Make Your own Blue Ridge, Georgia Cabin Rental Experience

Making Your own Adventure in Blue Ridge, Georgia

The words Blue Ridge and adventure are often used in the same sentence.  You will hear of Blue Ridge Mountain Adventure, Experience the Blue Ridge Adventure, and so on.  So in this article we will focus on only one area where the adventure is almost endless.  Where adventure meets reality, where the sky and the earth meet, where the cool mountain streams create waterfalls and rivers, and fine dining is easily within reach.  Where is this, only the Aska Adventure Area, of course.

The Aska Adventure area is a recently named area in Fannin County that is to the south of town and got it’s name from being Aska Rd.  Aska Road is a 13.1 mile long road that leads from the center of Fannin County southward towards what is known as the tail of Fannin County.  The reason adventure are got added to create the term is all of the things to do along this short 13.1 mile stretch of country road.

Stating about 2 miles on Aska Rd. from Blue Ridge there is access to Lake Blue Ridge.  The adventure here can start at the boat ramp and Green Creek, and the Green Creek Recreation Area.  A great place to bring the pic nik basket and have a lakeside lunch followed by a canoe ride or a swim in Green Creek.  In the summer time Green Creek is part of Lake Blue Ridge, as the water backs up into the natural cove creating lake frontage for several homes.  In the winter time the Blue Ridge Lake is drawn down to winter pool, and the Green Creek area turns into a tributary to the main body of the lake.

About another two miles down Aska Rd. you will begin to ascend Deep Gap, one of the highest elevations in Fannin County.  Just after you crest Deep Gap there will be a parking area on the right side of the road.  This is a trail access to the Green Mountain Trail.  This trail is part of the Aska Adventure Trail System.  The Aska Trail System, on Aska Road is access to many trails.  They are Stanley Gap Trail, Flat Creek Loop Trail, Flat Creek Connector, Benton Mckay Trail (the largest spur of the Appalachian Trail), Upper Green Mountain, Lower Green Mountain, Long Branch Connector , and the Long Branch Loop Trail.  For more and specific information on these trails please click the link for the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, where they have made maps showing the Aska Adventure Trail System.

Another couple of miles own Aska Rd. there is a left turn on Shady Falls Rd.  This is a private area tat goes all the way over to front Lake Blue Ridge.  A quick ride through this area and you will see homes ranging from cabins in the woods, to multi million dollar homes, that some are primary residences and some are second homes.  Off of Shady Falls Rd. is another road named Turkey Farm Road.  Turkey Farm Rd. was named this because when the United States Forest Service use to have a turkey farm on this road.  This is where they bred turkeys and helped to create the plentiful amount of turkeys that have made a habitat in this area for years and years.  Also, on Turkey Farm Rd., is the Turkey Farm Loop, which is a Blue Ridge Georgia Mountain Biking Trail.  For more information on the Turkey Farm Loop Trail, please click the following:  Turkey Farm Loop Trail Info Section.  This trail goes by Lake Blue Ridge and has minimal elevation, but passes by many beautiful homes and down to the Toccoa River.

Back out on Aska Rd. another couple of miles you will start to see the Toccoa River, but only after passing the Flat Creek Loop and Connector.  After starting to see the Toccoa River you will notice a pull off on the left side of the road at “the rapids”.  This is a place where many tubers, kayakers, and canoers get out at.  On past the rapids you will see the Lily Pad Village on the left.  Here is a great place to do some fishing in the pond or some mountain side putt putt.  Past the Lily Pad Village, at the 8 mile mark down Aska Rd. you will see the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant.  Restaurateur, Tim Richter, has put the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant on the map.  The restaurant is a river front master piece, this is recently rebuilt due to a fire several years ago that completely took down the restaurant.  Tim’s heart was still to satisfy customers through their stomachs and he rebuilt the restaurant to a brand new log style building with outdoor dining, a full bar, outdoor fire pit by the river, and a large room in the basement for private events and parties.

Also, at the 8 mile mark on Aska Rd., directly across from the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant, is Stanley Creek Rd.  This is a road that changes name about half way thru and connects at the other end to Hwy 515 at Rock Creek Road and at Rock Creek Church.  But on the Stanley Creek side there is Fall Branch Falls, a Georgia’s Blue Ridge Waterfall Hiking Trail.  This is a very easy trail to a beautiful natural waterfall, with many layers of rock that the water cascades over, but the trek is through some of the most beautiful mountain laurel you have ever seen.  This trail is definitely one that should be on your to do list.

Back out to Aska Road and a turn to the right will take you about 1 more mile to Shallowford Bridge, and Shallowford Bridge Road.  The Shallowford Bridge is an old iron bridge that spans the Toccoa River.  Here is the first spot to start taking in the Toccoa River.  Shallowford Bridge Tubing is here, and this is a place for take out for several other tubing companies as well.  Toccoa Valley Campground tubing has a take out just south of the bridge.  Tubing on the upper Toccoa is a wonderful day trip for all the members of the family.  But, before you get off of Shallowford Bridge Rd. you can go to the Sandy Bottoms Canoe Launch and The Toccoa River Swinging Bridge.  Sandy Bottoms is a public access in the United States National Forest that you can access the river for launching and take out from the Toccoa River.  The Toccoa River Swinging Bridge is an awesome experience that can only be described as a fun hike with a water adventure, and a rope swinging bridge that crosses the river.

