10 Memorable Family Adventures in Blue Ridge
By Guest Blogger Lesli Peterson
Hike to a waterfall. Both Long Creek Falls and Falls Branch Falls make excellent hikes with kids. The hike to Falls Branch Falls is not difficult at all, but includes more rocks, tree stumps and moss along the path, which my little ones enjoy wholeheartedly.
Pick berries for a pie. Most people know Mercier Orchards for their apples in fall, but don’t miss out on strawberry and blueberry picking in summer. And grab a bag of peaches while you’re at it. The Market Cafe is a wonderful lunch stop before heading home from the North Georgia Mountains.
Mine for gemstones. The Lilly Pad Village was created with kids in mind. Mining for gemstones is a favorite of ours, but families can also fish in the stocked pond, play a round of mini golf, or cool off with an ice cream.
Take in a flick. If you have a convertible, now’s the time to use it! Swan Drive-In Theater has been showing movies since 1955 - old-school style! Sound is delivered through your radio, and double features play on select evenings.
Hook a trout. You’re in the trout capital of Georgia, so don’t miss the opportunity to hook a few. The Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery is the place to do that (and learn about them, as well!) There is plenty to do here besides fish, but if you want to try your hand you’ll need your own gear and a fishing license.
Zip through the trees. If your kids are 10 yrs or older, you’ll love the 3 skybridges and 6,000 feet of cable allowing you to soar through the trees. There are also aerial challenges (with a ground level for younger kids) and white water rafting on the Ocoee for adventure-lovers.
Float your cares away. Do you fancy a kayak or SUP? Maybe you want to whisk the family away on a pontoon boat for the day? Lake Blue Ridge is the ideal location to relax and unwind. Rentals are available through the Marina, and the Day Use area works for launching your own boat or exploring the shoreline.
Camp under the bridge. The swinging bridge over the Toccoa River is a worthy hiking destination on its own, but pack a sleeping bag for the ultimate adventure. First-come, first-serve camping spots under the bridge and along the river are some of the best places to wake in Blue Ridge. I’ll bring the coffee!
Defy the tooth fairy. An apple a day….is not nearly as much fun as Huck’s General Store! Grab a small tin pail and fill it with “penny candy” like Grandpa used to do! It’s also a prime place to see the train roll in.
Explore two states at once. There simply is no better way to enjoy summer than riding in an open-air car on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. During your two-hour layover in McCaysville you’ll want a pork sandwich from Joe’s BBQ and a selfie straddling the “blue line” where you can stand in Georgia and Tennessee at the same time.