A Georgia lake with clear water in the north Georgia mountains? Yes, please! Enter: Lake Blue Ridge in North Georgia. The crystal clear, aquamarine waters will make you want to jump right in!
Lake Blue Ridge is a 3,290-acre lake in Fannin County. It’s one of the most picturesque mountain lakes in the state, and is nestled along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountain range.
The lake is just 1.5 hours from downtown Atlanta and three miles from downtown Blue Ridge. In Blue Ridge, you’ll find lots of shops, restaurants, and the always-popular, Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad – so it’s worth a stop!
The area around Lake Blue Ridge offers campsites, several boat ramps, swimming, a marina, picnic areas, and rentals for all sorts of water activities.
We’re going to fill you in on everything you need to know to have a blast on this amazing lake!
What You Need to Know for the Perfect Lake Blue Ridge Getaway
Pristine Shoreline. The first thing you’ll notice when you look out onto Lake Blue Ridge is that it’s surrounded by beautiful trees! That’s because 80 percent of the shoreline is part of the Chattahoochee National Forest, managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
Blue Ridge Reservoir is 11 miles long with 65 miles of shoreline, making it an ideal place to escape the city, and surround yourself with the beautiful waters of Lake Blue Ridge.
Lake Levels Can Vary. Lake Blue Ridge was formed when a dam was constructed on the Toccoa River by the Toccoa Electric Power Company. When it was built in 1930, it was the largest earthen dam in the southeast! The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) purchased the facility in 1939 for hydroelectric power production.
It is important to note that since Lake Blue Ridge is a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) lake, its lake levels can vary. There are scheduled (and sometimes unscheduled) dam releases. Download the TVA app to get the most up-to-date information on water levels.
Rent a Pontoon Boat. My favorite way to enjoy the lake is to get out in the middle of it — and the Blue Ridge Marina is the best way to do just that. You can launch your boat from there — or if you don’t have one — rent a pontoon boat at the marina.
While you’re there, check out owner Herb and Eve Windham’s collection of antiques in the show room. They have things like a full-sized Shoney’s Big Boy statue, lots of antique boat engines, old coke machines, and more.
Kids will want to feed the catfish off the gas dock. Bring the pooch too! When you get gas at the gas dock, your dog gets a treat as well.
Paddle the Lake. Paddle the shoreline for a chance to see wildlife, or just relax and enjoy nature.
With the clear water the lake offers, the paddleboard is our favorite choice! The SUPs give you a good view of what’s happening below the water, and a chance to catch the small-mouth bass swimming around.
If you don’t have your own, you can rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, or paddleboards at the Lake Blue Ridge Marina.
Launch Your Boat. There are several boat ramps on Lake Blue Ridge and a few that rent kayaks, canoes, and/or stand up paddleboards.
- Lake Blue Ridge Marina. Launch all types of watercraft here, as well as fill up at the gas pump, or get your boat serviced. They also rent kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddleboards.
- Morgantown Point Recreation Area. More than just a launch site, you could spend the entire day here. Rent a kayak or paddleboard at the concession stand, which is run by Lake Blue Ridge Outfitters. There is a $10 parking fee for cars and trailers, but there is no fee to launch your boat.
- Lakewood Landing Boat Ramp. Ample parking here, as well as a boat launch ramp for all types of watercraft. You do pay a $5 launch fee, but this is a great year-round option for bass fisherman.
- Blue Ridge Recreation Area. This is a forest service-run day-use area. There are no bathrooms here, but they do have a picnic area along with the boat launch. It’s a perfect (free) spot to launch a kayak or paddle board. You can also launch larger watercraft, depending on the lake levels. Summer is usually no problem, but as you get into fall when lake levels drop, you may have some issues. There is plenty of parking and easy access to the lake.
Test Your Skills on the Ski Jump. Most Georgia lakes have good water skiing, but on Lake Blue Ridge they take their skiing seriously. Lake Blue Ridge is the only lake in Georgia I know of that has a public ski jump on the lake!
Swim in Lake Blue Ridge. We’ve already mentioned Morganton Point Recreation Area for it’s boat launch, but this is also a great place for an old-fashioned beach day!
Here you’ll find public swimming and picnic areas. The swimming area has bathroom facilities (always important), and concessions. This is a favorite beach spot for Lesli’s family.
Note that this is a pebble beach — which means it’s sandy, but there are also rocks — so we recommend wearing water shoes.
Go Fishing and Catch the Big One. My boys are not serious fisherman, but they do enjoy casting a line every once in a while. Lake Blue Ridge attracts serious anglers looking for small-mouth bass or muskie, because this lake is the only place in the state to find them!
Blue Ridge is also the trout capitol of Georgia. I hear the best trout fishing is near the Blue Ridge Dam.
Go Fish Spotting. If looking at fish sounds better than catching fish, The Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery is for you! Guests can tour the hatchery, where rainbow trout is raised for distribution into the nearby rivers and streams.
Hike Around the Lake. The Green Mountain Trail is a 5.3-mile trail with some beautiful views of the lake. It’s even more spectacular in early winter before it gets really cold, or early spring before the leaves come back.
You can also find a small 1-mile hiking trail at the Blue Ridge Recreation area, which is a forest service day-use area. There aren’t any bathrooms here, but they do have a picnic area.
Where to Stay on Lake Blue Ridge
There are no hotels on the lake, but there are lots of cabins, rentals, and bed and breakfasts to choose from.
I’ve bookmarked this 4-bedroom cabin with a private, covered dock from VRBO for our next visit!
If you would rather camp, you’ll find that a lot of places in the surrounding area offer campsites. This is a camping-friendly area!
In particular, the Morganton Point Recreation Area has 43 campsites for both tents and RVs — including 2 double-sites and 7 walk-in sites.
You can even launch your boat here and just keep it tied up by your campsite! Just make sure you get a site on the water.
There are nice walking trails around the shoreline in the area, and the Morganton Grill is located at the beginning of the road to the campground. Perfect for lunch or just an ice cream treat!
If you aren’t married to staying on the lake, Lesli LOVED this cabin only a few miles from downtown Blue Ridge.
Where to Eat on the Lake
Boat Dock Bar and Grill. This local joint at the Blue Ridge Marina has slips to park your boat and dine, as well as parking to drive in.
Come for sunset cocktails, live music on the weekends, great lake views, and the best smoked chicken wings ever — made fresh in the giant smoker out back.
Note that on busy weekends, there is usually a decent wait — so put yourself on lake time, grab a beverage, and enjoy the views.
For more restaurants in Blue Ridge, see our post about things to do in Blue Ridge.