hiking

walking

dogs on leash

Nestled in the north Georgia mountains just two miles from the Alpine village of Helen, Unicoi is one of Georgias most beloved state parks. Throughout the year, the park offers outstanding programs which focus on natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking and biking on scenic mountain trails, especially those leading to Helen and Anna Ruby Falls. Craft lovers should not miss the lodge gift shop specializing in hand-made quilts and local pottery. Numerous picnic tables are located throughout the park.

off road driving
11 days ago

Nice long trail - road. Have to travel a bit from the west side of the mountain to hit any real rocks but did take the Rig through some dips. Best part is towards the summit where some serious 4x4 is needed to over take some nasty rocks and then down the other side but too bad most of the time this part of the trail is closed it seems. There is a cool rock hut turn around before the nasty stuff.

off road driving
16 days ago

1/6/2019. After days of rain decided to give this a shot. First time going and didnt really know what to expect. total of 4 jeeps. 1 stock Rubicon, 2 lifted jks, and a lifted tj. Entered the trail on the right side soon as started coming out of little town of Helen,Ga. Very maintained but are couple of tracks off the main that can be fun. Once at top there was a black gate to the left but decided to stay to the right back towards chimney mountain rd. Gets a little rocky on the way down but all in all fairly easy ride with little maneuvering. Will be back soon to try the left side with black gate that I hear is little more fun.

Easy trail anyone could walk it

Long but fun!

off road driving
23 days ago

Went up with the family on a gorgeous late December day. Took a stock Jeep Wrangler - 2 wheel drive up to the top on mostly gravel roads. Started to get into some fun, but nothing difficult areas at the halfway point and put into 4H. Got to the area that the posts below mention and was advised by a tacoma coming back up that it was rough and he turned around ..... we decided to check it out. Got through fine after my son scouted and pointed out the path. The rest of the way was a lot more "fun" with some deep puddles and some maneuvering needed in areas. All in all a great day - recommend having a lift, but can be passable with a stock jeep.

Beautiful stroll...

hiking
30 days ago

This is a nice, easy trail. The scenery isn't great once the trail diverges from the stream, but the trail is well maintained and very clearly marked. As someone else mentioned, this trail is 6 miles, not 5.2.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a very nice, easy walk around the lake.

Very nice. Fast on the first half. Will do it again.

walking
2 months ago

Very easy nice hike/walk around the lake.

off road driving
2 months ago

Drove this trail on 10/27, we drove just as the map shows from Tray mountain road entrance and stayed on FS 79 until it ends on Chimney mountain road. The drive up to the top is great and there is a turn around point if you need to head back and I would suggest if you don’t have a Four wheel drive lifted vehicle to turn around. We continued down FS 79 from the top of the mountain down to Chimney mountain road and that part of the trail was very rocky and I’m not sure it would be successful without a Jeep as some parts are very narrow and sharp turns where you will need clearance. Will be going back to drive the shoot offs and other roads that fork off that the map above doesn’t show but I will think twice about driving the rocky part again, pretty rough.

off road driving
2 months ago

Bumpy for sure only a couple of bad spots. 2 wheel drive except for two spots. Pretty good drips where road is washed out. still passable in anything with a little clearance. 2002 f250 35" inch tires 6" lift only caught on rocks one and it was my fault could of been avoided. All in all good trail. Just enough of rough and easy driving to make it enjoyable.

off road driving
2 months ago

Attempted East Side ascent yesterday (10/29). We have a lifted 4Runner Off Road with 285s and a F250 lifted 4WD with 295s. I can confirm that at around 2.5 miles up there is a deeply rutted section that has a slippery muddy bank on the ravine side. Would not attempt either direction without a winch.

walking
3 months ago

Nice trail around the lake. Easy hike but pretty views.

hiking
3 months ago

Decent hike. Downed trees have been cleared (workers on the trail when we went 10/18). Trail isn’t blazed but pretty established and easy to follow except for a few spots. Round trip was about 4:45, stopping to look around here and there. Would do again.

on Smith Creek Trail

3 months ago

I posted below several months ago. This trail needs maintenance! We hiked a 1.5-mile portion from the Unicoi trail head yesterday 30 September. There are 3 tree down places blocking the trail. This has been the situation since early June. I’ll try posting the pictures. Love this trail when it is clear, but this long leaving debris across the trail is crazy.

