October 6, 2018
5 Unique Outdoor Adventures in Helen
By: Ginevra Boyes
Helen, Georgia is the perfect destination for anyone who likes to get outside and explore the wonders of nature. Our location in the gorgeous heart of North Georgia boasts countless opportunities for one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure. From zip lining over mountains to inner tubing down rivers, here are our 5 favorite unique outdoor activities in and around Helen.
There is perhaps no better way to explore the breathtaking North Georgia mountains than from above. Take a zipline tour for a thrilling birds eye view of the dense forests and beautiful landscapes surrounding Helen. Nacoochee Adventures offers a variety of heartstopping aerial adventures with friendly and informed guides. You’ll zip from tree to tree while learning about the fascinating history of North Georgia and the Nacoochee Valley. For even more adventure, try the Goldmine Tour, where you will take the classic zipline ride and then tour an authentic 1800s goldmine to learn more about Helen’s early mining history. Other adventures include the Giant Swing, a 50-foot high swing that seats up to three people, and the Challenge Course, an elaborate, 3-level rope course with 27 different obstacles. If you are still craving more aerial thrills, check out the Unicoi Zip Line and Aerial Adventure Park, the largest zipline adventure park in the world. It features zipline canopy tours, challenge courses, and experimental nature treks through the treetops.
2. Waterfall Hikes
There are many wonderful waterfall hikes located in and around Helen. These trails take you through lush mountain valleys and mossy, boulder-spotted forests to magnificent waterfalls cascading over towering stone cliffs. Whether the hike is rated difficult or easy, you will always be rewarded with incredible sights along the way. Our favorite waterfall hikes include:
- Anna Ruby Falls
- Raven Cliff Falls
- Dukes Creek Falls Trail
- High Shoals Falls Trail
- Trahlayta Falls
- Desoto Falls Trail
- Helton Creek Falls
3. Inner Tubing
Inner tubing down the Chattahoochee River is a popular activity for locals and tourists alike. “Shooting the ‘Hooch” is the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon soaking up sun and admiring the marvelous views. You can float on your own or go with Cool River Tubing, a local tour company that takes you down the Chattahoochee headwaters through the gorgeous Appalachian foothills. You can choose from one-hour or two-hour floats down the river or purchase an all day pass for just $12.
4. Horseback Ride
Chattahoochee Stables offers horseback riding excursions through the lovely Sautee Valley. Nestled in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, the stables cover 150 acres stretching throughout the historic Sautee Nacoochee Valley. Their one hour guided trail rides are perfect for beginner riders but include enough thrills to keep more experienced riders satisfied. Chattahoochee Stables boasts the one and only river ride in the area, where riders have the chance to actually wade into the river on horseback.
5. Mountain Biking
North Georgia is a mountain biking paradise. Its rugged mountain ranges and scenic Southern landscape attract experienced mountain bikers from all across the country. Even for novices, mountain biking is the perfect way to explore the natural beauty of the region while getting the blood pumping along the way. The Gap Ride with Woody’s Mountain Bikes is the perfect choice for beginners. Woody’s will fit you with a bike and helmet, drive you to the mountain, and help you prepare for your self-guided tour of the trail. This pleasant 14-mile ride takes you past dozens of waterfalls and countless breathtaking mountain views. More advanced riders should try the Hickory Nut Ridge Trail, widely considered one of the most grueling routes in all of Georgia. This intense, 19-mile single-track trail boasts an impressive 2,500 feet of elevation gain. It is one of the most epic rides in the South, so if you are up to the task, don’t miss out.
Planning an outdoor adventure to Helen, Georgia? Book a stay at the Sylvan Valley Lodge & Cellars, a charming bed & breakfast and winery located at the base of beautiful Yonah Mountain.