5 of the Best Ways to Explore the Oconee National Forest

More commonly known as the Chattahoochee-Oconee, the Ocoee National Forest is a lush and tranquil region nestled in the North Georgia Mountains. It is well known for its abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities across nearly 867,000 acres of undisturbed land. With the protection of these natural and historic forests, the USDA Forest Service hopes to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the land to meet the needs of present and future generations. If your vacation plans bring you to the Ocoee National Forest, these are the best ways to get the most from your visit!

The Ocoee National Forest is just one of the many forests and parks to discover near Helen! Download your free copy of our Helen, GA Vacation Guide for a full list of great recommendations! 

The Best Ways to Explore the Ocoee National Forest

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests provide visitors with thousands of acres of land and clear-running streams just waiting to be explored! Take a look at just some of the best ways to experience the area.


With nearly 850 scenic trails winding through the land, the Ocoee National Forest is a natural wonderland for hikers. Whether you choose to make a day of it or embark on a simple half-day excursion, you’re sure to find an adventure that is perfect for you. Some of these trails are also open for bicycling, so feel free to bring your bikes for an epic family experience!


From relaxing shoreline to challenging fly fishing opportunities, anglers will find almost any kind of fishing that meets their fancy. Many families choose to relax by the shores of Lake Russell for a tranquil fishing excursion while more avid fishermen take to the local trophy trout streams. Before angling in the Oconee National Forest waters, be sure to obtain a state fishing license or pass!

Experiencing the Plant and Animal Life

With so much land to discover, you’re sure to find a unique plant or animal species. The forest is very popular among nature lovers who spend their time observing the awe-inspiring handiwork of Mother Nature scattered throughout the land. From the smallest butterfly to prowling mammals, you’re sure to find them all here!

Spending Time by the Water

The forest is abundant with rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, and ponds! All these bodies of water mean there are endless opportunities to enjoy a warm day making a splash! Lounge on the swimming beaches, take a dip in the lake, or take a kayak ride down the streams. No matter what you decide, a full day of fun in the sun awaits!

Take a Drive

If you’re crunched on time or would rather enjoy the forest scenery from the comfort of your car, you’re in luck! There are many routes you can take to see the land’s immense beauty without having to ever leave your vehicle. Some of these famous roads include the Russell-Brasstown National Scenic Byway and the Ridge and Valley Scenic Byway. We highly recommend taking a trip along these roads in the fall, as the autumn colors are truly awe-inspiring.

Experience the Endless Beauty of the North Georgia Mountains With Pinnacle Cabin Rentals

Make Helen, GA your peaceful utopia with a stay in one of our luxury mountain cabins! Our beautiful rentals are perfect for family vacations and romantic escapes just minutes from the Bavarian village in downtown Helen. In addition to a one-of-a-kind cabin, guests will also be spoiled with unparalleled guest services and vacation specials you won’t find anywhere else. Let’s get started on planning the getaway of your dreams! Choose your favorite cabin with us today and don’t forget to download our free Helen, GA Vacation Guide!  

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