Growing up in Florida I’ve spent a lot of time traveling to one of our neighbor states, Georgia. The state known for its peaches, southern cooking, and football has so much more to offer than it’s given credit for. Let’s talk about the top 4 outdoor adventures that will help put Georgia on your bucket list!
1. Blue Ridge Mountains
If these mountains weren’t reason enough to make a trip to Georgia alone, consider planning a trip to Blue Ridge, GA to explore the town and mountains true to their name. Blue Ridge is a small town in northern Georgia surrounded by orchards and hundreds of miles of trails.
The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is one of the best was to see the whole area. The train takes visitors through the scenic mountainside with open train car windows. The hour train ride takes visitors from Blue Ridge to McCaysville on the Tennessee border.
Another place unique to Blue Ridge are the orchards. Mercier Orchards is open year round, however the best time of year to visit is in the fall when the apples are crisp and the cider is freshly brewed.
Aside from tourist attractions, the hundreds of miles of trails surround Blue Ridge range from easy to strenuous hikes. From the Jack River Falls to the Toccoa River Swinging Bridge, both novice and experienced hikers will enjoy the beautiful trails Blue Ridge has to offer.
2. Lake Lanier
Lake Lanier is a personal favorite when it comes to Georgia. The expansive lake that covers nearly 60 miles is surrounded by forests, islands, and lots of great places to explore.
One of the first times I went to the lake was for a camping trip. Lake Lanier is full of small islands, and we had a small peninsula to ourselves. Camping in the summer at Lake Lanier is hot. In the summer however you are guaranteed to see hundreds of shooting starts, which makes standing the heat well worth it.
Another popular attraction around Lake Lanier is renting houseboats. Yes, house boats! They range in size, but a houseboat typically sleeps up to twelve people. My family rented a houseboat in the fall a couple of years back and the crisp fall mornings on the lake were incomparable. Try sleeping on the top deck for an extra element of fun!
3. Providence Canyon
Also known as little grand canyon of the east, Providence Canyon State Park is over 1,000 acres of forest in southwest Georgia. The canyon is named appropriately so, as it resembles the Grand Canyon with orange clay and forests that cover the area.
Providence Canyon State Park attracts thousands of visitors each year from all over. With backcountry and pioneer campsites, visitors spend the days hiking the expansive canyon and gather around the clay campfire sites at night. A geological and archeological landmine, Providence Canyon is home millions of minerals and multicolor soils. Definitely a must see in Georgia!
4. Amicalola Falls State Park
Last but not least, Amicalola Falls State Park. Home to the start of the Appalachian Trail on Springer Mountain, Amicalola Falls is an 829 acre park located near Dawsonville Georgia with tons for visitors to explore. Named by the Cherokee Indians, Amicalola gets its name for its “tumbling waters” waterfall that attracts visitors from all over.
If the history behind the south terminus for the Appalachian Trail isn’t enough to draw visitors, the park also has an eight-mile hike that takes visitors up a winding staircase and up-close and personal with the falls itself. At the top of the staircase, visitors are given a world-class view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia.
Because Amicalola is a significant place for hikers on the Appalachian trail, the park is also home to a lodge where hikers can rest before they embark on their long journey. If you’re just there to explore, consider checking out the Amicalola State Park and Lodge to experience the falls and history of the Appalachian Trail for yourself!
What’s your favorite place to visit in Georgia?