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February 14, 2020
Hike Away the Winter Blues in Lake Chatuge
Lake Chatuge, Georgia’s Enchanted Valley, is an explorer’s dream. This stunning swath of mountains and glittering waterways is rich with natural wonders, whether visiting in the lush summer months or during the haunting beauty of winter. From the breathtaking waterfalls at High Shoals to the Appalachian Trail, there are so many places to hike and soak in the best nature has to offer in this magical mountain escape.  
The area is full of trails for everyone from the first-time hiker to the seasoned outdoor veteran. The dramatic landscape created by the area’s namesake lake and towering Blue Ridge Mountains make it the best place in Georgia to shake off winter blues and stretch your legs on winding hikes up mountains, past waterfalls and all around the lake itself.
One of the area’s easiest, but no less scenic, trails is just four miles away from the lake, right in the heart of Young Harris. Cupid Falls is just a short drive, and even shorter walk, through Young Harris and just past Young Harris College. The secluded waterfall at the end of this small trail is calming and beautiful. During the warmer months, the fall’s base is great for a cooling splash. If your adventure is a family affair, this trail is the perfect place for little explorers. The short distance and shallow fall waters make it ideal for adventurous families. Alternatively, this little spot is also a great place to get your feet wet as you move up to the mountain’s more challenging and lengthy trails.
High Shoals Falls is a natural step up on the difficulty scale. This moderately challenging trail is a two-and-a-half-mile roundtrip hike in the middle of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Panoramic views of towering High Shoals waterfall sit as the crown jewel at the trail’s center. As a tease on the way up, the trail is also home to Blue Hole Falls, a smaller waterfall that spills into a beautiful blue pool below. While not the most challenging, the trail’s length and elevation make it a better fit for those who want a bit more adventure! Take a picnic and grab the perfect selfie at High Shoals. It’s truly one of the most beautiful spots in our mountains.
Hiking the full Appalachian Trail, which spans 2,184 miles between from Georgia to Maine, is a life goal for many avid hikers. Depending on which state you start in, the Blue Ridge Mountains either mark the beginning or the end of the impressive journey. For those looking for an adventure in Lake Chatuge, however, this means the area is home to many sections of this historic trail. Unicoi Gap, Dicks Creek Gap and Jack’s Knob Trail are just a few of the Appalachian Trail-connected hikes that can be found within the larger Towns County area. Each range in difficulty, but the bragging rights earned from hiking part of the Appalachian Trail are worth every mile, twist and turn. Explore part of history as you wind through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
This is just a small taste of all the hiking and waterfalls Lake Chatuge has to offer. For a more extensive list of the best hikes in the Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains, visit Lake Chatuge’s Hiking Guide. This in-depth site lists out hikes all around the area, along with their length and level of difficulty, making the planning process a breeze. It’s the best resource to guide you to your perfect hike. We can’t wait to see you on our trails! 

Photo: @honeybaked_hann
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