Helen, Georgia is, to say the least, a very interesting place. We stopped at the visitors center to get a map and a list of things to see. We took the opportunity to walk into the downtown from there. Once a thriving logging town in the mountains, Helen began a slide to hard economic times until several local business leaders got the idea in 1969 to reinvent the town as an Alpine village. As you can see, it seems to be working.
Helen is full of shops selling all kinds of trinkets, restaraunts and bakeries. We were drawn to the bakeries.
The lodge at Unicoi was clean and nicely updated. The idea of sending RVs to the lodge for campground registration might sound like a good idea until you try to get one through the parking lot during a function. It would be impossible to get a larger Class C or a Class A in there.
After registering at the front desk, we asked about dining possibilities and were directed to the dining room upstairs. We figured out what the function was on our way there as we stumbled upon the Fall Dulcimer Festival. That was quite pleasant. There were no menus and no one to offer assistance at the dining room either so we took our time going back through everything dulcimer and headed out to the campground.
At Unicoi, you are assigned a site category based on vehicle length and sites are clearly marked by a color system. Nearly all sites we saw were on very hilly terrain but most were somewhat level. Bathrooms were clean but in need of a major update.
I know there’s a movement that’s starting to gain some traction to get parks and campgrounds to designate certain areas as clean air zones, i.e. no fire rings. Unicoi has obviously not signed on to this idea. It, quite literally, was like sleeping in a forest fire.