brewing and so many more! 

Discover Bigfoot

Photo Courtesy of Expedition Bigfoot

Did you know that Bigfoot wanders the forests of Blue Ridge? You can learn all about him at EXPEDITION: BIGFOOT! The Sasquatch Museum, located just east of the city. You’ll find and explore artifacts, life-sized exhibits, photos and maps of Bigfoot sightings, the Bigfoot research and Tech Vehicle, and so much more. This fun and unique museum is the perfect way to spend an afternoon! 

Experience Festivals & Holidays Blue Ridge Style 

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Apple Festival

There are always special and exciting events going on in and around Blue Ridge! Whether it’s for the holidays or one of our usual annual events they are always a blast! You’ll want to experience these great events at least once in your life! Some of our favorite events include: 

  • Fire & Ice Chili Cookoff & Craft Beer Festival: February 19th, 2022
  • Spring Arts in the Park: May 28th-29th, 2022
  • Blue Ridge Mountains Wine & Jazz Festival: June 25th-June 26th, 2022
  • Lake Blue Ridge Fireworks: July 4th, 2022
  • Georgia Wine Highway: August 1st-31st, 2022
  • Georgia Mountain Fair: August 19th-27th, 2022
  • Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival: Mid September 
  • Fall Arts in the Park: October 8th & 9th, 2022
  • Georgia Apple Festival: October 8th-16th, 2022
  • Light Up Blue Ridge: Last weekend in November 
  • Mountain Country Christmas in Lights: November 24th- December 23rd, 2022

Escape to Blue Ridge

Eagles Landing cabin

No matter the season we are always ready to provide you with a home base for all your Blue Ridge adventures! Come up in the winter to experience the snow, in the spring where you’ll see nature come alive, in the summer on the waters of Lake Blue Ridge, or in the fall to watch the leaves change colors. We are happy to be your home away from home and thank you for your continued support over the years. We look forward to serving you with your very best mountain vacation in the New Year. Now let’s make 2022 the best year yet! 

Hike these 8 Blue Ridge Mountain Trails



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

Photo Courtesy of @littlebitty87

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. 

Aska Adventure Area trails

The Aska Adventure Area hiking trails are made up of 5 smaller trails: Stanley Gap Trail, Green Mountain Trail, Flat Creek Loop, Stanley Gap/Flat Creek Connector, and Long Branch Loop; which all together form 17.0 miles of beautiful trails to explore.

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

Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Trails

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

Photo Courtesy of Atlanta Trails

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

Photo Courtesy of hikingtheappalachians.com

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

Photo Courtesy of Alltrails

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! 

Amicalola Falls 

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! 

Schoolcation



With times being what they are many of us are working from home and doing virtual school as well. We know that constantly being cooped up in the house can get old really fast, so we invite you and the family to come escape with us!

Since everything is online anyways, who says you have to do it at your home? Bring your work and virtual school with you and come to your Blue Ridge home away from home for a change of scenery. You can still get everything accomplished but you can do it while looking at beautiful mountains or relaxing by the fire! Then after the work is finished unwind with fun activities all around Blue Ridge!

Change of Scenery 

All About the View Cabin

With over a year in these crazy times, we can all agree that we are pretty tired of being cooped up in the house all day looking at the same four walls. Plus, there is not much variation in our everyday routines. Wake up, virtual school, homework, dinner, and bedtime. It can be hard for adults to keep focused when you’re doing the same thing over and over, and it’s especially challenging for kids.

In fact, many adults and kids alike have developed mental health issues being isolated from the rest of the world and not having our regular socialization opportunities. And always trying to find new and wild ideas to keep yourself and the kids entertained is a chore in itself. We know that you and the kids still have work to do but why not do it somewhere else, like in Blue Ridge? The fresh change of scenery will be just what your family needs to feel renewed and focused once more. Getting out of the house and somewhere new can also help with mental health. It’ll be a much-needed getaway for the whole family!

Spacious Cabins

Eagles Landing Cabin

At Escape to Blue Ridge we pride ourselves on our spacious cabins that are stocked with all the best amenities. Everyone will have their own space to spread out and get their work done during the day.

