Lake Blue Ridge Lake, Georgia
Lake Blue Ridge, with its crystal aquamarine waters is located in Fannin County, surrounded by the lush forest foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This picturesque mountain lake covers 3, 290 acres, extends for 11 miles long, is roughly 100 ft. deep and has more than 100 miles of shoreline, 80 percent of which is tree-lined by the Chattahoochee National Forest and the remainder is privately held and developed. Lake Blue Ridge was formed when the Blue Ridge Dam construction on the Toccoa River was completed in 1930 by the Toccoa Electric Power Company. In 1939, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) purchased the facility for hydroelectric energy production in the region.
Fed by the north-flowing Toccoa River, the lake was originally named Lake Toccoa, but was renamed Lake Blue Ridge in 1934 to distinguish it from an earlier lake with the same name and also refers to its proximity to the town of Blue Ridge, Georgia. To make way for Blue Ridge Dam and the lake, houses, schools, churches and even cemeteries had to be moved or destroyed so that the area could be flooded. It is believed that the earliest inhabitants of the Blue Ridge were Cherokee Indians of North Carolina who farmed the valleys and hunted in the mountains, which they dubbed "The Enchanted Land.” Ancient American Indian influence is remembered in their agricultural methods of burning and deadening the trees for grazing and cropland. The first European to venture into the Blue Ridge Mountains may have been Hernando deSoto, who visited the Nachoochee Valley and a site near Carters Lake, while English explorer Colonel George Chicken is credited as the first of many English explorers to enter the region.
Lake Blue Ridge region has an abundance of flora and fauna, featuring numerous species of mammals, birds and wildflowers. Different seasons bring different wildflowers, from bead lily, American Elder, birdfoot violet, blazing star, to foam flower and a whole lot more. Vibrant foliage of trees such as sourwood, blackgum, tulip-trees and hickories, sassafras, red maples, various oaks and Evergreen trees creates a beautiful scenery year-round. Black bears, white-tailed deer, elks, coyote, bobcats, and birds such as the common crow and flicker, blue jay, red-tailed hawk, dark-eyed junco, white-breasted nuthatch and song sparrow all inhabit the Lake Blue Ridge Region.
Trout fishing and white and smallmouth bass fishing, rafting and kayaking, swimming, hiking camping, picnicking and water skiing are popular activities that can be enjoyed on beautiful Lake Blue Ridge and its vicinity.
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