Walk Off The Holiday Food By Hiking Helen GA

‘Tis the season for enjoying hearty holiday meals and lots of tasty treats! After all of that feasting, it’s no wonder that most of us set New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and become more healthy. The good news is that when you visit our luxurious cabins in northern Georgia, you will have plenty of opportunities to burn of all of those unwanted calories by hiking Helen GA. Helen and it’s surrounding areas are home to nearly infinite trails for hikers of all experience levels and abilities. In addition to enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, hiking will help you to get the cardiovascular exercise that you need to melt away fat and get fit! Here are some of our favorite Helen-area hiking Trails.

Unicoi State Park 

Unicoi State Park is full of opportunities for sightseeing and fitness through hiking. Helen locals and visitors alike love the trails at Unicoi for their close proximity to Helen’s cabin rentals as well as its natural beauty. You can enjoy hiking trails such as:

  • Lake Trail – For those who are looking for a relatively easy hike, the Lake trail is your best bet in Unicoi State Park. This trail is a 2.5 mile loop that remains mostly flat and winds around the edge of Unicoi-Lake. You’ll get spectacular views of the lake itself as well as the mountains and trees surrounding it.
  • Bottoms Loop Trail – Bottoms Loop Trail is a two mile loop that is slightly more challenging than Lake Trail. You’ll will be able to enjoy plant life, tress, and indigenous animals. You’ll see several small creeks, and will also pass by what’s left of a historic homestead. The trail will loop back at the point where it reaches Smith Creek.
  • Unicoi/Helen Trail – This moderate and sometimes challenging path will lead you three miles, one-way for a total of a six mile round-trip hike. On this path you will be able to hike from Unicoi State Park to Helen on an engaging trial that begins and Bottoms Loop Trail before continuing on through magnificent wildlife and woodsy scenery before crossing Lower Smith Creek. On your journey down this trail, you will also pass over multiple small streams and will end your journey at Unicoi Hill City Park in Helen.
  • Smith Creek Trail – If you were really naught with your holiday snacking and want to burn off a lot of calories, Smith Creek Trail is the path for you! The strenuous hike is 4.8 miles one-way and takes approximately 6 hours to complete the round trip. The trail begins at Unicoi Park and continues one through the Chattahoochee National forest and to the headwaters of Smith Creek.

hiking helen gaSmithgall Woods 

Smithgall Woods State Park and Conservation is another great destination for hiking. Helen houses this lovely park which boasts numerous trails, magnificent opportunities for spotting wildlife, and even fishing. Here are some of the best trails in Smithgall woods:

  • Visitor Center Loop Trail – An easy trail that is only .3 miles long is great for those who would like simpler hiking conditions. The path crosses a small tributary of Duke’s creek, passes around a pasture, and features some adult swings and picnic tables. You can enjoy walking around this trail several times while taking in the sights of the region and enjoying good conversation before heading back to your cabin.
  • Laurel Ridge Trail – This path is located adjacent to the visitor center and is of more moderate difficult. You can request a free interpretive brochure from the visitor center prior to embarking on your hike so that you can learn about the various points of interest along the 1.6 mile loop trail.
  • Cathy Ellis Trail – If you would like to check out a waterfall while hiking, be sure to head down the Cathy Ellis path. This is a memorial trail that is of moderate difficulty. The path will lead you to a gorgeous waterfall on what is referred to as the “Alabama Branch”. You will cross a short wooden bridge that passes over a historic section of water that is related to the gold mining history of the Helen area.

hiking at amicalola falls near helen gaAmicalola Falls State Park 

This State park offers many opportunities for fitness and hiking. Visitors often like to make a day trip to see the falls and hike the trails such as:

  • West Ridge Falls Access – This trail is fairly easy and takes hikers down a .3 mile path that is flat and leads to one of the best views of Amicalola Falls.
  • Fitness Trail – When hiking just is not enough, you can try the fitness trail. The wooded path features more than 20 exercise stations.

Where do you plan to try hiking the Helen trails first?