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Places to explore North Georgia, Upstate, Western NC

Wife is big on leaf looking in the fall and we typically make Sunday trips to Western, NC and the foothills of SC every Sunday in the fall. We like to take the dog, ride, hit a brewery or two, eat some good food, and see pretty stuff. With NC being so restricted for COVID I started researching North Georgia today. Looks like there are a few options in that area. Looking for some suggestions on things to see in that area.


I've always enjoyed Hot Springs, NC for a weekend trip.

We had a good time on the Toccoa a year or two ago (near Blue Ridge/Suches), but another that's a little far for a day trip.

I'm sure you've done the Helen / Clayton touristy things.
Yeah, we've done Hot Springs several times and thats certainly not out of the question.

I will look into the Toccoa area stuff...I love the Hiawassee area which is definitely day tripable for us.

Helen is fun and not out of the question.

Would like to find some areas with more to offer than just paved roads. We love Jocassee Gorges area but i'd like some new scenery.


When we did the Toccoa trip, we rented the house at the heart. We offroaded the yukon a little going to the swinging bridge. That road 816 is gravel. There are other FS roads in the area too.

Clayton area has some trails, also, there are tons of good dirt roads up in the old Tellico area near murphy.
Stuff in the Clayton area would be nice for us. Not a bad ride to that area for us. The Tellico area would be a stretch for a day trip but the idea is to ride so we aren't opposed to that by any means.

Thanks for the ideas guys.
Looks like they have relaxed NC a little. Assuming good weather I think we are going to head to Mt. Mitchell next Saturday for our anniversary and may do a trip to Jocassee Sunday. Undecided on Sunday. Hoping for good exploring weather.