Unicoi State Park is a pretty mountain retreat near Helen, Georgia. It's biggest claim to fame is perhaps as the the gateway to Anna Ruby Falls, a tall double waterfall in Chattahoochee National Forest, but the park has quite a bit of its own to offer as well. With a lake for fishing and paddling, swimming area, trails, campground, cabins, and fanciful lodge, Unicoi is never short on family fun. As a resort park, Unicoi also offers event hosting and adventure programming at additional prices.
- Anna Ruby Falls: This is an impressive double waterfall with multiple tiers that are together more than 150 feet high. The half-mile paved trail to the falls is accessible from the park, but just outside it on national forest land.
- Bottoms Loop Trail: Moderate 2-mile loop from the lodge where can find the ruins of an old homestead.
- Frog Pond Nature Trail: Great for kids, this 0.3-mile loop near the lodge has educational signs about nature and animals near a quiet pond where you may spot critters.
- Unicoi/Helen Trail: Moderate, 3-mile-one-way trail from the lodge to Unicoi Hill City Park in Helen, links with network of mountain bike trails.
- Lake Trail: Mostly flat 2.5-mile loop through the forest around the lake.
- Smith Creek Trail: Strenuous, 4.8-miles one-way, this is the hiking route from Unicoi State Park to Anna Ruby Falls. Begins near the campground and ends at the paved trail for the falls.
Swimming, Paddling, and Fishing
There is a designated swimming area with a sand beach on one end of the lake. The rest of the lake is open to non-motorized boating and fishing with a valid license. Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats are available for rent, or you can bring your own.
More than 8 miles of bike-only trails interconnect in the uncrowded south portion of the park, near the town of Helen.
- Unicoi State Park Campground: Large campground with RV, tent, and walk-in sites all located close to the visitor center, lake, and Anna Ruby Falls access.
- Unicoi State Park Lodge: 100-room, hotel-style lodge with a conference center, public restaurant, and mountain views. It is also the starting point for adventure activities like ziplining, archery, and guided fishing, in the park. The lodge is across the highway from the main park area and up on a hill overlooking the foothills to the south.
- Cabins: A variety of cabin styles are available for reservation, from one-bedroom to three-bedroom. They are located in the main part of the park near the lake and campground.