Back to Aska Rd. and continue south and you will come to Noontootla Creek.  Noontootla Creek is home to some awesome trout fishing in the Blue Ridge, GA area.  After all, Fannin County is the trout capital of Georgia, and Noontootla Creek is one of the reasons.  Just a few miles upstream from where Noontootla Creek crosses the Aska Road is Noontootla Creek Farms.  Noontootla Creek Farms is home to some serious action and adventure.  They have over two miles of privately owned trout streams, a 3 D archery course, game bird hunting trips, and a full skeet course.  So if you are into fishing and shooting, this is definitely your spot.  The Noontootla Creek Farms consist of almost 2000 acres of family land that has been in the same family for many generations.

From where Noontootla Creek Farms intersects with Aska Rd. there is only about a ¼ of a mile to the end of Aska Rd., but this is not where the adventure ends.  There are many more places in southern Fannin County that home to some exciting and fun outdoor excitement.  Now you can see where Aska Adventure Area gets its name.  With all that has been written in this article about the Aska Adventure Area there are still more things that a family can get into on Aska Rd.  One of the biggest is rentin g a cabin in the Aska Adventure Area.  There are many cabin rentals on Aska Rd. and they have some great views of the mountains, Rich Mountain Wildlife Area, overlook downtown Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge lake front cabin rentals, and Toccoa River front cabin rentals.

So come to Blue Ridge and get an Aska Adventure packed stay for you and your family, one that they will surely never forget, and all on one road.

Blue Ridge White Water Rafting

Whitewater rafting and tubing

            Whitewater rafting is on the most exciting adventures you can have up here in the Blue Ridge, GA area.

The OcoeeRiver, and white water center, is one the most popular whitewater rafting destination in the entire United States. And with over 20 continuous rapids, it’s not hard to see why. And one river rafting company—the creatively named Ocoee River Rafting—is located “just several miles from Blue Ridge, Georgia.” Here’s the link for more info.

I have personal experience rafting on two different rivers, but the most fun by far is the Ocoee. Once I had graduated to the boy scouts we went down the Ocoee.  The rapids are class III+ on the International Scale of River Difficulty created by the American Whitewater Association, meaning the rapids are for the intermediately skilled. However, there are some rapids on the OcoeeRiver that get up to class V level.

While rafting the river there are so many exciting times it is hard to describe just one.  However, there is one in particular that I remember from personal experience.  While in the Boy Scouts we rafted once on the Ocoee river.  About half way through our trip we found ourselves essentially in a whirlpool for several minutes, though it felt like an eternity. All of the sudden I noticed that the scout in front of me was just gone, then so was the adult leader next to him. In one of the pictures, we can see a leg of his sticking out of the river and nothing else. Then my brother fell into the river. According the pictures (I don’t have many memories of this), I tried to bring him back in raft. In the next picture, my brother’s in the river and I’m bear-hugging the raft, so as to not join him. My dad managed to pull me back in.

At one point, another raft came by and tried to push us out. The attempt was unsuccessful. I don’t know how but we eventually got out and had to land nearby to get over half of our passengers back in. Then we continued down to river and finished our awesome trip. All of the rapids on the river were fun to navigate but that’s the only one I remember.

I feel obliged to say this: you are completely safe on the Ocoee. All of the company guides are trained for obvious reasons. Accidents can still happen, as the water is a powerful force of nature.  But, as I said I rafted on the Ocoee at a young age and I rafted on another river at a younger age, nothing happened. The guides will do everything in their power to keep you safe. They have to. It is their job. The companies are liable for your safety. You just have to paddle when and where they tell you to.

If you have very young children, under the age of 12, do not bring them on the Ocoee. Luckily, we have an even closer alternative—tubing on the Toccoa River which is safe for kids over the age of 5. You can float down the river tube for 1.5 miles with the tubing offered by Rolling Thunder River. If the TVA isn’t releasing water, this’ll take a couple of hours, but if the dam is letting water through, then that time is reduced by 2/3rds. However, if you want to spend more than 20 minutes on the river, they offer a 3 mile trip, doubling the original distance.  Also, there is an alternative of tubing the UpperToccoaRiver, which is not controlled by the Lake Blue Ridge Dam.  The upper river is located up Aska Road, in the “Aska Adventure Area”.  There are several options for tubing the upper Toccoa.  Toccoa River Adventures, Toccoa Valley Campground and Tubing, Shallowford Bridge Tubing, and Jon/Ron are some of the recommended vendors.

Reservations are not necessary. If you want to more than float, they also offer canoeing and kayaking.

Here’s a link, provided by the Chamber of Commerce with all the possible info you want to have on your Blue Ridge water adventure.

My First Time Ever in Blue Ridge, from an outsiders standpoint

My first time ever in Blue Ridge, Georgia

I was hesitant to come up to the mountains.

