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The Bounties of the Blue Ridge Mountains
by Caitlin Moore

The Appalachians stretch from Pennsylvania to Georgia, and as seasoned mountaineers are well aware, the eastern portion of these mounded, rounded beauties is known as the Blue Ridge Mountains. This narrow band becomes not-so-narrow once it hits Georgia, where it blossoms into wide, sweeping, vacation-worthy phenomena like rushing rapids and hike-worthy hills. For a getaway unlike any other, head to the hills; head to Blue Ridge.

Northern Georgia might not be the first place you think of when you have an urge for adventure, escape, and supreme beauty. However, the long history of this place as a haven for tourists proves that there's something worth noticing within the folds of the craggy terrain. In particular, nature lovers will find themselves surrounded by some of the richest displays of trees, streams, wildlife, and general splendor as they tour the area. Hopefully, you'll be able to stay a while, as seeing all the hidden bounties available might take some time.

In particular, the Chattahoochee National Forest is a good place to start your journey. Not only is it fun to say, it's fun to visit as well. Thousands of acres of untamed land, dozens of recreation areas, and miles and miles of trails will tempt you to get lost in the cool canopy of ancient trees that have amazed generations of people from near and far. Between the swimming beaches and picnic sites, you'll be content to while away your days in the most leisurely way possible; by letting the rhythm of nature replace the quick-paced nonsense of your previous life.

If you consider no vacation to be complete without some time spent on the water, then be sure to dip your toes into Lake Blue Ridge. Boat ramps, marinas, and lots of public swimming areas will delight everyone in your traveling party, as will the inherent peacefulness of watching the sun glint from the aqua surface. Get some exercise by waterskiing, pump up your adrenaline by hopping on a tube, or paddle away to another state of mind within the cozy confines of a canoe.

If you like your water-time a bit more nontraditional, then take note of the fact that there are five distinctive waterfalls near Blue Ridge. By hiking the most popular trails, you'll easily come across the hidden gems that will thrill you with the unfamiliar and exhilarating sounds of crashing and splashing. Long Creek, Falls Branch, and the other falls will plunge and cascade their way into your memory, and will certainly end up being standout pleasures of this trip.

And while we're on the subject of thrills, don't miss the opportunity to weave your way through the Blue Ridge Mountains by means of a raft equipped to speed through whitewater rapids. The Ocoee River makes a great venue for rafters and kayakers to test their skill and feel the exciting sensation of gut-wrenching drops and the spray of the world-class waves. March to October marks the perfect time to join the fun, so strap on a helmet and prepare to ignite your trip with this pulse-pounding diversion.

The wondrous scenery makes the perfect backdrop for many more activities, including horse back riding, golfing, and wandering through the ever-growing selection of antique and specialty shops. Breathe deeply as you enjoy the sight of the wide-open sky, and do whatever it is that will make you happy to be alive. Sometimes, this will end up being a mere walk or a simple meal with your loved ones, so don't feel the need to craft elaborate plans in order to achieve a satisfying Blue Ridge vacation.

On this note, be sure to reserve accommodations that will allow you and yours to squeeze as much contentment as possible from this trip without squeezing each other out of your comfort zones. A vacation rental, lodge-styled and hidden behind a grove of tall trees, would be the perfect way to have some privacy and space. With activities near by, you won't feel totally isolated, and a short car ride will take you to the town for dinner or a show after the sun goes down.

Having the amenities of home will allow you to truly feel comfortable while you're away, so be sure to investigate the possibility of a lue Ridge Mountains Vacation Rental, and enjoy your stint as a mountain adventurer.

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