Rack up the miles! Amazing long-distance hikes near Blue Ridge

Lace up your hiking boots and rack up the miles on these amazing long-distance hikes near Blue Ridge. These adventures are pretty much the perfect way to get a great workout while enjoying some of the most beautiful scenery in the North Georgia Mountains.

There’s just something about hitting the trail and letting your mind and feet wander while exploring mile after mile of North Georgia beauty. We often crave a good long-distance trek where we can escape from the cares of the world for a while and experience the beauty and peacefulness of nature. And there’s no better place rack up the miles than the gorgeous trails near Blue Ridge.

From outstanding overlooks and long-range views to rushing rivers and gorgeous waterfalls, these amazing adventures visit some of North Georgia’s most beautiful places.

Cohutta Wilderness
Filled with lush forests, crystal-clear rivers, and towering old-growth trees, Georgia’s Cohutta Wilderness offers some of the most remote hiking trails in the state. Encompassing more than 36,000 acres, the Cohutta is part of the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River. Its pristine, untamed beauty and remote location make it an outstanding option for a long-distance adventure.

Emery Creek Trail
6.2 Miles Round Trip

Explore two tumbling waterfalls on this water-filled adventure. The hike to Emery Creek Falls follows lush, shady creek banks and makes 20 creek crossings. It’s a perfect adventure for those sweltering Georgia summer days since you’re sure to get wet.

Jacks River Falls

Jacks River Falls
9 Miles Round Trip

Arguably one of Georgia’s most exceptional waterfalls, Jacks River Falls puts on a show in any season. The hike follows the Beech Bottom Trail through fern-filled, mossy forests and along the banks of the turbulent river. In warm weather months, wildflowers burst into bloom along the forest floor, making the trip to the falls equally as beautiful as the main attraction, Jacks River Falls.

Conasauga River Trail from Betty Gap
13.2 Miles Round Trip

Hike the southern half of the Conasauga River Trail and splash through 36 river fords. This challenging but stunning hike explores a remote section of the Cohutta Wilderness, following the namesake river for most of the trip. It’s a refreshing, wet adventure best attempted in the warm summer months.

Start of the Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail (AT)

The infamous Appalachian Trail starts its 2,000+-mile journey to Main right here in Fannin County. Several convenient access points near Blue Ridge allow for easy entry onto the AT and open up a range of options for exploration. Several of the most popular Appalachian Trail day hikes visit the southern terminus of the trail at Springer Mountain, taking in sweeping views from the summit.

Three Forks to Springer Mountain
8.6 Mile Round Trip

The ultra-scenic hike from the Three Forks river valley to the summit of Springer Mountain climbs through a widely diverse series of landscapes. From the lush, mossy, creek-filled valley at Three Forks, the trail climbs through a dense forest on the lower elevations of Springer Mountain before traversing the rocky summit.

AT Approach Trail
15.5 Miles Round Trip

Waterfalls AND mountain-top views on one trail? What could be better? The Appalachian Approach Trail summits Springer Mountain from the top of Georgia’s tallest waterfall, Amicalola Falls. From the falls, the trail climbs through a forest filled with hemlock, pine, poplar, rhododendron and mountain laurel before reaching the summit. A bronze plaque on the mountaintop commemorates the southernmost white trail blaze on the Appalachian Trail.

Hiking safety

Whether you’re hiking one mile or 100 miles, always hike safely and responsibly. Be sure to pack the essentials like plenty of water and snacks, a compass and paper map, a first aid kit, and wear shoes and clothing appropriate for the terrain and weather. Let others know where you plan to hike and when you expect to return. And always follow the principles of Leave No Trace to keep our wild places beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

About the Author

Eric Champlin
Atlanta Photographer & Creative Director

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