With easy access to many parts of the Appalachian Trail, which is more than 2,000 miles long, hiking trails in and around Blue Ridge, Georgia offer endless opportunities for kids and adults of many skill levels to enjoy a day in the great outdoors. The best Blue Ridge hikes offer spectacular views, whether it’s fields of wildflowers, sprawling valleys, mountain vistas, gorgeous sunsets, rushing waterfalls, historic sites in state parks, rustling wildlife, or rolling hills.
A day spent on the hiking trails in Blue Ridge, Georgia, is always a good idea, keeping you close to nature, offering the peace you can only find among the cool of the trees, and offering you a chance to spend some quality time – either on your own or with family and friends. If you’re looking for some fun things to do in Blue Ridge, Georgia, be sure a hike is on your list!
After a day of hiking in Blue Ridge, come back to a gorgeous Blue Ridge cabin rental to relax. At Toccoa River Mist, shoot pool, make yourself a mug of joe from the coffee bar, chat around the firepit in the yard, cozy up by the outdoor fireplace on the gorgeous deck, and watch the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway pass by a few times a day!
Long Creek Falls | 2 miles roundtrip
Part of the Appalachian Trail, near Ellijay, Georgia, the Long Creek Falls hike starts with a 5.3-mile scenic drive. Follow Noontootla Creek to Three Forks before hitting the trail for a 2-mile roundtrip trek. As you hike, you’ll follow alongside Long Creek – ending at the cascading Long Creek Falls waterfall. There are 2 drops (50 feet total) surrounded by rhododendron, tulip poplar, and hemlock trees.
Benton MacKaye Trail to Swinging Bridge | 3 miles
The Benton MacKaye Trail stretches almost 300 miles, but you’ll only have to traverse 3 of those to get your picture-perfect view of the Swinging Bridge. The Toccoa River runs below the bridge, the longest suspension bridge east of the Mississippi and a must-see for outdoor adventurers in Blue Ridge.
Fall Branch Falls | 30 minutes roundtrip
Get ready for double waterfalls at the end of this short hike! Take the 30-minute roundtrip hike on the Benton MacKaye Trail for fantastic views of Fall Branch Falls. Along the way, enjoy mountain laurel, rhododendron, and more.
Aska Trails | 1 – 5. miles
With opportunities to hike and bike, the Aska Adventure Area features 17 miles of outdoor fun near Deep Gap in Fannin County. You’ll find trails ranging from 1 to 5.5 miles, so there are trails for many skill levels. As you explore, enjoy views of Lake Blue Ridge, the Blue Ridge Mountains, mountain laurel and rhododendron, mountain streams, and more.
Green Mountain Trail is a popular one here, as it’s pet friendly, runs about 4.6 miles, and is considered easy to moderate – great for many skill levels.
Another popular trail among the Aska Trails area is Stanley Gap, just off Aska Road. Follow it up to (close to) the summit of Rocky Mountain for a 4.6-mile trail that’s considered moderate to difficult.
Amicalola Falls | 2.1 miles
The largest waterfall in the state, Georgia’s Amicalola Falls rushes down an amazing 730 feet! There are gorgeous mountain views from the top, and stairs and landings lead down the edge of the falls so you can enjoy as much as possible! There is plenty more to do in Amicalola Falls State Park, situated in the sprawling Chattahoochee National Forest.
It’s a fun 2-mile hike to summit Springer Mountain, part of the famed Appalachian Trail. When you peak, enjoy gorgeous views of a lush forest. Want to extend that hike? Start at Amicalola Falls, take the Appalachian Approach Trail, and make your way to Springer Mountain! Just remember to follow the blazes!
Cohutta Wilderness Trails
The Cohutta Wilderness boasts almost 40,000 acres of area to explore, covering chunks of Georgia and Tennessee. The trails in this wilderness area aren’t your easiest hikes, though, so they’re more geared towards hikers who have more experience or are looking for backpacking or a full day hike. There are 90 miles of some of the best hiking trails in all. The Jacks River Trail here was previously a logging railway and follows alongside the river. It’s more than 16 miles, with Jacks River Falls making its appearance around the 9-mile mark.
Lake Blue Ridge
What better way to start a day on the lake than with a hike to get there? The Lake Blue Ridge Loop Trail is in the Lake Blue Ridge Recreation Area. It starts as an easy walking trail along the shores and meanders through the lush trees of the North Georgia mountains. It’s pet friendly and easy, so it’s a great place to get out and stretch your legs with the kids. Take a break from the water or work up a sweat before hopping in to play!
Hiking Tips for YOU
Blue Ridge offers some incredible hikes, but staying safe on the trails is priority. Before you start out for a hike, check out some of our top tips for hiking in the area!
✔ Choose the right trail for YOU, depending on your skill and ability level. Some have incredibly steep inclines, so be prepared.
✔ Hike with a friend! Safety in numbers applies to hiking as well. Hit the trails with a partner so you can help each other out if anything happens.
✔ IF you do hike on your own, always let someone know ahead of time where you plan to go and what your approximate return time is.
✔ Avoid hiking at night. Start early and make your way back to the trailhead before the sun starts going down.
✔ Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water before hiking, and pack enough for everyone in your party.
✔ Dress appropriately. The weather can quickly shift, so light layers are always a great choice.
✔ Pack a snack! Trail mix, protein bars, nuts, and dry snacks are great for the trail, but be sure you eat a good meal with plenty of time for your food to settle before you start.
✔ Read the signs! Take a minute at the trailhead to read any rules and tips, and pay attention to any markings along the way.
✔ Be prepared – but don’t overpack. Take things like a small first-aid kit, flashlight, phone (with maps on it), water, and snacks and any other small items you need. Just be sure you don’t overpack and add too much weight to your pack.
✔ Check the weather ahead of time, and don’t head out if inclement weather is expected.
✔ Take your time! Blue Ridge is gorgeous, so don’t try to rush yourself on the trail. Slow down, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the beauty around you.
✔ Leave No Trace. As always in nature, “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.” Pack back out any trash you bring or make, and if you want to go the extra mile, bring a small bag to pick up any trash you find along the way!
More Fun Things to Do in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Looking for something beyond hiking? North Georgia offers a wide array of experiences year-round. From mountain biking on scenic biking trails to historic sites in lovely mountain towns, North Georgia has it all. Need a few ideas? Check out…
Take a scenic drive through North Georgia.
Go on a horseback ride through the mountains of North Georgia.
Explore the arts scene in downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia.
Spend a fall day apple picking at Mercier Orchards.
Go chasing waterfalls in North Georgia.
Enjoy the beautiful views and flowers at Hamilton Gardens.
Grab the girls or your partner and spend a day at local wineries.
Take a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.