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.

An absolute beautiful National Park. Well worth the price of admission. I was especially impressed with the Lions hiking trail for the blind.

on Smith Creek Trail

14 days 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

walking
19 days ago

While being completely paved (not my favorite), this trail is definitely worth visiting. The falls are absolutely beautiful. The trail is short and sweet, well maintained and dog friendly. VERY packed when I went to visit. I wouldn't really say this is a hike - more like an uphill walk.

off road driving
22 days 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
22 days 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.

Paved walking trail with moderate elevation. Great for most skill levels with benches along the way to catch your breath.

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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.

Easy trail along Scenic Smith Creek, but costs $3 per person and is usually busy: hardly “lightly trafficked,” as indicated. Still, we saw a small bear across the creek. Nice.

This is a stroll not a hike :-) The falls are worth visiting.

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
2 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.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty trail, even though it’s really easy and paved. Worth doing, although more of a troll than a hike

hiking
2 months ago

The falls are very nice. Lots of people

Fantastic trail for all ages! Beautiful double waterfalls!

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

hiking
2 months ago

These falls are stunning and the walk up there is beautiful as well. We took my 80 year old mother to see them. She uses a walker and on the very steep bits (which there are several) she had to sit and be pushed. Coming down this way was a tad harrowing. While it is wheelchair accessible, it is very steep in places, so whoever is pushing needs to be prepared for a good work out going up and down. But is was worth the effort, especially to see the look of joy and wonder on my mom's face.

hiking
3 months ago

Very pretty, short, paved, hike along a stream to a smallish waterfall. Very very pretty. It takes a lot for me to give 4 stars to a hike this short and paved, but it's beautiful, and sometimes you want to take grandma in her wheelchair or the baby in a stroller, so this is just perfect for that.

hiking
3 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.

very quick hike, but the waterfalls are really cool!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a nice enough trail. It's a good distance for a day hike. I measured just over 10 miles out and back. There isn't a lot of scenery except for woods, though they are pleasant and varied. As someone below noted, there aren't any blazes except at the very beginning and very end, but the trail itself is well established and easy to follow.

Deceptive at first - the two+ mile hike to the AT (app says 3.5, signs said 2 - I’m inclined the truth is in the middle) ends at Indian grave gap and the last stretch is a long slog uphill - gets the heart going but not too hard, never see a person on this trail - it’s a great way to tack on 2 miles of solitude til you get to the AT and decide north or south - north to Tray has the better camping.

Fun for 2wd to 4wd vehicles.

Beautiful double water fall with a great hiking path and great for little ones to go up and see.

gorgeous

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