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Short Hikes Blue Ridge/Ellijay Area

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Gainesville, FL
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Short Hikes Blue Ridge/Ellijay Area

My family (2 adults, 11 year old) is staying in a cabin on Doublehead Gap Road, about 6 miles from Springer Mountain and the start of the Appalachian Trail. Yesterday we went to Amicalola Falls ($5 entry fee, except on Wednesdays when it is free!), which was very nice. We took the Cedar Creek trail from the Visitor's Center and climbed the (approximately) 1600 feet elevation gain in one mile, which included about 600 stairs. It was pretty warm out and it was a VERY good workout. Don't take the stairs or the other trail that goes from the visitor center all the way to the lodge unless you want a really good workout, even in cooler weather. We enjoyed it, but we like good exercise when we are on vacation. Also, if you want to view the falls and you have driven to the lodge or the parking lot at the top, be prepared to walk down about 400 stairs and back up them. I think there is a handicapped access point to view the falls half way up the road to the lodge, however , if you don't want the difficulty of the steps. Today (the 11th) we took Doublehead Gap Road to Forest Road 58 and walked the Long Creek Falls Trail. This trail is VERY doable for most people. It is short - 2 miles round trip (although we turned it into a 6 mile round trip jaunt due to a tree that was blocking the road 2 miles from the trailhead!). There are a few small climbs to the falls, but not bad at all. The waterfall is very lovely - in fact, we liked it better than Amicalola. We also went to the Swinging Bridge, which is off of highway 60. Take Forest Service Road 816 off of hwy 60 -- it is about .7 mile from the old mill and you can pass by the FS road easily. Look for the sign with the hikers on it and take a right if you are heading south on 60 -- be prepared for a rough ride on the FS road, which goes about 4 miles, but once you are there, it is a very short hike (less than 1/2 miles) to the bridge that suspends over the Toccoa River. We have really enjoyed these short hikes. We went to Long Creek Falls and the Swinging Bridge in one day, which was nice. We are thoroughly enjoying this area.

1. Re: Short Hikes Blue Ridge/Ellijay Area

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Removed on: 3:52 am, February 08, 2011