Toccoa River Bridge
One of the most visited sites on the Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) is the 260-foot “Swinging Bridge” across the Toccoa River, near Blue Ridge and Ellijay, GA.
Frequent hikers will enjoy the 3.5-mile hike on the BMT from GA Hwy 60 between Morganton and Suches, but for kids, you’ll want to consider the three-mile drive on the unpaved Forest Service Road 816. From the parking area, it’s a short walk to the bridge.
Built in the mid-1970s, it is one of the longest foot trail suspension bridges in the East and the longest in the southern Appalachians — only forty feet short of a football field’s length. Originally built as a relocated Appalachian Trail route, in the early 1980s, the Swinging Bridge became part of the route for the BMT.
The bridge spans pristine, picturesque rapids on the Toccoa River — which is part of the officially designated “Toccoa River Canoe Trail” (14 miles long) within the Chattahoochee National Forest. Here you are likely to see fisherman and canoeists as well as other hikers enjoying the beautiful Toccoa River.
And, kids will especially enjoy their walk across the bridge as it bounces a bit with each step.
Be sure to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy stream-side!
The Benton MacKaye Trail Association helps maintain the bridge by replacing timbers and hardware. The work is funded by donations. Learn how you can make a donation to one of the many trail projects by going to DONATE.