A few of the best outdoor pursuits in the entire country end and begin in the southernmost border of Fannin County. Both the terminus of the Appalachian Trail and the start of the Benton MacKaye Trail can be accessed via Springer Mountain. The Appalachian Trail, also known as the AT, stretches 2,000+ miles from Maine to Springer Mountain. The Benton MacKaye, a lesser known and more remote trail, begins at or near Springer Mountain, skirts the western slope of the “oldest mountains in the United States” (the Appalachian Mountains) and travels some 250 miles where it links up with the AT in Virginia.
The local stretch of the Benton MacKaye takes in some of the most beautiful scenes within Fannin County. It crosses the clear, crisp waters of the Toccoa River via one of the country’s longest walking suspension bridges, known as the “Swinging Bridge.” If you are looking for a local hiking trail that is rugged, remote, and offers incredible scenic beauty, pack your rucksack and head to the Benton MacKaye Trail!
If a long hike is not your thing, but tubing, canoeing, kayaking or fly fishing is, then make your way to the Toccoa River, Fannin County’s most treasured asset. With its cold headwaters originating from deep within the protected areas of the 700,000 acre Chattahoochee National Forest, southeast of Fannin County, the river begins as a trickle. As it gracefully navigates over and through challenging topography, the Toccoa matures into the quintessential mountain river. One of the few rivers known to travel due north, the Toccoa is on a journey that ultimately takes its waters from north Georgia, into Tennessee, and eventually to the Gulf of Mexico.
Beginning at Deep Hole Forest Service Campground, paddlers journey the upper Toccoa via the Toccoa River Canoe Trail, make their way through the Aska Adventure Trails Area, and soon find their way to the mouth of Lake Blue Ridge.
Lake Blue Ridge is a TVA reservoir consisting of 3,200 acres, crystal clear waters, and 80% of pristine, undeveloped shoreline. You will find understated homes on less than 20% of the shoreline, creating an undisturbed oasis for boating and lazy afternoons under the sun. Visit Lake Blue Ridge Marina and they will set you up with a clean, high performance pontoon boat for a day of enjoyable “lake living”. Or better yet, I WILL GUIDE YOU on a leisurely boat ride around Lake Blue Ridge, enabling you to preview the beauty of the lake, the surrounding National Forest, and all properties, homes and home-sites currently on the market. As the Toccoa River leaves Lake Blue Ridge, the river begins its final journey towards Tennessee, where it changes its name to the Ocoee. This stretch of the river, the lower Toccoa, is known as the tail-waters and it is the finest blue ribbon trout waters in the state of Georgia. The riffles and soft water call serious trout fishermen today as it has since the Cherokee.