Northern Georgia Scenic Byway Loop

Average Rating - This road has been rated by 6 visitors

State: Georgia
Date Submitted: April 15, 1998
Submitted by: Bo Tilly
Motorcycle Road Length: 40 Miles

Written Directions

This route is located about 90 miles northeast of Atlanta off of Interstate 85. From the starting point in Helen Georgia, go north on Route 17. Take a detour on to Route 356 heading east if you want to visit Unicoi State Park. Continue to take 17 north till you see Route 180 on the left (heading west). Take 180 west till shortly before you get to the town of Choestoe, you will see Route 348 on the left and heading south. Take 348 south as it twists and turns until it meets Route 75. Take Route 75 to the left (should be heading north) back towards Helen. You will meet Route 17 once again and want to go left (south) into Helen.


You will be traveling along a couple different official US Government designated scenic byways on this route so you know it's got to be beautiful. You'll see Georgia's tallest mountain and travel through the Chattahoochee National Forest. The area is very hilly and the forests are thick. There are also many waterfalls in the area. The best time to check out this area is in the fall.

Road Quality  

This route travels along some perfect motorcycle roads - steep, very curvy and in relatively good condition. Also because of its remote location traffic doesn't seem to be an issue. I give it a solid 5 by Georgia standards.

Roadside Amenities  

You'll want to start and end your travel along this route in Helen Georgia. Helen is an old sawmill town that has been refurbished in a German motif. The town offers visitors inns, craft shops and beer gardens. Unicoi State Park (706-878-2201) is off of Rte. 356 (just east of Robertstown GA) and offers a lot of hiking into the surrounding hills. Nearby is the Anna Ruby Falls (706-878-3574) where you pay a small fee to drive up to twin waterfalls. Up the road is High Shoals Scenic Area and off of Rte. 180 you will drives along the side of Georgia's highest mountain - 4,784 ft Brasstown Bald. Watch for the signs that will lead you to the parking lot where you can hike a half-mile to the peak or wimp out and take the shuttle. At the peak there is a museum and observation area where you can see into Tennessee and both North and South Carolina. Further along the route you will find the Dukes Creek Falls and take a short hike to an observation platform. Overall this route offers a lot to see in terms of nature yet because of its remote location, there isn't a lot of other 'off-bike-entertainment.'

Additional Info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather . - Georgia Department of Tourism - 1-800-847-4842.

Nickname (optional) Bo Tilly



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Reviewed by RandyRi on January 19, 2013
(4 out of 5 members found this review useful.)
Comment: The GA-348 Richard Russell Scenic Parkway portion of this is one of my favorite rides.

Be aware that there is a major bicycle race on these roads every year see for the dates which is Sept 29, 2013
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Reviewed by Guest on May 11, 2008
(3 out of 3 members found this review useful.)
Creator: harleyRob
motorcycle_year: 2004
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I just did this loop in early may 08 with my father(05 Goldwing). It was beautiful, scenic and very relaxing. Traffic was minimal(we hardly had anyone in front of us or behind the whole trip). Helen provides some good eats and a nice spot for a good break. Ive ridden in many places in this country and can say this is one worth going back to. I look forward to seeing this area in the fall...
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Reviewed by atlfireblade on September 27, 2013
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_year: 2009
motorcycle_make: Honda CBR1000RR
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: This is by far my favorite route in GA. I normally avoid Helen and arrive from the north, traffic backs up for miles on the weekend going into Helen. Be careful of gravel on Route 348 on the south side. Traffic on this route is very minimal. The most traffic you will experience is on Route 17.
When on Route 180 I would recommend making the short trip up to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in GA. High elevation change, very twisty road, and crazy bump in the road towards the beginning on the way up.
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Reviewed by Guest on October 23, 2010
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Que
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Triumph
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: I made this ride 22 Oct 2010 after midterms at b-school. I ride an 07 Triumph Daytona 675, and it was absolutely gorgeous. The ride up from Atlanta was a bit rough, but once I got up to Helen and hit this route the weather, roads, scenery, and other motorcyclist I met at the few stops I made to take pictures made this ride the best! This was my first mountain ride but it was beautiful. I can't wait to do the longer route in the spring.
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Reviewed by bogey473 on November 22, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Bogey473
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: Nice loop. Helen was a bit congested as Octoberfest was in process and the area in general had more traffic than on previous runs. Great colors.
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Reviewed by Guest on October 21, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Ben
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I dropped down out of N.C. on 17, turned West on 180 and traveled to 348, turned left and stayed the night in Helen. I got on 180 at 6 pm and was driving right into the sun. I was still able to enjoy most of the views, and they were good. No traffic to speak of. The leaves are catching some good color now.
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