Blue Ridge for Outdoor Sports Lovers

Plenty a weekend is spent in the mountains of Blue Ridge, feet lounging on the deck of log cabin…juicy novel in hand and libation within reach. We applaud this! But sometimes, you need to be challenged, you need to sweat, you need to feel the sun beating on your skin. When it’s a weekend excursion that demands boredom stay home, let these activities give you some inspiration.

Trout fishing
There are over 100 miles of streams and rivers in Blue Ridge, from the Toccoa River to Cooper Creek. It’s no wonder this county is Georgia’s Trout Capital! Use this link to find maps of fishing access points and boat ramps. 

Want a sure thing? No problem, when you choose to head out with a local fishing guide. These experts will show you the best places for finding trout and other species, as well as hand out a few tips.

Mountain biking 
Some of Georgia’s most exciting mountain biking trails wind their way through the Aska Adventure Area of Blue Ridge. 17 miles of trails offer biking excursions that range from 1 - 5.5 miles each, gaining as much as 3,200 feet in elevation. You’ll see views of the mountains most hikers only dream of, drop onto the shore of Lake Blue Ridge and travel along mountain stream. Biking trails are open all year, with each season providing a special nuance.

Hiking 
Whether you love a short hiking trail to a beautiful waterfall, or you’ve got plans to start the NoBo route on the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge is the answer. Imagine over 300 miles of trails in stunning terrain, beckoning you to visit. 

The 34,000 acres of the Cohutta Wilderness is among the most beautiful in the state. Not familiar? Start with a driving tour, first, and then make a plan to explore on foot. A perfect day hike is the approach trail to Springer Mountain where the Appalachian Trail begins. The Ocoee Whitewater Center trail, Swinging Bridge or Fall Branch Falls are three more family-friendly “must-do” hikes. Here's a free hiking map and guide to download.

White water rafting 
Speaking of the Ocoee Whitewater Center, don’t miss a chance to ride the rapids. On the Georgia side, the Toccoa River is smooth and gentle, ideal for kayaking or tubing. Just as you cross the border in McCaysville the same river changes names and takes on a bit of attitude. 

On the Ocoee you’ll find more intense rapids and plenty of opportunity for heart-pounding adventure. Take a half-day or full-day ride on the river, with both excursions guaranteed to leave you with amazing memories. Check out all the outfitters for both Georgia and Tennessee water trips here. 

Kayaking or paddleboarding
If you prefer a more serene water trip, then grab a kayak or SUP and head to Lake Blue Ridge or the lower section of the Toccoa. Have your own equipment? Head to Morganton Point on Lake Blue Ridge for easy access and magnificent views. If you need to rent equipment, prefer a shuttle ride along the river or favor a guided excursion, then make a reservation with one of the Blue Ridge outfitters in the area. Learn more about them and their offerings here.

Ziplining
Imagine soaring over valleys, flying over treetops, crossing over the local creek and zipping across thousands of feet of cable, including a 550-plus-foot stretch. It’s the closest you’ll come to feeling the freedom of the hawks that call Blue Ridge home.

Combine ziplining with taking on an aerial course for a true workout that feels like nothing but fun, fun, fun! Make your reservation with Blue Ridge Adventure Park or Zip Line Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge.

Horseback riding
If you want to cover more terrain, see unique and special landscapes and experience something new…a horseback riding adventure is the answer. Blue Ridge offers horseback riding guides for seasoned riders, families, date nights and newbies.

For a true cowboy experience, try the Dinner Ride with Appalachian Trail Rides. Ride your horse for about an hour to the gazebo, then dismount to enjoy some fishing, live music, a campfire and a delicious meal.

Golf
Old Toccoa Farm, Blue Ridge's Bunker Hill-designed course is a par 72, links-feel course totaling 6,707 beautiful yards. The course winds through 125 acres of ridges and meadows, featuring over 280 feet of elevation change with spectacular views of the Chattahoochee and Cherokee National Forests and surrounding valleys. Golf lessons and clinics are also available through the Blue Ridge Mountain golf resort’s Director of Golf and PGA Professional, Steve Phelps.

Not too far from Blue Ridge you can also hit the green at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa. The Brasstown Valley Golf Course offers full practice options, a well-equipped Pro Shop and customized special tournaments. 

Boating
Take to the water on beautiful Lake Blue Ridge for the ultimate summer adventure. Bring your own boat and splurge on a weekend escape here (most rentals on the lake include docks). Soak up the sun, jump in the water to cool off and watch your worries disappear.

This option is still for you, even if you don’t own a boat.  Rent a pontoon boat at Lake Blue Ridge Marina or let the experts guide you--Capt'n Joe's Lake Adventures offers tours, private and specialty charters. 

When hunger pains hit, make your way to Boat Dock Bar and Grill. Enjoy waterfront favorites like loaded nachos, juicy cheeseburgers and shrimp tacos, and wash it down with libations from their extensive beer, wine and cocktail list. 

About the Author

Lesli Peterson
365AtlantaTraveler

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