On our recent trip to Unicoi State Park and Lodge, we took a Saturday morning hike on part of the state park‘s trails, running into some marathoners on the way. While we didn’t hike the full trail from Unicoi to Helen, we did walk almost half of it before turning back for our reunion lunch.
Hiking the Unicoi to Helen Trail
This trail is 3 miles one way departing from the Unicoi Lodge and ending in Helen at Unicoi Hill City Park. We only hiked about 2 miles of it before turning back and heading to the lodge.
The beginning of the trail is combined with Bottoms Loop Trail, which descends into the forest that was exploding with the fresh green of spring. At .25 miles, the trail passes the park’s tennis courts and crosses Unicoi Bottoms Road, and then it’s back to the cover of the forest. At about .5 miles, keep right to stay on the Unicoi to Helen Trail; left will take you on the eastern part of Bottoms Loop.
The trail then passes through a large field that offers views of the surrounding mountains. After the meadow, you’ll come to some wooden bridges that cross Smith Creek. Keep to the right to cross the longest bridge and stay on the Unicoi to Helen Trail; to the left again puts you on the Bottoms Loop. The trail then follows alongside the creek for a ways. We turned back before the trail crossed the creek for a second time. If you continue on, the trail passes over hills and through some switchbacks before making it into Helen.
We followed the trail back the way we came, the only moderately strenuous part being the uphill climb near the beginning of the trail. It was an easy hike though it was a suffocatingly humid day. We estimated it to be about 4 miles round trip.
What’s your favorite Georgia hike? Tell me in the comments!