Where To Cycle (And Not Lose A Tire) In Helen

Posted by Tom Telford on Mon, Aug 26, 2013

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bicycle trail helen gaBicyclists know that rides can be quite challenging depending on the trail that is chosen. Sometimes you may want the challenge, but there are other times when you may just want a nice, calm ride. Fortunately, there are many trails in and around Helen GA where you can cycle without having to worry about rough terrain. 

Why you Should Cycle in Helen
Helen GA is a beautiful place to go cycling, both in and outside of town. When you enter Helen, you will feel as though you have just arrived in a traditional Bavarian alpine village. Lining the cobblestone streets are German-style buildings and shops that sale German foods and goods. 

This picturesque town is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, where in nearly every direction you will find breathtaking landscape. Adding to the beauty is the Chattahoochee River which flows down from the mountains and leads straight through town. The surrounding area is filled with forests, waterfalls, numerous creeks and the large 1050 acre Unicoi State Park which circles it's own 53 acre lake. Throughout your travels in the area you will find several trails for biking.  
Ramble Trail
Among the many trails in Helen, is the Ramble Trail which is open year round. This trail in particular is primarily meant for road biking. Therefore, you can rest assured that the path will be rather smooth and stress free. It is also a great choice for those with average to advanced skills, as there are only a few moderate elevated grades along the entire length of the trail. That is not bad considering the trail is 24.6 miles long. 
Where the Trail Leads
The Ramble trail circles around the Helen area taking you through forests and alongside streams as you pass through the rolling hills of the northern Georgia mountains. The trail begins at the Helen visitor center and heads southeast following Hwy 17 into Sautee. From there it turns northeast and leads you through the mountains until the road intersects with Hwy 356. This will take you even deeper into the mountain. The trail then turns southwest and leads you through Unicoi State Park, where it passes right alongside the Unicoi Lake. From there, it is just a short trip back into town where you will ride through the middle of Helen as you make your return trip to the visitor center. 

bike trail near helen gaSmithgall Woods State Park
Another great trail for both beginners and those who want a leisurely ride is the trail at Smithgall Woods State Park. This 8 mile long trail has a moderate level of difficulty. There are some elevated hills you will have to get over, but the trail itself is well maintained. The path follows a trout stream from one end of the park to the other. All around, you will see beautiful scenery as you pass through the park, alongside streams and through the forest. 

Blankets Creek
Approximately 7 miles outside of Helen GA, in the town of Canton, is Blankets Creek. This is a mountain biking trail system consisting of 14 miles of trails. Although the area has advanced loops, there are also two flat and easy trails available. These are the Mosquito Flat and the Mosquito Bite trails. Both of these are relatively short in distance, 1.375 miles for the first and .7 miles for the second. However, for a calm scenic ride these are great choices. If you are wanting to test your tire strength a bit more, then you can head over to the intermediate Dwelling Trail where you can enjoy a 4.2 mile ride. 

When to Plan Your Trip
The best times of the year to cycle in Helen GA is from June to October. Minus a few thunderstorms during the summer, you can enjoy many warm days with temperatures in the 80s. To enjoy more calm and dry weather, then you can come in October, which is the driest month of the year. If you are considering coming at any other time during the year, keep in mind that it can and does snow in Helen, so be sure to check the weather forecast before making your trip. 

No matter which trail you choose one thing is for certain: all along the way you will see stunning views and spend some one-on-one time with nature. Being out in the wilderness you can enjoy the peace, quiet and fresh mountain air. Cycling in the mountains is a great way to take your mind off of the city life and bring you some much needed relaxation. 

If you are looking for a peaceful, leisurely bike ride, make your way to Helen GA. Enjoy the trails, the stunning views and the fun culture of the town. When are you planning your next bicycle trip?  Let us know in the comments below.

And if you're looking for other exciting activities to enjoy in Helen, check out our free guide:

Download comprehensive guide to Helen GA attractions

photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker via photopin cc photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources via photopin cc
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