North Georgia is a sightseeing dream, with sprawling fields, lush valleys, soaring mountains, rustling wildlife, rushing waterfalls, peaceful lakes, and so much more. There are hundreds of thousands of acres and miles to explore, and the best way to fit the most in is with a scenic drive! Thankfully, there are many wonderful scenic drives in North Georgia, leading you to hiking trails (even parts of the Appalachian Trail), lakes, recreation areas, national forests, picnic areas, and waterfalls – all the best of the North Georgia mountains.
The Fannin County Chamber of Commerce offers maps of favorite scenic drives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, outlining wonderful stops along the way. Read on for some of the best scenic routes – and pack your bags for a fun road trip in beautiful Blue Ridge, Georgia!
Blue Ridge Parkway | Cherokee
What getaway to Blue Ridge, Georgia, would be complete without some time spent on the Blue Ridge Parkway? The 469-mile scenic highway runs from North Carolina to Virginia – even through the Great Smoky Mountains. Valleys, mountain vistas, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, streams, small-town charm, wildlife, wildflowers, historic sites…what won’t you see on this scenic drive in North Georgia?!
Cherohala Skyway | Highway 165 – Tellico Plains, TN – Robbinsville, NC
The Cherohala Skyway is 43 miles of beautiful views, from mountains and valleys to waterfalls and more. It’s been featured in Discovery Channel’s Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in North America and is a favorite for locals and visitors. There are many opportunities along this scenic drive for hiking, scenic stops, and great photos. It makes appearances in both the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests – where it gets its name.
Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway | Dalton – Chatsworth
Looking for a day of history and peaceful scenery? Try the Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway, which begins at the historic Prater’s Mill, winds along past pastures, country roads, and the Cohutta Mountains, and ends at the Chattahoochee National Forest. Start this scenic North Georgia drive in Blue Ridge, follow Highway 515 South towards Ellijay, and then take Highway 52 to Fort Mountain for a lovely day.
Cohutta Wilderness | Blue Ridge – Ellijay
Start in beautiful Blue Ridge, Georgia, and make your way to Ellijay on this 3 to 5-hour trip (depending on your stops) through lush woods and ending at a peaceful lake. The drive includes many great stop options, including Mercier Orchards, McKinney Crossing, Prater’s Mill, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Watson’s Store and Watson Gap, Jacks River Fields, Lake Conasauga – and plenty in between. The Cohutta Wilderness includes 40,000+ acres of land to explore – the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi River – so there’s no shortage of things to see on this fun scenic drive.
Dahlonega + Apple Valley | Blue Ridge – Dahlonega – Apple Valley
Created by the U.S. Forest Service, this scenic North Georgia drive starts in gorgeous Blue Ridge and takes you to Dahlonega, Georgia, and the Apple Valley area. Start at the Georgia Highway 5 and 515 intersections in Blue Ridge and take the roundtrip drive, which is especially scenic in the fall. It takes around 3 to 4 hours depending on where you stop and includes places like Serenberry Vineyards, Old Skeenah Mill, Coopers Creek Recreation Area, Amicalola Falls State Park, Apple Orchard Valley, and more.
Highway 60 | Suches, GA
A favorite drive through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, this is referred to as The Valley Above the Clouds. Sitting almost 3,000 feet above sea level, it’s one of the highest points in the state of Georgia. It’s enclosed by the Cohutta Wilderness, with features such as great hiking trails, mountain crossings, and the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi at 270 feet long!
Georgia Mountain Parkway | Jasper – Blue Ridge
Following 1-575 from Atlanta to Highway 515, the Georgia Mountain Parkway scenic drive includes apple orchards, antique stores, art galleries, wildflower fields, farmlands, and more. And if you love hiking or outdoor activities, this is a great drive for hopping out of the car and exploring!
Nantahala Gorge | Hwy 19/74 – Murphy – Andrews – Nantahala, NC
The Nantahala Gorge runs alongside the whitewater of Nantahala for 8.5 miles. Along with scenic tree-studded views on this drive, it features many great put-in spots for water sports enthusiasts. Have lunch at a picnic table, enjoy scenic overlooks, or bring kayaks or canoes (or find a great local rafting outfitter) for a day on the water.
Ocoee Scenic Byway | Ducktown – Cleveland
The Ocoee Scenic Byway is the first U.S. Forest Service scenic byway in the nation, taking drives through the Cherokee National Forest, past the Ocoee River and Parksville Lake, along the Ocoee River Gorge, and eventually past the Ocoee Whitewater Center, used in the 1996 Olympics. If you’re up for it, visit an area outfitter to take a guided rafting tour down the tamer parts of the Ocoee. The scenes include powerhouses, Ocoee dams, and more.
Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway | Hiawassee
Taking you through the peaceful scenery of the Chattahoochee National Forest and Blairsville, Georgia, this scenic drive starts at SR 75 South and goes to the State Route 180/348 South junction. It’s a little over 40 miles of valley and mountain views, including the ever-popular Brasstown Bald and many rushing waterfalls. You’ll also have an opportunity to explore historic Helen, GA, known for its old-world Bavarian charm!
A Cozy Cabin for YOU
After a day of scenic drives, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to call home. We have some great cabin rentals for YOU to cozy up in. Our absolutely gorgeous Toccoa River Mist is a brand-new build (2021) in Blue Ridge, Georgia, that is stylish and fully outfitted with all the conveniences – and tons of extras – you’ll need for a fantastic North Georgia stay after a day on those winding mountain roads. Start the morning with coffee on the deck and a hearty breakfast made in the beautiful fully equipped kitchen before heading out on your scenic drive. Then come back to shoot pool, chat around the firepit, cozy up by the fireplace to watch TV, play shuffleboard and arcade games, or unwind on the amazing deck with an outdoor fireplace, seating, and big screen TV!