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Road Trip Down the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway

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   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 [...]

Road Trip Down the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway2020-10-30T20:07:04-05:00

Community Spotlight on Helen, GA

An International Getaway: Helen, GA Longing to getaway to away to an international destination? Well look no further than Helen Georgia located in the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest. Immerse yourself into this picture perfect Bavarian scenic village with that old world feel of gingerbread trim, cobblestone alleyways, and old-world towers. As the majestic mountains of North Georgia surround you and the beautiful Chattahoochee River runs through downtown, it will make you feel as you’ve stepped into another world. Famous for many years of Oktoberfest, local greeters and performers still still dress in costume. Woman wear “dirndl’s”, that consists of a traditional dress with corsage, knee skirt, blouse and apron. Men wear “lederhosen”, which are short leather trousers, white shirt, woolen knee-high stockings, hats and shoes. Visitors are always welcome to experience the many different varieties of food from the Wurst to the Schnitzel as German and International food is everywhere. Stroll down these brick lined streets and smell the wonderful aroma in the air from Bakeries, Pretzels and Fudge shops. Quaint shops feature specialty items like Swiss cuckoo clocks, cheese, steins, wooden toys, handblown glass sculptures, antiques, pottery and handmade arts and crafts. Wether you want to have a Beer at a pub or local Brewery, most have wonderful restaurants with a variety of dishes from German, Mexican, Italian, Asian food, to traditional American sandwiches, steaks and seafood. Many also offer entertainment and have outdoor courtyards. With over half a dozen wineries surrounding Helen, you can also enjoy spectacular mountain views while appreciating the taste of these award winning grapes grown in the rich clay soil. Scenic attractions are located all around Helen that offer hiking trails, beautiful overlooks, and winding wilderness roads at every turn. Surrounding White County are some of the highest mountain peaks with Tray Mountain that is not only the 6th-highest mountain in Georgia, but connects with the Appalachian Trail. Amazing Yonah Mountain stands tall at 3,143 ft., located between Helen and Cleveland and is rimmed by sheer picturesque cliffs. Just south of Helen is beautiful Sautee Nacochee Village. Step back in time with many historical landmarks such as the Old Sautee Store built in 1872 that has a museum of authentic store goods. Just minutes down the road is Stovall Mill Covered Bridge built in 1895, a one lane wood bridge that lays over Chickamauga Creek near State Route 255. The picturesque Sautee– Nacoochee Mound at Hardman Farm is a favorite landmark in north Georgia. Guided house tours of this original 1870 Italianate architecture home are part of Georgia State Park with a one mile Heritage Trail along the river to Helen. Nearby Nora Mill Granary & Grist Mill was established in 1876 and still in operation with a live miller making grits, cornmeal and flour mixes beside the beautiful waterfall along the Chattahoochee River. North of Helen is Unicoi State Park that offers miles of streams and trails for unlimited fishing, hiking and biking opportunities. This gem of Georgia is tucked away on [...]

Community Spotlight on Helen, GA2020-10-30T20:03:54-05:00
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