Blue Ridge, Georgia hiking and adventure guide

Blue Ridge, Georgia: destination & outdoor adventure guide

Find an adventure in one of North Georgia’s most scenic and adventure-packed mountain towns: Blue Ridge. Hike, dine, paddle, raft, bike, and relax in a cozy cabin: our favorite Blue Ridge activities and things to do.

Blue Ridge is a mountain town that blends big city sophistication and small town charm. You’ll find some of Georgia’s best hiking, biking and paddling adventures in a short drive down picturesque, winding, classic north Georgia mountain roads. And after your chock-full-of-adventure days, you’ll love Blue Ridge’s fantastic food scene and abundant upscale, cozy cabins and lodges.

Blue Ridge, Georgia offers easy access to Georgia's best outdoor adventures, from hiking and biking to paddling and rafting

Nestled at the southern end of the Appalachians Mountains, Blue Ridge is surrounded by the outstanding natural beauty of North Georgia. From the lofty peak of Springer Mountain and the beginning of the famed Appalachian Trail, to the roaring waters of Jacks River Falls and the serene banks of the Toccoa River, the Blue Ridge area is packed with possibilities for outdoor adventure.

Visit Blue Ridge, Georgia, for great dining, cabins and easy access to hiking, biking and outdoor adventures

But Blue Ridge isn’t only a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The town boasts upscale shopping and dining along its picturesque, vintage streets. An abundance of nearby cabins and luxury rentals offer great lodging options for cozy overnight stays. And the nearby rolling countryside is a bustling agricultural area, with local farms, orchards, and wineries offering fresh, seasonal produce and local wine and ciders.

Whether you plan to stay for a day, a weekend or a week, there’s plenty to explore and experience in this historic railroad town. It’s a quick drive from Atlanta (just over 90 minutes) but seemingly worlds away. It’s easy to see why Blue Ridge is one of North Georgia’s most popular mountain destinations.

Top hikes near Blue Ridge, GA

The Chattahoochee National Forest surrounds Blue Ridge, and the forest is prime for amazing hiking possibilities. From mountain summits to tumbling waterfalls, the area offers some of Georgia’s best hiking, backpacking and running trails. Check out our guide to our favorite hikes near Blue Ridge for a full list of nearby hikes. Here are a few of our all-time favorites:

Blue Ridge biking

The Blue Ridge area is a popular destination for mountain bikers of all skill levels. The Pinhoti Trail offers over 330 miles of well-maintained trails for biking through beautiful forests and sweeping ridge lines across northern Georgia and Alabama. Or, bike Bear Creek through a lush creek valley, rhododendron-filled forest then climbing to a mountain summit with views of the valley below.

Bike or hike the lush Bear Creek valley near Blue Ridge, Georgia

Mountain bikers can also enjoy 17 miles of biking trails at the nearby Aska Adventure Trail Area with trails ranging from one to five miles, visiting mountain summits and catching views of Lake Blue Ridge.

Blue Ridge paddling

Spend some time on the beautiful waters around Blue Ridge, and cool off on a kayak, canoe, SUP or white water raft.

Visit the Ocoee Whitewater Center, the site of the 1996 Olympic whitewater course, and take a guided rafting trip down the rushing Ocoee River. You’ll experience some of the most challenging rapids in the southeast, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get wet!

Paddle the Ocoee River, the site of the 1996 Olympics whitewater course: top outdoor things to do near Blue Ridge, Georgia

Or for a more relaxing time on the water, visit Lake Blue Ridge where you can rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards (SUP) for a leisurely paddle on the lake’s smooth, glassy waters. The nearby Toccoa River also offers plenty of on-water fun with kayak, canoe and tub rentals, perfect for a lazy summer afternoon float.

Our favorite cabins near Blue Ridge

With so much to see and experience in Blue Ridge we highly recommend staying a few nights to take it all in! Blue Ridge and the surrounding areas offer some fantastic cabins and luxury homes for rent, to help make your stay in the mountains an unforgettable experience.

Southern Comfort Cabin Rentals offers a large variety of cabins to accommodate any size group. From cozy mountaintop cabins to creek side retreats and downtown cottages, Southern Comfort Cabin Rentals has a wide selection of cabins and homes to choose from.

Blue Ridge dining

After working up an appetite exploring the outdoor wonderland that is Blue Ridge, head into town and for an inspired meal at one of the many fantastic eateries. Blue Ridge features upscale cuisine, casual eats, pub fare and specialty shops serving up sweets & treats. Many of the restaurants take full advantage of the area’s abundant local produce, locally-brewed craft beers and wines, and other locally-sourced meat, grains and ingredients.

Blue Ridge features upscale cuisine, casual eats, pub fare and specialty shops serving up sweets & treats: top things to do near Blue Ridge, Georgia

One of our favorites for breakfast is the Blue Ridge Grocery. This rustic grocery and casual restaurant serves house-made baked goods, breakfast staples, sandwiches and fantastic lattes and coffee drinks. A few of our favorites: the sourdough egg and cheese sandwich, and the house-made granola topped with Atlanta Fresh Greek Yogurt. It’s the perfect way to start the day, and gear up for the trail (or get it to go, for a fantastic picnic on your day’s adventures).

For an upscale (and exceptionally tasty!) lunch or dinner, visit Harvest on Main. The restaurant’s rustic-modern atmosphere, soaring ceilings and expertly crafted food make it one of Blue Ridge’s most upscale dining options. With expert preparation and locally sourced meats and produce, Harvest on Main blends rustic fare with a sophisticated palate.

Blue Ridge, Georgia: where to eat, stay, and find adventure in Georgia's favorite mountain town

For a more casual dining experience, try Masseria Kitchen and Bar, sister restaurant to Harvest on Main. Masseria serves gourmet pizza, salads, sandwiches and house made pasta entrees. A must-try is the grilled caesar, an especially generous (and hearty) dish of grilled romaine, hickory-smoked ricotta, tomato, olives, reggiano and garlic caesar dressing. It’s simply amazing.

Make a stop at Fightingtown Tavern for some local, Georgia-brewed draft beer and casual, scratch-made pub fare. The tavern’s lively atmosphere, large outdoor patio, billiards and rock-music theme make it one of our favorite places to chill after a day on the trail or out on the water.

Blue Ridge camping & backpacking

Interested in a night (or a few) out under the stars? The Chattahoochee National Forest offers some amazing places to camp and backpack. From remote, primitive backcountry sites on the Appalachian Trail to well-equipped campgrounds with comfy amenities, there’s no shortage of amazing places to camp and backpack near Blue Ridge.

Camp at Three Forks on the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia

One of our all time favorite places for camping and backpacking near Blue Ridge is the Three Forks Valley. Three trout streams converge at Three Forks, a lush, shade cooled, waterfall filled retreat accessed only by a primitive, one-lane gravel forest road. Check out our Three Forks camping and backpacking guide for campsite information, maps, directions and inspiration.

Looking for something a little less rustic? Camp at one of Fort Mountain State Park’s 70 lakeside campsites featuring electric and water hook ups, fire rings, picnic tables and comfort stations. Check out our Fort Mountain State Park Destination Guide for campsite info, and our favorite hiking, biking and paddling adventures at the park.

share this: