Swimming

Public Beaches For my money, the best place to swim in our area is at Morganton Point. There is a $5 self-service day fee, which can be greatly reduced by buying a season’s pass for $35 (which is also good at other forest service parking lots in the area). See the campground host at the first site in the campground.
Local & Outdoors Info
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Amenities at Morganton Point include lavatories, changing rooms, and outside showers. There are some picnic tables, and a forest service campground with additional picnic areas is next door. There is also a boat ramp. Please don’t bring jet skis and boats into the swimming area.

From Blue Ridge, go east on the four-lane approximately four miles to a right on Hwy 60 south. Follow 60 south to Morganton, going straight when the road curves around past the post office. Take the next right, Lake Drive, and go to the end of the road.

You can also swim in Union County at Poteete Creek Recreation Area. From Blue Ridge, go approximately six miles to a left on Loving Road. Go to the end, and turn right on 325. Shortly after turning right, you will see the entrance on the left. From Blairsville, go north on 19/129 to a left on 325 at Ivy Log. After you cross the dam, watch for Loving Road on the right. Continuing on 325, the recreation area is on the left shortly after the intersection with Loving Road.

Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats can be rented by the day or half-day from the Lake Blue Ridge Marina, 706.632.2618. The marina is off Old Highway 76. From the McDonald’s in Blue Ridge, go east several miles to a right on Windy Ridge Road (at the Windy Ridge Conoco and the Food Lion shopping center). Go one block and turn left on Old 76. You will see the sign for the marina before you cross the dam.

On Nottely, you can try the Nottely Marina on 19/129.

River Swimming

There’s a long tradition of dipping in holes in the local rivers and streams. It’s probably safer on the river above the dam, because you don’t have to deal with releases from the dam. There are several access points just before the Shallowford Bridge on Aska Road, or you can cross the bridge, go right, and right again at the first fork. The current can be strong, so exercise caution and be sure you have the proper equipment for youngsters (life jacket, rope).

I don’t recommend dipping in the river below the dam, because the water can rise very suddenly when the TVA releases from the dam, and the current is very swift. It’s no joke. If you insist, please be aware of the release schedule, and know that it is subject to change without notice. You can access it at www.tva.gov.