Monday, August 16, 2010

Staying Cool in Georgia's Blue Ridge

Rafting the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge, Ga
Blue Ridge GA
It's mid-August in Blue Ridge and temperatures are beginning to shift downward a little this week.  That being said, folks are still looking for cool ways to stay cool, since Lake Blue Ridge has become somewhat inaccessible due to repairs on the dam.  There are still plenty of ways to stay cool, with miles and miles of chilly mountain water in area rivers and streams.  The coolest way to stay cool, according to our Facebook Poll is tubing the Toccoa River, both above the Lake Blue Ridge dam on Aska Road and below the dam in McCaysville.

Tubing the Toccoa River above the Dam.
Tubing above the dam is a slow and easy ride for those who want to take in the beautiful scenery. Trips can
be booked with Toccoa Valley Campground, 706-838-4317. Famous for its pink tubes, Toccoa Valley will put you in the water at its campground and pick you up at the Shallowford Bridge two to three hours later downstream.

For a shorter (and sometimes faster) trip, try tubing the Toccoa in McCaysville.  One-hour trips are offered by Rolling Thunder River Company, 800-408-7238, and by Toccoa River Adventures.  Both companies also rent funyaks and rafts.

Also don't forget the coolest adventure in Georgia's Blue Ridge, whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River or the Nantahala River in North Carolina.  Professional guides offer trips from March to October, plenty of time to plan a trip.  Find a list of whitewater rafting guides on our website.  Another very cool adventure is playing in the cool pools of water at the Ocoee Whitewater Center (currently on Thursdays and Fridays).  There are lots of great swimming holes, but watch out for slippery rocks.  The Whitewater Center also offers hiking and biking trails, picnic areas and snack bar.

Toccoa River at the Swinging Bridge
But perhaps the coolest thing of all is to find a clear mountain stream and simply enjoy the sound the water makes as it rushes by.  Suggested spots ... Horseshoe Bend Park, Tammen Park or the Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa River, Noontootla or Rock Creek in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Jacks River in the Cohuttas.

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