After a long, fun day of hiking, tubing, playing, and exploring the many Helen attractions, you may be looking for a more relaxing activity. Are you in need of a break, but not ready to settle down for a soak in your cabin's hot tub? Pack up the family, and maybe even a picnic lunch or dinner to enjoy on one of these three scenic drives through northern Georgia.
Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway
State Route 348, otherwise known as the Richard. Be Russell Scenic Highway, offers majestic views of the northern Georgia landscape for your entire family to enjoy. The highway begins only minutes away from most cabins in Helen, and is a "must see" during your vacation experience.
Your eyes will never grow tired as you take in the incredible sights of breathtaking mountain scenery, lined with vast timberland forest, wildlife, and sparkling waterfalls. As you travel higher and higher up the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway, you will see a bird's eye view of Helen and surrounding areas for an experience like never before.
The highway comes to an inspiring end at the highest peak in all of Georgia. This area, known as Brasstown Bald (also called "Enotah" by the Cherokee peoples), is located at an awesome four thousand seven hundred and eighty-four feet high above the sea. Here you will get a unique simultaneous look at four different states. See if you and your family are able to differentiate between the states of Georgia, Tennessee, both of the Carolinas. Brasstown Bald, or any of the magical locations along the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway are ideal for a family picnic.
For nature lovers, the Cohutta Loop is the ideal spot for a scenic drive. Providing nearly seventy square miles of northern Georgia wilderness, this drive provides you with access to the biggest wilderness area located east of the mighty Mississippi river.
This driving path is lined with babbling brooks, vast timberland forest, and an incredible variety of plant and animal wildlife. The road makes a steady climb which leads to breathtaking vistas.
The Cohutta Loop driving trail begins in the southeastern corner of Tennessee on Highway 251, along Tumbling Creek. This road eventually merges into Old Highway 2 which is a historically significant path, as it follows one of the very first routes across the Georgia mountains. The route was originally followed by Cherokee tribes and led to the settlement of a number of significant Native American communities within the wilderness area.
If time and energy permits, you may consider taking a hike on the Songbird Trail which you will reach by way of Old Highway 2. This trail was created by the Forest Service and features a truly magical array of songbirds. You will be delighted to find that there are so many beautiful, winged creatures singing their songs that it will be nearly impossible to distinguish their individual calls from a symphony. All along this trail or on the drive itself are some of the most incredible views that you will see in Northern Georgia.
Georgia Mountain Parkway
Regardless of your vacation schedule, the Georgia Mountain Parkway should definitely be included as a part of your trip itinerary. This is a quick and easy drive that leads you through the famed backcountry of northern Georgia. Low on traffic and high on breathtaking scenery, this route is a definite must.
The Georgia Mountain Parkway begins as GA 515, otherwise known as the Appalachian Development highway. All along the highway, you will enjoy the fantastic mountain and forest scenery, as well as pass through a number of quaint towns and antique villages. Dotted with lakes, wildlife, scenery, and historical landmarks, there is truly something for everyone on this serene drive.
Where will your beautiful, scenic drive through northern Georgia take you?