Bue Ridge and the surrounding area have some of the best outdoor activities in the country! From kayaking and whitewater racing on the Ocoee River – site of the 1996 Summer Olympics kayaking competition to some of the best trout fishing in the Trout Capital of Georgia on the Toccoa River – there is plenty of outdoor adventures to be had. Heck, even Bill Oyster setup his fly fishing rod shop in Blue Ridge, GA. You can take a class to learn how to make your own bamboo fly rod. Yes. From Bill Oyster. Yes, that Bill Oyster.
Aska Adventure Area – Numerous well-groomed hiking trails (some even provide vistas of Lake Blue Ridge) as well as tubing opportunities are available in Aska Adventure Trail Area. While there (and even worth it’s own trip) you may want to visit the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant (open for dinner Wednesday through Monday from 430pm to 9pm, and also open for lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 706-632-7891).
Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia – For more information on the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, check out the below link. There are a lot of links from here to area attractions. Please note that although there is no better rental than Above the Clouds, if we are indeed sold out there are links to rental companies and other owner web sites.
Driving – Best Motorcycle or Sports Car Drive – For a beautiful day trip on that Harley or sports car, you can challenge the world renowned “Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap” with 318 curves in 11 miles. Located near Bryson City, NC, this drive is about 2 hours away from Above the Clouds. Check out the other self guided driving tours.
Fishing and Fish Hatchery – For information on trout fishing in Fannin County, click here. For information on other fishing possibilities in North Georgia, please click here. The Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery hatches rainbow trout for release in most lakes and rivers in North Georgia. Excellent trout fishing can also be found on the Toccoa River, Rock Creek, Coopers Creek, and Noontootla Creek.
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds – Located less than an hour away, the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds is home to the Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens. Open year-round, this boasts one of the largest collections of hybrid rhododendrons in the state of Georgia. With more than 3,000 plants in bloom from early April to late May, visitors are invited to tour the gardens along their pine bark trail on the shores of Lake Chatuge. Admission is free of charge, but a $3 donation is requested. The Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds also has a Pioneer Village with authentic and antique structures from the area that have been moved here to preserve them. During special events, visitors can tour a one-room schoolhouse, a general store, a blacksmith shop, a repair shop and an “old mountain home.”
Golf Courses – There are six 18-hole golf courses near Above the Clouds, the closest is the brand new Old Toccoa Farms, my personal favorite and one of the most challenging and best condition courses you’ll find anywhere. Whitepath Golf Club is a mountain style course and is about 20 minutes away in Ellijay, GA (706)-276-3080. The others are Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA (706) 379-4613, Butternut Creek Golf Course in Blairsville, GA (706)439-6076, Old Union Golf course in Blairsville, GA (706) 745-4653, and Cherokee Hills Golf in Murphy, NC (and there is a great flea market for the non golfers to hang out in Murphy, NC as well!) (800) 334-3905.
Hiking and Mountain Biking – The hiking and mountain biking opportunities are too numerous to even begin to mention them all as there are over 300 miles of hiking trails from beginner to advanced. 40% of Fannin County is National Forest. However, the closest trail to Above the Clouds is the Benton Mackaye Trail (named after the person who envisioned the Appalachian Trail) and is located at the bottom of our mountain! There are also numerous trails in the Aska Adventure Trail Area, the Cohutta Wilderness area, and the Chattahoochee National Forest. Not every trail allows mountain biking, but there are definitely 20 miles of trails that do allow mountain biking at the Ocoee Whitewater Center Trails. Here is the Ellijay Hiking Guide and here is a recent article on The Best Day Hikes on the Georgia Section of the Benton MacKaye Trail from rootsrated.com.
Horseback Riding – Adventure Trail Rides in Blue Ridge or Blanche Manor Ranch in Copperhill and Trackrock Stables in Blairsville all offer horseback riding along scenic trails.
Lake Blue Ridge Marina – Rent Pontoon Boats, or launch your own boat. The fishing is also magnificent. For more information go to Lake Blue Ridge Marina or call 706-632-2618. There is also a nearby beach – Morganton Point.
Snow Skiing – The closest (decent) snow skiing is at Sapphire Valley Resort, or the Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, NC both less than 3 hours away.
Tank Town USA – Tank Town USA is the ultimate heavy equipment playground. Whether you want to drive a tank, a military truck, operate an excavator, or even use a tank to crush a car, Tank Town USA has it all.
Waterfalls in North Georgia – This website link has some gorgeous photos of the waterfalls in North Georgia, although some of them are located on private property. More water information and some remarkable photos can be found here.
Whitewater Rafting – A great adventure less than 20 minutes away from the cabin, the Ocoee River was the site of the 1996 Olympic Games Whitewater competition. This is a dam-release river, meaning part of what you pay goes towards diverting water intended for hydroelectric use to river rafting. This insures Class III and IV rapids regardless of rainfall. There are numerous companies, including Wildwater Limited, Ocoee Rafting, Ocoee Adventure Center, and Quest Expeditions. This is offered April through October only.
Zip Line Canopy Tours – Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge is designed on a 165 acre tract of land in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains, in the back yard of Blue Ridge. Located only 6 miles from downtown Blue Ridge, the property is some of the most beautiful you’ll ever see.Take a tree-top tour through moonshine country at the Blue Ridge Canopy Adventure‘s new 125 acre Hell’s Hollow Adventure Outpost located in Blue Ridge, Georgia.