It’s Like Summer at Unicoi State Park & Lodge
It’s Like Summer Camp
No matter the age, you’ll be a kid again at Unicoi State Park & Lodge
A short drive or walk from Helen, Unicoi State Park & Lodge embraces the wilderness of Georgia’s famed mountains. Cool mountain streams harbor bream and mountain trout, and provide waterfalls that inspire us, and lakes that cool us down.
Welcome to the feeling of summer camp again! Georgia adventure activities are abundant at Unicoi State Park & Lodge. Learn to paddleboard on Unicoi Lake, try your hand at 3-D archery or brave the heights on a zipline adventure – just a few of the many experiences visitors are enjoying this summer.
I entered the archery range for my 2:00 pm lesson. I was in fifth grade the last time I aimed for anything with a pulled back bow string and arrows.
The Unicoi State Park Archery & Air Gun Range is a high-end shooting facility established for safe target practice in archery, 3-D archery, and air-gun rifle. All areas of the range are accessible, with wide concrete walkways and platforms.
“Hot range!” Our instructor called, when it was time to pick up arrows from missed targets in the field. Hot range means people may be aiming, so we all respect safety and hold down our bows. “Cold Range!” he called a minute later allowing us to retrieve our arrows safely.
We spent the hour aiming at lifelike replicas of a bear, boar, deer and other animals. We were taught to aim for consistency. Our fingers were shaped around the bow and our elbows were adjusted in just the right way to stay safe. We cheered each other when we hit targets or laughed together when a miss was way off.
By 3:05 pm, I had decided I was going to buy a bow and arrows for backyard practice. It doesn’t get more fun than to find out you’re good at something and desire to bring this new hobby home.
Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventures offers its thrilling Unicoi Zipline & Aerial Adventure Tour. There are 19 ziplines and 9 suspension bridges that range from 75 to 2,600 feet long and as high as 75 feet off the ground. I recommend booking your tour online.
I have a fear of heights if I’m not over water. When my instructors led me to the first platform and told me to go, I hesitated. I asked them to count to three and on three, I would go. I think they counted several times! But I’m not one to back away, so I took the literal leap of faith and found that all the ziplining became more familiar the more I experienced. Zipping through the tree canopy feels like being a flying squirrel. Back on the ground, I asked them what my fear level was with 10 being highest. They rated me seven!
Rent a paddle board to find your balance on the 53-acre Unicoi Lake. You can even bring your dog if you have a life vest for your furry family member. People life vests are provided with the rental. Paddle boarding is about feeling muscles you may rarely use. Your inner core is instantly strengthened in a gentle way as you slide the paddle into the cool waters and pull back, lift the paddle, and move to the other side. It is rhythmic, calming, ancient practice of moving across water.
Book Your Stay: The Unicoi Lodge has 100 lodge rooms, and 29 Georgia State Park cabins across the 1,000+ acre property. Tent camping , R/V sites and Glamping Sites are also available. A complimentary lodge shuttle provides a ride to and from Helen or Anna Ruby Falls. Your driver is a local resident, so have fun gleaning town to-dos and bring a nice tip.
By LYDIA SEA, Georgia wanderer finding off-the-beaten path places (and gems!)