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Helen-Her Fun
About North Georgia

Things to do in Helen, Georgia

Helen was born as a town involved with the outdoors, and today the largest attraction is still the outdoors. Two Georgia State Parks are within a few miles of this north Georgia tourist capital. Unicoi State Park contains Unicoi Lodge, a state-run hotel and conference center that is within walking distance of the city. In fact, a trail (the Unicoi to Helen trail) runs from the gazebo in downtown right past the lodge and on to Unicoi Lake. The facility offers camping and day use areas as well.

Just north of the park are beautiful Anna Ruby Falls. This rare double falls is a fun hike for the entire family. The path is paved, so its okay to bring a stroller. Anna Ruby Falls are formed in the Tray Mountain Wilderness, a 9,700 acre playground for outdoorsmen. The area offers fishing, hiking, and scenic beauty that is beyond description. Unfortunately, access to the area is limited to those people with a four-wheel drive vehicle or a jeep because of the rough terrain and steep roads.

Richard B. Russell Scenic HighwayNorthwest of the city is Smithgall Woods Conservation Area, Georgia's newest state park. Helen's second major conference center is here on Dukes Creek. State Road 348, known by a number of names but most commonly called the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway offers a drive through the mountains that is unrivaled for its beauty and accessibility. Russell, a senator who ran for President in 1952, was personally involved in the design and construction of the highway. Along this road are two excellent hiking trails, Dukes Creek Falls Trail and Raven's Cliff Falls Trail. This highway ends near Brasstown Bald, highest point in the state.

Tubes waiting for passengersThe Chattahoochee River runs through downtown Helen and offers many recreational opportunities including fishing, kayaking, tubing, and canoeing (south of the city only). In downtown Helen some of the local restaurants have decks over the rivers.

Cool River TubingOne form of recreation that is great fun is a float down the Chattahoochee in a tube. Companies that offer tubing adventures in the Helen area are:

  • Cool River Tubing (706) 878-2665
  • Alpine Tubing (706) 878-8823
  • Flea Market Tubing 706) 878-1082

Two developed attractions in the city are available. The Gold Mines of Helen feature a tour of the mine, gold panning, and a nature walk (call 706.878.3052 for additional information). The Museum of the Hills offers a look at Helen's original inhabitants and recreates fairy tales and nursery rhymes for the kids (706.878.3140).

The true attraction to Helen is the festivals, and the premium festival is Oktoberfest, a six-week party that runs from mid-September to early November. Leaf change never had it so good!. Other major events are the Helen-to-Atlantic Balloon Race and Alpen Lights, a Christmas festival.


Alpine Helen
Popular tourist destination in Northeast Georgia

Article Links
Anna Ruby Falls
Brasstown Bald
Chattahoochee River
Dukes Creek Falls Trail
Oktoberfest
Raven's Cliff Falls Trail
Smithgall Woods Conservation Area
Unicoi State Park

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