Sure, I liked the outdoors but for some reason I can’t exactly put my hands on I did not want to come up the mountains. Regardless, my parents bought land up here, and we were going camping on that land.

Right off the bat, Dad and my brother Blake went off fishing. That isn’t something I’m interested in, so I stayed behind with Mom. That being said if you are interested in fishing, there are literally countless fishing holes up here. You can fish at Blue RidgeLake or the any streams. Follow this link for a list of the best ones.

Later, I heard their story. They were at a random fishing hole when an armed man in camo with a beard that was literally stuffed into his belt came up. Dad was about to hightail it out of there. When the guy starting feeding the fish in order to make them come to the top. He gave them advice on the best fishing holes in the county.

That is the character of the people up there. Want another example? There’s an old man that always walks around the road to our property. If you talk to him, he’s so nice. However, he can go on for literally hours about local history like how the Cherokee chief White Path fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, how he protested white encroachment on traditional Cherokee lands, how he lobbied against Indian removal in the courts, and why he eventually went along with the Trail of Tears—which this road followed. Oh, and here’s why they call this place Devil’s Den ….

If you want to know more about our history, just read the local paper. The columnist Dale Dyer writes in entire articles on that.

Within a couple hours of camping, we knew all three of our neighbors. By the way if you want to just get away, then this is the perfect place for you. I have only three neighbors. Anyway, they just came up to introduce themselves and brought snacks with them.

Finally, the place to go in Blue Ridge is Mercier Apple Orchards. They sell apples in literally every from you could imagine—apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple fried pies, apple bread loaf, fudge covered apples. And no, they don’t just sell apples. They also grow strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches and plumbs. They offer an endless variety of snacks. Want a souvenir? They have the kind of gifts that you can find nowhere else.

The thing I remember most that first time in Blue Ridge is that night. Dad jumped at a pair of eyes—only to find out there were fireflies. In a few minutes, they were everywhere. I’ve camped out a lot, but never in my life have I seen so many fireflies.

Later that night we looked up into night sky. If you leave in town or in a city, many stars will be blotted out by the lights of civilization. In Blue Ridge, you can see them all. I even saw the Milky Way!

July events that you don’t want to miss!

In the North Georgia Mountains there is a little something for everyone to see or do.  Whether your idea of fun is “shopping till you drop” in Down Town Blue Ridge, or soaking up the scenery from your cabin’s Hot Tub, you are sure to be pleased.  And with all the activities and events going on in the Blue Ridge Mountains this summer there’s no excuse not to make a trip to see us at GEORGIA MOUNTAIN CABIN RENTALS!

Butternut Creek Festival  ~  July 20 – 21

Meeks Park   Blairsville, GA

15th annual festival! Hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on both days. The Butternut Creek Festival is one of the finest juried arts and crafts shows in the Southeast. The two-day festival showcases the work of 65 artists and craftsmen in categories from basketry, fine art, fabric art, and decorative painting, to glass, jewelry, metal working, photography, pottery, scrimshaw, and woodturning.
For more information contact: 706-781-1221

Escape to Blue Ridge Tri The Mountains Sprint Triathlon  ~  July 21

Lake Blue Ridge Marina in Blue Ridge  ~  335 Marina Dr., Blue Ridge, GA 30513

The 600 yard swim course in the beautiful, clear waters of Lake Blue Ridge is a one loop affair around a triangular course, which is laid out nicely for a fast first leg of the day. Once out of the water, the athletes run up the boat ramp to the transition area where they will grab their bikes for the 18 mile out and back bike course. Racers will cycle up a slight climb out of the marina to a right on Old Hwy 76, and then enjoy the first of many long downhills. They will cross over Lake Blue Ridge Dam and will be treated to amazing views of the Lake and Mountains to the right, and the Toccoa River to the left. The ride over the dam is flat and then the next 8 miles will be rolling and fun, with a few longer climbs and incredibly fast downhills. Athletes will turn around at mile 9 and head back to the transition area. They will be greeted by a nice downhill to the Marina. Transitioning again at the Marina runners will start their run with a slight climb out of the Marina then enjoy a mile of nice downhill followed by rolling hills and a flat, slightly downhill run into the Historic town of Blue Ridge ending in front of the Gazebo on the corner of Depot and Main St.

Green Bean Festival  ~  July 27

Union County Farmers Market  ~  148 Old Smokey Rd. Blairsville

Third Annual Green Bean Festival! Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm. Blairsville celebrates the 2012 Harvest of Green Beans and more… Over 100 vendors including regions top produce, exceptional crafters and artisans, the best in Festival Food, including a Low Country Boil from 4:30 – 7pm, benefiting Alzheimer’s. Farmer’s Market * 5K Race * Bike Ride * Green Bean Pizza-eating Contest * Live Entertainment * Canning and Recipe Contests * Exhibit and Demonstration Area* Petting Zoo* Climbing Wall and Bungee Jumping* Pony Rides* Bushels of Fun for the whole family! Free Parking and Shuttle. There is also a Square Dance on Friday night beginning at 8 p.m. on the Blairsville Square.
The Downtown Development Authority