A Runners Guide To Helen, GA

In the north Georgia mountains, you can find numerous trails that offer stunning scenery, quiet surroundings and a variety of difficulty levels. To prepare you for your next running adventure, here is a runners guide to Helen GA.

Seasonal Weather

When planning a run, it is always important to know what the weather conditions will be and what you may potentially run into. Here is a break down of what to expect throughout the year in Helen GA.

March to May
If you are heading to Helen in the Spring be sure to bring bring rain gear, especially in April, which is the rainiest month of the year. The temperatures typically range from highs in the low 70s to lows in the 40s. However, these temperatures can be lower if winter decides to linger around. Therefore, in addition to a rain jacket be sure to wear layers, so you can remove and add clothing as needed. 

June to August
You can enjoy warmth and sunshine during the summer months. The temperatures are pleasant with highs in the 80s. During the evening hours the temperatures usually drop to around 60 degrees. If you are running during the day a pair of shorts and a t-shirt should suffice. You may also want to bring along a rain jacket, so you are prepared if you get caught in a thunderstorm.

September to November
Autumn is a nice time for runners. The weather is typically dry with temperatures in the 70’s during September and October. With this calm weather, you should be comfortable with a pair of running pants and a t-shirt. However, as you approach November when the temperatures drop into the low 60s it may be a good idea to bring an extra layer of warm clothing, especially if you will be running in the evening. 

December to February
In the winter be sure to bring warm clothing and well insulated running shoes. Although some winters receive more snow than others, one thing is for sure. The temperatures will be on the chilly side. The highs are normally in the 50s, but drop into the 40s come January. The night time hours bring in the coldest temperatures averaging in the mid 20s.

Where to Run – Appalachian Trail 

In and around Helen are many trails that are great for running. One of these is the well known Appalachian Trail. To run this entire trail would take days, as it is over 2,000 miles long. If you are up to the challenge or want to run only a portion of the trail you can reach it easily from Helen. There is a trailhead just 9 miles north of town at the Unicoi Gap parking area where State Roads 17 and 75 intersect. The portion of trail in Georgia is mostly well-graded and has a difficulty level of easy to moderate. However, the further north you go, the more likely you will be to run into more difficult terrain.Dreamscape Cabin living

Unicoi State Park

A short 2 mile drive north of Helen GA will take you to Unicoi State Park where you can find several running trails. The park encompasses 1050 acres of beautiful terrain, stunning views and a 53 acre lake. 

Bottoms Loop Trail
This is a moderate trail that winds around for 2 miles. This trail is formed of compacted soil and runs through the forest and over several streams. Therefore, you may want to make sure you bring proper shoes for the wet areas.

Unicoi-Helen Trail
This 3 mile trail is one way, so be prepared to make the 3 mile run back to Unicoi Park. This trail is moderate to strenuous, so be sure to wear a good, strong pair of running shoes. This trail crosses over streams all along the way and winds through the beautiful northern mountains. The path offers stunning views, which are made even more magnificent if you make your trek during sunrise or sunset.

Lake Trail
Beginners may want to jump onto Lake Trail. This 2.5 mile loop is made up of compacted soil and a flat surface, making it an easy trail for those just starting out. The trail circles around the edge of the 53 acre Unicoi Lake. It offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and landscape.

Smith Creek Trail
If you are looking for a strenuous run, then Smith Creek Trail may be just the right fit. It is a 4.8 mile one way trail that runs through the Chattahoochee National Forest and ends at Anna Ruby Falls Recreation Area. The terrain can be rough in spots, so come prepared with heavy duty running shoes.

Venture out on a new trail and enjoy the beautiful views and gorgeous terrain of northern Georgia. Whether you are an experienced runner or just starting out, there is a trail waiting for you. Which trail near Helen GA will you venture out to first?

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Or check out our FREE guide: Things To Do In And Around Helen, Ga