Work on the back porch overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains or inside by the cozy fire or even lounging on one of the cabin’s many comfy beds. Wherever you choose to work you can be sure you won’t be distracted and will be able to fully focus on the task at hand. After school is finished, have the kids take advantage of the game room where they can play foosball, air hockey, and board games to their heart’s content. Then enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal in the beautiful, spacious kitchen. After dinner head outside for a bonfire and eat lots of s’mores! With amenities just like this and more, you and the family will be set for your stay! 

Get Outdoors 

One of the great parts about Blue Ridge, especially in these times, is it’s easy access to so many wonderful outdoor activities! After being cooped up in the house for months you’ll love a chance to get outside and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

During breaks and after school grab the family to explore countless hiking trails, rivers and streams, waterfalls, mountain peaks, and more! The possibilities are endless! Though one thing is for sure, whatever your outdoor adventures entail, you’ll enjoy escaping the world and being one with nature. That’s just the way life was meant to be lived!

After School Fun 

When the school day is done there’s lots of fun to be had in Blue Ridge for kids of all ages! Unwind and have a blast with fun activities the whole family will enjoy!

-Expedition Bigfoot
Photo Courtesy of @littlebitty87

Let the kids come face to face with none other than Bigfoot himself at Expedition BigFoot: The Sasquatch Museum.  Explore the museum to find all sorts of artifacts, life sized exhibits, photos and maps of Bigfoot sightings, the Bigfoot research and Tech Vehicle, and so much more! Not only is the museum a blast for kids but it’s educational too. It’s the perfect place for a fun filled, family outing!

-Hikes to Waterfalls & Swinging Bridge 
Photo Courtesy of @ancole78

Take advantage of the outdoors and go for a hike to one of Blue Ridge’s waterfalls or the Toccoa Swinging Bridge. They’ll love getting a chance to go outside and explore. With so many kids nowadays attached at the hip to electronics this will be the perfect opportunity to get them out and enjoying nature. Be sure to take some great family photos while you’re out hiking as well!

-Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Photo Courtesy of @chushon

Most kids simply adore trains, it’s just in their nature. So why not fulfill that love by taking them on a scenic train ride through the beautiful Blue Ridge? They’ll have an absolute blast choo-chooing along with the train as it rolls down the tracks. And if you’re visiting during the Christmas season you and the kids can even hop on a special “Santa Express” ride. There’s a reason people from far and wide love riding on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway; it’s a great experience the whole family can enjoy. 

-Lilly Pad Village 
Photo Courtesy of @ashleywilliams1224

Kids love to interact and use their hands, so the Lily Pad Village is just the place for them. There’s something for kids of all ages like gem mining, fishing, mini golf, and more! The gem mining experience is fun, interactive, and educational. Dig through the trays to find beautiful gemstones and the staff will even provide you with educational information on what you’ve found.  Your kids will come home with a full stash of rocks and gemstones!

-Mercier Orchards 

Mercier Orchards is by far one of our visitors favorite attractions. Famous for their U-Pick events your kids will get a chance to roam the orchard finding the best apples. And Mercier doesn’t just grow apples; they grow strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and peaches as well, so there’s always something tasty to pick. Also enjoy some of their delicious baked goods and meals from the bakery and market cafe. There’s nothing like a warm, fried apple pie to end the day and we dare you to not indulge on their apple cider donuts!  

-Horseback 

Another thing that kids love is horses! Not only does it teach them horsemanship, but horseback riding is a great way to build up self confidence and see the world from a new perspective. So take the kids on a horseback riding excursion through the forest, past lakes and rivers, and gaze up at the stunning mountains all around you. It’s the perfect adventure the whole family will love!

-Sweets 
Photo Courtesy of The Sweet Shoppe of the South

And every kid of course has a sweet tooth, so be sure to take them for the best desserts in town! Enjoy cakes and cookies at The Sweet Shoppe or Mona Lisa’s Dessert House. Or fudge and ice cream at The Chocolate Express. The sugar possibilities are endless and this writer’s mouth is watering just thinking about all the local sweets!

