Supported by a local Friends chapter and nestled in the north Georgia mountains just outside Helen, Unicoi is one of Georgia’s most beloved state parks. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking and mountain biking on scenic mountain trails, including an easy lake loop, challenging trek to Anna Ruby Falls, pretty three-mile trail to downtown Helen and rugged 7.5-mile singletrack for bikers. The cool mountain lake offers a swimming beach and canoe rental during summer. Throughout the year, park staff host outstanding programs ranging from craft festivals and concerts, to animal programs and educational hikes. Overnight guests can choose from a hotel-style lodge, fully equipped cottages and modern campground. The park’s restaurant is known for its nightly mountain trout buffet, while craft lovers should not miss the lodge’s gift shop with pottery, quilts and other crafts. The lodge and beach house are popular spots for weddings, reunions, parties and conferences.
Unicoi State Park and Lodge
Eastern hemlock trees are beautiful evergreen tress located in the Appalachian region of Georgia. They’re a keystone species that are, unfortunately, experiencing a widespread decline due to the hemlock woolly adelgid, a tiny, invasive insect infesting the trees. Because they have no natural predators, the woolly adelgid are attacking at rapid rates, expecting to kill off the hemlocks within the next decade unless stopped.
Not only do hemlocks provide critical habitats for birds and other animals, but they also provide...