Swing-a-Long Bridge at Rock City Gardens. Photo by @alannakouri
8 North Georgia Adventures for Your Bucket List
From crossing a suspension bridge to snorkeling in a mountain river, you'll love checking these trips off your list.
There is no shortage of adventure in the North Georgia mountains. You'll find lots of places to go camping, hiking or mountain biking. In the warmer months, a dip in a cool North Georgia lake is a welcome respite, but what about some of the lesser-known gems in the area? We're spilling the beans on eight of our favorites.
Dare to cross a suspension bridge
Tallulah Gorge bridge photo by Adrian Thomas, @thegreatkingace
Choose from three daring options: the 180-foot-long Swing-a-Long Bridge at Rock City Gardens, the bridge at Tallulah Gorge State Park that hovers 80 feet above the rocky bottom, and the 270-foot-long swinging bridge over the Toccoa River near Blue Ridge. The swinging bridge near Blue Ridge is more than safe and connects a wonderful hiking path on the Benton MacKaye Trail. Come early for one of the first-come, first-served camping spots along the river. Bring your kayak or canoe and slip it in the water for a fun paddle.
Create your own wine tour
Photo: Engelheim Vineyards in Ellijay, Georgia
More than 20 wineries stretch across North Georgia, including six wineries in Ellijay alone. Each vineyard has its own special character, and many offer live music, tastings and other entertainment. The best way to see them all is during the Wine Highway Weekends in March. What started as a weekend of fun has now been extended to the entire week.
Catch a movie at one of Georgia's last drive-in theaters
Fly fish in the Trout Capital of Georgia
Did you know that Blue Ridge, Georgia, is the Trout Capital of Georgia? Yup, it is, so find yourself a spot on the Toccoa River and wait for the big one. If you don't have gear, or are new to the sport of fishing, there are a number of outfitters, such as Fly Fish Blue Ridge, On the Fly Excursions, and Wild Waters Fly Fishing Co. And if you are just learning, may we suggest Spring Creek Anglers Fly Fishing School. For those with kids, be sure to read our article on taking kids fishing.
Snorkel in a mountain river
The Conasauga River is home to more than 70 different species of fish. In fact, it's the most biodiverse river basin in the world, and it's located in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest near the small North Georgia town of Cisco. Bring your snorkel gear and plenty of snacks for an adventurous afternoon exploring this hidden spot.
Meet a moonshiner
Toccoa has trout, but in Dawsonville they're known for moonshine. Once a way for poor farmers to make a little extra cash, it turned into an illegal activity when the farmers refused to pay taxes on their 'shine. That led to high-speed chases through the mountains and the sport of NASCAR. You can learn more about it at the Dawsonville Distillery and the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame both located at Dawsonville's City Hall. Or, get a taste of driving the mountain roads during the Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruise-In in Hiawassee in July.
Explore a car graveyard
If you love cars, than you definitely don't want to miss Old Car City located in White, Georgia. This automobile graveyard is part junkyard, part museum and all kinds of fun. There are about six miles of trails throughout the 34+ acre compound and more than 4,000 cars! Hubcaps in the wind create a symphony soundtrack to the stories of these beautiful, now silent machines.
Find out why people think Bigfoot is real
Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Yeti, whatever you want to call him, his spirit is alive and well right off Ga. 515 near Blue Ridge. Expedition: Bigfoot is an offbeat and well-done museum that explores the legend of the hairy beast, including a full-size replica and a re-created Bigfoot attack. If you don’t leave a believer, you can at least leave with a t-shirt. In addition to the museum store, they also have a gift shop in downtown Blue Ridge. While downtown, stop in at Chester Brunnenmeyer's for a Wookie. I hear it puts hair on your chest.