Appalachian Autumn Adventures

Destination: Dahlonega, GA

| Activities: Hiking, White Water Rafting, and Horseback Riding

North Georgia, the jumping off point for the Appalachian Trail, offers an astounding array of activities for those who like to get out and play in the crisp, invigorating air of fall. On this four-day getaway, we will sample as much as we can! From a mountain retreat outside of Dahlonega, enjoy exciting activities, including horseback riding on forest trails, hiking through Raven Cliff Falls, and whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River. In between, we will have time for relaxing and enjoying each other's company. The trip will wrap up with an outstanding brunch at a local winery.

Maximum group size: 12


  • Riding well-trained horses on forest trails and back roads
  • Whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River
  • Hiking on Raven Cliff Falls
  • Savoring a sumptuous brunch at Wolf Mountain Vineyards
  • Enjoying down time and camaraderie

Departures and Prices

September 26 to September 29, 2024
$1695.00 - FULL
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  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Roundtrip transportation to and from the Atlanta Airport
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 through brunch on the final day
  • Three nights lodging in a beautiful vacation home shared by the group
  • All activities on the itinerary, including horseback riding, rafting, and hiking

Not Included: Airfare to and from Atlanta airport (ATL) or the stable/lodging if driving (ATL), guide gratuities, alcoholic beverages, and trip insurance.

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip is suitable for any healthy active woman who loves being active outdoors in the fall and exploring this beautiful area with its rich culture that ranges from its Appalachian roots. The hikes we've chosen are reasonably short but they are in the mountains, so women should be in sufficient condition to hike uphill for a couple of hours. A rating of 2 is suitable for any woman who regularly walks at a brisk pace 3 to 4 days a week for 35 - 45 minutes. Rating: 1 [2] 3 4 5.

We will go horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and hike through Raven Cliff Falls during our long weekend getaway. We will also enjoy a wonderful brunch at a local winery! None of the activities require previous experience - we'll teach you everything you need to know.

We will spend three nights in Dahlonega, GA at two neighboring properties: The Retreat on the Ridge and the Rice Ridge Farm House. The main house has 7 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. Rooming options include: 1 Deluxe Single in the master bedroom with private bathroom and sitting room, 2 Single bedrooms with shared bathrooms, 2 Double occupancy rooms (each with one bed and one rollaway), and a Bunkroom with 4 beds (10% discount). The Rice Ridge Farm House has two Single rooms and two bathrooms. Please note that the Rice Ridge Farm House is a separate structure and involves a short walk to get to the main house. The properties are seven miles north of downtown Dahlonega with spectacular panoramic views, a saltwater pool, and two fire pits. The room type can be selected at registration.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

We pick you up at the Atlanta (ATL) airport at 12 p.m. and begin our adventure with an afternoon of horseback riding. We'll start with a short lesson, making sure that everyone is comfortable on her horse and knows the basics of riding. Our two-hour trail ride is just the right length- long enough that we can enjoy the scenery and cover some ground on forest trails and backwoods roads, but not so long that we are too stiff to walk afterwards! After our ride, we continue to our amazing vacation home for a hearty and delicious dinner. Well-fed and well-exercised, we will be ready for bed tonight! (D)
After a hearty breakfast, we're off for a day of whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River. If the name of the river sounds familiar, yes - it is where Deliverance was filmed. Regardless of what else you remember about the film you were undoubtedly struck by the beauty of this river. The section we'll be paddling is known for its breathtaking scenery, abundant plant and wildlife, and playful Class 2 and 3 rapids, ending with one big Class 4. This raft trip is suitable for women without previous rafting experience and even if you don't think rafting is your cup of tea, it's really the only way to experience the river's solitude and wildness. After a full day of excitement, we'll return home for another delicious dinner and relaxing evening. (B, L, D)
After another hearty breakfast, we will don our hiking boots for a 5-mile out and back hike. This trail follows Dodd Creek through the Raven Cliffs Wilderness Area to a massive dark bluff near the headwaters some 2.5 miles from the parking area. Because of the size of Ravens Cliffs and the lack of human interference, the area has abundant bird life including grosbeaks, vireos, and wild turkeys besides the ravens that give the area its name. For the final evening, we'll have a chance to relax and enjoy ourselves with a casual dinner and the option for a trip into Dahlonega to explore the town. (B, L, D)
Our breakfast will be rather light this morning because we need to save room for the brunch at Wolf Mountain Vineyards! Yumm!! Brunch is typically buffet style and served with a glass of Estate wine. Since getting a little exercise before being presented with a feast is always a good idea, we'll first go on a casual 2-mile hike at DeSoto Falls. After savoring our last meal together, we head to the airport where you can plan a flight out after 5:30 p.m. (B, L)


