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  1. #1
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    December 23-25, Helen, GA: Good Day Hikes in Unicoi?

    So, the wife's family has gotten a mountain cottage for the winter holiday, and it turns out that it's right next to Unicoi State Park, in Helen, Georgia.

    Now, I'm not going to be able to get out for an overnighter, but I was wondering if there were any good day hikes (2-4 miles; Mrs. FLRider is coming along and I don't want to stress her too much) that are worth doing in Unicoi. Loops are preferred, but I'm willing to do an out-and-back.

    I've looked at the state park map, and it seems that the Helen trail runs right into town.

    However, if there's something there that's more interesting, I'd love to hear of it!

    Thanks in advance.
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  2. #2
    Member pixelgator's Avatar
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    Meh...none are very interesting. Smith Creek is the most like a wilderness hike but if you need to make it a loop there's some road walking.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    The AT isn't to far from Helen, Ga
    There are times that the only way you can do something is alone that waiting on the convenience of others means that a lot of opportunities will pass you by
    Spirit Walker

    Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool. ― Mark Twain

    Who cares about showers, gourmet food, using flush toilets. Just keep on walking and being away from it all.

  4. #4
    Head over to Blood Mountain and hike up to the top on the AT.

    Mountain crossings Outfitter is right there and they have lots of stuff.

    Then leave from there and head North on 129 to Jim's Smoking Que for the best BBQ in this part of the country.

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...e_Georgia.html

    http://www.mountaincrossings.com/

  5. #5
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    Anna Ruby Falls is a nice spot you can hike to via the Smith Creek Trail (4.5 mi, like the AT), or drive to.

    A couple of years ago my grandaughter and I saw two bears on that trail.

    Also, the AT and trails at other parks are nearby (Vogel, Smithgall Woods)

  6. #6
    SwinginIt's Avatar
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    Yeah, nothing exciting in Unicoi, but the Helen-Unicoi trail is nice. It's very easy and goes directly from the lodge in the park to downtown helen.

    If you head north of Unicoi on 75 there's the AT. Or if you take Alt 75 then Richard B Russell, hwy 348, you have Raven Cliffs Falls which is a nice easy one and further on up you hit the AT again.

    If you go through Helen a bout 5 minutes past it is Yonah Mtn. It's a lil more strenuous but has a great view. About 30 minutes up is a flat area with a boulder you can sit on and enjoy the view, that portion isn't too bad, and if you keep going to the top it's a bit steeper. If you decide to do that one I can give you directions since that's where I live. Not on the mountain sadly.

    If you want a loop go to Vogel State Park and do the Bear Hair Gap loop. That also puts you right by Blood Mtn. Like Inspectorguy said Mountain Crossings is near there and is a good place to check out. I've heard great things bout Jims Smokin Que but they were closed the time I tried to go. It seemed like an odd time for them to be closed too, I was pretty bummed.
    "As a well spent day brings happy sleep, a well spent life brings happy death." -Da Vinci

  7. #7
    old4hats's Avatar
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    Someone already mentioned Blood Mt., but from Neel's Gap (where the store is) you can do a loop going over the mountain and back around the side of it, coming back to Neel's gap.

  8. #8
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, everyone!

    I'm probably not going to be able to get away for more'n two or three hours during the day, and I'd like to be able to bring Mrs. FLRider along. That means, not more'n four miles total, with not more'n an half-hour's drive time.

    I think either the Helen Trail or the Blood Mountain out and back on the AT will be winners here, from what I've read so far. How are the trail conditions along the AT from Neels Gap to Blood Mountain? Has anyone been there recently? Does the outfitter allow parking (I can call them in the AM, obviously, but if anyone has personal experience...)?

    Anyway, thank you all for your time and information. I do definitely appreciate it!
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  9. #9
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    Have you considered something in the 20 mile away range?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brasstown_Bald

    This is a great place to stomp around and the highest place in GA.

    I highly recommend it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Floridahanger's Avatar
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    Good times ahead for the next month or so for you and Mrs. FLRider. Have a wonderful Christmas and see you both at FL3.

    Oh, take the 2 wheelers and make it 10-15 miles of rugged riding
    Enjoy and have fun with your family, before they have fun without you

    My fantastic Photographer wife: http://www.capturedhearts-photography.com

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