Hiking The Helen, GA Trails Is For Everyone!

We’ve explored numerous hiking opportunities in the Helen area in previous posts, but how can you determine which trails are best for you? One of the greatest things about hiking Helen, GA trails is that there is something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure, are on a nature walk with your kids, or have a bum leg, there’s no reason that you can’t have the time of your life. This quick guide to hiking Helen, GA trails will help you to choose the path(s) you wish to take so that you can get the most out of your excursion through northern Georgia.Bear Creek Cabin

Hiking Helen GA trails with Kids

Although kids have a lot of energy, you’ve also got to keep them entertained if you plan to enjoy your time while hiking Helen, GA trails. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Martin’s Mine Trail – Located in Smithgall Woods State Park, this trail will keep both the kids and the grown-ups engaged. The trail is rated at an easy to moderate difficulty and is a .9 mile loop. While hiking, you will cross a wooden bridge that stands over Dukes Creek. From here, you will enjoy the sights and sounds of nature around you until you come upon a vertical shaft from northern Georgia’s gold mining area. It is known that this is a great spot for spotting bats which is sure to delight the little ones. If you want to go on a short extension of the trail, you will also come upon a small waterfall.
  • Westland Loop Trail – Another great trail inside of Smithgall Woods, this .55 mile loop is sure to delight everyone. It’s an easy path that passes by a beaver pond as well as a wetland area. The trail features a boardwalk and a large deck so that you and your kids can enjoy identifying and watching the waterfowl and frogs that live nearby. By stopping at the visitor’s center before your hike, you can pick up a guide called “The Frogs of Smithgall Woods” so that you can try to pick out different frogs by their calls.
Romantic Hiking Trails for Couples

If you are hiking Helen, GA trails with someone special, you may be looking for something beautiful, yet quiet so that you can enjoy your time together. Consider trying:

  • Bottoms Loop Trail – After visiting gorgeous Anna Ruby Falls at Unicoi State Park, couples should definitely take a stroll down the 2 mile-long Bottoms Loop trail. This is a moderate hike that provides truly gorgeous scenery as you pass through mountain laurels, hemlocks, and other native flora. The path will also take you by the remains of an old homestead, as you cross several brooks and enjoy the sights and sounds of the hardwood forest around you. At last, the trail joins up with Smith Creek’s rippling waters and takes you back to Unicoi Lodge.
  • Visitor Center Loop Trail – Located at Smithgall Woods, this .3 mile hiking trail is more about the experience than it is about the exercise. The short path will take you over a small tributary of Dukes Creek and an expansive, beautiful pasture. The trail also features a Florida Torreya planting – and extremely endangered tree in North America. The trail will appeal to the romantic in you as there are several adult swings where you can enjoy the scenery and each other’s company before sitting down to a quiet picnic for two on one of the trail’s picnic tables.
Hiking for Adventurers

If you’ve got the spirit of adventure inside of you and are ready for a challenge, you may want to try:

  • New Appalachian Approach Trail – This strenuous, 8.5 mile path is located in Amicalola Falls State Park. The trail begins by running along the creek at the base of the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi. From here, it climbs the falls corridor as hikers must scale the 604 steps to the top of the cascade. The hike is extremely scenic and will definitely get your adrenaline pumping.
  • Ash Creek Trail – Another Smithgall Woods path, this rugged 1.5 mile (one-way) trail makes hiking Helen, GA a lot of fun. Not only will hikers get to experience the beauty of Dukes Creek and expansive Georgia woodlands, but also features a covered bridge. Toward the end of the hike, you will need to ford/wade through Duke’s Creek.
Easy Hiking

For flatter terrain and lighter hiking, visit:

  • Frog Pond Nature Trail – This 1/3 mile loop in Unicoi State Park is a very easy-going hike that informs visitors of some of the natural features they may encounter on the walk.
  • Lake Trail – Also located in Unicoi, this is a 2.5 mile loop that is fairly level and provides stellar views of the lake, forest, and mountains.

Which Helen, GA hiking experience suits you best?