(57 reviews)
4.8 Food
4.7 Lodging
4.8 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Most Recent

Judy A.
9 months ago

I’ve traveled a ton and loved that I could just enjoy and not have to worry about all the details. Excellent company and guides. Fantastic trip!

Kaitlin L.
9 months ago

I loved getting to try whitewater rafting for the first time with such a supportive group of women in a beautiful location! It was so fun getting to go horseback riding and hike a portion of the Appalaxhian Trail too, and the house we stayed in was gorgeous. Also, our guides Kaitlyn and Lindsay were fantastic, making us feel special and cared for throughout the trip! I had a great time and can't wait to plan another trip with AGC!

Mandy M.
9 months ago

The multisport of the trip and hiking Blood Mountain.

Jennifer P.
9 months ago

The guides were exceptional. They went out of there way to make sure everyone had a fun and enjoyable trip.

Nancy B.
9 months ago

I like the variety of activities. Guides are fantastic and the camaraderie with the other ladies is enjoyable.

Jennifer G.
9 months ago

I had not anticipated the degree of comraderie with the other participants or the level of pampering by the AGC guides.

Jennifer M.
9 months ago

The variety of challenging activities packed into a short time frame. Also, for personal reasons I like that it was scheduled for the autumnal equinox, and I was out on the deck watching a spectacular sunrise that morning. And,for more practical reasons, Atlanta is a short direct flight from my home airport so not a lot of travel hassle relative to the few days we were there.

Karla B.
9 months ago

Our two guides were amazing in every way! The trip exceeded my expectations!

Lois H.
1 year ago

So many things from the incredible ladies in the group to the accommodation and variety of activities made this trip special. I like getting to fully participate in the activities. I felt challenged by the hike and the rafting and loved it!!! Our experienced guides (Emily and Lindsay) were a source of interesting conversations and knowledge about adventure traveling!

Carole G.
1 year ago

Riding, Hiking and White water rafting are my favorite activities. So this trip was just right

Julia I.
1 year ago

the white water rafting was fabulous and staying in the lovely barn was a highlight too because it was so nicely remodeled and gave extra privacy and quiet time.

Amanda D.
1 year ago

"Appalachian Autumn Adventures" 2022 More than I expected at every turn. An epic four days for me with amazing women and our guides were stellar accomplices. We heard alotta "You can do this!" So, to all the women I know who need some wide open spaces n thinking of lanching on their first group adventure ... I highly recommend it 🤙 Do It! 🤙 You go girl! 🤙

Deborah M.
1 year ago

Sharing the adventure with my sister!

Audrey S.
1 year ago

I especially liked the rafting trip ! A little scary but awesome ! Also we had a great group! Everyone including the guides were so friendly and helpful. It was great to make so many new friends.

Mary H.
1 year ago

The Chatooga River was definitely a highlight. The array of activities suited me because I'd never been hiking or rafting and wanted to see how I'd do, to help me figure out what types of trip I'd like to do in the future.

