One of the best ways to get a feel for the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains is to take a leisurely drive round the 41 miles of the Russell Brasstown Scenic Drive. The drive takes you past Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest mountain, and encircles Wildlife Management Areas, the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River, and a section of the Appalachian Trail. Other scenic drives include The Ridge and Valley Scenic Byway, which is a 47-mile loop through the Armuchee Ridges. John's Mountain Overlook has outstanding views reaching into Alabama and Tennessee. A nature trail from the overlook leads to Keown Falls Scenic Area, where twin waterfalls can be seen from an observation platform.
The Chattahoochee National Forest has more than twenty picnic areas, the same number of campsites, six swimming beaches, and ten protected wilderness areas. The forest takes in such natural attractions as Anna Ruby Falls, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Vogel State Park south of Blairsville, and the Amicalola Falls State Park, with the state's highest waterfall.
For the more energetic, you will find 430 miles of trails from short day hikes to more arduous trips, for novices or experts. There is a trail for every level and for every purpose, The four long-distance trails on the Chattahoochee are great for backpacking: the Benton MacKaye (53 miles), Bartram (37 miles), Duncan Ridge (35.5 miles), and Appalachian (79 miles). The Chattooga Wild and Scenic River is most popular for guided rafting trips. This premier whitewater river offers some of the most challenging rapids in the Southeast. The Chattahoochee and Toccoa rivers are popular for canoe or kayak. The Toccoa is considered to be the state's loveliest river.
North Georgia is a fisherman’s dream. Lake Blue Ridge is the only place in Georgia where anglers can catch muskellunge. This 3,290-acre lake is bordered by two Forest Service campgrounds and has a privately owned marina for boat rentals. Nottely Lake, Lake Chatuge, Lake Burton, and Lake Rabun also touch the Chattahoochee and provide good trout and bass fishing. With over 1,300 miles of trout streams on the forest, there are plenty opportunities to catch trout, walleye, bluegill, and bass.
And don’t forget the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds on Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, home to the Georgia Mountain Fall Festival, country music Super Star Concerts, and other events.