Best Hiking, Walking and Waterfall Trails around Lake Chatuge

Great Hikes, Walking Trails and Waterfalls around Lake Chatuge

A panoramic image of the Blue Ridge Parkway in early spring with a blue and cloudy sky and the bright green tress with blooming fuchsia rhododendron in the foreground. Western North Carolina  BlueRidgeParkway-06-2021-Kristin_Boyer_IMG-7421-HDR-Pano-EditBlue Ridge Parkway, Azaleas and Rhododendron in Bloom, Kristin W. Boyer, K Boyer Photography Hayesville NC Photographer, Hayesville Photographer,

Kristin Boyer - Family Photographer (and outdoor enthusiast!)

A bright sunny summer day overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains near the AT. This view is from Bell.Mountain in Hiawassee GABellMtn-09-2020-Kristin_Boyer_IMG-2896_FBView from the Top of Bell Mountain in Hiawassee
Are you visiting Lake Chatuge or the surrounding area this year? There are SO many things to do here and I am frequently fielding questions from my photo clients about the best places around here to go hiking or check out local waterfalls or trails.  I have compiled a list of hiking trails and they vary greatly so read on and take your pick!  I would love to hear about your experiences on any of these trails.   If you want to schedule your family vacation photoshoot at one of these places, let me know!  I would love to meet you out on the trail somewhere!  


Two of my favorite things about being a photographer are that I am around amazing, beautiful people ALL the time and that I am almost ALWAYS outside doing my "Job".  I use the hashtag #myofficeisinthepark all the time!! :) As such, I have a huge list of amazing places in Hiawassee and Hayesville to go and hike and maybe even take photos.  LOL.  This is a general list of my go to spots for hiking and outdoor activities in the area.  I thought you might enjoy this too if you are visiting Lake Chatuge! I am always scouting new places so if there is something that I missed, please let me know!  

It is a great pleasure to share this beautiful part of our country with visiting families.  ENJOY! 


Fall colors around lake chatuge on Jack Rabbit Trail in Hiawassee GAJack Rabbit Trail in the Fall -11-2020-Kristin_Boyer_IMG-3880Fall around Lake Chatuge and Jack Rabbit Trail Fall colors around lake chatuge on Jack Rabbit Trail in Hiawassee GANC Weekend-11-2020-Kristin_Boyer_IMG-3880Drive up Unicoi Gap Road in the Fall heading toward a trail head for the Appalachian Trail.
 

First... a few general information links from Trailful and Atlanta Trails.  They are amazing organizations that offer a wealth of information!  

  1. List of Area Hiking Trails & Waterfalls
  2. Trailful’s List of Favorite Walking Trails within 30 miles of Lake Chatuge
  3. Atlanta Trails Map of Hiking Trails

Fall colors around lake chatuge on Jack Rabbit Trail in Hiawassee GA.  Fall trees and the sky is reflecting back in the lake's surface.  Fall on Jack Rabbit Trail 11-2020-Kristin_Boyer_IMG-3880Jack Rabbit Trail Hike and peeking through the leaves to the trees reflection on the water. Fall colors around lake chatuge on Jack Rabbit Trail in Hiawassee GAFall Photo on Jack Rabbit 11-2020-Kristin_Boyer_IMG-3880Fall around Lake Chatuge and Jack Rabbit Trail
 

When I am photographing my Hayesville and Hiawassee vacation families, I hear lots of feedback and these are some of their favorite's in the area Client & Personal Favorites - just a short drive from Lake Chatuge The start to the Jack rabbit trail head  in Hiawassee georgia on a fall dayJack Rabbit-11-2020-Kristin_Boyer_IMG-3902Jack Rabbit Trail Head

  1. Bell Mountain - (Hiawassee) A spectacular view rather than a hike but a must see.  Easy but crazy drive up the mountain and a very short walk to the top.  Lots of stairs but not a hike at all.  Just like a stairmaster session on steroids.  :) 
  2. High Shoals Falls Trail (30 Min South)
  3. Big Laurel Falls / Melton Falls (30 Min East)

