A segment of the Appalachian Mountains, these mountains get their name from the distinctive blue haze that characterizes the range from afar. The Blue Ridge Mountains are more than just a predominant feature of the eastern United States - it is a landscape through which Mother Nature shows her talent for beauty and grace. Spanning six states, the mountain range (most often referred to as just Blue Ridge) is the gateway to the Appalachian Trail. It is also home to tons of activities, as well as many dazzling vacation rentals that will take your breath away.
Where is Blue Ridge?
Far from the noise of vibrant Atlanta, GA
, and offering different scenery from coastal Savannah, GA
, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a great place to escape into the solitude of nature. Beginning in the southernmost portion of Georgia in Carlisle, the Blue Ridge Mountains work their way north all the way to Mount Oglethorpe, Pennsylvania, encompassing approximately 615 miles. The range is typically referred to as narrow, but it boasts some of the highest peaks in eastern North America, including 125 mountains that exceed 5,000 feet in elevation. The
Blue Ridge Parkway
If it's not already on your bucket list, you'll want to add Blue Ridge Parkway immediately. A 469-mile long national parkway, the stretch is also considered an All-American Road and America's longest linear park. The parkway runs through 29 counties in Virginia and North Carolina. Home to more than 220 species of birds, the parkway also features about 100 types of trees and crosses five major rivers. The parkway's 300 miles of trails are perfect for outdoor exercise, but the area also features a ton of other activities like kayaking, canoeing, bicycling, and picnicking.
National Forests in Blue Ridge
The Blue Ridge Mountains are nothing short of spectacular thanks to their gorgeous scenery. The mountains are home to two national parks, Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These two parks offer a combined 1,350 miles of trails, so if you're into hiking, you'll be covered! Explore streams, cliffs, and waterfalls as you search for glimpses of wildlife and snap photos, maybe even a few selfies. After all, you'll have one of the best backdrops there is. Fly fishing, backcountry camping, and horseback riding are also popular activities at these parks.
In addition to the national parks, a number of national forests call the Blue Ridge Mountain range home: Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Nantahala, Pisgah, Jefferson, and George Washington. These national forests include more than 700 varieties of trees and plants, the perfect environments for flora lovers. These forests are wonderful for hiking as well, but you can also try something new like gem mining or rock sliding. After a full day of exploring, you'll be glad to have a cozy vacation rental to return to!
Fall Foliage in Blue Ridge
With the changing of seasons comes not only a difference in temperature but also a stunning display of bright foliage one can't help but admire. The Blue Ridge Mountains are an incredible place to witness the fall foliage. In fact, some people plan trips just to witness the beauty that arrives with autumn. The peak season is between mid-October and early-November, and the German-inspired town of Helen, GA
(home of the famous Oktoberfest) is a spectacular place to peep the fall foliage. Roanoke, VA, and Asheville, NC are some other great options for viewing the autumn scenery.
Small Towns Near Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge is comprised of many small towns that allow you to let loose and relax. One such town is quiet Sautee Nacoochee, GA
, located only a few miles from Helen. Named one of the 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America, Sautee Nocoochee has much in common with other towns situated along the Blue Ridge Mountains: it is charming, gorgeous, and utterly rejuvenating.
Though it's hard to picture the Blue Ridge Mountains being any more picturesque, our vacation rentals allow you to truly experience the serenity that this landscape provides - just the way it was intended.
Photo Credit: ehpien via Flickr