Thursday, November 3, 2016

I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet...

Blue Ridge, GA

 The Toccoa Swinging Bridge in Blue Ridge, GA is suspended over the swift Toccoa River. It is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River stretching over 265 feet long from one end to the other. If you’re planning a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, you won’t want to leave until you’ve had the opportunity to walk this swinging bridge for some thrills and spectacular views. The bridge was constructed in the '70s allowing hikers on the Appalachian Trail to cross the Toccoa River at this spot. 

Blue Ridge, GA

The bridge offers a scene that is difficult to put into words. Picture a wide river winding through the thick of the forest with towering trees hanging over huge boulders, and imagine small pebbles being whisked away by the force of the river’s current. Imagine you can hear the water talk as it confronts the boulders strong silence in the middle of the river, nature unveils a beautiful masterpiece here.

Blue Ridge, GA

Your first steps on the bridge might seem a bit shaky, hence the reason it has earned the name “Swinging Bridge”, but have no fear, this bridge is constructed of large timbers and is quite sturdy.  Crossing to the other side offers many places to explore including secluded picnic sites (no facilities, just pull up a log) and areas to wade in the water due to the shallow slope. 
Blue Ridge, GA
The Toccoa River furthur up stream from the Bridge

Getting to the swinging bridge may be difficult for some.  If your vehicle can handle the 3 mile rough road approach (no low cars; a truck or SUV is recommended), you can get to within 1/4 mile hike to the bridge. It's an easy hike from the parking area, but the path has a lot of roots so wear appropriate shoes and walk carefully.  

Blue Ridge, GA

You can visit the bridge by taking Highway 60 south from Blue Ridge, continue through Morganton South on 60, all the way to the Old Skeenah Mill and Campground; at .7 miles on the right past the Old Skeenah Mill is the dirt road (3+ bumpy, rough miles on FS 816) to the Swinging Bridge over the Toccoa River. Park at the berm and hike to the bridge on the Benton MacKaye/Duncan Ridge Trail, it will take you about 5 minutes. After you leave the Swinging Bridge, turn left on Highway 60 for approximately 7.5 miles for a side visit to Serenberry Vineyards for a wine tasting in their renovated barn.

Lori in Blue Ridge, GA

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  1. I think I will just enjoy your photo's, no swinging bridge for me. If it won't be still, I'm not that adventurous! Those trees are really pretty. I love North Georgia mountains in the fall!