Quiet, easy trail , nice

off road driving
3 months ago

We enjoyed the trail until it got extremely rocky. After deciding to turn back, we noticed a sign was knocked down stating the road is closed. Didn’t see much wildlife either. All in all it was fun.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked today, 1st and most important is this is a 6 mile hike not 5.2 Mostly flat, not too steep but the inclines are long, the worst part was the last bit heading from Helen to the Lodge. up,up and up. But one of the best hikes we have done in awhile took us an Hour and 10 mins to get from Lodge to Helen. And the wife was slow.

hiking
4 months ago

decent trail, cool, woodsy, quiet except for swimming area.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice enough for a day hike but don’t expect a lot of room on the trail. We hiked about half of it from Anna Ruby Falls. My wife and I took our 7 yr old and 4 month old pup. A little difficult for our inexperienced dog at times but good training. You’ll work up a little sweat but that’s to be expected when you’re hiking in the woods. I wouldn’t recommend running the trail due to the width and ample rocks and roots you’ll cross. The best part was getting away from the crowds.

Mild off-road trail. Great gravel bike loop.

off road driving
5 months ago

My son and I took my Rubicon up to Tray Mountain on Sunday, 8/19, and rode East -> West side w/no issues. Mine is mostly stock - 4-dr, HT, no lift, 32.5 MT tires, and a Warn winch. During our ride, it rained for a bit - hard for a short bit and then just drizzle, and then the sun came out once over the top. As Rebecca noted in her post, there is one section about 2.5 miles in that had us scratching our heads, as it looks tough to pass when you initially see it. Looking at it, the likely pass through was only via the right side (and then jogging left), but it's washed out w/some standing water, a bit rocky, and then you're immediately climbing. My son hopped out, did some scouting, and pointed out the best line; once he was back in the Jeep, I made sure it was in 4WD (high), locked the rear axle to be safe, aimed it where he'd pointed out and went for it. We made it through w/zero issues.

After missing the turn that keeps you on Tray Mountain Rd, we meandered a bit and got lost. We managed to get to the T-intersection and learned that both sides of the T lead to dead-ends (unless you're on a mountain bike, at which point you simply go straight and pick up a trail down). This said, determining that both T's lead to nowhere allowed us to put the Rubicon through more paces, and she handled everything really well. We met some other folks along the way, and it was the blind leading the blind for a bit. Eventually we realized where we'd missed the turn and headed back to it.

Once back on track and knowing there was some additional gnar ahead, we simply waited to see it. And there it was - a nice drainage pipe spanning the trail, some big rocks, and more big rocks beyond. Would my Jeep be able to clear all of it? For this section, I locked both axles and dropped into 4WD (low). Once again, my son spotted us and did a super job. We chose to take the left side to get up and over the drainage pipe and then jogged right to deal with the first big rock. We probably cleared that thing by centimeters. As long as the lines were right and we were patient, the Jeep made everything easy. After clearing the potential deal-breaker rock, things got easier and we picked our way through the rest of the bigger stuff, and then just dealt with the 30 minutes or so of getting pounded by the seemingly endless rock garden.

All in all, it was a super day and a great first-time visit to Tray Mountain!

Wonderful day hike with scenery varying from shaded woods to river crossings with bridges. Be warned that trees frequently fall and block the path near the Unicoi side of the trail.

off road driving
5 months ago

Kwame, if you want to do the whole trail, go up the east side first. That way you do not have to commit to a line. But i would be careful if you are stock and do not have a a lift for extra clearance.

I drove down the East side on 8/4/2018 in an Off-Road Tacoma with a 2+ inch suspension lift. Note that the road about 2.5 miles in from the East entrance is washed out. Looks like an earthquake opened the road up, and only one "passable" portion to the right (if you are going up). I can almost guarantee you will need a winch. The 5 jeeps I passed all needed to winch out. And the 2 jeeps behind me (along with myself) had to as well.

Great trail if you are getting back into mountain biking or a beginner. Could be maintained little better, very few people on trail. Definitely worth the ride!

mountain biking
5 months ago

Let me start with this- I’m from FLAT, south Florida. I kicked my own butt on this trail. I was out about 2-3 miles and quit! Loll. It’s tough. It was rainy and wet, which didn’t help with traction, especially on the very steep parts. I will say that it was absolutely beautiful though.

Quick question off roaders, is the East side better to go up on if you have stock 4x4 or the west side?

hiking
6 months ago

I kinda feel this climb is more strenuous than Blood Mountain, because you sometimes go directly up the slope rather than along switchbacks. Just find the pace and focus on breathing. When you reach the steep wooden steps and feel like you've had just about enough, push just a little farther up and you'll be done. Take a break at Indian Grave Gap up top then choose your next adventure.

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