Hike 0.6 miles on the easy Blue Ridge Lake Train in Fannin County, Georgia, to see the scenic lakeshore of Blue Ridge Lake.
By Tim Homan
This short, pleasant stroll makes a complete loop, taking you near the scenic lakeshore several times. Blue Ridge Lake is a component of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a system of impoundments in North Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Formerly known as Lake Toccoa, this 3,290-acre reservoir was built between 1929 and 1932 by the Toccoa Power and Electric Company and later purchased by the TVA.
The trail passes through a mixed forest of pines and hardwoods and is an easy-to-walk, level path. Six different species of oak make up the greatest share of the larger hardwoods. The southern red oak is particularly common. Its distinctive leaves have three to seven sharply pointed lobes; the top or terminal lobe is elongated and very narrow compared to the others.
Pileated woodpeckers inhabit the area and are often seen or heard drumming on trees. Their call-a loud, irregular kik-kik-kik-kik-kik!-may also be heard.
Mile 0.3: Good view of Blue Ridge Lake.
Travel GA 515-US 76 North to its junction with Old US Highway 76 in the southwestern corner of Blue Ridge. At this junction, which currently has a blinking yellow traffic light, turn right onto Old US Highway 76 (East First Street) and continue eastward 3.3 miles to Dry Branch Road. Turn right onto Dry Branch Road at the Forest Service sign.
Proceed approximately 2.1 miles (the last 0.6 mile is dirt-gravel) to the paved entrance of the recreation area. Just inside the entrance, turn left toward the picnic area. After less than 0.2 mile, this road ends at a parking area. The trailhead is located at the back end of the parking lot.
This hiking guide to the Blue Ridge Lake Trail is adapted from The Hiking Trails of North Georgia by Tim Homan and is published in cooperation with the publisher, Peachtree Publishers. With his meticulous attention to detail and accuracy, Homan has long been recognized as the authority on North Georgia hiking trail by serious hikers. His other books include Hiking Trails of Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock and Citico Creek Wilderness, Hiking the Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wilderness and others. For a complete inventory of his books see his Amazon Author Page. For an inventory of Peachtree Publishers books including its Nature books for children, go to the Peachtree Publishers website.