9 Best Hiking Trails in Blue Ridge

9 Best Hiking Trails in Blue Ridge

  • Laura Elleby
  • 10/3/23

There's something uniquely enchanting about the Blue Ridge region. Its undulating landscapes, verdant forests, and the chorus of birds make it a haven for adventurers looking to connect with nature. For those with a penchant for exploring, the region offers a multitude of trails that weave through the heart of this lush paradise. We have curated a list of the 10 best hiking trails in Blue Ridge, perfect for every kind of explorer.

1. Long Branch Trail

The Long Branch Trail in Blue Ridge, GA, stands as a testament to the serene beauty of the Appalachian landscape. Meandering through the dense canopy of hardwoods and fragrant pines, this trail invites adventurers to witness the region's rich flora and fauna. With gentle ascents and captivating vistas, the Long Branch Trail is both accessible for beginners and satisfying for seasoned hikers. As the path unfolds, the ambient sounds of chirping birds and distant waterfalls envelop visitors, offering a rejuvenating escape. Truly, the Long Branch Trail embodies the essence of Blue Ridge's enchanting wilderness.

2. Weaver Creek/BMT Trail Head

The Weaver Creek/BMT Trail Head is a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. Nestled amidst the lush landscape of the Appalachian foothills, this trail offers a journey through dense forests, alongside bubbling streams, and into the heart of Georgia's pristine wilderness. A segment of the storied Benton MacKaye Trail, this trailhead acts as a gateway to a network of paths, showcasing the region's rich biodiversity and scenic vistas. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, the Weaver Creek/BMT Trail Head promises an immersive experience in Blue Ridge's captivating natural beauty.

3. Aska Trail System

The Aska Trail System is a renowned network of trails spanning over 17 miles, set against the backdrop of the North Georgia mountains. Nestled within this system are pathways suited for all levels of hikers. Flat Creek Loop covers 5.3 miles, intertwining with the scenic shores of Lake Blue Ridge. Meanwhile, the Long Branch Loop, at 2 miles, provides a family-friendly hike with captivating woodland views. This diverse trail system epitomizes the adventure and natural beauty awaiting in Blue Ridge.

4. Lake Blue Ridge Day Use Area

Overlooking the pristine waters of Lake Blue Ridge, this area is a haven for those eager to enjoy picnicking, fishing, or simply basking in the panoramic lake views. One of the notable trails here is the Lakeshore Trail, which spans a manageable 0.6 miles, guiding hikers along the lake's edge and through shaded forested patches. The area seamlessly combines the tranquil ambiance of the lake with the invigorating spirit of the surrounding wilderness.

5. Green Mountain

Green Mountain offers an escape into the tranquil embrace of nature. The 5.6-mile Green Mountain Trail, a part of the Aska Trail System, winds through verdant forests and along ridges, providing explorers with a moderate yet captivating hiking experience. With each step, the trail unveils the scenic splendors of the North Georgia mountains, making it a favored route for both local and visiting outdoor enthusiasts. The harmonious blend of shaded woodlands and open vista points affords hikers an immersive journey into the serene and wild heart of Blue Ridge's picturesque landscape.

6. Craddock Center Trail Head

The Craddock Center Trail Head provides a starting point for those eager to delve into the region's natural beauty. Though specifics about the trail length and features are less commonly known, its location within Blue Ridge ensures a journey through diverse landscapes, blending mountain views with forested expanses. Hikers embarking from this trailhead can anticipate a peaceful and rejuvenating experience emblematic of Blue Ridge's scenic offerings.

7. Long Creek Falls

Long Creek Falls is one of Blue Ridge's serene gems, where cascading waters create a soothing soundtrack for visitors. Accessible via a relatively short hike of about 2 miles round trip on the Appalachian Trail, it serves as a tranquil retreat for nature lovers. The sight of water tumbling over mossy rocks amidst a verdant forest backdrop offers a picturesque setting, making the falls a favored spot for contemplation and photography.

8. Shallowford Bridge, Benton MacKaye Trail

The area around Shallowford Bridge is an entry point to the renowned Benton MacKaye Trail. Straddling the beautiful Toccoa River, the bridge itself is an iconic structure in Blue Ridge. From this location, hikers can embark on sections of the Benton MacKaye Trail, known for its diverse terrains and lengths, exploring the area's natural wonders and enjoying the river's tranquil ambiance.

9. Hightower Gap - Appalachian Trail

Hightower Gap in Blue Ridge is a significant point along the Appalachian Trail, acting as a crossroads for hikers journeying through this famed pathway. The Gap offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountain ranges, making it a popular resting spot and photo opportunity for trail-goers. While specifics on adjacent trail lengths might vary, Hightower Gap stands as a testament to the rugged beauty and adventurous spirit embodied by Blue Ridge's vast network of trails.

Hiking tips

Selecting the perfect hiking shoes

Finding the right pair of hiking shoes is akin to forging a trusted partnership. Your shoes are your constant companions on the trail, supporting you through every ascent and descent. They need to offer not only comfort but also protection against the unpredictable terrains. Prioritize grip, ankle support, and materials. Remember, every step taken in comfort is a step closer to a memorable adventure.

Pre-hike nourishment

The anticipation of a hike can be exhilarating, but it's essential to adequately fuel your body beforehand. Think of it as preparing your body for a dance with nature. Opt for a balanced meal that combines carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Foods like oatmeal, bananas, and almond butter can offer sustained energy, setting you on the right foot from the very start.

Packing the right trail snacks

Every journey through the wilderness deserves some delightful pit stops. Carry snacks that are both nutritious and energizing. Think nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and energy bars. These not only replenish your energy reserves but also provide those much-needed moments of joy as you savor them amidst nature's bounty.

Organizing your inaugural hiking adventure

Embarking on your first hiking expedition is like penning the opening chapter of an epic saga. Start by selecting a trail that aligns with your fitness level and interests. Research the terrain, weather conditions, and essential landmarks.

Learn about Blue Ridge real estate

Real estate professional Laura Elleby harnesses her vast local market expertise to specialize in Blue Ridge, Morganton, and Mineral Bluff properties. If you want to buy or sell a home in Blue Ridge, need more information about the Blue Ridge real estate market, or simply want to know more about the hiking trails in Blue Ridge, contact Laura Elleby today.

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Looking for a new home in Blue Ridge or selling a prized property in Morganton or Mineral Bluff? With my expertise as a seasoned realtor, I guide buyers in uncovering their dream homes amidst the captivating landscapes of Blue Ridge, while also assisting sellers in Morganton and Mineral Bluff to find the perfect buyer for their esteemed real estate. For a streamlined, enriching property buying or selling journey, don't hesitate to get in touch. Together, we'll make your real estate aspirations come to life!

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