Located just 3 miles from downtown Blue Ridge, Lake Blue Ridge is a 3290 acre man-made lake, created by the Toccoa Electric Power Company in the 1930’s. The dam that formed the lake was originally built for hydroelectric power and is now owned and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
Since Lake Blue Ridge was created by damming the Toccoa River, when locals say they’re going “upriver,” they’re referring to the point where the river runs into the lake. The other end of the lake holds the dam and the road going over the dam is the only visible roadway from the water. This can be a bit confusing because the Toccoa River is one of the only rivers on the East Coast that runs South to North, so the river comes into the lake from the south and then exits at the dam on the northernmost section of the lake.
The TVA varies water levels to generate electric power. In summer, the lake’s at full-pool. In winter, the TVA draws the water down about 15-20 feet. Water releases from the dam are controlled and the schedule can be found on the TVA website.
There are 5 public boat ramps, 1 full service marina, 1 restaurant/bar, and 1 public beach. The lake is approximately 120 feet deep at it’s deepest point. The biggest draws to Lake Blue Ridge are its proximity to Atlanta, the crystal-clear water, the town of Blue Ridge itself and the beautiful cabins that surround it’s shoreline.
Homes on the lake are mostly rustic in design. About 70% of the homes are second homes for vacationing families, while the rest are lived in full time by Blue Ridge residents. Available building lots are extremely limited, and price ranges for homes and lots start at around $500k with most homes hovering around $1-2 million.
What makes this lake so special and keeps the price tag for property on the lake at a premium is the fact that almost 80% of the shoreline is National Forest. This limits the number of residential homes that can be built on the lake and keeps the supply of available homes for sale very low. The character of the lake is similar to the Adirondacks: it’s shores are wooded with a combination of hardwood and pine trees, and it’s not uncommon to see a bald eagle flying overhead. The mountains seem to climb out of the water with dense, lush, green forest, and flat terrain of any sort is hard to come by. The water quality is unmatched, and when you jump in and go for a swim it’s nice to look down and actually see your toes!