Blue Ridge Area Parks, Forests, & Recreation Areas
Explore the great outdoors with this helpful list of state parks, national parks and forests, recreation areas, trail systems, and wilderness areas located close to your cabin rental and within two hours of Blue Ridge in North Georgia, East Tennessee, and Western North Carolina. Discover the fascinating history of the Appalachian Mountains during your vacation with Southern Comfort Cabin Rentals with informational park displays and museums.
At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast. Visitors have choices on how to best view the tumbling waters, ranging from an accessible pathway to a challenging trail with staircases. Those who tackle the latter can join the Georgia park’s Canyon Climbers Club. An 8.5-mile trail leads from the park to Springer Mountain, the southern end of the Appalachian Trail. Numerous other trails provide shorter day hikes.
Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, the Aska Trail Area provides approximately 16.5 miles of recreational trails for bicyclists and hikers. This area is in south-central Fannin County near Deep Gap on Aska Road, less than 10 miles from downtown Blue Ridge. Trails range in length from 1–5.1 miles and are open to the public year-round. Trails ascend to nearly 3,200 feet, providing vistas of mountain ridges, and descend to the shores of Lake Blue Ridge.
Along the Tennessee-Georgia border reside the southern Appalachians – some of the oldest known mountains in the world. Protecting these peaks today are the Big Frog Mountain and Cohutta Wilderness Areas. Enjoy Big Frog Mountain, hiking trails, Tumbling Creek Campground, Conasauga and Ocoee River access, and much more.
Brasstown Bald is Georgia’s highest mountain, rising 4,784 ft above sea level. Take in breathtaking 360-degree views of four states, hike or picnic, and step inside the Visitor Center, offering a gift shop, exhibits, and a video program.
Established in 1938 by the U.S. Forest Service, the fish hatchery is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Dedicated to the restoration and recovery of aquatic resources, the hatchery annually distributes approximately 324,000 catchable-size rainbow trout and an additional 460,000 fingerlings to meet mitigation goals. Tour the facility or try your luck in an annual fishing rodeo.
The Cohutta Wildlife Management Area and Big Frog Mountain Wilderness Area stretch along the Tennessee-Georgia border and the southern Appalachian Mountains. Enjoy plenty of opportunities to experience nature at its finest. Recommended for seasoned backpackers, hunters, bikers, and fishermen, the Cohutta WMA encompasses 96,503 acres, 40,000 of which are in Fannin County.
Located along the banks of Coopers Creek in the North Georgia mountains, Coopers Creek Recreation Area features hiking trails, camping, hunting, picnic areas, and abundant trout fishing in the creek and its tributaries.
Named for a mysterious 855-foot wall thought to be constructed by early Native Americans as a fortification, this state park offers a 17-acre lake with a sandy beach, 60 miles of recreational trails, camping, fishing, swimming, boat rentals, mini-golf, horseback riding, and picnicking.
As America’s most-visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world-renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, breathtaking mountain landscapes, and presentation of southern Appalachian mountain culture. Bordering North Carolina and Tennessee, the park showcases a multitude of activities centered around the outdoors including biking, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, historic tours, scenic drives, and much more.
Located on a peninsula of Lake Chatuge in North Carolina, this recreation area offers a sandy beach and boat launch along with swimming, hiking and mountain biking trails, camping, picnicking, and boating.
This 3,800-acre forest is one of the nation’s most impressive remnants of old-growth forest. The forest contains magnificent examples of more than 100 tree species, many over 400 years old, and some over 20 feet in circumference and 100 feet tall. The only way to see this forest is on foot. A 2-mile trail leads to the Joyce Kilmer Memorial and loops through giant trees.
Lake Conasauga, a beautiful 19-acre spring-fed lake resting near Grassy Mountain, is the highest lake in Georgia. The area offers biking, hiking, camping, fishing, swimming, boating, and picnicking.
On the shores of 2,775-acre Lake Burton, Moccasin Creek is a seasonal park perfect for fishing, waterskiing, boating, and paddling. This state park features a fully accessible pier that is only open to seniors ages 65 and older, children ages 11 and younger, and guests in wheelchairs.
Close to downtown Blue Ridge, Morganton Point Recreation Area sits on the shores of Lake Blue Ridge, a crystal-clear lake boasting 60 miles of shoreline and ample outdoor activities. The day use area offers secluded swimming, hiking trails, picnicking, boating, and fishing.
Paddle the world-class Nantahala River on a whitewater rafting adventure in Nantahala River Gorge, situated in North Carolina. Various outfitters and guides are available. This national forest offers other activities including fishing, hiking, nature viewing, picnicking, and scenic driving.
About half an hour from Blue Ridge, the Ocoee Whitewater Center was built by the U.S. Forest Service for the 1996 Olympics. The center offers activities like whitewater rafting, hiking or biking historic trails, swimming, fishing, picnicking, and nature viewing in a native garden.
Unicoi State Park is located 2 miles from the alpine village of Helen. It is a 1,050-acre facility offering camping, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, and more. Unicoi also has an on-site restaurant serving up Southern cuisine, a gift shop with handmade pottery and crafts, and festivals throughout the year.
Vogel State Park in Georgia is located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest and is a prime spot for viewing fall foliage. Enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities at Vogel such as swimming the 22-acre lake, hiking 17 miles of trails, visiting the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, putting past miniature golf obstacles, biking, boating, fishing, and more.