If you're planning a trip to Helen, you've probably already discovered that there is no shortage in supply of things to do in the area. Although there are plenty of fun attractions like tubing and zipline tours, though, you should definitely take some time to appreciate the natural beauty of Georgia. So how can you make your getaway to Helen truly unique? By making a trip to several of the nearby seven natural wonders of Georgia and joining the Georgia State Parks Canyon Climbers Club, of course! Here's a look at the four natural wonders that are closest to Helen.
1. Amicalola Falls
The highest cascading falls east of the Mississippi River, Amicalola Falls is a favorite of Georgia residents and visitors alike. You'll be dazzled as you watch the waters thunder down a 729-foot drop, and you'll have plenty of photo opportunities from various vantage points. Although the falls are handicap accessible in that they can be viewed from an easy, sloped trail at its base, it is strongly recommended that visitors make the trek up the 604 stairs to the top. The first landing occurs after 175 steps and affords guests some breathtaking views (and benches where they can catch their breath!) Next, you can choose to climb the remaining some 425 stairs in order to enjoy the magnificent sights of northern Georgia and to see where the waterfall begins. Those who make it to the top of this "natural wonder of Georgia" can get their Canyon Climber's Club card punched by a park volunteer or worker.
2. Tallulah Gorge
Another popular spot for visitors to Helen, Tallulah Gorge State Park, is home to one of the most spectacular canyons in all of the south. At 1,000 feet deep, the ominous gorge has been impressive enough to have been crossed two times by high-wire acrobats (once in 1886 and most recently in 1970). Don't worry - you don't have to be a tightrope walker to cross the gorge. Today, you are welcome to trek across the canyon by way of a suspension bridge which sways 80 feet above the base of the gorge. In order to access the bridge, you'll hike 310 steps from the north rim and 340 from the south rim. Considered another of Georgia's natural wonders, you're sure to be amazed by the experience. Those who are looking to get another punch in their Canyon Climbers Club card only need to walk up and down from the north rim's overlook, so if the suspension bridge is too scary for you, you're not out of luck. But if you've got the spirit of adventure, why not? It will be an unforgettable experience.
3. Providence Canyon
Although it's a bit south of the Helen, making a day trip to Providence Canyon State Park is definitely worth the time and effort. In fact, the park is home to amongst Georgia's most photographed landscapes because of it's magnificent colorful soil and landscape within the canyons. The most unique thing about the canyon is that its floor is perpetually wet. It is actually an exposed water table and it creates a beautiful pattern in the sand known as a "braided stream". No wonder it's one of Georgia's seven natural wonders! Canyon Climbers can also get a punch in their card by hiking the loop trail and voyage into scenic canyon 5.
4. Cloudland Canyon
Although not considered one of Georgia's natural wonders, Cloudland Canyon State Park is the last stop for any Canyon Climbers out there. Just west of Amicalola Falls and the Helen cabin rentals, this park is nestled on the edge of Lookout Mountain. The rugged gorge within the park features over six miles of hiking trails. Included in these trails is the one mile Waterfalls Trail which requires hikers to hoof it up a 600-step staircases and back down again in order to get their club card punched. During times of low water, the falls can become small, however, the scenery in the park is considered some of the best in the state, making it well worth the trip.
About the Canyon Climbers Club
In order to join the exclusive club, visitors of Helen can purchase a $10 card from any of the visitor's centers at the participating Georgia state parks mentioned above. Once you get all four punches, you'll receive a truly unique souvenir - a t-shirt to tell the world what an adventurous spirit you have!
The Other Wonders
Are you interested in seeing all seven of Georgia's natural wonders? Also be sure to plan a trip to:
How will you experience Georgia's natural beauty? Natural scenes are not all that Helen offers, there are also fantastic spots to unwind and relax (including amazing luxury cabins).
Check them out, and more, in our FREE guide below!