Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa
Popular destination for hikers, paddlers and fishermen.
A popular destination for day-hikers, Benton MacKaye Trail thru-hikers, and paddlers making the journey down the Toccoa River Canoe Trail is the swinging bridge over the Toccoa River. This 270 foot long bridge is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River. The Swinging Bridge over the Toccoa River is located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail in Fannin County. It was built by the USDA Forest Service in cooperation with the Appalachian Trail Club in 1977, when extension of the Blue Ridge Parkway to Kennesaw Mountain was under consideration.
Trails to access the Swinging Bridge are located on each side of the river and provide short, pleasant walks. On both north and south side approaches to the bridge, the white diamond blazes of the Benton MacKaye Trail and the blue vertical rectangular blazes of the Duncan Ridge Trail are present. Other attractions are the drive through the beautiful Wilscot Valley, the historic working Skeenah Mill and falls, the wooded setting to reach the parking area and the Toccoa River itself.
From the intersection of Hwy 515 and Hwy 5 (McDonalds) in Blue Ridge, follow Hwy 515 East approximately 4 miles to the traffic light at Hwy 60. Turn right and go to the stop sign; then turn left on Hwy 60. Go 1.5 miles into Morganton, then turn right on Hwy 60 South toward Dahlonega for 11.3 miles passing Skeenah Mill. Another .7 miles on the right is FS 816, turn right there and follow ROUGH gravel road about 3 miles to the parking area. Short hike down to the Toccoa River & Swinging Bridge.
Parking lot - N 34°44.350' W084°10.213'
A Word to the Wise …
Be prepared for wilderness. Some roads are rough. Please pack in all you will need and pack out all your trash. The rule of the forest is “Leave No Trace.” If you build a fire, never leave it unattended. Use good judgment when hiking, particularly around waterfalls where rocks are often wet, moss covered and slippery. If hiking during hunting season, wear a brightly colored vest. The most effective way to prevent mishaps is to adequately prepare for the trip. Knowledge of the area, weather, terrain, limitations of your body, plus common sense can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.