Swinging Bridge over the Toccoa River

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.

Long Creek Falls
Long Creek Falls

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.

Family hiking on the Swinging Bridge
Hiking on the Swinging Bridge

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.

Appalachian Trail hikers
Appalachian Trail hikers

Hike to the Appalachian Trail terminus

One of the greatest outdoor adventures in the world, the Appalachian Trail, begins in Fannin County at the top of Springer Mountain.

Mountain biking on Aska Trails
Aska Trails

Aska Trails

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.

Fall Branch Falls
Fall Branch Falls

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.

Insider tip:
Visit www.BlueRidgeMountains.com for complete descriptions and driving directions.

If you go:
From lake-view with a mountain vista and room for 20 to cabins hidden away and built only for two (hot tub included!), find links to cabin rental companies at www.BlueRidgeMountains.com.

Published: September 2021
Written by: Katie Reeder
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