The North Georgia area offers outdoor enthusiasts a vast array of activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, horseback riding, panning for gold, touring waterfalls (including ones with swimming holes) and fishing. In addition, the area is rich with a variety of wild life tours and wonderful wine tasting at the many local wineries.
Guests enjoy hiking the 1.5 miles of hiking trails right on the property as well as exploring the fields and meadows that reside on the 72 acres. You can hike billion-year-old mountains covered with dense forests. More than one-third of Lumpkin County resides in the Chattahoochee National Forest and is covered with trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and four-wheeler touring. There are countless trails to choose from.
The 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail (AT) begins just outside Dahlonega on Springer Mountain and wanders 28 miles through the county, including the Blood Mountain Wilderness Area. On top of Blood Mountain, there is a rustic stone shelter for AT hikers that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dockery Lake Trail
Dockery Lake Trail is one of the key trails in Georgia that not only provide access to the Appalachian Trail, but is an interesting magical hike in and of itself. This is a moderate hiking trail that follows along several mountain streams with many stream crossings. It is wonderfully shady trail, perfect for summer hiking! The trailhead is a set of stairs that rise from the Dockery Lake Parking Area, and immediately begins climbing. The trail runs adjacent to Dockery Lake, which is a sweet spot to fish, float and BE. The trail is 6.8 miles long.
Raven Cliffs Trail
The Raven Cliffs Trail is a five mile round trip along Dodd Creek to the cliffs where the creek plunges through a narrow crack in the cliff. The trail is mostly easy walking through beautiful rhododendron and hemlock forests following the creek by numerous small waterfalls. The Raven Cliffs Trail is located within the Mark Trail Wilderness Area. The trail head is located 30 minutes from Dahlonega on the Richard Russell Scenic Highway 3 miles north of Highway 75 near Helen, GA.
Anna Ruby Falls Trail
The Anna Ruby Falls Trail (0.4 miles one way) is one of spectacular beauty which leads to twin falls at the confluence of the Curtis (150 ft. fall) and York (50 ft. fall) Creeks to form Smith Creek. The walk is moderate on a paved walkway and is a treat the year round. Located in The Chattahoochee National Forest in White County, Anna Ruby Falls can be reached by Hwy. Ga. 75 through Helen.
Logan Turnpike Trail
This former toll road of the 1800’s crosses some of Georgia’s most rugged terrain and accesses Raven Cliffs Wilderness. A historical marker on the approach road to the trailhead designates the toll keeper’s house. The first mile is easy but the next is strenuous (two miles of hiking). This historic trail accesses the Appalachian Trail as Tesnatee Gap. A word of caution, this trail is located within the Chestatee Wildlife Management Area which is open to various hunting seasons throughout the year.
In Dahlonega, you are within a short drive of the splendor of more than 30 waterfalls including Amicalola, the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. Throughout the entire North Georgia Mountains, which includes a number of different counties, there are nearly 100 waterfalls. Here is a sampling of the more popular falls that are in Lumpkin and nearby counties.
It's easy to see why this is one of Georgia's most popular state parks. Amicalola, a Cherokee Indian word meaning "tumbling waters," is an appropriate name for these 729-foot falls -- the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. An 8.5 mile approach trail leads from the park to Springer Mountain, the southern end of the 2,135-mile Appalachian Trail. However, numerous other trails are available for shorter journeys. For hikers who enjoy more adventure, a 5-mile trail leads to the backcountry Len Foote Hike Inn. Be sure to stop by the visitor center to see an Appalachian Trail display, nature exhibits, and live animals.
Tallulah Gorge Park & Falls
One of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S., Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. Visitors can hike rim trails to several overlooks, or they can obtain a free permit (limit 100 per day) to hike down to the gorge floor. A suspension bridge sways 80 feet above the rocky bottom, providing spectacular views of the river and waterfalls. Exhibits in the park's Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center highlight the rich history of this Victorian resort town, as well as the rugged terrain and fragile ecosystem of the area. Additionally, an award-winning film takes viewers on a dramatic journey through the gorge. Permits are required for all people accessing the gorge floor or rock climbing/rappelling. The only approved trail for entering or leaving the gorge floor is the Hurricane Falls staircase. Both the Hurricane Falls staircase and gorge floor are very strenuous. Trails entering or exiting the gorge, as well as those on the gorge floor, are very strenuous. Visitors with health problems should not attempt to climb these trails.
Panther Creek Falls
Beautiful Waterfalls with a pool of mountain water for you to cool yourself and it gives you a great hike. It is located just north of Clarksville with a 3.5 mile hike from the trailhead. It is an easy trail with a few short areas of difficulty. The Falls are beautiful with an overlook near the top, and a completely different view when you get to the bottom. The pool itself is about 200 yards wide and perfect for swimming.
Dicks Creek Falls
Located just 15 minutes away from the Resort, here is another fun watering hole – great for cooling off in the hot summers. This is a hidden gem, off the beaten path, with cascading waterfalls and plenty of rocks for perching and diving.
Choose from kayaking, canoeing and tubing close to the Resort on the Chestatee River. The River itself was once home to the Cherokee. You can rent kayaks from the Resort and we’ll show you where to put in on the Chestatee. Or, you can use Appalachian Outfitters for tubing and canoeing on both the Chestatee and Etowah Rivers. The Etowah is best in the spring and early summer. For those looking for a more relaxing, go with the flow time; try a short and fun tubing float on the Chestatee.