-Activity Book

Another great way to get the kids out of the house is with our Kids Activity Book! Send them on a scavenger hunt to find all kinds of outdoor items. Or have them check off a bingo box for each place they’ve visited. And even have them help Ricky the Raccoon with identifying forest creatures, counting, and more. It’s a great way to get kids learning and having fun while they do it! Stop by our Property Management offices to pick up a copy or download your own copy: www.escapetoblueridge.com/blue-ridge-georgia-activity-booklet.pdf 

Romantic Date Ideas



With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for romance. And we have the best date ideas for you to treat your special someone. A Blue Ridge vacation is the perfect romantic getaway for all those love birds out there. The small, charming town and beautiful mountain views will transport you to another world and help to enhance all the romantic feelings. It’s sure to be a trip of a lifetime; so grab your love and come escape with us! 

@c_ozanich at Wander in Lodge

Dinner

Photo Courtesy of the Black Sheep

You can never go wrong with a romantic dinner for two at any of Blue Ridge’s superb restaurants. Some of our favorites for a special date night out are The Black Sheep or Harvest on Main. Both of which are located in Downtown Blue Ridge. You could go for a stroll along Main Street together, admiring all the trendy shops, before stopping in for a delicious dinner.

At The Black Sheep, you can sip on a cocktail while enjoying a wonderfully handcrafted meal made with fresh, local ingredients. Put your worries to rest, relax, and enjoy an upscale dining experience with an atmosphere that will put you at ease. And the food is simply amazing, no matter what you get; they don’t call it the best dining in Blue Ridge for nothing!

Harvest on Main is another great restaurant for your perfect date night. They serve southern inspired global cuisine; and who doesn’t love a little southern flair, especially when you’re in the mountains. From steaks to fish to soup and salad, there’s a little something for everyone. These restaurants are meant to bring out the romance. 

Horseback Riding

How about a romantic horseback ride through the wilderness? That’s like something you’d see in a romance movie but you can actually do it here! Check out Appalachian Trail Rides for this great opportunity. You can book a private trial ride for you and your “hon-neigh” to ensure everything goes exactly as planned. You’ll take a peaceful ride through the woods and see babbling brooks and maybe even some wildlife. And if this date is an extra special one and you want to pop the question, there’s a special proposal ride which takes you to a secluded romantic gazebo by the lake where you can spill all your heart’s desires. And there will even be sparkling cider! Doing something new and different like a trail ride together will be sure to bring the two of you even closer. 

Waterfalls

Not much can inspire your love more than the natural beauty of the outdoors. So get outside and enjoy a beautiful hike to one of our stunning waterfalls. You’ll feel completely at peace as you listen to the water rushing down the rocks and see the beauty all around you. Relax on the rocks while the cool mist of the falls hits your face. Soak it all in and find yourself feeling 10 times calmer than before you arrived. Even snap a few cute couple photos while you’re there. 

Stargazing 

Photo courtesy of @itmariecoragravante

It doesn’t get much more romantic than cuddling up with your love and gazing up at the starry night sky. Grab a blanket and a bottle of champagne for a relaxing and romantic night under the stars. The stars go on for miles and you will get to enjoy a front row seat. So grab a glass and cheers to you and your love, lay back, cuddle up, and take it all in. 

Spa Day

For the ultimate relaxation and stress relief, there’s nothing like a spa day. Drop on by Serenity in the Mountains to get the full works. You and your love can unwind together with a romantic couples massage. Feel an undeniable calm wash over you as you drift to a place of pure bliss. Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and finally getting treated will have you and your honey living on a high. 

Wineries

Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas are home to so many wonderful wineries. In Blue Ridge check out Bear Claw Vineyards and Serenberry Vineyards, in Ellijay try Cartecay Vineyards, and in Young Harris visit Crane Creek Vineyards. All have a wide variety of wines, beautiful mountain views, and a relaxing atmosphere. Sit in the tasting room or on the patio and unwind with a glass of wine. On weekends you can also enjoy the sounds of local musical artists who will serenade you and your sweetie while you sip and snack. Any of these wineries will provide you with a perfect afternoon date. 

Cozy Cabin

Photo Courtesy of @amybencole

Maybe instead of a day or night out you can enjoy a night in your cozy Escape to Blue Ridge cabin. With all the amenities you could need you’ll be all set for your night in. Cook a fancy dinner in the kitchen or order in. Then relax in the hot tub to completely unwind. Afterward, come inside to escape the cold and cuddle by the fireplace while you enjoy a nice glass of wine and a movie. Our cabins will provide you with everything you need to enjoy a perfect, romantic night together in your warm, cozy cabin. 

