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What to do
Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa
The Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa
Popular destination for hikers, paddlers and fishermen.
A popular destination for day-hikers, Benton MacKaye Trail through hikers, and paddlers making the journey down the Toccoa River Canoe Trail is the swinging bridge over the Toccoa River. This 270 foot long bridge is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River. The Swinging Bridge over the Toccoa River is located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail in Fannin County. It was built by the USDA Forest Service in cooperation with the Appalachian Trail Club in 1977, when extension of the Blue Ridge Parkway to Kennesaw Mountain was under consideration.
Trails to access the Swinging Bridge are located on each side of the river and provide short, pleasant walks. On both north and south side approaches to the bridge, the white diamond blazes of the Benton MacKaye Trail and the blue vertical rectangular blazes of the Duncan Ridge Trail are present.
Other attractions are the drive through the beautiful Wilscot Valley, the historic working Skeenah Mill and falls, the forested setting to reach the parking area and the Toccoa River itself.
NORTH SIDE ACCESS
Set your odometer to zero. From McDonalds in Blue Ridge, take Highway 515 approximately 4.3 miles to the intersection of Highway 60. Turn right and follow Highway 60 into Morganton. In Morganton, turn right on Highway 60 South toward Dahlonega (6.3 miles from start). Drive approximately 11.3 miles on 60S and you will pass County Road 221 with Skeenah Mill Campground on the left (17.6 miles from start). .7 mile after Skeenah Mill,(18.3 miles on your odometer), USFS road 816 is on the right. (If you come to Toccoa Bend Country Store you have gone a little too far). Follow this dirt-gravel road 4.0 miles to the parking site. Berms block further access. Trail to the river is behind the berm. Hiking time is about five minutes (.25 miles) from vehicle to the bridge.
*Note: The Forest Service road to the swinging bridge is rated for high clearance vehicles; a 4-wheel, SUV or truck is recommended.
SOUTH SIDE ACCESS
Pass FS 816 and drive 2.7 additional miles to Fish Hatchery Road, FS 69. Turn right. Cross concrete bridge over Toccoa River at 21.6 miles from start of trip. Continuing south, reach John Dick Bridge and FS road 248, 1.6 miles further. Turn right onto 248 and cross bridge over Rock Creek. Reach FS road 333 within .3 miles, follow it another .4 miles to FS road 308 on the right. At this point, either continue on 333 another .25 miles to trail crossing and park in very limited space, walking downhill on DRT/BMT to river, or ...Turn right on 308, drive .3 miles to gated road on left. Park on opposite side of road from gate. Walk behind the gate downhill on unmarked but readily defined trail to river and swinging bridge.
Outdoor Adventures Hiking Access Points