The Chattooga River
The Chattooga Wild & Scenic River begins at the base of Whiteside’s Mountain in North Carolina and flows in a southwesterly direction to form the border between South Carolina and Georgia. One of the wildest and most beautiful whitewater rivers in the country, the Chattooga was the first river in the Southeast to be designated "Wild & Scenic" by Congress and was used as a location for the movie Deliverance. The Sumter and Chattahoochee National Forests surround you while you enjoy your river adventure. The Chattooga offers different challenges – everything from Class II to Class IV and V – as there are four different sections to the wilderness river. Kayaking, Canoeing & Tubing.
This river adventure alternates between calm spells of sparkling flat water to more than 20 named rapids – something for everyone with Class I, II, and a single Class III. The Nantahala River is located in western North Carolina.
Visit the Olympic Ocoee River in North Georgia/Southeastern Tennessee with its Class III and IV rapids. It offers two different “hang on to your helmet” sections of big waves, large drops and surging whitewater. This Tennessee River became famous as the site of the 1996 Olympic whitewater events. Trips are available Thursdays through Mondays during summer months, and on weekends only during the spring and fall.
Sunny Farms is a short jaunt from the Resort and offers more than 250 acres of mountain trails and pasture. The Resort can arrange your adventure (one to two-hours rides) for you. Sunny Farms offers horses for everyone – beginners to experienced riders.
A Step Above Stables If Tennessee Walkers are your favorite for riding, then head over to Blairsville, about an hour’s drive from the Resort. You will follow a guide through forest trails, some of which overlook beautiful Lake Nottley. Your guide will let you choose an easy walking pace for the entire trail, as well as the smooth quickened gate and rack in the open trail area.
Panning for Gold If you are looking for an activity that requires no athletic skills, then try out the local gold mines: Crisson Gold Mine and Consolidated Gold Mines. At Crisson, you can pan for gold and gemstones, see the only working Stampmill in Georgia, enjoy a wagon ride, and have a picnic. At Consolidated, you can also pan for gold and gemstones plus you can tour an underground mine. Both mines are open seven days a week.
Nature ToursKangaroo Conservation Center Less than an hour’s drive from the Resort is the largest kangaroo population outside Australia with more than 300 kangaroos and nine different species. The Center sprawls over 87 acres and offers hiking trails and walking paths through natural habitats.
Chestatee Wildlife Preserve Just fifteen minutes away from the Resort is the Chestatee Wildlife Center, a non-profit organization that specializes in preservation through education of exotic and domestic wildlife. The preserve displays more than 450 animals and 125 species from around the world, including the rare Siberian white tigers. Open to the public seven days a week, admission is $10 per adult; $5 per child and the Preserve only accepts cash or checks.
Here’s another activity that requires no athletic dexterity. There are four wineries near the resort, two of which are less than a mile away.
The Cottage Vineyard & Wineryis fifteen minutes away and is the newest addition to the North Georgia wineries. The amazing views all year round will astound you for natures beauty alone. Come for a short visit and stay for the day! Open Monday through Saturday 11:55 a.m. - 6:02 p.m. and Sundays from 12:35 p.m. - 6:02 p.m.
Frogtown Cellarsis less than two miles away from Dahlonega Spa Resort and sits on a 57-acre vineyard and winery estate, home to more than 20,000 grape vines. The winery is open Friday through Sunday. Friday: 12-5 p.m.; Saturday: 12-6 p.m.; and Sunday: 12:30 to 5 p.m.
Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery is just a stone’s throw away from the Resort and is Dahlonega’s first family farm winery. The Resort is one of the sponsors of Three Sisters Annual Georgia Wine Country Festival in early June each year. The winery is open Thursday through Saturday from 11: a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.
Wolf Mountain Vineyards is located about 15 minutes away from the Resort and offers a breathtaking mountain top setting. The winery is open Thursday through Sunday from 12-5 p.m.
Montaluce Winery & EstatesAt the heart of the Montaluce Estate and at its highest point, the property boasts a modern 25,000-square foot winery building. Reminiscent of a grand Tuscan villa, with sweeping views of the vineyards and mountains beyond, guests will discover here the Italian ideal of "La Vita Bella," or the beautiful life--centered around food, wine and sharing. Montaluce is located about 20 minutes from the Resort and it is the newest winery in Dahlonega
Biking The Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty Cycle Events take place here in Georgia's Premier Cycling Venue. The Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty boast many of the same roads and mountain climbs as the elite Tour de Georgia. Come ride the Ride of the Pros!
The Six Gap Century’s ultra challenging route takes you up and down six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. Test your stamina with more than 11,200 feet of vertical climbing over the 100 mile course. Elevations for the six gaps in this ride range from 1,400 feet to 3,460 feet. The toughest climb, Hogpen Gap, will test even the strongest riders, averaging a 7% grade for seven miles, with sections as steep as 15%.
The Three Gap Fifty’s alternative route offers half the gaps and half the distance, but is nevertheless a demanding and challenging course. Elevations range from 1,400 feet to 3,364 feet.