Escape to Blue Ridge on a Budget



Getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and come escape to the peace & quiet of the mountains! At Escape to Blue Ridge your home away from home will be filled with wonderful amenities and so many fun activities that you won’t even need to leave the comforts of the cabin to enjoy yourself! But if you want to get out and explore the town you can easily do so without going over budget. We’re here to help make your mountain vacation affordable and fun! 

Fun at the Cabin

You don’t even have to leave the cabin to have a good time! You can enjoy all the amenities and luxuries that your Escape to Blue Ridge cabin offers without having to spend any extra money. Get outdoors and play a game of football on the extensive yard, take a dip in the hot tub, challenge your family to a game of pool, take in the views, and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal. There’s so much to do at your cabin!

Game Rooms

Game Night Courtesy of Hermosa Brown

Kick off your cabin fun with a game night in your cabin’s amazing game room! Play round after round of pool and darts, soar the puck through the goal with a game of air hockey, watch as the ball bounces back and forth with ping pong or foosball, take things old school with some fun on a classic pinball machine, start up the TV and play some video games, or gather the whole family around the table for a board game or cards. Our game rooms have everything you’re looking for and more! Having a game night is a great way to put the electronics down and really focus on the friends and family in front of you. Just have a great night eating, drinking, and playing games with the ones you love the most. Check out some of our favorite cabin game rooms here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/9-cabins-with-incredible-game-rooms/

Home Cooked Meal

Homecooked meal Black Dog Courtesy of @jean_pedraza13

Save some money dining out by making a home-cooked meal in one of our cabin’s extraordinary large kitchens! Our favorite cabin kitchens have stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and plenty of space to prepare your meal. Our fellow chef extraordinaires will love cooking up their favorite meals in these dreamy kitchens! And once the meal is finished the whole family will have plenty of choices on where to dine whether it be at the kitchen bar, dining room table, or outdoors on the patio. Check out our top cabin kitchens here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/gourmet-kitchens-in-blue-ridge-cabins/ 

And if you’re interested in preparing meals on the grill instead, many of our cabins have grills out on the patio. You can fire up the grill and cook up some burgers for all your guests. Anyone in your party consider themselves a bartender? Send them off to the cabin’s wet bar to prepare cocktails for everyone in your party. With Escape to Blue Ridge’s wonderful in-cabin amenities, there’s no need to go out for dinner or drinks; when everything you need is right in house! 

Outdoor Fun at the Cabin

Photo Courtesy of @bayleigh_barnes staying at GrandView cabin

Looking for some outdoor fun? Stay right at your cabin to find it! Some of our cabins are right next to a river or pond that is always stocked with fish. So grab your pole and get to catching! Other cabins have plenty of yard space for a game of touch football or ultimate frisbee. For pet-lovers, we have some cabins with fenced-in yards or gardens where the dogs can run and play to their heart’s content. And a few of our cabins have fun outdoor sports and games like basketball and cornhole. Spyglass even has a pool and Toccoa Playground & Blue Mist Heaven have playgrounds for the kiddos! If you have a lakeside cabin you’re just a few steps away from taking a swim or boat ride on Lake Blue Ridge. Some of our cabins even have their own hiking trails right out the back door! If you’re an avid hiker lover be sure to check these trailside cabins out: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/hiking-out-the-back-door/ 

Relax

Photo Courtesy of Green Pine Cabin

Relaxation is the name of the game, and our cabins are made with comfort in mind. Wake up from a good night’s sleep on one of the queen or king-sized beds. Our beds are incredibly comfy and you’ll awake to the peace & quiet of mother nature. Make a cup of coffee from the cabin’s keurig or drip coffee maker, and then cozy up on the leather couch in the great room watching your favorite TV shows and staying warm by the fire. After a bit of binge-watching and taking in the cabin’s other wonderful amenities, head to the porch to take in the views. Sway back and forth on the porch swing or lay back in an adirondack chair. Whether you want lake views, mountain views, or to be completely surrounded by trees we’ve got just the view for you. Check out these 8 cabins with amazing lake & mountain views: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-cabins-with-incredible-lake-mountain-views/

