“beloved state park!”
Nestled in the north Georgia mountains just outside Helen, Unicoi is one of Georgia’s most beloved state parks. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking and mountain biking on scenic mountain trails, including an easy lake loop, challenging trek to Anna Ruby Falls, pretty three-mile trail to downtown Helen and rugged 7.5-mile singletrack for bikers. The cool mountain lake offers a swimming beach and canoe rental during summer. Throughout the year, park staff host outstanding programs ranging from craft festivals and concerts, to animal programs and educational hikes. Overnight guests can choose from a hotel-style lodge, fully equipped cottages and modern campground. The park’s restaurant is known for its nightly mountain trout buffet, while craft lovers should not miss the lodge’s gift shop with pottery, quilts and other crafts. The lodge and beach house are popular spots for weddings, reunions, parties and conferences. If you're around Picnic Areas 5 & 6 you'll see an area that might look familiar... That's because it's where Burt Reynolds took a stroll across the bridge with Sally Field. The bridge is a replacement, but you get the idea.
I camped here with my family in May 2014. It was a beautiful retreat from everyday life. There is ample tree coverage on the sites providing shade even in the hot GA sun. The beach was a quick walk around the lake, and it was full of families having fun and making memories with their kids.
The bathrooms were sufficient. By the end of each evening, they needed to be cleaned, but no one showed up to clean them until the morning.
Anna Ruby Falls is a quick drive up the mountain and then a short hike. It took about an hour to an hour and a half, including the driving. This is a great place to snap pictures as there are more shades of green represented in amongst the rocks and water than I have ever seen.
The barrel cabins here were recently refurbished and they are SO fun! Don't miss the new Adventure Lodge program, too! Ziplining, geocaching, archery and much more!
Sure, you can camp or stay in the lodge…but the Barrel Cabins at Unicoi are a very special way to enjoy Helen. They recently underwent a renovation, so it's worth the extra cost.
We love the view of the lake from the porch, the zip lining and geocaching...and nearby Anna Ruby Falls.
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Unicoi State Park & Lodge
- Sun - Sat: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
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