First thing’s first — I know the Copper Basin is just located in Georgia. It also includes two cities in Tennessee. Can we just agree not be too exact on this one? Please?!

To be specific, the Copper Basin includes the cities of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. You’ve probably heard of these “sister cities” because of the blue line that designates the state border here. It’s where the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway takes its layover…and where you can stand in two states at once.

In fact, if you’re in a canoe, you can be in two rivers at once, as this is where the Toccoa becomes the Ocoee. The third city in the Basin is Ducktown, TN, just about 3 miles up the road.

Our friends in Blue Ridge/Fannin County have “adopted” The Copper Basin because, well…most people don’t even realize they’ve stepped from one city to another (let alone, that they’ve left the state)! So when I was up there recently, I got a tour of The Basin and a better understanding of what a hidden gem this area truly is!

Here are SIX fabulous reasons to mosey up to the border and explore The Copper Basin.


White Water Rafting

The centerpiece of this area is the rolling river, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find a plethora of river activities.

Visit the Olympic Ocoee River Whitewater Venue the see the home of the 1996 Olympic Whitewater Canoe & Kayak Slalom competition – or to take on the rapids yourself.

Ducktown Basin Museum / Burra Burra Mine

This history in this area is mind-boggling. Did you know it was one of the nation’s great copper mining communities, employing tens of thousands of people? The museum sits on the site of the historic mine, displaying relics of a bygone era.

It’s fascinating to learn about the toil, the work, the struggle that ensued.

Insider Tip:  Head over to the Fannin County Visitor Center in McCaysville to see even more photos and memorabilia from this time period.


Multiple waterfalls grace this area (even though they are not exactly IN the basin…we’re sneaking them here for you to see).

Benton Falls at 1.5 miles, two major waterfalls on the Turtletown Creek Trail, and Lowery Falls has some super views.

Rod’s Rockin Rolls

After exploring, you’re going to need to fuel up, and Rod’s is where to do it.

Tasty bites include sushi rolls, spring rolls, and more. And if the food wasn’t enough of a draw, you’re going to adore the location. Adjacent to the building is a gorgeous patio with plenty of cozy seating areas, blooming flowers, and a welcome vibe.


Growlers Galore

There are not one, but TWO breweries here that are singing your song. 

Copperhill Brewery offers a large, open space with tons of light…and regular calls to Mystic Mountain Pizza for the perfect beer pairing! (PS – She does beer and pizza pairings at her place, too, so keep an eye on Mystic’s event calendar.)

Second, Buck Bald Brewery, is smaller on the inside but gets a huge high-five from us for their fantastic open-air patio right by the train!

Hiawassee Loop

If you’ve been reading our blog for any amount of time, you know we are head over heels for the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad — but they aren’t the only train that has a layover here.

Nearby, the TVR (Tennessee Valley Railroad) offers an extended 94-mile round-trip day-trip excursion through the lower Hiwassee River Gorge, over the Hiwassee Loop and onto the joint cities of Copperhill, Tennessee, and McCaysville, Georgia, where a 90-minute layover provides opportunity to eat and shop before returning to the departure city of Etowah.


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  1. Thank you leslie for the mention in this article. It is much appreciated. We will be set up at Buck Bald with one of our food trucks in October….come see us and I’ll make you a pie. Maybe you should just write out story😉


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