|1. Mountains & Countryside, Blue Ridge/Dial/Morganton. Beautiful drive through the mountains and countryside surrounding Blue Ridge, Dial and Morganton in Fannin County. A great introduction to the area, including Lake Blue Ridge and the Toccoa River. Available for download or contact the Welcome Center at 800-899-mtns. Download here
2. A Ride to the Cohutta Wilderness, Blue Ridge to Ellijay. A three to five hour trip from Blue Ridge through a dense hardwood mountain forest to a beautiful secluded mountain lake. For skilled drivers, four-wheel SUV preferred. Available for download or contact the Welcome Center at 800-899-mtns. Download here
3. Toccoa Ranger District Driving Tour, Blue Ridge to Dahlonega, Ellijay. The U.S. Forest Service has produced a driving tour through the Chattahoochee National Forest and surrounding countryside full of scenic views and opportunities to view fall colors. Start in Blue Ridge; round trip mileage is 102.4 miles. This can turn out to be a daytrip with side trips and adventures. Available for download or contact the Welcome Center at 800-899-mtns. Download here
4. Ocoee Scenic Byway, Hwy 64, Ducktown to Cleveland, Tenn. Follow the nation’s first Scenic Byway as it winds through the Cherokee National Forest alongside the Ocoee River, past the Ocoee dams, flume line and powerhouses and Parksville Lake. Ocoee Whitewater Center is also on the way. For more information, call (423) 496-5197, or see www.byways.org
5. Cherohala Skyway, Hwy 165, Tellico Plains, Tenn. To Robbinsville, N.C. Winding through scenery that rivals the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Cherohala Skyway crosses through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests, providing spectacular mile-high vistas and brilliant fall folliage. 1 ½ to 2 hour drive on the Skyway’s 40 miles. (800) 245-5428, www.cherohala.org
6. Nantahala Gorge, Hwy 19/74, Murphy, Andrews, Nantahala. Enjoy a pretty drive from Murphy, N.C. to the Nantahala Gorge along Highway 75 north. The Gorge is a 8.5 mile stretch beside the nationally known whitewater Nantahala. Developed put-in and take-out spots, picnic tables and viewpoints are along U.S. 19. Private outfitters offer guided whitewater rafting canoeing and kayaking.
7. Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway, Hiawassee. Follow SR 75 south from Hiawassee to the junction of SR 180/348 south. From the breathtaking views atop Brasstown Bald to the fertile valleys and numerous waterfalls, scenic wonders fill this region of northeast Georgia. For more information, call (770) 297-3000 or see http://www.fs.fed.us/conf
8. Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway, Ft. Mountain State Park, Chatsworth. Beginning at historic Prater`s Mill in Whitfield County, this byway rolls past pastoral lands, quiet country roads, views of the Cohutta Mountains and the Chattahoochee National Forest. From Blue Ridge, take 515 South to Ellijay, then Hwy 52 to Fort Mountain, beginning of the byway. For more information, see www.byways.org.
9. Southern Highroads Trail, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee.
The Southern Highroads Trail winds its way through the Appalachian Mountains in four states. Experience the scenic beauty, diversity and rich history found along the way as you travel the 360-mile route. The entire trail takes about three days to complete, and includes the Georgia cities of Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Chatsworth, Blairsville, Young Harris, Hiawassee, Clayton, Dillard and Mountain City. www.southernhighroads.org
10. Georgia Mountain Parkway, Highway 515 Jasper to Blue Ridge. Georgia’s favorite scenic drive follows Interstate 575 from Atlanta northward on the Georgia Mountain Parkway. Along the way the route offers beautiful mountain views, wildflowers, apple orchards, festivals, antiques and galleries – and a wealth of opportunities for outdoor exploration and adventure. www.georgiamountainparkway.com
11. Blairsville to Turner’s Corner, Highway 129. Follow Hwy 129 south from Blairsville toward Turner’s Corner for twisting and turning scenic ride. Take a side trip to Vogel State Park, Mountain Crossings at Walasi-Yi on the Appalachian Trail, and Desoto Falls.
12. Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherokee, N.C. The Blue Ridge Parkway is more than a scenic byway. It is a spectacular 469 mile route from North Carolina to Virginia through the Great Smoky Mountains. The parkway begins approximately 1 ½ hours from Blue Ridge in Cherokee, N.C. Take Spur 60 to Murphy, N.C., then Hwy 74/19 north through Andrews and Nantahala. www.blueridgeparkway.org