Outdoor Activities

Want to explore the Enchanted Valley but don’t know where to start? Here’s our list of student-approved “must visit” places while in the area. We have our favorite nearby hikes, rivers and lakes to paddle, and climbing gyms worth a day trip to a new city!


Lake Trahlyta Trail at Vogel State Park
An easy 1-mile loop around the lake

Helton Creek Falls
An easy 0.2-mile trail to the falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest

High Shoals Falls
A moderate and popular 2.3 mile trail to the falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest

Blood Mountain Trail
A difficult 6.1 mile loop up the highest peak on the Georgia portion of the Appalachian Trail

Places to Paddle
Places to Paddle

Lake Chatuge
Beautiful Lake Chatuge is only a short trip from campus. Boat, jet ski, paddleboard and kayak rentals are all available through Young Harris Water Sports. There is also a beach and swimming area located next to the Union County Pickleball Courts on the way to Hiawassee from campus.

Nantahala River
The Nantahala River is a great first whitewater experience, giving you the option to choose from paddling in a raft—with or without a guide—or paddling an individual inflatable kayak. Choose from multiple outfitters on the Nantahala River.

Ocoee River
The Ocoee River is a challenging river that requires going with a commercial outfitter in a guided raft. Select from multiple outfitters that offer commercial trips from March – October of each year.

Climbing Gyms
Climbing Gyms

High Point Climbing Gym in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Climbmax in Asheville, North Carolina

Brevard Rock Gym in Brevard, North Carolina

Stone Summit in Atlanta, Georgia

*The YHC Recreation & Fitness Center also has a climbing wall.

This list was complied by Moriah Pruitt, '21, and Hope Lloyd, '21, for their Outdoor Leadership Legacy Project.