Climbing & Hiking Trails - 9 min read

15 Blue Ridge Hiking Trails in Georgia (With Waterfalls & Scenic Views)

Kimberly Anne

Kimberly Anne, Updated October 24, 2022

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With 100 miles of trout streams and hundreds of miles of hiking trails, Blue Ridge is a top hiking destination. There are 106,000 acres of Chattahoochee National Forest making Blue Ridge, Georgia the ideal setting for enjoying a hike. Blue Ridge has all there is to love about nature and hiking.

It’s one of the liveliest mountain communities in North Georgia, not just because of its thriving arts community and abundance of outdoor adventure possibilities. Everyone can have fun thanks to the downtown’s abundance of eateries and shops, the surrounding Chattahoochee National Forest, and the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.

Some of Georgia’s most picturesque hiking routes are found in the vicinity of Blue Ridge. There are so many great spots to discover near the stunning Appalachian Mountains. From breathtaking views to tranquil waterfalls Blue Ridge has the best hiking spots. While planning your trip, you can use this helpful hiking guide. Likewise, you will find year-round must-hike trails and local favorites near Blue Ridge.

1. Appalachian Trail: Spring Mountain to North Carolina Border


The Appalachian Trail travels 78.6 miles through Georgia before entering North Carolina at Bly Gap, where it passes through a famous, contorted old oak tree.

This over 70-mile round trip trek near Blue Ridge, Georgia is a hard hike, but one that is worth it. It takes an average of 41 hours and 53 minutes to finish this trail.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 73.2-miles
Elevation: 19,799 ft.

2. Panther Creek Falls


Panther Creek is one of the most popular waterfall treks in North Georgia, and with good reason. This 9-mile excursion leads to a collection of flowing falls.

Panther Creek is located in stunning woodland, framed by towering trees and moss-covered stones. The Panther Creek Foot Trail is 6.6 miles of point-to-point. The distance to the falls is roughly 3.3 miles from the Trailhead (northern end).

The trail has rocky terrain, and steep slopes, and at times involves traversing particularly perilous and narrow sections. It takes an average of 4 hours and 45 minutes to complete what is typically thought of as a somewhat challenging trip.

Difficulty: Challenging 
Distance:
9-miles
Elevation:
2,066 ft.

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3. Green Mountain via Whissenhunt Loop to Toccoa River


All ability levels can enjoy the 5.3-mile Green Mountain Trail, which is close to Blue Ridge, Georgia. The trail is open all year long and is primarily utilized for hiking and mountain bikes.

Spend an hour or two observing native plants, wildflowers, and trees. This 5.3-mile out-and-back trail typically takes 2 hours and 44 minutes to finish. This hike is rated as moderately difficult.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.3-miles
Elevation: 1,158 ft.

4. Rocky Mountain via Stanley Gap Trail


This trail has typical single-track terrain for north Georgia, with red clay and a few rocks and roots. Because the forest is so thick, you won’t be able to see very far, but it will give you some shade.

Even though there are a few places with a lot of roots where you’ll need to be careful, the climb is aerobically challenging but not too difficult technically.

The climb is great because every 50 to 100 feet there are little flat spots where you can catch your breath. The highest point of the trail is right below the top of Rocky Mountain.

Before getting to a dip that is two miles long and 1,000 feet deep, there is a short drop and one more rise. Near the beginning of this descent, the Benton MacKaye Trail (also on our list) goes off to the north. On the way down, you’ll see the same roots and rocks that you saw on the way up.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 6.1-miles
Elevation: 1,443 ft.

Related Read: 15 Best State Parks In Georgia

5. Lake Blue Ridge Campground Trail


This 1.1-mile loop trail is family-friendly. It usually takes 25 minutes to finish and is regarded as being very easy. Even though this is a well-used trail for hiking and camping, you can still find some peace and quiet during the quieter hours of the day.

Along with the stunning lake, there are a ton of animals in this area. On the campgrounds at Lake Blue Ridge, this hike is an easy one. This trail is paved but not identified as wheelchair or stroller accessible.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.1-miles
Elevation: 104 ft.

6. Hickey Knob Trail


Discover this 3.1-mile loop route that is close to Blue Ridge, Georgia. It usually takes 1 hour and 33 minutes to complete this walk, which makes this an easy hike.

Dogs, mountain bikers, joggers, and kids are all welcome on this trail. Even though this is a popular trail for mountain biking, hiking, and bird watching, you can still find some peace and quiet during the slower periods of the day.

This is one of the top hiking paths in Georgia’s Blue Ridge due to the abundance of gorgeous landscapes, wildflowers, and forest.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 3.1-miles
Elevation: 633 ft.

7. Jacks River Loop with Spur to Falls

Credit: Tim / Flickr

Try out this circle track of 15.9 miles close to Blue Ridge, Georgia. Jacks River Loop takes an average of 7 hours and 12 minutes. This hike is definitely rated as challenging.

March through October are the best times for hiking this trek. The scenery will be sure to amaze you. Dogs are permitted, but they must be leashed.

Amazing plants and foliage can be found on the partially paved Jacks River Loop. Even rivers and waterfalls can be seen on this Blue Ridge route.

