Grandparents Weekend in North Georgia

It’s been a hot summer! Up here in the shaded forests of Unicoi State Park & Lodge we finally found our cool spot. Waterfalls, swimming in Lake Unicoi and fly fishing with experts at the park – it’s the closest thing to cooling off we’ve found all summer.

Meet the grandparents! I’m Nana and with my spouse, Papa, we treated our two grandchildren to a weekend trip before the kids head back to school. First on our agenda was to hike the beautiful trails in this expansive wilderness. The grandkids’ favorite is the trail that leads from the lodge to the alpine town of Helen where they stocked up on candies and souvenirs before we caught the shuttle back up to the hotel.

Visitor Center
I recommend everyone begin the Unicoi Park experience at the Visitor Center. An impressive display of animal taxidermy (naturally deceased) tells the story of who else lives here in the mountains.

Did you know? Black bears live in the North Georgia mountains. Because of their excellent sense of smell, the park has “bear wise” advice so the bears won’t rely on us, or our garbage, for food. Bear cubs are born in the den in late January or February.

Did you know? Coyotes resemble dogs from a distance, but up close you’ll notice their distinct pointy ears and snout. You may hear high-pitched cries, or yips, late in the evening as these animals communicate during their forage time.

In the Visitor Center, you can touch pelts and learn how different animals grow different kinds of fur. Did you know? Raccoons typically live in habitats closely associated with water, including rivers, lakes, and streams, but also coastal marshes and swamps.

Outdoor Adventures

In addition to the hikes we went on, Unicoi State Park has many other activities, from archery and tomahawk throwing to paddleboarding and kayaking!

A Splash at Unicoi Lake
The 1,000-acre Unicoi State Park & Lodge centers around Lake Unicoi within the Chattahoochee National Forest. Unicoi Lake is refreshing this time of year. Both the grandchildren and Papa tried stand-up paddling with an instructor who demonstrated how to maintain balance and the seamless style of paddling. This was a wonderful bonding moment for them as they explored the lake’s shores and gained confidence in their new skill.

We chilled in our lodge building’s common space between our activities. That’s part of the journey too, which was focused on natural family relaxation.

Fly-Fishing Lessons
We reserved an intro to fly-fishing lesson for all of us! Our instructor told us that cool mountain streams like Smith Creek that runs behind the Visitor’s Center support bream and mountain trout. We learned the parts of the fly rod and the art of the cast. Th

e instructor guided us to “think like a fish” by reading the water currents. Fly fishing is elegant and inspiring – we learned something new that we want to try again back home.

Call the Unicoi State Park’s Activities Department at 706-878-2201 x549 to make your reservations for fly fishing, paddle boarding, zip lining, and Archery and Air Gun Range or visit their website at to book your activities online ahead of your arrival.

Being at Unicoi State Park & Lodge for a long weekend of bonding with the grandkids, exploring new activities, and relaxing by Unicoi Lake was the highlight of our summer.

Book Your Stay: The Unicoi Lodge has 96 recently renovated lodge rooms, and 29 Georgia State Park cabins across the 1,000+ acre property. Tent camping, R/V sites and glamping are also available.

By Anne T.

The Adventure Begins Today! 706-878-2201

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