Get Wet & Cool Off!
Some of our favorite places for a hot summer day
On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than a creek, river, lake or even a waterfall! If you’re looking for a place to cool off, consider a visit to one of these popular areas and attractions:
Land of Lakes
Ready to get out on the water for a day of boating, skiing or just relaxing? You’ll find plenty of opportunities all over North Georgia, including our own Lake Blue Ridge, Lake Nottely in Blairsville, Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee and Murphy, North Carolina’s hidden gem, Lake Apalachia.
Morganton Point Recreation Area
This is the perfect spot to spend a day swimming in Lake Blue Ridge or playing on the beach (yes, there’s even sand!). There are picnic tables, a covered pavilion and a boat ramp. Day use fee is $5 per vehicle, and campsites are available. Visit Find Outdoors for details.
You’ll find several Toccoa River access points along the Aska Road area, including the Toccoa River Rapids, Shallowford Bridge and Sandy Bottoms. Below the dam, access areas include Tammen Park and Horseshoe Bend Park. Several outfitters can put you in tubes, kayaks or canoes most anywhere along the river, including:
Toccoa Valley Campground (pictured at top)
Fall Branch Falls
This multi-level waterfall lies an easy .5-mile round-trip hike from the parking area off Stanley Creek Road (8 miles down Aska Road). You can’t swim here, but you can stand on the shaded platform and enjoy the cool breeze coming off the falls.
Deep Hole Recreation Area
There’s plenty to do here, off Hwy. 60 south of Morganton, including fishing, camping, picnicking and canoeing (Deep Hole is the start of the Toccoa River Canoe Trail). Day use fee is $3 per vehicle, plus camping is available onsite. Visit the US Forest Service for details.
Cooper Creek Recreation Area & Sea Creek Falls
Continue driving on Hwy. 60 a few miles beyond Deep Hole and you’ll come to the Cooper Creek Rec. Area. Turn off onto Forest Service Road 4 to access two creeks, Cooper Creek and nearby Mulky Creek, both perfect for trout fishing or wading. Or take the short hike to the double cascades of Sea Creek Falls. Visit the US Forest Service for details.
Helton Creek Falls
Some of the coldest water you’ll find on a hot day makes Helton Creek Falls a must-do spot in nearby Blairsville. A short hike allows you to explore the beauty of both the lower and upper falls, which drops about 60 feet into a small swimming area. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny day with the family. (fs.usda.gov)
Vogel State Park
Open year-round, Vogel features a swimming lake with paddleboat rentals, as well as a Civilian Conservation Corps museum, campsites, cottages, mini golf and hiking trails. One easy trail will take you to Trahlyta Falls, which is a beautiful stepping-stone waterfall that cascades down 40 feet.
Lake Winfield Scott
This hidden gem lies in the small town of Suches, south of Blairsville. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the 18-acre lake is home to fishing, boating and a swim platform. You can also picnic, hike and camp here. (fs.usda.gov)
Map it Out
Stop by the Fannin County Visitor Center (blueridgemountains.com) or Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce (visitblairsvillega.com) for detailed maps of waterfalls and water access points in the area. You can also download the Blue Ridge Mountains App for more info.