Whether you are looking for relaxation, a strenuous hike or family bonding time, you can find it at Unicoi State Park. This beautiful, fun-filled park is one of the top Helen GA attractions among both children and adults. Also, with it's close proximity to Atlanta it is a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The fresh air and brilliant views of the northern mountains will re-energize you and your whole family.
Unicoi State Park
Whether you go alone or with a group, you will quickly see why this park is a favorite among Helen GA attractions. As one visitor said, visiting Unicoi State Park is "a must in Helen". This stunning park, located in northern Georgia, covers an area of 1,050 acres. Within it's perimeter there is no shortage of activities to be found. You can swim in the cool waters of the Unicoi Lake or glide across the surface by canoe.
The park is also an ideal location for wildlife viewing, family picnics and star gazing. Additionally, there are 8 miles of hiking trails in the park with varying levels of difficulty and each with their own unique attributes. With all of these choices, Unicoi State Park will certainly please any outdoor enthusiast in your family.
Trails at Unicoi State Park
From easy to challenging, Unicoi has a trail to fit just about anyone. Each trail offers scenic mountain views, lush forests and lots of fresh air.
For a nice stroll and to see the stunning fall colors, you can follow this 2.5 mile trail along the edge of the beautiful 53 acre Unicoi Lake. Bring a blanket and lunch for a nice, quiet picnic beside the water.
Frog Pond Nature Trail
The whole family can have a fun time learning throughout this short 1/3 mile trail around Frog Pond. Identification and interpretive signs make this walk not only educational, but also very entertaining for the children.
This 2 mile hike through the thick forest will give you a chance to be one on one with nature. You will see beautiful wildflowers along the path and you will pass over several rippling streams. Towards the final stretch of the trail, you will run into Smith Creek which follows the remainder of the path to the lodge.
Over the 3 mile course of this trail, you will find that the difficulty level ranges from moderate to challenging. The path begins in Unicoi State Park and comes to an end in the town of Helen. To reach this trail, you must first start at Bottoms Loop Trail which later turns into the Unicoi Trail. The route will take you over Smith Creek as it winds through the northern mountains. Keep in mind that it is a one way trail, so you will have to back track the 3 miles to return to the park.
Smith Creek Trail
This one way, strenuous 4.8 mile trail will take you through the beautiful Chattahoochee forest from Unicoi Park to Anna Ruby Falls. Upon arriving there, you can witness the majestic twin waterfalls as they drop for over 150 feet to Smith Creek below. If you decide to hike this trail, be sure to bring along sturdy footwear and plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
When to Visit
Visiting Helen GA attractions is great at any time of the year and the same goes for Unicoi State Park. Each season has it's own beauty to offer. However, the most calm season of all is Autumn. During September and October the temperatures are comfortable, resting from the high 70's to lower 80's. It is also the driest time of year, which makes it an ideal time for being outdoors. In addition, the brilliant fall colors can be seen in full view within the forest at Unicoi State Park.
How to Get There
Unicoi State Park sits directly north of Helen GA. Leaving Cedar Creek, the park can be reached in a matter of minutes by heading southwest on Zeppelin Strasse and then taking a right on Bahn Innsbruck. Unicoi State Park is on the left hand side of the road and continues to follow Bahn Innsbruck until it intersects with highway 356. Turn left onto highway 356 and in approximately half a mile you will see the campground entrance and Unicoi Lake on your right. From there, you will be able to locate the trail head of your choice or simply relax by the water.
With the many Helen GA attractions to choose from, you can't go wrong with a visit to Unicoi State Park. No matter when you go, you will be glad you made the trip. When you get there, will you prefer resting beside the lake or challenging yourself on a hiking trail?