Benton MacKaye Trail
Two of our favorite short hikes in Fannin County, Fall Branch Falls and the Toccoa River Swinging Bridge, follow sections of the same long-distance trail. The Benton MacKaye trail (BMT) travels nearly 300 miles from the summit of Springer Mountain through Georgia and Tennessee before ending in the Great Smoky Mountains. But you don’t have to hike far to enjoy this beautiful trail.
Visit Fall Branch Falls on a short one-half mile hike packed with classic North Georgia beauty. The trail follows a tumbling trout stream, lined with native plants, including rhododendron and mountain laurel. A short side trail veers from the Benton MacKaye Trail to the base of a beautiful, double waterfall. Below Fall Branch Falls, a wooden observation platform offers excellent views and provides the perfect spot for a mid-hike snack or picnic.
The beginner and family-friendly hike to the Toccoa River Swinging Bridge is a popular destination near Blue Ridge. Hike a short, mile-long section of the Benton MacKaye Trail to the banks of the wide-flowing, ultra-scenic Toccoa River. And then cross the river by way of a 270-foot long suspension bridge–a certain adventure as the bridge bounces and sways gently with each step. On the opposite side of the river, the hike explores a series of small waterfalls set in a stand of fragrant evergreen trees.