Janet K.
1 year ago

This trip outdid my expectations! It was enough to really push and challenge me but not to send me over the edge! I learned a lot about myself. Riding the rugged terrain and the thrill of getting caught in a sunny rainstorm! The team work involved in rafting and going over that #4 rapid! The perseverance that it took for me to get up Blood Mountain ( and down) and feel like I had some steam left to do more. The wonderful group of women.

Linda R.
1 year ago

The activities were well planned & better than anticipated. The group of women was wonderful.

Andrea G.
2 years ago

I really appreciated the leaders accommodating my veganism. They did a great job doing so, and in every other way. They were very organized and communicated clearly about our activities.

Ellen R.
2 years ago

The fellowship among group members

Elizabeth D.
2 years ago

Jennifer C.
2 years ago

Deb & Lindsay were so awesome! Great guides, great cooks, great drivers... kind and fun! Just the best! I'm so glad I had the opportunity to travel with them!

Monica B.
2 years ago

Everything about this trip was wonderful. Our guides were friendly, helpful and knowledgable. The accommodations were clean and spacious and the view was breathtaking. My fellow travels were an amazing group of women that it was such a pleasure to get to know them and spend time with them. This trip exceeded my expectations and I look forward to booking another trip with AGC.

Kat V.
3 years ago

Loretta B.
3 years ago

Lisa R.
3 years ago

Yes this adventure meet my expectations. It took me out of my comfort zone.

Carol M.
3 years ago

Bhavna H.
4 years ago

Yes, beyond words can describe. So much thought, effort and care were put into every single detail of this trip. As a planner in my social circle, this is the first time I didn't plan a thing and truly reaped the benefits of a stress-free vacation. To know that you'll be cared for, everything is planned, and all you have to do is show up to have fun...priceless. This is my first trip with an all women's company and I feel like I hit the lottery having chosen them. I'll be booking soon. Thank you, Leigh and Chris, for making this one of the most memorable trips for me ever.

Beth M.
4 years ago

The day of rafting was absolutely my favorite and while the hike up and over Blood Mountain was a bit challenging for me, I felt so accomplished after completing it. Chris and Leigh were perfect guides who made us feel pampered and cared for. Both are knowledgeable and fun. The accommodations were great - the house is gorgeous. I'm not an early riser but happily woke each morning to see the sun rise over the mountains. Excellent trip.

Nancy S.
4 years ago

Darlene S.
4 years ago

White water rafting and the hike up Blood Mountain.

Angela P.
4 years ago

The white water rafting and "water experiences." A little out of my comfort zone, but so glad I did them.

Kim H.
4 years ago

This was an amazing trip! Our guides (Leigh and Chris) was wonderful: knowledgeable, extremely dependable, extremely patient, highly organized, attentive to all details, and so much fun!! Via Chris and Leigh, I increased my knowledge about backpacking, hiking, and rafting. With this being my first rafting experience, both knew just what to say and do to alleviate my concerns and anxiety. Hiking over Blood Mountain was on my bucket list! I highly recommend this trip!

Elaine E.
4 years ago

White water rafting

Shelly A.
5 years ago

Relaxed but active getaway. Great way to spend my first visit to Georgia and first hike on the Appalachian Trail. Rafting was a hoot.

Angela K.
5 years ago

Anne E.
5 years ago

I was impressed by the AGC website and pre-trip information so I was skeptical that it could be as good as it appeared. Therefore, I was so pleased to discover that the trip was well organized, the guides knowledgeable and friendly, the food terrific and the companionship interesting and supportive. The activities were engaging, challenging and fun!

Bonnie S.
5 years ago

Rafting was a blast

Nancy W.
5 years ago

This was an exploratory trip with AGC to see how trips were organized and run. I was quite pleased. My husband and I travel with a number of different groups/companies and AGC is up there with the best of them. The all-women environment was very nice and relaxing.