Watch the Sunset

Take a seat on your spacious deck and watch the sunset below the mountains. Every Blue Ridge sunset is simply gorgeous and will leave you breathless. It’s hard not to get swept up in the beauty and romance of it all, so don’t fight it. Soak it in and curl up together in the twin rocking chairs. Or for an even more relaxing spot why not watch the sunset from your hot tub? Now that’s what I call a romantic getaway!

2021 Blue Ridge Bucket List



To say that 2020 has been a hard year would be an understatement. This year has been so incredibly hard on many families all over the world. That’s why we want to help make 2021 the best year yet! We all deserve a little happiness and fun after a year like this. So we’ve created a 2021 bucket list of 10 activities to do in Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas. Let’s make 2021 the best year, mountain style! 

Explore a Waterfall

Photo Courtesy of @willsbeenhere

Fall Branch Falls, and Long Branch Falls are located here in Blue Ridge and Amicalola Falls and Helton Creek Falls are pretty close by! Just the hike to these falls alone is a great experience, but when you finally arrive you’ll be blown away by the beauty of it all. The whole family (dogs included) will love exploring around the falls and relaxing by the waterside. And be sure to grab a couple of great photos before you head back! Each of the Blue Ridge area waterfalls are so unique and beautiful it will be hard to pick just one, so we won’t blame you if you need to explore all of them! 

Jump on the Swinging Bridge 

Photo Courtesy of Audrey Dre Spears

The Swinging Bridge over the Tococca River has become a kind of landmark for Blue Ridge. Located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail in Fannin County, this bridge is an experience you won’t want to miss. Spanning 270 feet long, this makes it the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi. When you walk the bridge look down below and keep an eye out for kayakers floating down the peaceful river. 

Eat Local

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill

Downtown Blue Ridge is home to many fantastic local restaurants. The whole street is filled with shops and restaurants, so it’s the perfect place to go for a afternoon or night out. Spend the day shopping and then stop by a restaurant for a bite to eat after a long day. Try the Black Sheep and get their famous “Black Sheep Burger” or stop by Bin 322 for wine and tapas. Then there’s Chester’s serving rustic American food or the Rum Cake Lady serving Cuban style food. And if you have a sweet tooth check out Mona Lisa’s Dessert House for everything from cakes and pies to cookies and dessert martinis. With so many dining options to chose from it might be hard to pick just one, but we assure you they are all delicious. And no one said you have to only chose one, right? 

Ride the Mountain Coaster

Have you ever ridden a rollercoaster through the mountains? Well, now you can! Take a little road trip to our friends in Helen, Georgia, and hop on the Georgia Mountain Coaster, the first alpine coaster in Georgia. Whizz past beautiful mountains and forests at whatever speed you’d like because YOU control the speed! You’ll even pass by ruins that are over 100 years old! It’s not often you can say that you went on an alpine coaster and that you even controlled the speed, so what are you waiting for? Stop by for a once in a lifetime, family fun experience! 

Hike to the Highest Peak in Georgia

Photo Courtesy of Brasstown Bald

The views from the top of Brasstown Bald are a must see! You can see 3 different states all at once, from the observation tower at the top. Brasstown Bald is the highest mountain peak in Georgia so it’s quite the hike but the views at the top are so worth it! And think of how accomplished you’ll feel knowing you made the hike. When you push yourself the rewards are all the greater!

Hunt Big Foot

To many in this neck of the woods, Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch, Yowie and Yedi) isn’t just a 20th-century folk legend. The first recorded sighting of him here in Fannin County was June 26, 1873. Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest has long been known as a hotbed for Bigfoot activity amongst the Bigfoot research community. If taking a hike out into the forest after the sun sets, night vision glasses in place, to snap your photo op with Bigfoot is too much effort, don’t let that deter you from finding out all you can about him. While here in Blue Ridge, plan to visit EXPEDITION: BIGFOOT! The Sasquatch Museum, located just east of the city. This museum may have you 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 Bigfooters from around the globe make the pilgrimage to Blue Ridge just to explore this museum and its many relics.

Cheers to Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge is home to some amazing wineries, breweries, and distilleries. So grab your friends and drink your way around town! For wineries check out Bear Claw Vineyards and Serenberry Vineyards, both right here in Blue Ridge. If you’re up for more of a road trip than be sure to check out Cartecay Vineyards in Ellijay and Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris. All of these wineries have not only delicious wines but beautiful mountain views as well.

