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Helen Holiday Trail Half-Marathon



12.7 mile 20.4 kilometer loop
93% Runnable


Ascent: 1,495' 456 m
Descent: -1,504' -458 m
High: 2,669' 814 m
Low: 1,500' 457 m


Avg Grade: 4% (3°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Victor Mariano

Seasoned veterans and trail newbies, get ready for one of the most beautiful trail half-marathons you'll ever run!

Victor Mariano

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall


The town of Helen, Georgia, is the South's quaint little gateway to the vast beauty of the North Georgia mountains and is reminiscent of a Bavarian alpine town. On this special race weekend, you'll you experience the whimsical beholdings of Unicoi State Park's beautiful trails, but you'll be able to stroll through the streets of Helen the night before and after the race to enjoy the first weekend of the Helen holiday light display. This race is one epically beautiful way to kick off your holiday running season!

Runner Notes

There is one aid station with fluids around mile seven.


The run will be 90% on scenic singletrack trails, using some or all of the following park trails: Bottoms Loop, Lake Loop, Helen Trail, and the mountain bike trail. While trail races are a bit different, difficulty-wise from road races, this course is not technically challenging, and is a great first race for trail newbies!

  • Miles 1-4: Flat non-technical terrain.
  • Mile 4-5: Rolling terrain and the most technical section of the course, which involves mostly just navigating tree roots.
  • Mile 5-6: This section has 250 feet of elevation gain on a gradual climb with switchbacks (the longest climb of the course).
  • Mile 6-7: A LONG, fast descent!
  • Miles 7-9: This section is flat road in the town of Helen. From there, it is a gentle climb followed by a fast descent to the creek crossing. YES, YOU WILL HAVE A CREEK CROSSING! It is about calf deep, so you WILL get your feet wet!
  • Mile 9 to the finish: Rolling hills with some short steep climbs, (30-60 seconds) of climbing or hiking, then flat or downhill. The last 0.5 miles is flat and downhill.

Flora & Fauna

This is a winter race, so all the leaves will likely be off the trees.

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Dec 14, 2019
Emily Wright
Dec 14, 2019
Danielle Martin

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The Unicoi/Helen Trail is beautifully built.
Apr 3, 2017 near Cleveland, GA
Anna Ruby Falls.
Mar 12, 2020 near Cleveland, GA
The falls.
Mar 12, 2020 near Cleveland, GA
At the start of the trail.
Mar 12, 2020 near Cleveland, GA
Smith Creek, downstream from Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia
Mar 12, 2020 near Cleveland, GA
A sturdy bridge crosses a feeder stream that eventually joins Smith Creek.
Apr 3, 2017 near Cleveland, GA

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