Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia, elevation 4,784 feet above sea level. There is a steep, paved 1/2 mile trail leading from the parking lot to the top for adventurous people! For the rest of us, there is a van you can ride up.
The park is 1,000 acres and has a 53 acre lake. The attraction is the camping for the summer and fall. The leaves changing in fall are a real draw of people to the area. They have 100 lodge rooms in motel, 30 cottages, and 80 campsites. It is said to be one of the more serene parks in the area of the South. Many city people come here to get away and enjoy activities in the area; boating, fishing, hiking, climbing, and other things to do.
Shopping is what the town wants you to do, and with 200 shops, it is here to browse. Most are concentrated in the center of town, where the other activities also are featured; like eat and sleep. Cuckoo clocks are the main attraction, but also candles and so many other "tourist type junk is everywhere."
A side light is recently the tattoo and piercing business is vogue, demanded by those type who frequent the area a lot.
Throughout the downtown, the color and decoration of buildings are nice to see, featuring the gingerbread trim and detail painting of the the borders. The town developed into this Alpine theme to promote tourism and bring in revenue for the area for nearly 50 years now. It seems to work, and the tourists "flock" here in summer and fall months. About 60+ shops are right in town and many others in surrounding area. Only 400 residents live in town, but do have workers come for miles to find jobs.
The mound was created by Cherokee Indians. Legend says that an Indian girl jumped to her death and the lover also died then. The mounds was to bury two lovers. A gazebo sits on top of the mound, where there once was town meeting lodge of the Indians. The mound is on private land, so no visiting allowed. This mound is a recreation after excavation was done for artifacts in 1915. It is said to be from around 10,000BC when created.
The valley is serene and peaceful feeling still today. Hiking/exploring the area seems like a thing to do.
The whole town comes alive for Octoberfest. I was there just after one of those times, and clean up is part of the process for them. The festival lasts 6 weeks, going from mid September through October. Yes, there are brats, schnitzel, pretzels, and all other German type foods, to sample. Then they have beer for sale too.
They have bands playing during the day and into late evenings. It brings out a real celebratory crowd from what locals told me. Some need to be escorted away from the activity, depending on the consumption of beer and integration into the culture. Traffic jams are commonplace and people go up and down the main street to take it all in. It may even rival Sturgis for the motorcycles coming here. The event actually starts in slow fashion in late summer, and seems to continue to almost Christmas. That gets more tourists to come.
Cool River Tubing also has a nice waterslide on the north side of Helen. We took our grandson there and watched although it would probably be fun for adults as well. We bought his ticket in conjuction with tubing and it was only $5. I don't know if it would be more for the slide alone. It was well worth it when he came down the first time and emerged from the water exclaiming, "Awesome!" Tickets and directions can be secured at the headquarters. Children have to be 42 inches tall. There is staff on duty to make sure sliders don't go down on top of one another.
Our third game of mini golf was at this place as my grandson just couldn't wait to find out if the big mountain (mound) in the center of the course was part of it. Of course it was and it marked the first time I have intentionally played golf from in a cave. The course has some interesting holes but this one captured his imagination as the cave was dark and of course fitted with spooky sounds. The course is not as attractive as Alpine Golf but has some interesting features and a whimsical figure of a man in the pond. All in all, a great place especially for kids to have a good time.
cool river tubing company is one of a couple of tube operators in downtown helen. in the summer months you can rent a tube for a relaxing ride down the chattahoochee river. a fun thing to do on a hot summer day. see the attached web site for more information.
I suppose some would call this a tourist trap, but it all depends on your perspective. The carriage ride is only about 20 minutes through the town and is not particularly scenic. However, it is only $5 and kids love it. We have now brought two grandchildren (both age 7 at the time) and both loved it. The drivers are all cordial and offer the children a carrot to feed the horse at the end. The horse of course knows this and is ready to snatch it from their hand as soon as they are close enough. Have your camera ready to get some surprised looks on the child's face.
This is a town where you can prospect for gold yet. It was first discovered here in 1828, and a rush of people came for fortune. The small community has a gold museum in the center. The town also has preserved many buildings on Hawkins Street. It only has 3,600 residents, but a lot to offer. In the surrounding area there are waterfalls and wineries to visit.
Unicoi State Park is just 2 miles north of Helen and offers a variety of activities from hiking to camping, boating, biking and of course fishing. We just went there for lunch one day, having picked up some food at Hofer's in Helen. It is a beautiful setting, well equipped with lodges, cottages, campsites and picnic tables.
This is a quite valley where much steeped history took place, mostly for the Indians, who lived a life in peace until the exodus to Oklahoma in Trail of Tears, for the Cherokee. The valley has a mythical history of an Indian girl jumping to her death from a mountain....that same story is prevalent in Chattanooga. Then after the death of the lover woman, the Sautee killed himself--legend.
There are many things to do in north Georgia-called ""Naaath Gajja" by the locals. There is hiking, climbing, shopping for goods and antiques, but also fishing, canoeing and boating, or even the balloon rides for the trepidation. You can also pan for gold in Dahlonega, or adopt a doll in Cleveland.
located two miles southeast of helen is the nacoochee indian mound. this mound dates back to 2,500 BC. the cherokee native american tribe burned a sacred flame on the mound and the pasture around the mound was once a cherokee village. the spanish explorer hernando de soto visited the village in 1520. the gazebo on the top of the mound was built by captain j. h. nichols in 1890. the nacoochee mound is one of the most photographed sites in the state of georgia.