For beer try Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Fannin Brewing Company, Copperhill Brewery, and Buck Bald Brewing. Any of these breweries will provide you with excellent and delicious craft brews. And for hard liquors try out Grandaddy Mimm’s Moonshine Distillery. The moonshine is crafted from Jack Mimm McClure’s original 1930’s recipe. Every place is filled with great drinks, great service, and a relaxing environment so you can’t go wrong. Bring your friends and you’ll be sure to have a blast! 

Take a Helicopter Tour 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Helicopter Tours

How often can you say that you took a helicopter tour over the North Georgia Mountains of Blue Ridge? Drop by Blue Ridge Helicopter Tours to get your tickets to soar above the mountains and clouds. The scenic views you will get from up above are out of this world beautiful! There’s absolutely nothing like it. 

Zip Through the Mountains

Photo Courtesy of Explore Georgia

If you’re the adventurous type than look no further than Blue Ridge Adventure Park. Clip in and find yourself way above the ground as you navigate through ropes courses and zipline. It will challenge you both mentally and physically as you try to make your way through the course. With 3 levels of suspended bridges and tightropes ranging from 15 to 50 feet in the air, you’re sure to be in for an exciting challenge. Blue Ridge Adventure Park is the perfect destination for all you thrill seekers out there! 

Book the Perfect Mountain Escape 

Leatherwood Lodge

After a year like 2020 we all need to getaway and get out of our house! There’s no better place to escape than Blue Ridge. Get outside, enjoy the fresh mountain air, and go on the adventure of a lifetime! Grab your favorite people and book your Escape to Blue Ridge for the most perfect mountain escape! We all need a little escape every now and then! 

It’s time to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021! Watch 2020 disappear in your rearview mirror and look forward to all that lies ahead in 2021. A big thank you to everyone who helped make 2020 a great year for us, despite the circumstances. We’re so grateful for each and every one of you! Now let’s head into the new year and make it the best one yet! From all of us at Escape to Blue Ridge, have a very Happy New Year! 

5 Must-See Waterfalls in North Georgia



Waterfalls are one of nature’s most beautiful sights and the surrounding areas around Blue Ridge have plenty to explore. These waterfalls offer views that appeal to all ages and the anticipation leading up to the waterfall can be an enjoyable experience of its own. Nature is calling and it’s waiting for you to explore these falls on your next Escape to Blue Ridge!

Amicalola Falls

Photo Courtesy of @northgeorgiasoftball

Located right on the edge of the North Georgia Mountains, Amicalola Falls State Park is one of the most visited parks in Georgia. The 729-foot falls, south of Ellijay, make it the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. The forest and mossy terrain surrounding the waterfall truly complete the picturesque scene.

The ease of access to Amicalola Falls is another factor that contributes to the visit. The top part of the falls can be viewed by a drive through the State Park and looking down. Another popular option is to park your car at the State Park parking lot and access the falls by climbing the lengthy staircase with viewing platforms leading up to the cascading water. The 600 stairs are well worth the effort and offer views of Amicalola Falls throughout its mildly steep course. The waterfall can also be viewed by a 7.5-mile hike starting at Springer Mountain, the southern end of the Appalachian Trail. All three options offer breathtaking scenery along the way and the Amicalola Falls Lodge is an ideal spot for a refreshing drink or meal to complete your day!

Fall Branch Falls

Photo Courtesy of @k4fish

Only 20 minutes from Blue Ridge, Fall Branch Falls is a location where you can spend a half-hour or a half-day! The adventure begins with only a 0.5-mile shaded path that leads visitors to a series of cascading waterfalls reaching 30 feet. The area below the falls is great for a picnic or water break. The mist from the side of the cliff and the water at the base of the falls make for a perfect place to cool down from a hot summer’s day. But watch your step because the rocks can sure be slippery! The observation deck at the falls can be used to snap a picture or to admire nature’s beauty.

Helton Creek Falls

This pair of waterfalls can be found near Blairsville and by following a brief 0.3-mile trail. The trail consisting of wildlife and greenery brings visitors to the smaller Lower Helton Creek Falls first. The trail continues ahead to the Upper Helton Creek Falls, where the 50-foot rush of water can be seen. If you make the short journey up to Helton Creek Falls on a sunny afternoon, we promise you won’t regret it!

