One of the most popular pastime's in the summer, is playing in the water. It's cool, refreshing and brings out the kid in everyone. It boggles my mind why people flock to a man-made waterpark with hundreds of people sharing the same water in a confined space over what nature so generously provides.
Here are my top 5 picks for playing in the water in North Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains:
#1 Morganton Point Overlooks beautiful clear 3,290-acre Lake Blue Ridge in the north Georgia mountains. It has 44 campsites, 8 picnic sites, fresh water, hot showers, flush toilets, swimming, waterskiing, and a boat ramp. Area has a few campsites that are accessible to people with disabilities, and has one accessible restroom. Each campsite is equipped with a tent pad, grill and picnic table. A large picnic pavilion available for rent. The loop through the recreation area is paved. A paved boat launch has two ramps and is located past the campground on your right. Scenic trail. Campsites are first come, first serve. A fee is required. No alcohol. Campsites (no electricity or water), showers, boat ramps, picnic tables, group picnic area and swimming beach
#2 Lake Blue Ridge is my personal favorite and actually tops the allstar list in my opinion. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) operates this 3,290-acre reservoir on the Toccoa River near Blue Ridge, GA.
The construction of Blue Ridge Dam was begun in 1925 and completed in 1930.
Blue Ridge Dam is 167 feet high and stretches 1,000 feet across the Toccoa River.
The water level in Blue Ridge Reservoir varies 20 feet in a normal year.
Blue Ridge has a flood-storage capacity of 68,550 acre-feet.
The generating capacity of Blue Ridge Dam is 22,000 kilowatts of electricity.
Blue Ridge Reservoir is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest of north Georgia. There’s a scenic overlook above the dam and a shaded picnic area near the powerhouse. The canoe and kayak launch site below the dam gives nonmotorized boaters access to the Toccoa River.
#3 Toccoa River The river is noted among fishermen for its sunfish, trout, and bass. When water is released from the Blue Ridge Dam to generate electricity, the river becomes a class I-II float through the Georgia hills. Besides providing power and recreational opportunities, Blue Ridge also helps control flooding.
#4 Fannin County, Trout Capital of Georgia If fishing is how you like to play in the water, then come to Fannin. Over 100 miles of great trout fishing rviers, creeks and streams in the county. Just to name a few: Fightingtown Creek, Jack's River, Conasauga River, Rock Creek, Noontootla Creek and Copper Creek (don't forget the Toccoa River already mentioned).
#5 Fall Branch Falls is a double waterfall with mountain laurel and rhododendron growing abundantly along the trail. Reasonably easy hike, about 30 minutes round trip, except you will want to linger at the falls for much longer. In Blue Ridge, just follow Aska Road south for eight miles, turn right on a paved road (Toccoa Riverside Restaurant is on the left). The trail is three miles on the right, just past Forest Warden Garfield Stanley’s home. You won't be disappointed. I have enjoyed hikes with my grandchildren to Fall Branch Falls.
Water enthusiasts are only limited by their imagination as they play on the clear mountain waters. My few picks barely scratch the surface of all the outdoor recreation on land and water to explore and enjoy throughout North Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains.