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Unicoi to Helen Trail is a 5.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Helen, Georgia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.2 mi Elevation gain 616 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Waypoints (0)
Getting There

To get to the trailhead, proceed past the lake (assuming the lake is on left) and park in one of the lots on the left side. Walk uphill along the paved road. Soon you will see a road coming in from the right. The trailhead is a few yards up that road on the left hand side and is well marked.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (188)
Photos (112)
Recordings (160)
Completed (308)
James D.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
Hiking

trail was great

View James's Recording
Jeannine Bytwerk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 02 2020
Hiking

A great trail. We stayed in Helen so it was easy to hop on and take the trail out and back. I was surprised by the total elevation gain just because you didn't feel it in large chunks. I can definitely see running this trail as well. I'd recommend for the entire family.

Patricia McDonald
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

Wonderful trail in the woods and along Smith Creek. Did have a few muddy patches because of the rain the day before, but nothing that was impassable.

View Patricia's Recording
Lucy S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 18 2020
Hiking

Great trail. We started in Helen at the little park. Well maintained. My Fitbit actually measured 7 miles instead of 5. Saw rhododendron in bloom and walked beside a creek for most of the way. Very enjoyable.

Amy Ray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 04 2020
Hiking

This was a great mid-distance hike. When you get to the field, keep walking along the forest border, keeping to your left. Around 50 yds & around a slight bend you’ll see where the trail picks back up at the opposite end of the grassy area. Blazes are often and well marked and if you bring your wallet (which I didn’t) it takes you right into Helen where you can take a meal break before hiking back.

View Amy's Recording
Weslee Washington
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 29 2020
Mountain bikingBlowdown

Cross country trail with some longer ascents. Some roots and rocks. Well marked and wide in a lot of areas

View Weslee's Recording
Joe Laing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed May 20 2020
Hiking

We were paying close attention and took a wrong turn, that is obvious on our recording, you can save yourself about a quarter mile of extra effort by not doing the same. Otherwise it was a pleasant easy hike largely along the Unicoi creek that the creek and shade help keep cool and pleasant.

View Joe's Recording
Randy May
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 17 2020
Hiking

This is a beautiful walk. The trail wide the whole way and fairly smooth the whole way. There are some moderate inclines. The AllTrails map layer does not show the road that leads to the trailhead. To get to the trailhead, proceed past the lake (assuming the lake is on left) and park in one of the lots on the left side. Walk uphill along the paved road. Soon you will see a road coming in from the right. The trailhead is a few yards up that road on the left hand side and is well marked.

Matt Meade
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 02 2020
Hiking

Nice trails - a bit hard to find the trailhead if you’re a first-timer, but the scenery makes it worth it. Not sure I’d call this Moderate...it’s somewhere between easy and moderate.

View Matt's Recording
Charles Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 26 2020
HikingFee
View Charles's Recording
R G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 12 2020

Great trail. Smith Creek is a good place for dogs to get a drink about halfway across. It's rated as moderate but my 7 yr old nephew was able to do it with no complaints or issues.

Lucas Courtright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Apr 03 2020
Hiking

This trail is one of the few that are open during this lockdown. It’s an easy hike, minimal elevation change, not very technical. It’s well maintained and fairly well marked. When we got to the grassy field, we accidentally took a smaller trail to left, but it met back up with the main trail in less than a quarter mile. It runs along a babbling, sun-dappled trout stream much of the way. It crosses a few bike trails. No scenic views and no waterfalls, but a nice nature trail. It ends in downtown Helen at a cute municipal park. The park says all activities are closed due to the lock-down, but the actual trail is not marked as closed anywhere. Only one other couple on the trail and we didn’t see any bears.

Alison Delaney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 22 2020
Hiking

Wonderful trail to restore soul during lockdown. Just watch out for the black bears. I saw three today very close to the trail.

View Alison's Recording
David McAnally
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Feb 29 2020
HikingBlowdown

Recommend this trail. Nice and flat

View David's Recording
Eugene Hudnall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 09 2020

Perfect trail. Did it while it was snowing. Winter Wonderland!

Ted Holt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jan 25 2020
Hiking

Great easy-moderate hike!

View Ted's Recording
Eric Haag
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jan 10 2020
Hiking

First time hiking in the state of Georgia. Started in town and combined it with the lake loop trail. In my opinion it's on the lighter side of moderate, a few ups and downs but never very steep. Saw just a handful other hikers on a mid January morning. Overall it was a nice quiet walk in the woods.

View Eric's Recording
Kelly Maronpot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Dec 30 2019
Hiking

Hiked this trail with my two pups Dec 2019 from our camp site in the SP. Well maintained & very beautiful. It ends in Helen at a nice park. We walked around town a bit, very touristy, then headed back. Saw about a dozen or so people & a few pups.

Patty Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 29 2019
Hiking

This is a very well maintained trail. Easy to follow. The river is along the trail. People fishing. Great experience. I would rate more on the easy side.

Tim O’Rear
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 29 2019
Running

I am almost 60 and have returned to running and hiking trails after a lengthy layoff. This trail is great for me in so many ways. The trail is in good condition and not technical. There is enough elevation change to challenge me while running, but enough downhills and flat areas to recover. This trail provides me a great opportunity to work on incremental improvement in trail running basics. It is close to 10 k out and back. If I need a long run, I just do it twice. You will likely see a few people along the way. Enjoy and happy trails!

John A.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Nov 11 2019
Hiking

Really great trail. Sufficiently wide in most places for two people to walk side by side. Not terribly strenuous. Trailhead on Unicoi side starts at the lodge so just anticipate that. Lovely fall foliage even at this point.

Jim Beckner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 06 2019
Hiking

The trail is very nice. It’s definitely rated correctly as moderate. The trail begins easily enough but midway in the trail has a pretty good climb. The trail is definitely longer than listed, more like 6 miles round trip. There is a nice stream and lots of greenery. I would recommend this as a way to go to and from Helen as a hike.

Frank Lowery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 27 2019
Hiking

Really should be rated as easy instead of moderate, unless maybe the length plays a part. It’s actually 3 miles from the lodge to Helen (2.9 mi posted at the trailhead below the lodge, so more like 6 mi out and back) no steep climbing and good footing. Really well maintained and probably no less than 6 feet wide at its narrowest points. Saw a few deer, tons of small animals and lots of bear sign but no actual bears. Even though bikes aren’t supposed to use this trail they do anyway-see the post below. I saw one guy on a bike myself but he was courteous. It’s an easy mistake for them to make because there are several bike trails in the same area that intersect the walking trail. Overall a really great walk.

Ann Kerkman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 29 2019
Mountain biking

Though this trail is marked for mountain biking here on All Trails, it has “no bike” signs posted at both the Unicoi & Helen trail heads. We decided to do it anyway, because dang it, the app says we can. It was pretty technical for us (we are from the coast and not used to all this). Several times we had to get off the bikes and walk them up & down hills. That said, once we recalibrated our expectations of what kind ride it would be, we had an absolute blast. So glad we decided to do it. However, on our ride back to Unicoi from Helen we took the roads. I do not want to be out on this trail trying to keep an eye out for all the roots & rocks in the fading late afternoon/evening light.

Katie True
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 20 2019
Hiking

I honestly loved this trail. It wasn’t a super exciting one, but the trail was well maintained and beautiful. We didn’t see anyone else for the entire hike. It leads right into Helen, so once we got there we got dinner and then hiked back.

Lisa Yates
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 16 2019
Hiking

Nice trail. Beautifully maintained. Loved the river / creek crossings.

Steve Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 23 2019
Hiking

If you are looking to be outdoors and want an easy hike this is the one. Trail is well marked. Not much as a scenic hike but it’s a very nice walk in the woods.

Ethan Schwartz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 15 2019
HikingMuddy
View Ethan's Recording
Shannon Rhodes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jan 27 2019
Hiking

Nice hike! Took 20 teens from our youth group and everyone really enjoyed!

Armando Gomez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Dec 26 2018
Hiking

Beautiful stroll...

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