Long Creek Falls

Video Courtesy of @mariajill

With towering trees and a 50-foot double-tiered waterfall, Long Creek Falls is easily one of Fannin County’s most treasured sights. The falls are only a short drive from downtown Blue Ridge and can be found at the intersection of the Appalachian and the Benton MacKaye trails. This makes Long Creek Falls a beautiful stop for a variety of travelers and explorers.  The hike to admire the waterfall is under a mile and the boulders along the edge of the falls offer visitors a peaceful spot for a water break or a nature-filled conversation!

Sea Creek Falls

Photo Courtesy of All Trails

Most breathtaking after a summer rain, Sea Creek Falls can be accessed after only a 0.1-mile walk. A trip to see the double cascading falls at Sea Creek Falls, located outside of Blairsville, can be appreciated by skill levels of all ages. The falls displaying 30 feet of mountain water offer sounds, views, and relaxation for any visitor.  The water flowing at the base of Sea Creek Falls is available for feet or paws to splash around in while enjoying a break from the Southern heat.

Photo Courtesy of @ancole78

Remarkable in any season, North Georgia is lucky to claim these waterfalls. A breath of fresh air, a cooling mist from the cliffs, and a leisurely mountain walk are all waiting for you at these five waterfalls just a short drive away from Blue Ridge.

When you embark on your next waterfall adventure, be sure to share your trip with us on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram @escapetobr. We can’t wait for you to experience these stunning falls for yourself!

TOP 20 THINGS TO DO IN BLUE RIDGE FOR 2020



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 opportunities.

3. HIT THE LINKS

Old Toccoa 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

Beautiful 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 water.

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 extraordinarily fun!

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 Trail, Benton 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.

9. GET IN THE “SPIRIT”

You can’t visit the mountains without trying the refreshing flavors of Hard Cider at Mercier Orchards. While you are there, pick up a peck of apples and some of their fruit infused wines as well. If you are more of a purist, both Bear Claw Vineyards and Serenberry Vineyards have classic Chardonnays, Sauvignons, and more. If Craft beer is more your style, don’t fret, there are many options to choose from like Grumpy Old Men Brewing and Fannin Brewing Company.

10. HUNT FOR BIG FOOT

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 relics.

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!

17. RELAX

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, at Serenity 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 farce!

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

Eagles Landing

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!

Move over Napa, Georgia is for Wine Lovers!



Who needs Napa Valley, when you have North Georgia? In fact, North Georgia, and specifically Dahlonega, has been called the Napa of the East. So, what’s the point of hopping on a plane, enduring crazy traffic, and dealing with stifling crowds? Right here in North Georgia you will be better served, remain relaxed, and meander the charming and scenic back roads of Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Dahlonega, Blairsville, and Helen to enjoy a wine experience that’s even better than what the wild west can offer!

1st Place Winners

Photo Courtesy of Cavender Creek Vineyards and Winery

Surprisingly enough, it turns out North Georgia wines also are winning quality competitions in California’s very own backyard which is causing quite the “Bottleshock” to all the more seasoned western vineyards. So quality-wise, the wine is not a concern. Which makes another good reason to stay close to home!

Country Drive

Starting in Blue Ridge, it doesn’t take long to feel like you’re in wine country. Within an hour’s drive you might swear you just caught a glimpse of Tuscany, or around the corner there’s what looks like Oregon, California, or Upstate New York. North Georgia looks like a lot of other states in the beauty department. That’s why Hollywood likes Georgia, and especially North Georgia, so much. It could look like the Midwest, inland Oregon, or maybe even New England.

Photo Courtesy of Kaya Vineyards

For wine production purposes in these parts, the secret lies in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, which provide ideal weather, geography and geology for successful vinifera grape growing due to its long springs, hot, dry summers, and elevations between 1,300 – 1,800 feet.

It’s All About The Grapes

Photo Courtesy of House of Wine

The trail of six farm wineries that lead from Dahlonega north and east into White County and Helen is a great example of how terrain changes dictate grape production and variety of purpose. Designated as the “Dahlonega Plateau”, an AVA (American Viticultural Area), on July 20, 2018, the area encompasses 133 square miles with the same climate, soil, elevation and physical features creating conditions that are ideal for growing grape varietals such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot.

