Where to Run: Unicoi State Park


By: Brian Elder

This week we are going to stay in Northeast Georgia and we have another location that is an incredible place to run if you are a trail runner. Unicoi State Park although now sparsely used for races, in the past has been home to some large cross country and 5k invitationals because the trails offer great footing and paths for a race. This scenic location a great getaway for families from outside the mountains to hike, run and relax for a few days. 


  • $5 daily entry fee per car
  • Located closely to Anna Ruby Falls and Helen Alpine Village
  • 100 room lodging center and 105 campsites
  • Open 7AM-10PM

Where to Run: 

  • Mountain Bike Trail- an 7.5 mile figure eight loop that offers the chance to run on both sides of the river. Watch out for bikers. Great place to get in a moderate to longer distance run.
  • Lake Loop Trail- this trail runs around the lake in Unicoi SP and is relatively flat. The 2.5 mile loop is a good option for a beginner or easy day along the lake front. 

Places to Eat:

  • Jump N' Goat or Sweet Water Coffee: If you need coffee these two nearby locations make a great cup of joe. Stop by Jump N'Goat to try their triple pleasure blend or visit Sweet Water Coffee just outside of Helen for a place to work and relax.
  • Nachochee Tavern: Great pizza and if you want a calzone as big as a tire then this is your place. You will want to split this between two people and the popcorn while you wait is a nice touch.
  • North Ga BBQ: Located right off the main strip in Helen is a great little location for bbq.
  • Glenda's: the place to stop for a hearty breakfast

Nearby Attractions:

Brian Elder is a learner, amateur explorer, and runner that is going to run until it takes him somewhere. He is a graduate from the University of Georgia where he studied English and Religion. After running competitively on trails and roads, he fuels with an appetite so big you would swear it’s competitive.  Follow Brian on Instagram.