Get an amazing view from the 180-foot-long Swing-a-Long Bridge at Rock City Gardens. Photo by @alannakouri
8 North Georgia Adventures for Spring
From crossing a suspension bridge to stargazing on mountain peaks, you'll love experiencing these thrills in Georgia.
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
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.
Sip on local wines
More than 20 wineries stretch across North Georgia, including eight wineries and 12 tasting rooms in Dahlonega alone. Each vineyard has its own special character, and many offer live music, tastings and other entertainment. Want someone else to do the driving? Hop aboard a mini-coach with VIP Southern Tours for a full day of wine tasting and tours.
Catch a movie at one of Georgia's last drive-in theaters
Three of the state's five remaining drive-in movie theaters are located in North Georgia. Take an adventure on the silver screen at the Swan Drive In Theatre located off Old Highway 76 in Blue Ridge. Or, watch a movie on the largest outdoor drive-in movie screen in the world at Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater in Trenton. At Tiger Drive-In in Tiger, you could even watch a movie and sleepover in a vintage 1960s camper or renovated barn.
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.
Hike to the highest point in Georgia
Experience the changing seasons on Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest peak at 4,784 feet above sea level in Hiawassee. On a clear day, you can see four states (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina) from the observation deck. Part of the Chattahoochee National Forest, it offers stunning 360-degree views of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and surrounding valleys. The half-mile hike from the parking lot is steep but offers a fascinating look at seasonal blooms, or you can take the shuttle to the top.
Go whitewater rafting
Choose from several outfitters ready to guide you through the churning rapids on a whitewater rafting trip down North Georgia's famous rivers. Nantahala Outdoor Center, for example, has a location on the Chattooga River in Clayton. Their whitewater rafting trips range from the "mild" Section III to the "wild" Section IV, which features a run through the famous Five Falls, where five tumultuous Class IV+ rapids unfold in quick succession. The two types of trips are appropriate for both first-timers and experienced rafters.
If you love stars, then you'll definitely enjoy the nighttime view over North Georgia. With plenty of peaks that get you closer to wide-open skies away from heavy light pollution, North Georgia is a stargazer's wonderland. Hike three miles to the top of Rabun Bald, Georgia's second-highest peak, near Sky Valley, or camp in the backcountry at Vogel State Park in Blairsville and doze off under a blanket of stars.
Want to learn more about Georgia's night sky from astronomers? Take in the view with telescopes and experts from Tellus Science Museum.
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.