For the ultimate relaxation take a dip in the hot tub. You’ll feel your worries wash away as the steamy water covers your body. Want a hot tub with a view? Check! A round tub? Check! A hot tub to fit up to 8 friends? Check! Whatever your style we’ve got the best hot tub for you: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-blue-ridge-cabin-hot-tubs/ 

End your night under the stars at your cabin’s very own firepit! You can roast marshmallows and compare who can make the best s’more, swap ghost stories and scare your friends, or just lay back, relax, and enjoy the warmth of the fire. And we have the perfect fire pit for you: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/10-cabins-with-awesome-fire-pits/

There’s so much fun to have right at your very own cabin but if you do want to get out and explore then check out these great free activities!  

Fun Downtown 

Head to the heart of Downtown Blue Ridge to take in the sights! Downtown is known for it’s amazing local shops and restaurants but you don’t need to spend a dime to have a good time. 

Window Shop

Photo Courtesy of Lily & Coco

You can take in all the great shops Downtown without having to spend any money. Check out trendy clothes, artisan goods, home decor, furniture and so much more at our local shops. Explore the local wares and take note of some of the great items you’ve found for next time. No need to bring back bags and bags of souvenirs, but if you see something that really speaks to you feel free to go for it! After all, you saved your money by not splurging on every cool thing you found. By window shopping you can learn more about Blue Ridge and get to know the community better as well.  

Live Music 

Photo Courtesy of Cartecay Vineyards

Live music is always happening in and around town! Downtown you can catch a performance from local artists at spots like Misty Mountain Hops, Blue Coyote, Bin 322, Hook & Eye, and The Dogwood. You can enjoy music from local singers and musicians most weekends in town. Outside of downtown you can also hear live music at spots like Grumpy Old Men Brewing, Cartecay Vineyards, and Bear Claw Winery. And head over to the Copper Basin for live music at Tooney’s or Copperhill Brewing. And during the summer you can enjoy live music by the waters of Lake Blue Ridge at Boat Dock Bar and Grill. There’s always something happening in Blue Ridge! 

Explore Landmarks 

Photo Courtesy of @korikwissmann

Take out your phone and get ready to say cheese as you explore great photo-op spots around town! Downtown Blue Ridge alone has a lot of great spots for a photo. There’s the welcome bears at Blue Ridge Mountain Mall or the Coca-Cola mural at the end of East Main Street. One of the most famous spots for a photo-op is the Blue Ridge mural which you can find on the corner of Mountain and East First Street. Have a blast running around town trying to get the best photos at some of these iconic locations. And find more photo-op spots with our guide here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/10-best-blue-ridge-photo-ops/ 

Fun in the Great Outdoors 

Mother Nature won’t charge you a thing to get outside and enjoy her beauty! Blue Ridge was made for outdoor lovers! There are miles and miles of trails to be explored by foot or by bike, multiple rivers and streams perfect for fishing, numerous waterfalls just under an hour away, and many beautiful and scenic spots perfect for a picnic. Grab your gear and get outdoors! 

Hiking 

Photo Courtesy of @hannahbtravelin

Over miles and miles of hiking trails are at your exposure in Blue Ridge! Hike to the tallest peaks in the state, cross over rivers, and venture through thick forests and discover what beauty awaits you. We have local trails perfect for hikers of any level of experience: from beginner to advanced. Many of our trails connect to the famous Appalachian Trail that stretches through most of the states on the east coast. A few of our favorite connecting trails include the Benton McKaye Trail, The Hemp Top Trail, and the trails in the Aska Adventure Area. For more details and more trails to explore check out our hiking blog: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-blue-ridge-hiking-trails/ 

Fishing 

Photo Courtesy of the Floen Family

If you love to fish then Blue Ridge is just the place for you as it is known as the Trout Capital of Georgia! Bring along your poles and fish on the waters of the Toccoa River, the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery, or Lake Blue Ridge. Some of our cabins even have their own fishing ponds or sit alongside the Toccoa River, so you can go fishing without having to leave the cabin! Learn more about fishing in Blue Ridge here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/blue-ridge-fly-fishing-capital-of-georgia/ 

After catching your dinner, keep the trout fun going by playing the trout game Downtown! Just print the trout map from Fannin County Chamber’s website (https://www.blueridgemountains.com/things-to-do/family-fun/trout-art-trail-kids-game/) then visit each trout statue around town to find each fish’s name on your map. The kids will love this fun free hunt around town! 

Mountain Biking 

Photo Courtesy of Sorella Cycling

Are you the adventurous type? If so, plan to bring along your mountain bike to explore the miles of trails in Blue Ridge perfect for a ride. We love cruising around the local Lake Chatuge on JackRabbitt Mountain Trail or soaring past waterfalls and country views on Pinhoti Trail, which connects to a 350 mile stretch of trails that goes all the way from Georgia to Alabama! We love exploring Blue Ridge by bike and if you’re up for the adventure too, check out more mountain biking trails here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/11-memorable-mountain-biking-trails/ 

Waterfall Hunting

Photo Courtesy of @suzann.dickens_hairstylist

Forget what TLC says, spend the day chasing waterfalls! Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas are home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state! Within an hour of Blue Ridge, there are over a dozen stunning falls for you to explore. Stay close by with Long Creek Falls or Fall Branch Falls, or make the trip out to the beautiful yet challenging hike to Jack River Falls, or pay a visit to the tallest waterfall in Georgia, Amicalola Falls. You’ll have a blast exploring the trails to these waterfalls, taking group photos in front, and then cooling off after your journey by splashing around in the pool below. Learn all about these falls and more with our North Georgia waterfall guide: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/8-best-north-georgia-waterfalls/ 

Picnic

Multi generation family having a picnic during mountain hike

Prepare lunch back at the cabin, then pack a cooler or basket filled with all kinds of goodies, and take to the outdoors for a lovely picnic! Have a relaxing waterside picnic at either Morganton Point on Lake Blue Ridge or the Toccoa River Park. After you finish your picnic you can dip your feet in and splash around in the cool waters. Or instead, hop in the car and drive a short while to get to one of these beautiful scenic overlooks: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/5-scenic-north-georgia-overlooks/  You’ll have a meal with a view! 

Blue Ridge Activity Booklet

Lastly, print off our fun Activity Booklet for your kiddos! This free educational booklet will keep your kids entertained as they venture around Blue Ridge with the help of Ricky the Raccoon. He will help them to identify trees, animal tracks, wildlife, and more. Visit awesome spots around town included in the booklet like Mercier Orchards and the Georgia/Tennessee State Line. Not only will this booklet get the whole family out and exploring town but it will also teach your kids about the great outdoors! Download & print the Blue Ridge Activity Booklet for free here: https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blue-ridge-georgia-activity-booklet.pdf 

With our helpful guide Blue Ridge can easily be a fun and memorable vacation without going over budget. We hope that  you’ll create lasting memories on your trip that the whole family won’t forget!  Please tag us with your photos on Facebook & Instagram using #escapetobr.

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!

A Four Season Scenic Ride



In the North Georgia Mountains, we celebrate four gentle yet very distinct seasonal transitions, each measured very close to the designated tri-month celestial calendar. 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.

To get a full appreciation of Flora’s artistry in any one of the seasonal changeovers, we encourage you to drive the 41 miles of Georgia’s only national scenic drive, The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway. The Byway, one of only 120  highways across our fifty states so designated, circles around the Chattahoochee National Forest and can be launched just seventeen miles southeast of Fannin County, at the intersection of Hwys 129 and 180, located in neighboring Union County.

Highest Peak In GA

Following Hwy 180 northeast, you’ll travel twelve miles to the entrance to Brasstown Bald, the highest mountain elevation (4,784’) in Georgia. When you get to the top of the Bald’s observation tower, you will have a spectacular 360-degree view of three states!

