Alpine tubing is the most popular outdoor sport here. If the day is hot, more people can be seen tubing on the Chattahoochee River than buying beer steins. The river runs right through Helen, and tube-rental outfits abound all along the banks. There are some rapids here, but they're rather brief, so even small children go tubing. We prefer Cool River Tubing (tel. 800/896-4595 or 706/878-2665; www.coolrivertubing.com), which will take you on a 2-hour float and bring you back to your starting point. The cost is $5 per person.
Sunburst Stables, 9 miles east of Helen on Ga. 255 in the Sautee Valley (tel. 800/806-1953 or 706/947-7433; www.sunburststables.com), offers 25 miles of scenic wooded trails year-round. You can even go riding in winter, perhaps spotting a deer cavorting through the forest. Various types of rides are offered, including a 2-day overnight ride and a 3-hour sunset ride. The stables are set on 60 acres and adjoin the Chattahoochee National Forest. The outfit also offers hayrides.
Advance reservations are required; the hourly rate is $35 per person. No children 7 and under are allowed. When making a reservation and agreeing upon the time, give them your height, weight, and experience in riding. A major credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa) is required to hold a reservation. A weight limit of 240 pounds is imposed.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.