The North Georgia mountains are home to stunning scenery, storied history, and all the outdoor activities you could want. From freestone rivers to hikes along the Appalachian Trail, North Georgia has it all. This area spans roughly the Northern ¼ of the state and contains endless State and Federal parks, preserves, management areas, and public waters.
Whether you’re looking for a hardcore hike-in fishing trip with the guys, or want to having a relaxing family vacation on one of the scenic lakes, North Georgia can fit any itinerary.
Something Unique: Panning for Gold!
While the heyday of gold prospecting days may be long gone, the thrill of finding gold is still alive and well in North Georgia. In addition to gold, there are many other valuable stones that can be found in the area. For the serious metal-heads, there are plenty of streams in the mountains that provide ample panning opportunities, but if you are just looking for an experience, there are a number of roadside panning operations that are fun and family friendly. You probably won’t get rich, but you’ll have a couple of hours of genuine prospecting under your belt.
With over 4,000 miles of streams, the North Georgia Mountains can provide some of the prolific fishing in the Southeast. In addition to trout streams, there are ample opportunities on over 250,000 acres of lakes and ponds to to target dark and light bass species, Bream, Crappie, Catfish, and even Walleye.
Trout fishing runs the gamut in North Georgia, with Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout throughout many reaches. Whether you are using conventional or fly tackle, there are tons of rivers and streams to chase trout in. If you’re looking for a jumping off point, start with some of the most popular options and don’t be afraid to explore their tributaries. Popular areas include: the Chattahoochee River, Tallulah River, Etowah River, Chestatee River, and Noontootla Creek. If lake fishing is more your speed, North Georgia is also your destination. From giant Stripers to Walleye, Georgia lakes have abundant species to target.
Species: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Largemouth Bass, Hybrid Bass, Striped Bass, White Bass, Catfish, Walleye, Crappie, Panfish, Sunfish
Hunting in North Georgia can be very good, but can also be challenging. With thousands of acres of protected lands, there is ample habitat for all huntable species. Be sure to check regulations for the area you would like to hunt, everything from National Forests to reservoirs have unique rules and regulations.
Deer, Boar and Turkey hunting can all be productive in the Mountains, but we do not rank these pursuits as being better than average. With ample Black Bears in the area, this is a great species to target if visiting North Georgia. Small game is abundant, and hunting can be very rewarding for most small game species.
Bird hunting in North Georgia is also unremarkable, although opportunities do exist. Large bodies of water produce predictable waterfowl numbers, but pressure is typically high in these areas. For those looking for a relatively unique opportunity in the Southeast, North Georgia does have sufficient populations of Ruffed Grouse and Woodcock to hunt. Targeting these species can be labor intensive, so get ready for a workout with your hunt!
Species: Whitetail Deer, Eastern Wild Turkey, Wild Boar, Small Game, Waterfowl, Dove, Woodcock, Ruffed Grouse.
Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rafting★★★★★
There are ample opportunities for paddlers in the North Georgia Mountains. Whether you are looking for some serious whitewater, a babbling brook, or a tranquil lake, there is something for every skill set.
For those looking for whitewater, we recommend the Etowah, Chestatee, or Chattooga Rivers. Each of these combine exciting rapids with beautiful scenery. If you’re wanting a little less excitement, parts of the Chattahoochee River and the Cartecay River might be more your speed. And if you’re looking for a new way to experience the cool waters of North Georgia, try tubing through Helen on the Chattahoochee –it’s a great family adventure (during the summer months).
Hiking, Biking, Birding & Nature Trails ★★★★★
With the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail located here, the North Georgia Mountains are an easy 5 Stars on hiking. But don’t be afraid to look beyond the White Blazes of the AT, there are plenty of hiking, biking, and nature trails in the area.
North Georgia has hundreds of thousands of acres of protected wilderness in North Georgia there’s an opportunity around every turn. For those looking for short hikes and nature trails we suggest visiting places like the Tallulah Gorge, or take a day to visit some of the beautiful and easily accessible waterfalls in the area. If longer hikes are your interest, then look no further than the AT and its adjacent trails.
Likewise, there are plenty of opportunities for biking in North Georgia. From Mountain biking trails to epic road biking conditions, we give all of these outdoors pursuits 5 Stars!