Roundhouse Rental Cabin Info
ADDRESS: 50 Snowdrift Place, Cleveland, GA 30528
RENTAL COMPANY: Little Andy Mountain Cabins
OFFICE HOURS: Available via phone 24 hours a day
EMAIL: [email protected]
The Roundhouse cabin has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full-size kitchen, open-plan living room with electric fireplace, and a basement game room with pool table, ping-pong, board games, and more.
Outside is a massive deck with a large picnic table and spectacular views of the Horse Range Mountains, and a fire pit perfect for roasting S’mores.
There’s also a private screened patio off the master bedroom with a table and four chairs.
DIRECTIONS FROM ATLANTA
Take I-85 North to exit 87 for GA-400 N toward Buckhead/Cumming. Continue to follow GA-400 N until it becomes US-19 N, then keep left to stay on US-19 N.
Follow US-19 for 41.8 miles, where it becomes GA-115. Continue on GA-115 for 4.8 miles, then turn right onto GA-115 N/GA-52 E/State Rte 52.
In two miles you’ll reach a traffic circle (a.k.a. roundabout). Take the 2nd exit to stay on GA-115 N and follow it for another 9.6 miles.
Looking for more cabins in Georgia? Check out these guides!
The History of Helen & Little Andy Mountain
Little Andy Mountain is located halfway between Cleveland and Helen GA, right on the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest. So it’s completely surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including an array of majestic mountains, waterfalls, and hiking trails.
The US Forest Service bought 31,000 acres of land (spanning Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, and Union Counties) from the Gennett family in 1911, and created what was originally known as the Cherokee National Forest in June 1920.
Known today as the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, it encompasses nearly 867,000 acres in 26 counties, thousands of miles of streams and rivers, and approximately 850 miles of recreation trails.
In the 1930s, local politician Charlie Maloof convinced the State of Georgia to replace the old Unicoi Turnpike (which dated back to the gold rush of the 1830s) with a highway to Hiawassee. Now known as Georgia 75, the new highway soon gave birth to the town of Helen GA.
Little Andy Mountain wasn’t developed until the late 1970s, when Jerry Lothridge (whose family still owns the nearby Mountain Laurel Farms wedding venue) began building rental cabins there.
The Roundhouse cabin was one of the first rental properties built on the mountain, constructed in 14 sections (like the pieces of a pie) atop a basement foundation.
Little Andy Mountain Cabins owner Jessie McClary and her family purchased the property in 2016, updating the cabin’s kitchen and roof and paving the circular driveway while maintaining the unique appeal of the place.
It’s one of six cabin rentals near Helen GA that the family-owned company currently has available.
READ MORE: 30 Fascinating Blue Ridge Mountains Facts
The first thing you’ll notice about the Roundhouse is its unusual shape. Other than yurts in some of the North Georgia State Parks, you won’t find many other round rental cabins in Helen!
We loved the contact-free lockbox entry, and the bright and open view of the welcoming living area immediately made us feel right at home.
Details such as the colorful cow painting (created by the owner’s niece), the charging station right next to the sofa, and the bottle of wine left on the kitchen counter quickly caught our eyes.
The centerpiece of the living room is a massive stone hearth fireplace, but the oversized couch and comfy recliner also offer excellent views of the Horse Range Mountains, even with peak summer foliage.
The full kitchen has granite countertops and all the gadgets you would expect from Helen cabins, including a stainless steel oven, stove, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher.
There’s enough bar seating for up to 6 guests, and the owner provides plenty of locally roasted coffee to brew up each morning.
All 3 bedrooms are located on the main level of the Roundhouse, with the master on one side of the hallway and the two smaller rooms on the other.
The master has a king-sized bed (with a heavenly 4″ memory foam topper) and ensuite bathroom, while the others have queen size beds and share a hall bathroom.
There’s a steep spiral staircase in the living room leading down to a huge terrace-level game room, but you can also walk down a gentle ramp to enter from outside.
The game room was easily our favorite room of our Helen vacation rental, and not just because we adored the awesome floor-to-ceiling painting of a dog riding a moped!
The room features a game table (for checkers and various other board games), cozy couch, Roku TV, ping-pong table, pool table, and washer/dryer. When we weren’t out exploring, we were often downstairs playing pool and ping-pong together as a family.
The expansive deck was also a popular place to hang out. The two cushioned chairs offered the perfect place for sipping our morning coffee while watching the sun rise. And the BBQ grill and picnic table were great for making and eating dinner as the sun set over the mountains.
Although we didn’t have a chance to use it this time around, we also loved the fire pit area just below the outside entrance to the game room. You can imagine how lovely it must be to sit outside making S’mores while surrounded by the fabulous Fall colors of North Georgia!
We also liked the small screened-in porch located off the master bedroom, which offers a table, four chairs, and a shady spot to sit outside when the weather turns hot.
If you’ve never been to downtown Helen GA before, you might not know it’s an alpine-influenced town similar to Little Switzerland NC, one of the more colorful mountain towns we visited along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
If you have been to Helen before, you probably know that it’s best to visit first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon if you want to avoid the crowds on weekends or in peak season (summer and fall).
The unabashedly touristy town may prove too cheesy for some. But the downtown area’s Bavarian architecture, quirky personality, and Southern-style hospitality certainly have their merits.
Classic Helen restaurants such as Cafe International and Hofbrauhaus Restaurant & GI Germany Pub offer up traditional German food (shnitzel, wurst, and massive steins of beer) and all-American fun (watching tubers float down the Chattahoochee River).
The shopping options are endless (including our favorite, