Hiking

In a 30-minute radius from Blue Ridge, Georgia you can find over 30 waterfalls to hike to. You can tour these waterfalls on 'self-guided tours' with a little help from some maps, our local Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, or just ask someone who is a native to the area and we can probably get you there.

The Aska trails and South Fork Trail and Loop ride in the nearby Cohutta national forest just west of Blue Ridge are mountain biking trails that double as some incredible hiking trails. Of course, all of the mountain biking trails mentioned in the Blue Ridge mountain biking section are welcome to hikers, but the most popular hiking trails in Blue Ridge are the Benton MacKaye and Duncan Trails. These trails offer remarkable changes in terrain and some of the most beautiful scenery of the Cohutta Wilderness. Directions and a detailed description of each trail are described below.

Benton MacKaye Trail

Benton MacKaye Trail

The Benton MacKaye Trail in Georgia stretches from Springer Mountain to Double Spring Gap on the Tennessee border. The first 20 miles of this trail merge with the Appalachian Duncan Ridge Trails. From Springer Mountain, the Benton MacKaye Trail goes north to Rhodes Mountain and turns west, crossing the Toccoa River at Shallowford Bridge. The trail uses county roads near Stanley Gap, and then follows ridge tops to Cherry Log. The trail then crosses private property before following state and county roads to Bush Head Gap. The entire trail is marked with white diamonds and blazes on trees and is suitable for hiking and some mountain biking. 78.6 miles.

Access Points to the Benton MacKaye

Shallow Bridge Access: From Blue Ridge, take old US 76 for one mile east to Aska Road. Turn right, and go south for 9 miles to a steel bridge. GA Highway 60 Access: From Blue Ridge, take Old US 76 east for 5 miles to Morganton. There, turn right on GA 60 and travel south 15 miles near Tooni Gap.

The last 7 miles are located within the Cohutta Wilderness. The terrain varies from streams to laurel and Rhododendron thickets to scenic ridge tops, mature forest, and county roads. On the Cohutta District, the trail merges with the South Fork, Jacks River, and Hemptop Trails, where horse travel is permitted within the wilderness.

Watson Gap: Take GA 5 northwest out of Blue Ridge for about 4 miles. Turn left at Watson Gap directional sign onto Old GA 2 and travel 10.5 miles to Watson Gap, a four-way intersection, where the trail enters the road.

Dyer Gap: Follow directions to Watson Gap. Then turn left onto Forest Service Road 64 and go 3.5 miles to the Dyer Cemetery. The trail crosses the road just beyond this point.

Dally Gap: Follow directions to Watson Gap. Then turn right onto Forest Service Road 22 and go about 3.5 miles to Dally Road and the Jacks River trailhead, hike down the Jacks River Trail about 0.8 mile to the Benton MacKaye Trail intersect.
Duncan Ridge Trail

Duncan Ridge Trail

This challenging trail, not generally suitable for mountain biking, follows high, dry ridges for most of its length. The trail begins on Long Creek near Three Forks on the Appalachian Trail, goes north, and crosses the Toccoa River on a 260-foot swinging bridge. The trail then leads north and west along Duncan Ridge through Mulky Gap to Slaughter Gap. It includes many steep climbs and descents over several mountain tops. The trail is blue blazed for all of this section but also has yellow blazes on the eastern portion, where the Coosa Backcountry Trail shares the same treadway and also will have the white diamonds of the Benton MacKaye Trail from long Creek falls for Rhodes Mountain. About 1.25 miles on the eastern end are within the Blood Mountain Wilderness. A 60 mile loop trail can be made by combing this trail with the Appalachian Trail.

Directions: Take U.S. 19 and 129 south from Blairsville, for 9.5 miles. Turn right (west) onto GA 180 and go 3 miles to Wolfpen Gap. The trail crosses GA 180 in the gap. The trail can also be reached in Mulky Gap by Forest Service Road 4, Mulky Gap Road.

Rich Mountain Wilderness - Hikers exploring this wilderness area should be experienced and carry topographical maps, compass and survival gear. Enjoy spectacular wildflower displays
Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls

A relaxing and rejuvenating return to nature awaits you each time you visit The Lodge at Amicalola Falls. Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Blue Ridge, the lodge is located on the top of the mountain in Amicalola Falls State Park, in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest. The Lodge is perfect for visitors in search of pure relaxation or a home away from home while they explore the region`s beauty and recreational offering. It`s the ideal location to enjoy the traditional charm of a classic mountain lodge while being pampered with a full range of modern conveniences.

Guests at the Amicalola Falls Lodge are inspired and refreshed when they stay at the lodge, which is just steps away from the 720 foot tall Amicalola Falls, the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi. Plus, the Appalachian Trail Approach Trail, which passes just a few hundred yards from the Lodge, leads from the property to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The lodge`s prized location makes it a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts who are looking to discover the striking beauty of the north Georgia mountains in all its 4 glorious seasons.

Accommodations include cabins, camping, and full-service hotel rooms in the lodge. A full-service restaurant provides both traditional Southern and American Cuisine. Weddings at the lodge are always a special occasion and groups of all types find the Amicalola Falls Lodge the ideal location for a retreat.

The surrounding area allows visitors to experience whitewater river rafting, trout fishing, horseback riding, as well as an endless variety of festivals throughout the year. There`s shopping at the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall, and throughout the region, endless opportunities to enjoy the mountains relaxing beauty.

Location: Amicalola Falls State Park
Anna Ruby Falls Trail

Anna Ruby Falls Trail

Length 0.4 mile - this trail is paved but rather steep. There are several benches along the trail to rest. Two observation decks offer a beautiful view of the twin falls. Take Highway 76 east to Hiawassee. Then take GA 75 south towards Helen. Turn left on GA 356 for 1.5 miles and left again at the entrance road to Unicoi State Park. Go 3.5 miles to parking area. There is a parking fee. The trail is accessed from the parking lot.
Lake Blue Ridge Trail

Lake Blue Ridge Trail

Length 0.6 mile - this loop trail follows the shoreline of Lake Blue Ridge and offers a great view of the lake. It is flat and a good trail for families with young children. From Blue Ridge, take Old Business 5/Old US 76 east for 1.5 miles to Dry Branch Road. Turn right and go 3 miles to the entrance of the Blue Ridge Recreation Area. The trail begins and ends in the picnic area.
Helton Creek Falls Trail

Helton Creek Falls Trail

Length 0.3 mile - this short trail descends to the first waterfall then climbs beside the creek to the second and larger waterfall. Note: The rocks are deceptively slippery around these falls, use caution. Take US 19/129 south from Blairsville for about 11 miles. Turn left onto Helton Creek Road, it is the first road past the entrance to Vogel State Park. Go 2.2 miles to the small parking area on right.
DeSoto Falls Trail

DeSoto Falls Trail

Length 2.5 miles - this trail begins at the bridge in the lower loop of DeSoto Falls Recreation Area. Take US 129 south from Blairsville towards Dahlonega. Entrance will be on left. (about 18 miles this side of Dahlonega)
Brasstown Bald Trails

Brasstown Bald Trails

South of Blairsville 3 strenuous trails wind to the popular summit 4.5 to 7 miles.
Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

From Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin, Maine, the trail winds 2056 miles, including 78 miles in Georgia.
High Shoals

High Shoals

Five falls in this 170 acre scenic area. Several paths to waterfalls. Take GA75 south from Hiawassee for about 9 miles. Just past GA 180 on the left is a low sign that says "High Shoals". Travel 1.4 miles to the High Shoals Scenic Area. Five waterfalls can be accessed from hiking trails in the area:
  • Long Creek Falls
  • Fall Branch Falls
  • Sea Creek Falls
  • Little Rock Creek Falls
  • Jacks River Fall