Do you know the feeling of flying down a single track with the wind whistling past your ears, kicking up dirt, while jumping rocks and stumps? If this is an adrenaline rush for you then Helen GA is the place to go mountain biking! The amount of National Forest is extensive so there are unlimited options of terrain and paths to discover. There are also plenty of awesome North Georgia cabin rentals to stay in and so many trails to ride. Not to mention that this is a year round location to ride. Just remember that the weather will change quickly even in the summer.
Unicoi State Park
One of top trails in close proximity to Helen Ga is within Unicoi State Park. It is actually where the Georgia State Championship Series has been held. This is not necessarily a beginner track, but it can be completed by someone who is new to mountain biking in three hours or less, depending on their ability. To give you a perspective on completion times, when the pros ride this trail they are able to finish it in forty five minutes.
There is also a great deal of technical riding on this single track as well as some really fun downhill sections. Be prepared for some challenging climbs by having your calves strong and in shape. And bring plenty of water because you will be off your seat pedaling hard up these ascents.
Take caution when riding this trail after there has been rain in the area. It can become muddy quickly and there are already extensive leaves and stumps that cause enough obstacles as it is. The cost to ride this trail is seven dollars with a two dollar bike permit and a five dollar parking fee. Overall this is a stellar ride especially with the incredible views and awesome corner turns. The numerous recommendations as well as the pro level events at Unicoi National Forest make this a top location to experience.
Yet another incredible mountain biking trail close to Helen is within the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. This is an incredibly diverse ride not only in regard to the trail configuration, but also in terms of the scenery. The trail itself is 7.8 miles long and offers an amazing view of the mountains in Georgia. One will see Rabun Bald on this route from Saga Mountain lookout, which is the second tallest mountain in Georgia.
The biking trail crosses over Stonewall creek several times and has an amazing view of the Stonewall creek waterfalls too. Because of the dense forest around this trail it keeps quite cool even in the summer months. I have also heard that many people enjoy night riding this trail, but I have yet to have the opportunity to try it.
There is also White Twister trail that connects and is very much like a quick turning up and down roller coaster ride. Not all of these trails are single track and much of the ride is on Forest service roads as well as old logging roads. None the less this ride is a must see! Not only will it challenge your skills on a mountain bike, but you will get the true mountain experiece. From waterfalls to spectacular views and even various species of wildlife will be seen on these trails.
Mountain Biking Is Addictive
I have listed above some of the top trails in proximity to Helen Georgia. And I can assure you that once you have had a rush of this adventure it will keep you coming back time after time. I have been mountain biking since I was very young and I never really understood the opportunity that awaits us within an hour drive of Atlanta, Ga. The Appalachains are some of the oldest mountains in the world and they offer incredible natural beauty as well as many outdoor activities.
Mountain biking is only one of the few ways to see this part of Georgia and as you may know many people either start or finish the Appalachian trail very close to Helen Ga. Backpacking is another incredible adventure that provides a different context in order to see the details of this outdoor haven up close. This sport also offers a very different viewpoint than speeding through the trees on a bike.
The speed produced while on a bike allows the rider to see a great deal of land in a shorter period of time. Your concentration for the most part must be on the obstacles approaching in the foreground rather than the foliage and birds in your surroundings. If you have not yet had a chance to give mountain biking a try you should give it a go! The North Georgia mountains truly have an unlimited potential when it comes to discovering new trails and developing an individual's skills. Although they might not be as rugged as the Rockies this area has so much diversity of wildlife, flora, fauna, and rides for all skill levels.
Have you planned your mountain biking trip to the Appalachians yet?
Image #1 sourced from (stokedsf.com)
Image #2 sourced from (www.hickorywellcrafted.com)