Nestled just outside Helen on Hwy 25 Alt, Helen State Park is a hidden gem offering cyclists a challenging yet family-friendly experience. This isn't your typical smooth sailing bike trail. Its dual-terrain nature—with 50% paved and 50% gravel roads—commands attention and stamina from riders.
Though the trail might seem easy at first glance, don't underestimate it. The wicked hills will test your endurance and possibly compel you to dismount and push. That said, pushing your bike shouldn't discourage you; consider it an integral part of the unique experience this trail offers. Also, the quality of gravel is coarse and thick, requiring additional effort to navigate.The vistas, however, are a rewarding payoff. Imagine riding next to trout streams, under the shade of towering trees, and then suddenly emerging onto an open field with panoramic views. The spectacle culminates with a charming covered bridge that serves as a perfect backdrop for a family photo.
Before embarking on this ride, particularly if you're planning a family outing, ensure everyone is physically prepared. A couple of weeks of casual riding with some hill climbs and gear changes could make the journey more enjoyable. Given that the route is split between gravel and pavement, practicing on both terrains can help you acclimate better.To get there, simply drive to Hwy 25 Alt just outside of Helen. The park is well-signposted, and parking is available at $5 with no additional fees for the ride.
Helen State Park's dual-terrain trail offers an enriching experience that combines scenic beauty with a workout that's aerobically advanced. Ideal for families looking for a weekend adventure or mountain bike enthusiasts seeking a killer training ride, it's a place you'll likely want to revisit. With its wide roads, splendid natural backdrops, and traffic-free space, the park ensures everyone from beginners to experts has room to explore and grow.