Photo Courtesy of Steve Grundy Photography

Anna Ruby Falls

Back on Hwy 180 and after heading southeast for ten miles, you will turn south onto Hwy 75/17. Over the next 10 miles, you will motor through some of the heaviest of forestry, including designated recreation areas Unicoi Gap and Andrews Cove. These are ideal places to hike, fish, picnic or just relax before heading out on the next part of your adventure. Driving for just a few minutes you will arrive at one of the region’s finest natural gems, Anna Ruby Falls. This double waterfall is formed from the merging of two creeks, both sourced from underground springs.

Anna Ruby Falls Photo Courtesy of Bill Mantooth

Just three more miles south you will find yourself at Unicoi State Park, where you can jet off on a bicycle, paddleboard on Unicoi Lake or eat at the Unicoi Restaurant located in the beautifully appointed Unicoi Lodge.

Alpine Helen

If you haven’t visited Bavaria’s USA sister city, quaint Helen GA, here’s the best opportunity, located just 3 more miles south of Unicoi State Park. But if Helen isn’t part of your plans for this scenic trip, then backtrack up 75/17 for only two miles where you’ll arrive at the entrance of one of the State’s most beautiful wooded parks, Smithgall Woods/Dukes Creek Falls State Park.  Covering over 5,600 acres, this Park focuses on conservation. It’s also an angler’s paradise with some of the very best trout fishing in the State on the waters of Dukes Creek. Visit their event calendar to see what is scheduled during your visit.

Photo Courtesy of Alpine Helen – White County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Hogpen Gap

There’s one more leg to this journey, and it is perhaps the most spectacular. Just a hair north of Smithgall Woods you will come upon the gateway (Hwy 348) to Richard Russell Scenic Hwy.  These next 23 miles are not only a favorite for motorists, bicyclists and motorcyclists, but wildlife also love to roam all over the cliffs and valleys along this route. Do drive with patience and caution.

Hogpen Gap Photo Courtesy of Scott Michael Anna

Helton Creek Falls

After nearly a 10 mile ascent, you’ll reach Hogpen Gap, (elevation 3,525′). This is a very popular, year-round hiking trail. But for just leaf lookers, the vistas at the appointed observation areas at this elevation are breathtaking! And in the spring there is no better place to view the “greening of the mountains”. As you begin the steep descent traveling north on Richard Russell, the valley brings more surprises as the fields open up and the farmlands, an integral facet of life in historical Choestoe Valley, are dotted across the highway. Look for a turn heading west at Hatchett Creek Rd. Follow this road till it merges with Helton Creek Road and visit one of the area’s favorite family waterfalls, Helton Creek Falls. The short hike (.24 miles) from the parking area leads to two falls. The lower falls has a wading pool area. The upper falls has an observation deck with bench seating.

Helton Creek Falls Photo Courtesy of Molly Carreras

Seasons of Fun!

Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway is a 4 season wonderland. In the spring the hiking trails boast 1500 varieties of wildflowers with over 200 plants indigenous to just this Southern Appalachian region. 

Stop, look and listen and you’ll see fawn and bear cubs emerging from the woods, beavers building dams to reroute the heavy spring rainwater, and you’ll hear the songbirds who’ve migrated back to these mountains from their winter retreats.

Open the windows on your summer drive and capture the fragrances of the season as you pass cavernous areas of native azalea, rhododendron and mountain laurel. The farmers cut hay around Memorial Day and again at Labor Day. The smell of fresh-cut hay, watching the baling process or just coming upon a field of hay bales peppering the countryside all leave an indelible imprint on one’s senses.

Photo Courtesy of Mountain Mem’ries Photography

Summer visits to the waterfalls along this road will often find the thunderous waters framed by a rainbow. And as the days become shorter and autumn ushers in, the forest canopy bursts with vibrant colors as the sweetgum, red maples, and oak trees display their final fashion before shedding their foliage. In winter the starkness of the bare forest, covered in frost is an incredible photo opportunity. The cliffs near Hogpen Gap are covered with ice and a favorite spot for ice climbers to hone their skills.

Plan on this driving adventure the next time you visit us. It promises to impress you, whatever the season. Share your adventures with us by tagging #escapetobr on your social posts. Enjoy!