Swinging Bridge over the Toccoa River near Blue Ridge, Georgia
Top 5 Hikes in Blue Ridge
Get to know the best of Blue Ridge, 90 minutes north of Atlanta, on these top five picks for hiking in the area.
A hiker’s paradise, Blue Ridge offers several major trail systems, including access to the Appalachian Trail, which extends for more than 2,000 miles to Maine through many of the states on the Eastern seaboard. Pursue these paths for outdoor explorations on one of the many trails in a system of over 300 miles, including short trails suitable for beginning hikers.
Three Forks to Long Creek Falls
The hike to Long Creek Falls is a great way to experience the Appalachian Trail. This adventure includes a scenic 5.3-mile drive into the forest following Noontootla Creek to the Three Forks area, where you will begin your two-mile round-trip hike following Long Creek to a beautiful cascading waterfall with two drops totaling 50 feet. Take a picnic to enjoy at the falls.
Swinging Bridge Trail
Another awesome excursion requires rambling the Benton MacKaye Trail south from Hwy 60 for three miles to be rewarded with sweeping views of the pristine Toccoa River flowing beneath a structure known simply as the “Swinging Bridge.” The longest suspension bridge east of the Mississippi, the passage was built by the USDA Forest Service and the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club in the mid-1970s.
The Aska Trails Area is is a popular 17-mile trail system near Blue Ridge, with hikes that intersect and loop ranging from one- to 5.5-miles.
Benton MacKaye Trail to Fall Branch Falls
A short distance away and part of the larger Benton MacKaye Trail, Fall Branch Falls is a double waterfall with mountain laurel and rhododendron growing along the trail and creek bank. The hike to the falls is about 30 minutes round-trip.