Chattahoochee National Forest in Helen, Ga. shelters a lush forest, moss-lined trout stream and a beautiful waterfall for those willing to find it.
Free camping is available along the trail on a first-come first-serve basis, with some stream-side campsites located close to the parking area and several backpacking sites scattered along the creek’s banks. As they are user-created, not all campsites follow the Leave No Trace Principle of camping more than 200 feet away from water.
The 150-foot Dukes Creek Falls is located nearby. Its parking lot — which costs $4 per day — also offers incredible views of the rocky summit of Yonah Mountain. Less than one mile into the trail, there is a wheelchair-accessible viewing platform. The falls can be reached through a moderate, two-mile out-and-back trail. — H.G.