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North Georgia's Unicoi State Park Promises Year Round Mountain Adventure

Updated on October 17, 2016
ThelmaC profile image

Thelma Raker Coffone is an award-winning writer who enjoys writing on a variety of topics, especially lighthouses.

Unicoi Lake in Unicoi State Park in north Georgia
Unicoi Lake in Unicoi State Park in north Georgia | Source
Canoeing on Unicoi Lake
Canoeing on Unicoi Lake

Adventure and Fun Vacations for All Ages at North Georgia's Unicoi State Park

Unicoi State Park is nestled in the north Georgia mountains just 2 miles northeast of the Alpine village of Helen via Georgia Highway 356. The park offers programs throughout the year which focus on natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources.

Young and old alike can learn how to paddle a canoe, shoot a shotgun or catch a trout during Outdoor Adventure Day held in September each year. Experts in fly tying and casting, archery, BB gun and skeet shooting share their knowledge in these outdoor activities.

Hiking at the park features eight miles of trails which range from easy to moderate and are enjoyable year round. The Frog Pond Nature Trail is an easy 1/3 mile loop or you might try the Lake Trail which is a 2 1/2 mile easy loop around Unicoi Lake. More adventuresome hikers will enjoy the 3 mile one way hike from Unicoi to Helen which is rated moderate to strenuous.

Mountain biking enthusiasts will want to explore the 7 1/2 mile loop trail over mountainous terrain and ridges with scenic views. This is recommended for experienced riders and has been used for several national bike racing events.

Bird watching is a popular activity as the park is the home of hundreds of species that visit at various times during the year.

The 53 acre Unicoi Lake and Smith Creek trout stream are a fisherman's dream. The lake is wheelchair accessible at the dock and non-motorized boats are allowed.

Weekends between Memorial Day and mid-November will find musicians and artists showcasing their talents. The Visiting Artist Series features demonstrations by artisans in an array of art and craft platforms and the Saturday Evening Concerts reflect a variety of musical styles and genres.

Unicoi State Park is truly an outdoor adventure in all seasons.

Things To Do in Nearby Helen, Georgia

Helen, Georgia (also known as Alpine Helen) is a small mountain town which features architecture reminiscent of an alpine village. Helen boasts year round activities that you can enjoy while visiting the area. The most popular of the events is the 6 week long Oktoberfest Festival which runs from September through November. Typical of an authentic German Beer Festival, there is something going on every day during Oktoberfest.

Another popular festival is Alpenfest which takes place from Thanksgiving through December. The town is beautifully decorated for the holidays and family friendly activities are plentiful.

Visit Helen, Georgia Just a Few Minutes from Unicoi State Park

Alpine Helen in the north Georgia mountains
Alpine Helen in the north Georgia mountains | Source

The Beauty of Fall in the North Georgia Mountains

There is nothing as beautiful as a crisp Fall day in the north Georgia mountains. Imagine the reflections of Unicoi Lake with a mountain backdrop of trees with multi-colored leaves. The smell of smoke from campfires fill the air as campers roast hot dogs and make smores over the fire. The area is beautiful no matter when you visit, however, there is something magical about the park during the Autumn season. Unicoi State Park has been voted as one of the top ten places to view the splendor of Fall in the north Georgia mountains.

Options for Overnight Accommodations

If you are a camping enthusiast, tent and RV sites are available for your visit. There are a number of cottages that are completely equipped as well as a Lodge and Conference center with 100 rooms. Whether you are looking for a basic tent camping site or a finely detailed lodge room with meeting space, the park can provide you the accommodations you are seeking.

The Unicoi Restaurant offers dining for breakfast, lunch or dinner year round. If you prefer a family picnic where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air, there are 6 large picnic pavilions.

Additional lodging options are available in the nearby town of Helen.

Video of Unicoi State Park and Lodge

Park Location in the north Georgia mountains

Map of Georgia Showing Unicoi State Park in extreme north Georgia
Map of Georgia Showing Unicoi State Park in extreme north Georgia

Plan a Visit

It is easy to see why Unicoi is one of Georgia's most popular state parks. Whether you are planning a weekend retreat or a family vacation, you will make some lasting memories at this mountain location. The park is a year round destination with beautiful scenery accented by the four seasons. Regardless of the time of year, adventure and fun can be found at Unicoi State Park.

How do you Rate Unicoi State Park as a Family Vacation Spot?

5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Unicoi State Park

The name "Unicoi" comes from the Cherokee Indians and means "white." It refers to the clouds and fog that often hang over the north Georgia mountains in the early morning.

© 2011 Thelma Raker Coffone

Please Post Your Comments About Unicoi State Park in the North Georgia Mountains

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    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 6 years ago from Miami, US

      Georgia is a lovely state with beautiful mountains and coast. It has a lot to offer. You are a good writer.

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Deborah you are so right about the underappreciated gems out there. Too many for us to see in a single lifetime but I'm glad you are getting outdoors when you have the chance! Thank you for reading my hub and your nice comment.


    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 6 years ago from Iowa

      Great photos, Thelma. My husband and I just took a vacation day last week to explore one of Iowa's beautiful state parks. We hiked 7 miles and barely saw another soul. There are so many underappreciated gems out there.