by Paige Watts | Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.

The Unicoi to Helen Trail trail is three miles one way through lush valley forests, departing from the Unicoi Lodge and ending in Helen at Unicoi Hill City Park.

This is such a beautiful trail to hike during the spring when the green starts popping on the trees! The Unicoi to Helen Trail is a long, 6-mile out-and-back hike, but it’s still a great option if you just want to hike part of the trail before turning around.

Unicoi to Helen Trail, Unicoi State Park

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. This is such a great spring hike because the trees are exploding with fresh green leaves and new growth.

At 0.25 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 0.5 miles, keep right to stay on the Unicoi to Helen Trail; left will take you on the eastern part of Bottoms Loop Trail.

Unicoi to Helen Trail

A Mountain View Hike

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 Trail.

The Unicoi to Helen Trail then follows alongside Smith 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 and coming out at Unicoi Hill City Park.

Helen to Unicoi: The Hike Back

We followed the trail back the way we came. The only moderately strenuous part on our hike back was the uphill climb near the beginning of the trail at Unicoi Lodge. It was an easy hike, though it was a suffocatingly humid day.

We estimated our cut-short hike to be about 4 miles round trip. The total Unicoi to Helen Trail hike would be 6 miles round trip.

Hiking Essentials

Come prepared for your hike by making sure you pack the essentials. Check out this must-have hiking gear before you set off on the trails:

More North Georgia Hikes

Explore more of the North Georgia Mountains with these beautiful hiking trails nearby.

Ready to visit Helen, Georgia? Plan your trip with these tips.



Georgia Hikes: Unicoi to Helen Trail

Have you hiked the Unicoi to Helen Trail in Helen, Georgia? Tell me about your adventure in the comments below!

About the Author

Paige Watts is a travel expert and author of What's With Atlanta?, a guide to the quirks and charm of the ATL. A life-long traveler, Paige is dedicated to helping you discover the best things to do in the Southern USA and around the world. Her work has been featured in The Culture Trip, Matador, Newsbreak, MSN, NPR, and countless other interviews and podcasts.

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