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Community Spotlight on Lake Blue Ridge

5 July 2017 No Comment

The crystal clear aquamarine waters of Lake Blue Ridge make it one of Georgia’s most picturesque mountain lakes. The 3,290-acre lake and surrounding area offers boating, swimming, hiking camping, picnicking, water skiing and fishing. Eighty percent of the shoreline on Lake Blue Ridge is in the Chattahoochee National Forest, managed by the USDA Forest Service.

The town of Blue Ridge was once considered an elite health resort because of its pure mineral waters.  Blue Ridge was founded in 1886 as a result of the arrival of the Marietta and North Georgia Railroad. Because of the railroad, Blue Ridge developed as a center of business and in 1895 the county seat was moved from Morganton to Blue Ridge. Construction began on US Highway 76, in the early 1920’s which increased access to this once remote area.

The Lake was formed by the Toccoa and Ocoee River’s from the Blue Ridge Dam that is located 50 miles upstream.  The Toccoa River feeds Lake Blue Ridge flowing soothingly for about 15 miles north of the dam and visitors can spend the day tubing, kayaking, or trout fishing.   It is recommended that fishermen should only wade-fish the Toccoa River below the dam when TVA is not generating electricity as it can become hazardous when they release, so be sure to check the schedule before planning your trip.  Tammen Park is a county managed recreation area on the Toccoa River below the Blue Ridge Dam.  Access is at the bridge on Hwy. 515 and has picnic pavilions, playgrounds and ball fields.

Many points around the lake offer a way to have an adventure for the day including, Lake Blue Ridge Recreation Area and Boat ramp is just off Hwy 76 and Aska Road.  Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, it’s a passive recreation area with a nice view of the lake and free boat ramp.

Morganton Point Recreation Area is the place to take the kids to the “beach” on Lake Blue Ridge.  Located off Hwy 60.,  go 1.5 miles into Morganton and turn right on Lake Drive for .5 miles. The recreation area offers a boat ramp, 43 unit campground and picnic area with covered pavilion.

Lake Blue Ridge Marina located on Old Highway 76, offers boat sales, storage, and a launching ramp.  Pontoon boat rentals, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are also available to help provide recreation for your day at the lake.  Stock up on needed supplies at the marina store or eat at the bar and grill for lunch or dinner.

Spend some time exploring the Blue Ridge area and stay in a cabin, B& B, Inn, hotel or campground.  The area has numerous accommodations to fit your family weekend or an extended stay.

The historical Main Street in Blue Ridge features shops and small eateries where visitors can sit a spell on the rockers and benches along the way.  Spend a day exploring the many art galleries or browse for antiques in the shops that line the town. Taste local homemade pies and jams from the areas many orchard farms, like Mercier’s on Hwy. 5. located north of town.

The Blue Ridge Depot & Scenic Railway remains the central focus in downtown Blue Ridge in which you can enjoy a train 26 -mile scenic round trip from Blue Ridge to McCaysville as it passes through historic Murphy Junction along the beautiful Toccoa River.

Many Historical sites in downtown Blue Ridge can still be seen today including the Baugh House, now owned by the Fannin County Heritage Foundation located at 411 West First Street built by James Baugh in 1890. Baugh was a brick mason and the bricks were made out of clay from the back yard.

The Blue Ridge Inn Bed & Breakfast is a beautifully restored Victorian home (Kincaid House)  and was built in 1890.  It has 14 rooms, 8 fireplaces, 12-foot ceilings, original carved woodwork, heart pine floors and claw-foot tubs. Located at 477 West First Street the Blue Ridge Inn still welcomes guests to stay.

The Art Center, also known as the Historic Fannin County Courthouse, was built in 1937 after the previous courthouse burned in 1936. The courthouse is now the home of the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association’s Arts Center where visitors can view the galleries see rotating exhibits.

Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, peace of mind, or a little excitement, Lake Blue Ridge area provides a great small town atmosphere that will keep you coming back for your vacation! 

For more information contact Fannin County Chamber of Commerce 1-800-899-6867 or go to www.BlueRidgeMountains.com

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