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Chattahoochee National Forest - Recreation

Hiking and Riding: With over 430 miles of trails on the Chattahoochee, it's hard to find an area without some type of footpath! From short day hikes to more arduous trips, for novices or experts, there is a trail for every level, 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).

Water Recreation: 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. Unlike most Georgia rivers, the Toccoa flows north instead of south, and is considered to be the state's loveliest river.

Fishing: Nearby 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 tough 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.

Scenic Drives: The Ridge and Valley Scenic Byway is a 47-mile loop through the Armuchee Ridges. "Armuchee" is a Cherokee Indian work meaning :land of flowers," still an accurate description. 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.

Spectacular fall colors bust in the trees along the Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway. This 38-miles look has many interesting stops along the way. Dukes Creek Falls trail leads to the bottom of a gorge, where the air is cooled by the misty spray from the waterfalls. Several pools formed from the cold water tumbling down 250 feet provide a welcome relief for wary hikers.

Farther along the drive is the Raven Cliffs Trail, which twists for 2 miles around several waterfalls, including one of the most unusual falls in the forest where water pours out of a crevice in a massive cliff about 90 feet high. Brasstown Bald is another popular stop on this drive.

Points of Interest: Brasstown Bald is the highest peak in Georgia. Shuttle vans carry most visitors from a parking lot to the top, but hardy hikers climb the path to the crest. Winds are always present on the lofty summit, which provides breathtaking views from the Visitor Center's observation deck.

The cool, still hush of the surrounding lush forest is broken only by the thundering water of Anna Ruby Falls. This unique double waterfall cascades off of Tray Mountain in a spectacular 153-foot drop. The Lion's Eye Trail for the Blind adds a special dimension to one of Georgia's most visited spots.

Historic Sites: In the Northwest portion of the Chattahoochee, on the other side of Interstate 75, the mountain peaks are lower and shaped in long, narrow ridges, separated by valleys. These valleys have been used for centuries as human and animal passage ways. Great armies clashed here during the Civil Was as Union General William Tecumseh Sherman led his troops towards the fateful battle of Atlanta, which sealed the Confederacy's doom.

Information provided by the USDA Forest Service

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