Get ready for some high adventure in White County, Georgia. Named Georgia’s official Outdoor Adventure Destination, White County continues to grow outdoor offerings, so there’s always something new to whet your appetite. With 28 miles of National Forest hiking trails, some of the most scenic and challenging on- and off-road motorcycling and bicycling in the Southeast, 14 miles of the Appalachian Trail, four treetop zip line courses, more than 20 waterfalls, three state parks, golf, horseback riding, year-round trout and one of the state’s two adventure lodges, Helen, Cleveland and Sautee Nacoochee can satisfy your wanderlust.
An adventurers’ paradise, 90 minutes or so north of Atlanta, you will find a popular 14-mile section along the Appalachian Trail. Unicoi Gap to Hog Pen Gap is a combination of challenging and moderate terrain that sets the tone for the entire 2,200-mile AT hike from North Georgia to Maine. Smoky Mountain Outfitters, an AT Conservancy Certified outfitter in Cleveland, and Helen’s Unicoi Outfitters and Blackhawk Fly Fishing have all the right gear for everything from trout and fly-fishing to hiking, climbing and repelling.
Unicoi Adventure Lodge is one of the focal points of outdoor challenges. Just north of the Alpine Village of Helen, near the graceful Anna Ruby Falls, the state park offers mountain bike and hiking trails, 3D archery, paddle boarding, slackline and kayaking. Eleven zip lines and seven suspension bridges provide birds-eye views of the lush forest and lake at the 1,000-acre state park. Camp in barrel cabins or at a primitive campsite under the stars, or relax in the comforts of the newly renovated lodge.
The Chattahoochee River winds through downtown Helen, home of Oktoberfest. Cool River Tubing and Helen Water Park & Tubing offers colorful inner tubes to float in the sparkling waters while zip liners soar across the river in the trees above. Try the Cool River Tubing Challenge course, too. Nearby outfitters Nacoochee Adventures has one of the longest and highest zip lines in the state, a three-level challenge course and offers deep-woods tiny treehouses for overnight stays.
Saddle up for horseback trail rides Sunburst Stables, but there’s more — ATV trail rides, fly boarding, boating trips and zip lines broaden your perspective. Plan a restful round of golf at either Innsbruck or Mossy Creek. Drink in nature at one of White County’s many wineries, craft brew, or Z Brown Distillery and just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Adventure insiders know that White County is where Mother Nature comes to play. For more information, call the White County Chamber of Commerce at 706-865-5356 or visit whitecountychamber.org.
Last modified: April 30, 2018