  4. Rufus Morgan Falls (45 Min. West - just outside of
    Franklin NC)
  5. Helton Creek Falls (Helen Ga 30 Min South)
  6. The Jackrabbit Mountain Bike and Hiking Trail System in Hiawassee Georgia offers about 15 miles of trails, many of which border Lake Chatuge. Great for walking or Mountain bikers can get their wheels dusty on approximately 14 miles of bike-friendly trails.  This is one of my favorite trail systems because it is right on the lake and so so pretty and peaceful.  Plus it is about 15 degrees cooler here in the summer because of all the shade so you can walk in the August heat and still be ok!  Bring your dogs on a leash and they will love it too
  7. Bell Mountain ( Not a trail but more of an observation platform) A MUST DO!!!!  Rugged mountain top with graffitied rocks & an observation deck providing panoramic 360 degree views of the surrounding lake and mountains. You drive up the mountain and can park at the base. This is not a hike as much as just a lookout. There is an observation area that you can climb stairs to a viewing platform. 900 Bell Mountain Park Rd., Hiawassee GA 30546
  8. Fred Hamilton Rhododendron Garden / Hamilton Gardens @ Lake Chatuge - One of my favorite
    spots around Lake Chatuge for family photos!!!  It is a beautiful place year round with gentle rolling paths among the HUGE rhododendron's and other native plants.  It lies on the banks of Lake Chatuge and I guarantee that you won't find a prettier place to relax and unwind than at the
    Hamilton Gardens.  They also do loads of concerts and activities at this park so make sure and check them out.  The Fred Hamilton Rhododendron Garden is the only public botanical garden in the northeast Georgia mountains specializing in Rhododendrons and Native Azaleas, located on the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds property, 1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee, Georgia. Many varieties of rhododendrons as well as native wildflowers, plants and trees on 33 acres on the banks of Lake Chatuge.

Spring Blooms of rhododendron and dogwoods at Hamilton Gardens in Hiawassee Georgia.  Beautiful spring day with bright blue sky, green trees and beautiful flowering trees and bushes in pink and white.Hamilton Gardens March2020- Kristin Boyer -April_2020_IMG_9176Spring at Hamilton Gardens in Hiawassee Georgia Spring Blooms of rhododendron and dogwoods at Hamilton Gardens in Hiawassee Georgia.  Beautiful spring day with bright blue sky, green trees and beautiful flowering trees and bushes in pink and white.HamiltonGardens Spring_March2020- Kristin Boyer -April_2020_IMG_9176Spring at Hamilton Gardens in Hiawassee Georgia

  1. Brasstown Bald is Georgia’s Highest Mountain Point, rising 4784 feet above sea level, is a few minutes from downtown Hiawassee, Georgia. Surrounded by the Chattahoochee - Oconee National Forest, its cloud level observation deck offers stunning 360-degree views of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and valleys. There is a great 1/2 Mile trail to the top of Brasstown Bald which is paved but steep and offers amazing views! On clear days, the spectacular 360-degree view from the top of Brasstown Bald allows you to see four states: Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina , and South Carolina.

     

These are some others I have heard about and are on my list to visit!   A hiker on the AT Trail with his backpack standing in front of the Elevation 2949 Ft Sign in HiawasseeDrew at the Unicoi Gap Trail Head of the ATAT Trail at Unicoi Gap

  1. Lake Chatuge Trail - A one mile trail around the lake, relatively level (watch out for roots) and weaving in and out of coves.
  2. Beautiful Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa offers more than nine miles of interpretive hiking trails, known as the Miller Trek.  Their lounge area has great drinks and full bar, a huge stone fireplace that has fires blazing in the winter time and loads of great board games to whittle away the time on a lazy weekend day.  Oh... don't forget the gift shop that actually has really cute stuff!! :) 
  3. The Appalachian Trail (AT), which stretches from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin, Maine, runs through part of Towns County. Lake Chatuge and the community of Hiawassee are part of the Appalachian Trail Community partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
  4. Download Brasstown Bald Brochure Here
  5. US Forrest Service Outdoor Recreation Map for Chattahooche National Forrest


 

North Georgia & Western North Carolina Award
Winning Photographer – About The Artist A lone tree on the top of Bell Mountain Overlook in Hiawasee Georgia.  A birdseye view of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a crystal clear blue day in the spring.Bell Mtn SpringBreak-04-2021-Kristin_Boyer_IMG-3962A lone tree on top of Bell Mountain.

Kristin Boyer specializes in HDR Real Estate Photography, school photography and newbornseniors and family photography in North Georgia (Atlanta, Buckhead, Midtown, Alpharetta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Roswell, Hiawassee, Blairsville, Young Harris) and Western North Carolina such as Hayesville, Murphey, Franklin, Andrews, Highlands, Cashiers.

Kristin Boyer / K. Boyer Photography is a proud member of Professional Photographers of America, Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce, Lake Chatuge Chamber of CommerceClay County Chamber of CommerceClay County Revitalization Association,  Georgia Professional Photographers Association.

K. Boyer Photography has been selected as a top Atlanta Newborn Portrait Photographer for 8 years in a row by Expertise.com. She has also been published on a national podcast for school portrait photography by The Bokeh Podcast and interviewed by various magazines and publications such as 
top 100 newborn blogsVoyage ATL, and Mental Floss

Contact me here to request more information about a North Atlanta Child Photograph
y session, or you can follow me
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