Make sure to stay on the trail because some of its forests are quite overgrown. You can camp here, go fishing, go hiking, and take in Georgia’s natural fauna.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 15.9-miles
Elevation: 2,532 ft.

8. Flat Creek Loop

Credit: JD Bassin / AllTrails

The Flat Creek Loop Trail is a great place to go mountain biking. Take a hike on this 6.0-mile circular path in the Georgia Blue Ridge region.

Although the walk is a little difficult, the views are spectacular. This trail has been kept up nicely overall. The numerous little waterfalls and the creek’s noise create a wonderfully tranquil environment.

There are several hills, so be prepared. It takes an average of 2 hours and 47 minutes to accomplish this route. This Blue Ridge trail is regarded as being a moderately challenging hike.

Since mountain biking, trail running, and hiking are all popular activities here, you can stumble into other individuals while exploring.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.0-miles
Elevation: 1,023 ft.

9. Lake Blue Ridge Loop

Credit: Anish Patel / Flickr

This hike features the beautiful Lake Blue Ridge. Therefore, views of the lake can be seen from this woodland trail. The trail does become especially narrow at times.

For this walk, you might want to wear sturdy shoes because there are some difficult areas with rocks and roots. The trail is a 0.8 mile circular route in the Georgia Blue Ridge area.

It usually takes 18 minutes to finish and is regarded as being easy. When combined, the lake and forest provide stunning views while you take in Blue Ridge’s abundant nature and wildlife.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.8 miles
Elevation: 65 ft.

10. Benton MacKaye Trail


For the purpose of constructing and maintaining MacKaye’s chosen path along the western crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Benton MacKaye Trail Association was established in 1979.

Twenty-six years later, on July 16, 2005, a ceremony in Mud Gap, southwest of the Smokies, marked the formal opening of the Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT)

MacKaye was the Massachusetts forester responsible for many mountain trails in the USA.  He was also the co-founder of the Wilderness Society.

You can check out this point-to-point trail that spans 278.4 miles in total. It typically takes 144 hours and 38 minutes to accomplish this trip. This trail is certainly rated as difficult.

Although this is a well-known trail for backpacking, camping, and hiking, you can still find some peace and quiet during the slower periods of the day.

The route is lovely to explore at any time of the year and is open all year. Dogs are permitted, but they must be leashed.

Difficulty: Challenging
Distance: 278.4 miles
Elevation: 61,036 ft.

11. Toccoa Swinging Bridge Trail


The Georgia Appalachian Trail Club and the U.S.D.A. Forest Service collaborated to build the 270-foot-long Toccoa Swing Bridge in 1977.

The suspension bridge was specifically constructed as part of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s extension to Kennesaw Mountain. This is the longest one east of the Mississippi River. You won’t want to miss this 270-foot structure and hike.

Overall, the swinging bridge across the Toccoa River is a well-liked site for day hikers, Benton MacKaye Trail thru-hikers, and paddlers traveling along the Toccoa River Canoe Trail.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.8 miles
Elevation: 118 ft.

12. Mineral Springs Nature Trail

Credit: Lisa Brahm / AllTrails

A few acres of the forested area are traversed by this lovely flat trail. Even though it’s brief, this is a wonderful family-friendly path that’s ideal for individuals who are pressed for time.

It’s also great for those who want to take a quick stroll through the woods. Although there are no longer any mineral springs in this area, there are historical signs to inform tourists about its past.

This brief and simple hike is suitable for children and dogs. The 0.5-mile out-and-back trail is close to Georgia’s Blue Ridge. It usually takes 9 minutes to finish. Nevertheless, this trail is excellent for both walking and hiking.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.5 miles
Elevation: 6 ft.

Related Read: 30 Top Treehouse Rentals in Georgia

13. Long Creek Falls via Appalachian Trail


Experience this 1.9-mile out-and-back trail near Suches, Georgia. Undoubtedly considered an easy route, it takes an average of 52 min to complete.

This is a very popular area for hiking, trail running, and walking. You’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime no matter the season. Dogs are welcome. Don’t forget the leash!

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.9 miles
Elevation: 301 ft.

14. Hightower Gap – Appalachian Trail


During your hike at Hightower Gap, you can journey over a seven-mile trail on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. You’ll be able to explore an abundance of green foliage and lush forest.

You may want to check out the trail from Hightower Gap to Horse Gap and make the trek over Sassafras Mountain and back down to Cooper Gap.

It takes an average of 3 hours, and 55 minutes to accomplish this route, which is generally regarded as moderately difficult. The trail is excellent for hiking, backpacking, and camping.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 7.1 mile
Elevation: 1,755 ft.

Related Read: 35 Best Camping Spots in Georgia

15. Long Branch Trail


Discover the 2.3-mile circular route at Long Branch Trail. This hike is one of the best near Blue Ridge, Georgia. It typically takes 57 minutes to accomplish this route, which is thought of as being simple.

Since mountain biking, trail running, and hiking are all generally popular activities here, you can stumble into other individuals while exploring. The months of March through October are optimum for hiking this trek. Your dog can join you on this trail. Make sure you bring a leash.

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.3
Elevation: 288 ft.

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