Irene H.
5 years ago

I enjoyed everything we did

Susan H.
6 years ago

Meeting new friends and enjoyed hiking the most but horseback and rafting were fun

Roxane S.
6 years ago

Margo S.
6 years ago

The guides, Leigh and Laurie, were fabulous, knowledgeable and FUN! The women were all nice and we got along very was great that we all wanted to be there and enjoy the same things. The hostel was lovely, the setting amazing, and all the meals delicious! Not to mention, each of the activities was challenging and memorable. All in all, I loved EVERYTHING about this adventure!!! I brought my two eldest daughters along, so it was especially memorable!

Anne C.
6 years ago

The water rafting trip was awesome! As with all else, there was not a time I felt like I was in need of one thing, the guides wrre excellent.

Nancy M.
6 years ago

This trip was much needed time that I got to spend with my mom and sister! Everything was planned so very well and our guides, Leigh Saint and Laurie Priest were AMAZING!! What I loved the most (aside from time with my family) is that I didn't have to think or plan anything. That is the nature of my work - to plan, think through logistics, trouble shoot, etc. - for me, NOT having to think about anything that we were doing and just going with it - was really a wonderful blessing of this trip!

Deborah V.
6 years ago

The trip was well organized. The guides shared their hiking knowledge. They were understanding of the various levels of skills amongst the group.

Elisabeth M.
6 years ago

I loved the variety of adventures offered on the trip - the hiking was my favorite.

Lucy C.
6 years ago

The whole trip was perfect. I travelled alone and met some wonderful ladies. I liked the different events each day. It was all a great adventure.

Kathleen V.
6 years ago

Very well organized but flexible. Excellent guides. Accommodations. Other participants. The actual activities.

Trina O.
7 years ago

Welcoming, encouraging guides. Loved variety of activities

Monica H.
7 years ago

Horseback riding, white water rafting, hiking the AT, our beautiful hostel, the delicious food at every meal, our guides, and my traveling companions. Everything was wonderful!

Frances M.
7 years ago

Loved the interaction with different t women from areas in the Midwest and south. The hostel was very acccomadating, the food delicious, the host/tour guide Leah, amazing. She made everything look easy with her organization. Her expertise made me feel very reassured.!

Wendy H.
7 years ago

Meeting so many wonderful women, doing amazing outdoor adventures, bonding so quickly with "strangers", delicious food, laughing so hard like only a group of women can laugh, and feeling confident in doing activities that I had never done before!

Linda W.
7 years ago

The hiking segment rated as a #2. Other participants felt it was at least a #3 due to the elevation up of 2.5 miles and down 2.5 miles. However, the rest of the trip segments were fantastic. Being a "Newbie" to AGC, I was impressed with the overall trip. Attention to detail was excellent, staying on schedule at all times, food was excellent, totally enjoyed the group of women, but above all, I had soooo...... much FUN!

Michelle K.
7 years ago

Great group of women, well planned fun activities, great food

Krista D.
7 years ago

Anne W.
7 years ago

Karen D.
7 years ago

  1. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking breakfasts and most dinners at your lodging with one dinner and one brunch out. At breakfast the guides will put out 'fixings' for lunch and you will pack your own lunch and snacks.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    No, you only need to pay a single supplement if you want to be guaranteed you have one of the singles. Otherwise we'll pair you up with someone.
  4. I have not ridden a horse in years! Will I be OK on this trip?

    Absolutely. The horses are used to novice riders and you’ll get enough instruction to have a good time.
  5. This trip has a rafting trip. I've never been rafting. Is it appropriate for beginners?
    You just find yourself fallng in love with rafting. The rafting trip is perfect for beginners. You will be given a helmet, lifejacket and waterproof jacket. The rafting guide will also suggest spots in the raft where you might be most comfortable.
  6. Can you tell me more about the trail conditions and fitness required for this trip?

    This trip has the some of the best that North Georgia has to offer. You will be hiking, white water rafting, and horseback riding. Your longest hike will be 5 miles. The group will take it slow! To fully enjoy your trip, please continue your regular fitness program and consider adding some of the suggestions below.