Fun Times Two in the Copper Basin
Too much fun—there’s no such thing! But in McCaysville and the Copper Basin you’ll find two times the adventure when it comes to trains, towns, states, rivers and breweries.
Take a train and enjoy the ride down 13-miles of rails on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway (241 Depot Street, Blue Ridge), with rides beginning for the 2019 season on March 9. The 45-minute (each way) excursion is a generation-bonding adventure that starts at the historic 1905 depot in Downtown Blue Ridge. Vintage climate-controlled rail cars or open-air rail cars host more than 70,000 passengers each year for a ride that winds alongside the Toccoa River, with a stop in the twin border towns of McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee.
McCaysville/Copperhill is one town with two names because it is split by the Georgia-Tennessee state line. Here, visitors have a two-hour layover, with plenty of time to eat lunch, shop for unique crafts and antiques, snack on ice cream or walk around. Don’t forget to take a selfie on the Blue Line that separates the two towns and two states.
Departing from Etowah, Tenn., the Tennessee Valley Railroad offers an extended 94-mile round-trip day-trip excursion to McCaysville/Copperhill through the lower Hiwassee River Gorge, over the Hiwassee Loop and, where a 90-minute layover provides opportunity to eat and shop before returning to the departure city of Etowah. This year’s season begins on March 23.
Two Rivers Run Through It
As the Toccoa River crosses the Tennessee line under the historic steel bridge in McCaysville, it becomes the Ocoee River, site of the 1996 Olympic Kayaking trials. Over the bridge, visit the McCaysville Welcome Center beside the Toccoa River and find out more about the mining history of the area, pick up brochures and local info.
The recently completed Riverwalk Shops will give you some new, intriguing shops to explore. For lunch, stop one of three new Riverwalk restaurants. Eat inside or with a view on the deck overlooking the Toccoa River. More shops and eateries in the two towns give you plenty to do to spend a fun morning or afternoon or a two-hour layover on the train.
Don’t forget to taste a local beer (or two!!) in these two Copperhill breweries:
Copperhill Brewery (105 Ocoee Street, Copperhill, Tennessee 37317) offers high quality, diverse and exceptional tasting craft beer. Enjoy the variety of craft beers offered in the tap room. Open 3-8 p.m., Monday-Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m., Sunday.
Buck Bald Brewing (160 Ocoee Street, Copperhill, Tennessee 37317) was born in the mountains of Blue Ridge and is dedicated to brewing the highest quality beer. From the flagship Ragin' Red Ale and Hollerin' Man Pale Ale to styles from across the spectrum you'll love every sip. Open noon to 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., Sunday.
More Places to Eat
Concetta's Riverside Cafe - 100 Blue Ridge Drive, McCaysville
Cowanee (coming soon) - 100 Blue Ridge Drive, McCaysville
Riverview Beanery Katz's New York Deli, 32 Toccoa Ave., McCaysville
El Rio Restaurant - 113 Ocoee St., Copperhill
Rum Cake Lady Cuban Cafe - 111 Ocoee St., Copperhill
The Copper Grill, 109 Ocoee St., Copperhill
Cider House - 2984 Mobile Road, McCaysville
Pat's Country Kitchen - 1212 Blue Ridge Drive, McCaysville
Rod's Rockin Rolls - 327 Main St., Ducktown
Places to Shop & Explore
Africa Corner - Riverwalk Shops
Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters - 56 Toccoa Avenue, McCaysville
McCaysville Drug & Gun - 131 Blue Ridge Drive, McCaysville
Mountain Attitude Designs - 115 Ocoee St., Copperhill
Painted Pony Trading Co. - 108 Ocoee St., Copperhill
Pic N Vine - 104 South Grande Ave., Copperhill
Raymond's Copper Curve - 332 Tennessee Ave., Copperhill
River Laurel Gifts & Boutique, Riverwalk Shops
The Vault - 106 Grande Ave., Copperhill
Toccoa River Outfitters - 120 Grande Ave., Copperhill
Toccoa River Rustic Decor - 102 Bridge St., McCaysville
More to Explore
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