The Blue Ridge Lake area in northeast Georgia combines the tranquility of aquamarine waters with the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. So many family adventures revolve around the wonders of nature and natural resources, including fishing, swimming and biking the mountain trails, all of which are close to your Blue Ridge Lake vacation rental. Culture and the arts are well-represented in museums and theaters, and shops galore offer countless opportunities for browsing for novelties and sweets. You might even choose to learn how to hunt for Bigfoot.

1. Swinging Bridge on the Toccoa River

People hike and canoe to get to the 270-foot swinging bridge over the Toccoa River. Built in 1977 by the USDA Forest Service in cooperation with the Appalachian Trail Club, it is located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail.

2. Paddleboard

Grab a paddle board for a relaxing way to frolic in the water just for fun or to get a great workout. This is one water sport that requires just a few pieces of gear. Start by going to the marina to select your boards. Rentals include the gear you need, including life jackets.

3. Go Fishing

Head for Blue Ridge Lake for some great fishing opportunities for family members of all ages. Cast for trout or let the kiddies use floats to reel in some blue gills. A safe and fun alternative is the Lilly Pad Pond on Aska Road, a catch-and-release fishing hole. It’s a great place for the little ones to catch their first fish, and fishing gear is available for rent.

4. Learn How to Hunt for Bigfoot

Take the children on an adventure in Cherry Log, Georgia that they are sure to remember: Expedition Bigfoot. Marvel at the 4,000-square foot complex that holds a massive display of artifacts, life-size exhibits, photos, sketches and siting maps. It is a huge family attraction designed to entertain and educate. Pick up some souvenirs or enjoy the Bigfoot Reference Library.

5. Shop at Huck’s General Store

Ramble on down to the general store for a bucket full of penny candy, old timey toys, treats and hilarious novelty items, including a soap called Hog Wash. Browse for soft drinks, books, gourmet foods and take the time to catch up on local stories with the owners.

6. Mine for Gems

Dig for rubies, emeralds, sapphires, garnets and so much more at the Lilly Pad Village. Each bucket of dirt contains a unique assortment of large and colorful gemstones. The staff stays close by to help you with educational information about the gemstones, give instructions for your dig and even offer recommendations for other activities in the area.

7. See a Play

Sample a bit of mountain culture at the Blue Ridge Community Theater where they offer 23 stage productions with 114 performances and 33 weekends of entertainment. There are also numerous live music performances and a children’s theater as well. The theater cooperates with local organizations to support the arts in the area.

8. Go Mountain Biking

Active families head out for mountain bicycling along a 17-mile developed system on National Forest lands. The trails ascend to almost a exhilarating 3,200 feet climb, running from the lake to take in the unspoiled mountain landscapes. The trail winds through hardwood coves and thickets of mountain laurel. During the spring, wildflowers blanket the fields.

9. Go Geocaching

Geocaching is a high tech outdoor treasure hunt in which participants use a GPS device to follow coordinates and track down a hidden cache. The rules are quite simple: take something, leave something and sign the logbook. Be sure to experience the fun of interacting with the great caches people have hidden in the beautiful Blue Ridge Lake area.

10. Go to an Obstacle Course

What is your challenge? Aerial Adventure Park offers suspended bridges, tight ropes, climbing walls and obstacles for a great family adventure. Safety is paramount, and workers clip participants to a safety line while on the challenge course. Blue Ridge Adventure Park offers over 40 obstacles that range from moderate to extreme difficulty. You wear a harness, helmet and gloves.

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