From Atlanta, GA 91 mi
From Chattanooga, TN 118 mi
From Asheville, NC 132 mi
From Greenville, SC 108 mi

If solitude and beauty around every turn is your next North Georgia adventure then travel from Helen off State Road 75 Alternate to the the winding 15 mile road of Hwy. 348 towards Blairsville. Going “Off the Grid” is the real deal on trips like this with no cell phone coverage while traveling around the mountains of North Georgia.

State Road 348 is a part of the Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway which also includes S.R. 180, so fill up your gas tank, go slow and watch for bicycler’s, wildlife and motorcycles. Hwy. 348 is on the eastern side of Chattahoochee National Forest and runs through rolling mountains. During Winter, extreme caution is taken and roads may be closed periodically due to ice and snow.

If you love miles of winding roads, this has often been called the “Little Dragon Tail of N. Georgia” and here are some of the scenic sites along the way.

Dukes Creek Falls photo courtesy of Shawn Taylor

Dukes Creek Falls photo courtesy of Shawn Taylor

 

Smithgall Woods State Park – This Conservation Area has 5,664 acres with protected wilderness area. See the Visitor’s Center to learn more about the area and populations of wild turkeys, bears and deer. Known as an angler’s paradise, explore the trout streams, hiking, and alluring nature trails.

Dukes Creek Falls Trail – Enjoy this moderate hike through a beautiful, mountain stream, cascading waterfalls that tumble at the convergence of Davis Creek and Dukes Creek. At the falls, a viewing platform offer stunning views of the a multi-tiered, 150-foot-tall drop of Dukes Creek Falls.

Raven Cliff Falls – With a short incline this 2.5 mile trail follows Dodd’s Creek to the base of a cliff where Raven Cliff Falls tumbles and cascades through the towering granite slab. Caution for extending your hike in climbing the steep incline at the end.

Appalachian Trail – between Hogpen Gap & Tesnatee Gap Trailhead – Hiking the winding stretch of this National Scenic Trail is accessible where the Appalachian Trail crosses Hwy. 348 at both Hogpen Gap and Tesnatee Gap with parking.

Hwy. 348 ends at State Road 180 and turning left guides you to Hwy. 19/129 South towards Vogel State Park. If you travel right on S.R. 180, it goes further north to Brasstown Bald.

Helton Creek Falls – Located off Helton Creek Rd. off Hwy. 129 – this is a narrow road to parking. Caution from 348 off Hatchet Creek Rd. may require off road vehicle for crossing streams. Helton Creek Trail provides an easy to moderate hike as you hear and see the lower falls filter through the trees. The observation deck at the upper falls has beautiful view of this waterfall that cascades 50 feet into the pool below. Caution is advised to not climb rocks.

Byron Herbert Reece Farm & Heritage Center – A hidden treasure honoring the life of author Byron Herbert Reece respected poet and novelist. Agricultural and literary exhibits with beautiful pedestrian bridge across Wolf Creek, pavilion and picnic area.

Trahlyta Falls Trail at Vogel State Park – Moderate trail around Lake Trahlyta is above the falls feeding its overflow downward to a series of falls below. The viewing deck located near the bottom of the falls is only reachable from within the park. This trail, lake, and waterfalls are named for the legendary Cherokee woman, Trahlyta.