Running through the southern Appalachian Mountains, the Toccoa River stretches 60 miles from the tiny town of Suches in North Georgia, and crosses the Tennessee state line at McCaysville. It winds its way through forests, mountains, and quaint towns, as well as serves as home to numerous secluded, cozy Toccoa River vacation rentals. Families planning a Toccoa River getaway can enjoy a variety of gorgeous natural views, water sports, and things to do. Fill your itinerary with these 12 kid-friendly activities.

1. Go Fishing

Source: Flickr/Fishes of Georgia Photo Gallery

Enjoy some of the best fishing in the state of Georgia along the lower part of the Toccoa River near the Blue Ridge dam. Wade in the shallow water near Tammen Park off Highway 515, or rent a fishing boat at the Lake Blue Ridge Marina. The Department of Natural Resources stocks the river with approximately 20,000 trout every year, which makes this an angler’s paradise. After a day on the river, you and the family can take your catch back to your vacation rental for a tasty meal.

2. Tube Down the River

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One of the most popular activities in North Georgia for local teenagers and young children is tubing. Rent tubes at the Toccoa River Tubing Company or Toccoa Wilderness Tubing. Choose from a short 1.5-mile trip or opt for a longer 6-mile trip. During normal conditions, the short trip takes about an hour, and when water is released from the dam, the trip takes approximately 20 minutes. Tubing is an ideal warm-weather activity for families with children over the age of 5.

3. Skull Down the River on a Kayak

Spend the afternoon traveling down the Toccoa River Canoe Trail. This trip starts at the Deep Hole Recreation Center and goes 13.6 miles to Sandy Bottoms. It is ideal for kids and adults, but young children should plan on riding with an adult. This 13.8-mile stretch of the river takes you through forested lands, and beautiful floral thickets, and you’ll see a variety of wildlife.

4. Go Whitewater Rafting

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Some sections of the Toccoa River Canoe Trail include rapids that are ideal for whitewater rafting. Sign up with Toccoa River Adventures in McCaysville to traverse down the rapids with a guide, or explore the river on your own. Choose from a mile-long trip or a 3-mile float.

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5. Ride Horses Along the Riverbank

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Spend an afternoon riding along the trails beside the banks of the Toccoa River. Whether you bring your horse with you to your ranch vacation rental or opt to rent a pony from Adventure Trail Rides in Blue Ridge, you’ll spend an enjoyable day in the woods. The staff is extremely friendly, and the horses are well mannered, which makes this the perfect trip for all ages.

6. Travel on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

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Take a short adventure with the family along the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The trip begins at the historic train depot in downtown Blue Ridge. The trip last four hours roundtrip. Along the way, you’ll wind alongside the Toccoa River and through the Blue Ridge Mountain forests. During the trip, you’ll stop in the small town of Copperhill, where you can grab a bite to eat at one of the local shops, snack on an ice cream cone, or stop in the antique store. During the holidays, sign up for a themed ride including a ride with Santa in December.

7. Hike Along the Appalachian Trail

Source: Flickr/Nicholas A. Tonelli

The starting point of the Appalachian Trail starts at the southern end of Fannin County near the Toccoa River. If you love to hike, the trail is probably on your bucket list of adventures. The Toccoa River section is approximately nine miles long and ideal for hikers of all ages. You‘ll see the stunning Long Creek Falls where you can stop and have a picnic lunch.

8, Picnic at Horseshoe Bend Park

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Horseshoe Bend Park is located in Mineral Bluff, Georgia, along the banks of the Toccoa River. Here, you’ll find plenty of picnic tables and grassy areas. The park offers a large playground for the kids, as well as volleyball courts, if you want to challenge family members to a competitive game.

9. Walk Over the Swinging Bridge on the Benton MacKaye Trail

Source: Flickr/The_Gut

Noted as the longest swinging bridge to the east of the Mississippi River, the swinging bridge on the Benton MacKaye Trail is 270 feet long. Take the short hike up the trail to the bridge and cross over to the Lily Pad Village. The village offers gem mining and mini golf, and it is pet-friendly.

10. Sample the Brownies at Chocolate Express in Blue Ridge

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No trip to the Toccoa River is complete without a trip to the Chocolate Express shop in Blue Ridge. The shop makes homemade fudge, hand-dipped chocolates, brownies, and a variety of other confections. The store also sells old-fashioned bottled sodas and a variety of souvenirs.

11. Visit the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery

Source: Flickr/David Berry

Located 75 miles north of Atlanta, the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery sits on 44 acres of land near the Toccoa River. Learn about the local trout and how the hatchery works to improve the fish habitats in the area. Stop by for one of the special events, including Kids Fishing Day in July.

12. Rent a Pontoon Boat at Lake Blue Ridge

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If you prefer to stay on the water, rent a pontoon boat and escape your vacation rental for the day. Stop by the Lake Blue Ridge Marina and rent tubes, skis, and other water toys. You can also purchase paddleboards for the kids, so they can learn a new skill.

 
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