Friday, May 30, 2008

Camping Around Helen, GA

Camping Around Helen

Low Gap Creek and Andrews Cove



Visitors start flocking to the Helen, Georgia area this month as the weather improves and the kids get out of school. Helen has good restaurants, bars, shopping for the adults and amusement parks, tubing on the 'hooch, and a variety of other activities for the kids. Plenty of lodging accommodations are available throughout the area for whatever taste and budget you desire. The main attraction here is the beautiful setting in the Chattahoochee valley of the North Georgia Mountains, and there is no better way to enjoy the mountains than camping. All the campgrounds in the area will be open in May, and like other overnight opportunities, there is something for everyone. We decided to focus on some "real" camping this month-tent and small RV camping at Low Gap Creek Campground in the Mark Trail Wilderness, and Andrews Cove Campground just north of Helen on GA 75.


Low Gap Creek Campround


Waterfront Campsite on Low Gap Creek



Only about 5 miles from Helen, but a world away in the wilderness, Low Gap Creek Campground is a real jewel. 13 spacious campsites lie either next or adjacent to Low Gap Creek as it tumbles down to meet the Chattahoochee. This is "real" camping..no electricity, one water source, no showers. There are chemical restroom facilities on site. The sites here are certainly large enough for a big pop up camper to medium sized RV, but most of what I've seen here is tent camping.



Low Gap Creek


Low Gap Creek itself is a pretty good trout stream, and fishermen use the area as well as hikers setting out for Low Gap Falls upstream. Access is easy from Poplar Stump Rd. just west of the Chattahoochee off Alt 75 in Robertstown-across from Cool River Tubing and the Helen Flea Market. Poplar Stump Rd. turns into Forestry Rd. 44 (well maintained gravel) that will lead you to the campground. The fee for camping is $10 per night. The bathrooms and campsites are wheelchair accessible.



Andrews Cove Campground



Entrance to Andrews Cove Campground



Consisting of 10 padded sites along Andrews Creek and situated just off GA 75 a few miles north of Helen, Andrews Cove is a bit more known and popular than Low Gap Creek. Also the beginning of the Andrews Cove Trail, which leads 2 miles to the Appalachian Trail, this campground is a good jumping off point for many mountain activities. Amenities are very similar to Low Gap-chemical toilets, limited water water source and no electricity. These campsites are not RV friendly at all, anything larger than a pop up would have trouble with the fit and negotiating the roadway. For folks with larger campers I would suggest checking out Unicoi State Park, Moccasin Creek State Park, or Yonah Mountain Campground which is a privately owned campground about 4 miles south of Helen. The nightly fee for Andrews Cove is $10 per night, first come first serve.
If you would like to plan a camping trip to the Helen area..or anywhere in the North Georgia Mountains... don't hesitate to email us if you have any questions we can help with -editor@mountainfreak.net. We have a good deal of experience in the area, and if we don't know the answer to your question it is very likely that we know someone who does. If you have a camping experience or advice you would like to share with our readers, use the same email link and let us know about it so we can share

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