Tubing Choices While Vacationing in Blue Ridge!

Last weeks blog discussed whitewater rafting opportunities for those daredevils with an adventurous spirit! As promised, this week I am blogging about another fun North Georgia Mountain water activity to enjoy for those of you that prefer a more “calm ride.”  Tubing while enjoying your stay in Blue Ridge is a relaxing experience that you can share with your family, significant other, on a girl trip or alone with your favorite novel!

tubing toccoaRolling Thunder River Company offers tubing or kayaking on the scenic  Toccoa River.  What is great about this activity, is your child only needs to be at least five years old.  Obviously, on most whitewater rafting adventures, they need to be older.  The Rolling Thunder Company offers different lengths in tubing and they operate on dam controlled rivers.  Generally, this is a gentle and relaxing trip but check with the company to find out if the waters are faster due to heavy rains that have occurred.  When it is going fast, what was supposed to be a two-hour trip can turn into a quick 45 minutes.
Toccoa River Adventures located in McCaysville, Georgia (just a little distance from Blue Ridge), claims to have the toccoa river adventure buscheapest tubing ride in the area.  You can get a tube for $6 to $7 and they also offer tubes to hold coolers as well.  As indicated from the picture, you can see the bus that you are able to use to hitch a ride back to your car after you finish tubing. They call this their Toccoa River adventure bus!   This adventure mainly runs along Horseshoe Bend Park and also occasionally the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway can go by where you are able to wave at all the passengers on the train!

tubing 2Shallowford Bridge Tubing is located in the Aska adventure area just past the shallowford bridge.  They offer a $9 tubing ride from May to September.  They claim to have the “best float in the area.”  This company will actually allow children at least two years of age to ride in the same tube as their parent.  If this is something you are willing to dare to do, you may want to go here!!! (doesn’t sound relaxing to me but to each his own!)  These guys are also open 7 days a week where many are not.

Toccoa Valley Campground is another amazing choice located in the Aska area.  Toccoa valley campground tubingThey offer a $10 tube ride as well as a shuttle to take you back from a six-mile route.  They will not allow you to put your own tubes in the water without paying the fee.  Your child must be at least five years old to float with Toccoa Valley.  They are open six days a week and closed on Sunday.  They also offer rafts for couples and families.

For those of you that may be experiencing tubing for the first time, there are several suggestions to consider.

  • Wear water shoes.  Lots of rocks can cut your feet!water shoes
  • If you must take valuables, place in zip lock bags.
  • Children must keep life vests on at all times.  Don’t take chances!
  • Wear a lot of sunscreen and a hat.
  • Tie your tubes together if you for sure want to stay with your party.  (especially kids)
  • If you have a young child, start with the shortest tubing adventure to make sure they do well.

As you can see, we have plenty of tubing to choose from in the mountains!  Hope these blogs have helped you decide which water adventure you prefer.  Comment about your wild and crazy rafting adventure or your peaceful, relaxing tubing trip.  Next week I will begin my blog on the amazing variety of restaurants that Blue Ridge has to offer our tourists as well as locals. It’s so exciting because every time I turn around, a new restaurant has come to this amazing town….

Whitewater Rafting in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Are you a lover of the outdoors that is seeking an adventure of a lifetime?  If you like the sound of rushing waters, whitewater rafting may be exactly what the doctor ordered!  Speaking of rushing…this is an activity that will give you an adrenaline rush like you may have never experienced.  For those of you that prefer a smooth and peaceful experience, stay tuned for my blog post next week about tubing on the Ocoee and Toccoa Rivers.

Canoes, kayaks and rafts can conquer the rapids from April to September.  In fact, over 300,000 people enjoy the Ocoee River each and every year! Below is information for the thrill seekers that are ready to experience some outdoor exhilaration!

The Ocoee Whitewater Rafting Center is the famous site for the 1996 Olympic water events.  This river is often called the roller coaster of the Southeast.  The center is located in Ducktown, Tennessee which is only 12 miles from  BlueOcoee Whitewater Center
Ridge.  You will enjoy over 20 continuous Class three and four rapids as you drop 260 feet from the start of the river to the finish.  The adventurous trip lasts approximately an hour and a half to two hours.  There are two different sections of the river for you to choose from.  One is the upper Ocoee and the other is the middle Ocoee.  There is actually no experience necessary as you will be provided all necessary equipment and an experienced guide!  Rafting the Ocoee is an adventure you will never forget!  The great news about visiting here is if you have some people in your party that aren’t quite as adventurous, there are plenty of trails and things to enjoy at the center as well.  As you can see from the picture, the center is nicely surrounded by beautiful water with trails all around the area.
The Rolling Thunder River Company is another excellent choice when visiting beautiful Blue Ridge.whitewater-rafting-occoee  You can choose to raft down the Ocoee or the Nantahala River at this facility.   They suggest the Nantahala as being ideal for first timers.  This is a half day trip which can be guided, non-guided or you can follow your guide.  You can be as young as 7 for this adventure so it is perfect if you have young children.  The Ocoee rafting you must be at least 12 and it can offer half or full day trips.  It is a little more adventuresome but not too extreme.
These are two popular whitewater rafting companies in the area.  However, to read more details about some of the other choices, read our article located under the local area guide on our website.
Are you ready for this exhilarating experience?  If so, don’t come for only a day trip!  Call us to book one of our beautiful cabins to enjoy a week or weekend in the amazing North Georgia Mountains! We have cute quaint cabins for couples as well as large ones to hold all of your whitewater rafting friends.  We look forward to hearing from you and all about your whitewater adventure!