Passport to Wine

2020 Wine Highway Week is now a MONTH long! Enjoy touring 24 participating vineyards in the beautiful mountains while you discover Georgia wines! There will be a $50.00 fee for each participant which will be collected at the first winery visited. Travelers will receive a “Wine Highway Week” collectors’ glass and Passport which will give them admission to ALL participating wineries at no additional charge. Be sure to keep you Passport and Collectors glass with you at all wineries visited! You can purchase your Passport on line at: www.georgiawineproducers.org/shop

The Wine Highway

Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery is tucked in the hills just 45 minutes from Blue Ridge and a five-minute drive from downtown Dahlonega. Wolf Mountain is elegant, with spectacular views, the perfect wedding and event venue, but also the ideal place for Sunday brunch, or fun gatherings with friends. A lot of the North Georgia wineries multi-task that way.


Photo Courtesy of Melissa Prosser Photography

Montaluce Winery and Restaurant, with its elegant, ivy-covered walls, and its porches with views to the vineyard, conjures up images of Italy, but is also the site of bike races that have featured the likes of Lance Armstrong and Georgia Hincapie. This breathtaking destination offers a spectacular brunch on Sunday and lunch and dinner Monday through Sunday.

Kaya Vineyard & Winery, in White County, makes the best of the perfect perch, with 360 degree views of Blue Ridge scenery. Wines produced from Kaya’s vines have received over fifty awards and most recently, the vineyard was recognized for producing grapes for one of the “Top 50 Wines of the Year” reviewed by the Wine Report.

Photo Courtesy of The Cottage Vineyard & Winery

The Cottage Vineyard & Winery, one of the earliest Georgia farm wineries on the scene, founded in the late 1990s, actually has church services on Sunday mornings, with inspiring views of the vineyard. Paying homage to all military men and women is a North Georgia Honor Wall that features the 5 service flags of the US Armed Forces: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corp., and Navy as well as the POW and U.S. Flags.

The wineries of all three – Dahlonega, White County and Gilmer make for a pleasant mix of wine trail possibilities – from upscale to downhome; and from farm to fancy. At Cavender Creek Vineyards and Winery you can even pet donkeys and alpacas. It’s a local favorite, especially on Friday nights, and live music is always a draw, as it is at most wineries on the weekends.

You’d guess by the name, that Three Sisters Vineyards was a family winery started by siblings – good guess, but wrong. It is indeed a family winery, but the name refers to the three Blue Ridge Mountain ridges that form the perfect backdrop for wedding and special events.

Photo Courtesy of Frogtown Wine

Frogtown Wine, a perennial winner of prestigious national and international wine competitions, offers dramatic 50-mile views, but the ambiance is decidedly California casual, especially the bright white main lodge with  deck seating. There are 23,000 grape vines in Frogtown’s North Georgia vineyards capable of producing up to 180 tons of premium wine grapes each year. This tonnage equates to over ten thousand cases of Estate grown wine per year!

The Foothills

Photo Courtesy of Chateau Meichtry

On the Ellijay side of Blue Ridge, Fainting Goat Vineyards (yes, they actually have fainting goats), and Cartecay Vineyards, with its distinctive fireplace and iconic chimney, both make for fine outdoor enjoyment most times during the year. Chateau Meichtry specializes in combining wine tasting with learning a lot about the wines, and the entire process of wine production. All three feature live music most weekends.

Local Favs

Photo Courtesy of Bear Claw Vineyards

Right here in Blue Ridge we are lucky to have two great wineries: Bear Claw Vineyards and Serenberry Vineyards. Bear Claw Vineyards is welcoming for every member of the family, both two legged and four. Well behaved pets are welcome and there are plenty of games to keep the kids busy while you catch up with your friends and family while you sip their delicious wines. At Serenberry, you are invited to savor the day by relaxing in a beautiful mountain setting while tasting delicious wines!

So, who needs Napa? With the broad variety of wines, and the expanse of experiences, plus the proximity and easy scenic drives (be sure to stop along the way at Amicalola Falls, the highest cascading waterfall on the East Coast), or at charming farmers markets, orchards and food stands – that is indeed the question.