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Beautiful Lake Chatuge wraps its 132 miles of shoreline around the mountains and valleys of these pristine communities. There is something quite remarkable about enjoying the waterway while riding on a water vehicle. If you haven't brought your own, you can rent a myriad of water transportation options.
Lake Chatuge is a 7,500 acre man-made reservoir that was created in 1942 after the Tennessee Valley Authority completed construction on Chatuge Dam, which blocked the Hiawassee River in Tennessee in order to institute a system of flood control and provide usable hydroelectric power. When water from Chatuge Dam was released and diverted, it filled up naturally variegated terrain in North Georgia and created Lake Chatuge’s numerous peninsulas and private coves with magnificent locations for swimming, boating and other water sports. The unsurpassed beauty of the lake created by Chatuge Dam inspired people to name North Georgia’s valley that contains Lake Chatuge the Enchanted Valley.
On the north side of the Enchanted Valley are mammoth mountain ranges in the Nantahala National Forest and on the south and east sides are the peaks of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Lake Chatuge is situated in the center of the Enchanted Valley with 128 miles of lake shoreline plus 4 miles of island shoreline for a total of 132 miles of enjoyable lake shores. This beautifully forested region is contained within Towns County, an area filled with secluded waterfalls, historic trails, and quaint towns with unique stores and restaurants. The two cities in North Georgia located nearest Lake Chatuge are Hiawassee and Young Harris.
The entire region surrounding Lake Chatuge is famous for year round trout fishing in numerous streams and rivers. Fishing licenses are required. A great way to have fun exploring Lake Chatuge is to enjoy a leisurely cruise on a pontoon boat. Pontoon boats and other recreational boats can be rented at various marinas on Lake Chatuge. One of the finest resorts in the North Georgia Mountains is located near Lake Chatuge and it has become one of the big reasons why tourists come to the area. The 503-acre Brasstown Valley Resort is famous for its championship golf course, exquisite cuisine, equestrian activities and luxurious accommodations.
The crystal clear aquamarine waters of Lake Blue Ridge make it one of Georgia's most picturesque mountain lakes. The 3,290-acre lake and surrounding area offer campsites, several boat ramps, a full-service marina and public swimming and picnic areas. 80 percent of the shoreline on Lake Blue Ridge is in the Chattahoochee National Forest, managed by the USDA Forest Service.
Blue Ridge lake is 11 miles long and has 65 miles of shoreline, 25 percent of which is developed. The lake was formed when Blue Ridge Dam was constructed on the Toccoa River in 1930 by the Toccoa Electric Power Company. At the time it was built, the dam was the largest earthen dam in the Southeast. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) purchased the facility in 1939 for hydroelectric power production.
There’s a scenic overlook above the dam and a shaded picnic area near the powerhouse. The canoe and kayak launch site below the dam gives non-motorized boaters access to the Toccoa River.
The river is noted among anglers for its sunfish, trout, and bass. When water is released from Blue Ridge Dam to generate electricity, the river becomes a Class I-II float through the Georgia hills. Besides providing power and recreational opportunities, Blue Ridge also helps reduce flood damage.
The lake is home to bass, bream, catfish, perch and crappie, which make the area popular with anglers. It is the only lake south of the Great Lakes where Walleye are caught, and is also known for small-mouth bass fishing.
Pontoons and jet skis are available for rent at the Lake Blue Ridge Marina, on old U.S. 76. The marina has a boat ramp, fishing, boating supplies and boat storage.
Swimming, camping, fishing and boat ramps are available at Morganton Point Recreation Area in Morganton. Other boat ramps are located at Lakewood Landing on Old Highway 76, Morganton, and Lake Blue Ridge Recreation Area, Aska Road.