Amazing zip lines, hiking, tubing await on a trip to Unicoi, Helen

Experience zip lines, archery, Helen on a trip to Unicoi State Park

HELEN, Ga. — Bored at home? Are you looking to get away, but hesitant to jump on a plane or head to the beach?

If so, head north and try something new this summer, an escape to the ultimate mountain retreat. That’s how workers describe Unicoi State Park and Lodge.

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“People are tired of being at home,” Unicoi State Park and Lodge general manager Bill Mish told’s Nelson Hicks. “They want to get out into nature. They want to get on the trails. They want to get on the water and go fishing. There are some beautiful trout in our creeks and our lake. So, getting back to nature is just critical at this time.”

Unicoi State Parks sits on more than 1,000 acres, including a 53-acre lake. Enjoy kayaking and fishing, archery, disc golf and zip lining on a visit.

(Nelson Hicks)

Zip lining ranks as one of the most popular things to do at Unicoi with the Unicoi Zipline and Aerial Adventure Tour. There are three options to choose from: a six-line beginners course, an intermediate 11-line option and the level three offering that encompasses all 19 lines, including a 2,224-foot line where riders reach 55 to 60 miles per hour while flying across the lake.

“It is beautiful sites, a wonderful feeling of being able to fly across the lines without being restricted maybe like a roller coaster, you feel a lot more free into the air,” Unicoi Zipline Tour guide Tristan Carroll said. “It’s exhilarating because you get a lot of those speeds and you’re high up into the trees.”

(Nelson Hicks)

The zipline tour includes seven suspension bridges and unparalleled views of the park and lake. It’s a great outing for couples, families, singles or entire groups.

The archery and airgun range ranks as another one of the park’s popular pastimes. Novices and experts alike can take aim at the static archery target range before advancing to take 3-D archery target practice. Once guests have mastered the art of archery, head to the air gun rifle range for some more fun.

Unicoi State Park Lodge features 100 rooms, 60 of which were recently renovated.
Unicoi State Park Lodge features 100 rooms, 60 of which were recently renovated. (Nelson Hicks)

Looking to turn a day trip into an overnight adventure? The Unicoi Lodge features 100 rooms, 60 of which have been recently renovated. There are 29 cabins, RV sites and campsites, too. Most offer a spectacular view of the north Georgia mountains. After a good night’s rest, venture out a bit. With downtown Helen only two miles away, there’s shopping, tubing and plenty of adventures to uncover on a trip.

“There’s so much to do,” Mish said. “Between the wineries, the shops in Helen, the natural beauty of the area, the activities, there’s so much and it’s all within a very short drive of (the Atlanta area).”

Concerned about safety? While the Unicoi Lodge never closed during the pandemic, Mish said they’ve put in additional cleaning practices and been through extensive training to keep guests and employees safe.

And here’s more good news, the cost. Kayaking, paddleboarding, scavenger hunts, the air gun range and disc golf can all be had for $20 or less. Rooms in the lodge start at $119.

If COVID-19 canceled your summer travel plans, an escape to Unicoi and the north Georgia mountains offers an adventurous alternative.