Local Ellijay and Blue Ridge Information

Bearadise Retreat & Buck Valley Lodge

Bearadise Retreat is approximately fifteen minutes from Whitepath Golf Course, and three different rivers that offer tubing and kayaking. Some local attractions include; horseback riding, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, hiking, scenic trains rides, antiquing, hassle free shopping, mini golf, children's amusement park, deer park, Amicalola Falls, apple orchards and much, much more.

Bearadise Retreat is located half way up Walnut Mountain with less than a dozen cabins on the mountain. We are located just north of Ellijay with easy access to Blue Ridge and Helen.

At the bottom of our road is Turniptown Creek where you will see fly fishers and people panning for gold on occasion. Ex-President Jimmy Carter's cabin is very nearby and has done much work personally making the creek habitable for trout by hand building rock dams for spawning pools. We are 4 miles from the Cartecay River with tubing and kayaking outfitters. Great local restaurants and shopping are within a 15 minute drive.


Buck Valley Lodge is located about 5 miles off of Highway 515 in the mountain community of Coosawattee River Resort. We are located on a dead-end gravel road with only two cabins past us. At the end of this street is the Coosawattee River that you can enjoy for tubing, swimming, fishing or just gazing. The ammenities available to you are swimming at one of two outdoor pools or one heated indoor pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, dog park, mini golf course, stocked fishing pond and multiple playgrounds.

This list will not do justice to all the activities and attractions in this area. The local chambers of commerce have a wealth of the same, as well as knowledgeable and friendly personnel who love to share information about their special corner of paradise. Of course, you can also research the towns and general area on the Internet. Hiking galore, including the Appalachian and the Benton MacKaye.

Fishing, boating, Jet Skiing, tubing, whitewater rafting--Lake Blue Ridge, Toccoa River, Ocoee River Horseback riding, golf, mountain biking, gem and gold panning.

Antiquing--Blue Ridge has been called the antique capital of GA, and Ellijay, with its charming roundabout (instead of the typical courthouse square), has its share, too. Swan Drive-In Theater, one of the few remaining today, operating since 1955.

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, on which you can take a narrated ride from Blue Ridge to the twin cities of McKaysville GA and Copperhill TN and stand with one foot in GA and one in TN--marked with a big blue line painted through the IGA Grocery parking lot.

Apple businesses where you can view the process from orchard to grocery bag, tour the facilities, shop for apple-themed goods and goodies, and try one of the area's delights: the fried pie! Ellijay is known as the apple capital of GA.

Wonderful local restaurants--just a few: the Toccoa Riverside, where on weekend nights a duet of two elderly, overall-clad bluegrass pickers entertain; the Pink Pig in Cherry Log, President Jimmy Carter's favorite BBQ joint; Colonel Poole's BBQ in Ellijay, where the hillside is decorated with a giant outline of a pig compiled of hundreds of plywood pigs naming past patrons (some celebrities), and our favorite Italian place, Charlies in Ellijay.

Festivals throughout the year: for example, Apple Festival, Sorghum Festival, Prater's Mill Festival, GA Mountain Fair (demonstrations of old-timey mountain practices), Rhododendron Festival, Bluegrass Festival, Dahlonega's Gold Rush Days.

Numerous state parks, national parks, and national forests, each with its own amenities, activities, and gorgeous scenery.

Marked scenic drives/highways, almost all with scenic pull-overs and overlooks, especially important during our gorgeous autumn 'leaf-gawking' season.

Countless waterfalls, one of which (Amicalola) is the tallest cascading falls east of the Mississippi; in the cabin are a pamphlets with descriptions and directions to 11 falls in the area--all of which we've hiked to--only a couple are strenuous treks.

Just a few miles from the cabin is the longest suspension bridge east of the Mississippi, a very short and easy hike brings you to where it crosses the Toccoa River.

A little further away is Tallulah Falls and Gorge, the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi (notice a pattern here?)--we've hiked to the bottom of it, and it is strenuous, but magnificent.

Many other sights within a short drive, such as Brasstown Bald, the highest point in GA, Dahlonega's Gold Museum, the Alpine town of Helen. Also available in-cabin are such services as massage and gourmet chef.