 

5 Popular Hiking Adventures in Blue Ridge!

The sounds and smells of spring are in the air! It is time to put on those hiking boots and head to some of Blue Ridge, Georgia’s 300 miles of hiking trails.  Put down the cell phones, lap tops and leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind!  Enjoy some quiet time in God’s country and savor in the moment when you get to enjoy the beauty of a waterfall at the end of your hike!

Below is a list of some of the most popular trails to hike!

  • Fall Branch FallsFall Branch Falls – This trail is one of my favorite especially for those that are not as experienced in hiking as well as for children. This is approximately a 30 minute hike round trip.  Fall Branch is a double waterfall full of mountain laurel and rhododendron growing along the creek bank and the trail area.  (Directions:Follow Aska Road South for 8 miles.  Turn right on Stanley Creek Road. Toccoa Riverside Restaurant will be on the left.  The trailhead is approximately 3 miles on the right.  The pavement will turn to gravel and you will go .2 miles.
  • Amicalola-falls 2 Amicalola Falls and Trails – This is not too far of a drive from Blue Ridge.  It is located 21 miles from Ellijay on Highway 52.  Dropping at 729 feet, this is the largest falls in Georgia and east of the Mississippi River.  There are steps you can climb to get to the top.  If you feel very adventuresome when you visit, there is an 8.5 mile trail that is quite strenuous and leads from the park to Springer Mountain which is the start of the famous Appalachian Trail.  Kids will love seeing this waterfall as well but may get a few complaints from the little ones about all the steps!
  • Long Creek FallsLong Creek Falls -This is the most popular waterfall in all of Fannin County. These falls can be seen by hiking down a short side trail from the combined Appalachian/Benton MacKaye Trail. These falls total about 50 feet in two distinct drops. A leisurely 30 minute hike to the falls is uphill on the way in, downhill on the way out. Directions are as follows: From Blue Ridge, go south on Aska Road 13.5 miles to end. Turn right onto Newport Road, go 4.5 miles to end. Turn left onto Doublehead Gap Road and continue on this road about .8 miles to intersection with dirt-gravel USFS Road 58 intersecting sharply from right. Turn onto FS 58 and continue into forest and uphill 5.3 miles to Three Forks. Noontootla Creek, a beautiful trout stream, is on the right as you ascend.
  • swinging bridge 2The Swinging Bridge is another very popular Blue Ridge attraction.  This is a 260 foot long bridge and the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River.  This is a very popular destination especially for day hikers and paddlers making the journey down the Toccoa River.  Directions from Blue Ridge are: take Hwy 515 east about four miles and turn right onto Hwy 60 toward Morganton.  Follow past the Post Office, turning right toward Suches/Dahlonega and go 11.3 twisty miles.  After passing the Old Skeenah Mill, go .7 miles to FS816 and turn right onto a gravel road.  FS816 is not really marked, but there is a “hiker sign” on the other side of the road from the turn.  It’s easy to miss.  It is a very bumpy three mile ride so you at least need an SUV to conquer this.  No low cars will work!  Once you park a short hike down to the Toccoa River on the Benton/MacKaye Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail brings you to the Swinging Bridge.
  • Sea Creek FallsSea Creek Falls is a beautiful 30 foot waterfall with a shallow pool at the bottom.  It is approximately an hour from Blue Ridge. From Morganton, follow Ga Highway 60 17.7 miles to the Cooper Creek Recreation Area turnoff on the left.  Continue on FS Road 4, 2.9 miles to a fork.  Turn left and follow road .3 miles.  Park and walk .1 miles to the falls. This is an easy hike and great for children and older adults.  This waterfall doesn’t get as much traffic as others and is definitely one to consider if you like seclusion!  It is absolutely beautiful!
Always be prepared when you are heading to the wilderness.  Wear proper clothing, shoes and be certain to take water.  Always use your best judgement when hiking around waterfalls.  Often, rocks can be wet and slippery and covered with moss, so please be cautious.  We hope you have a fabulous time in Blue Ridge and get to enjoy all the scenery and beauty of the area.  For more information on various waterfalls and hikes, visit the Fannin Chamber.

 

 

5 Reasons to Enjoy Spring in Blue Ridge

Winter is coming to an end and people are beginning to get excited about beautiful spring days right around the corner.  Spring break will be here before we know it.  Has your family made their vacation plans?  Blue Ridge, a quaint and adorable town located in the North Georgia Mountains is an amazing place to consider taking your break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

There are a variety of reasons this town is one to put on your bucket list but below are five top suggestions as to why you should consider this amazing slice of heaven as your spring destination.

First reason is the weather!  It is finally getting warm enough to enjoy some outdoor time.  How about the nice evenings around a cozy firepit?  By this point you can actually enjoy the cool evenings but with the comfort of a fire!

Next is the amazing flowers that are beginning to bloom around town! It’s about time you stop and smell the roses, isn’t it?  You can do that here while leaving your busy life at home.spring in blue ridge.jpg

Spring brings so many amazing activities to enjoy in North Georgia such as horsebackriding, hiking, canoeing, whitewater rafting and so much more.  Check out Fannin County’s chamber of commerce website to guide you on all the exciting events going on around town.

The fourth reason this is such a dynamic town to visit is all the amazing shops and restaurants that make up this great place.  If you have not been here lately or ever, you will be amazed at the variety of cuisine and shops made available to you.  Last but not least for visiting this spring is the great cabins that are available to stay in through Georgia Mountain Cabin Rental.  We have so many to choose from.  A small quaint cabin to ones that can hold very large families.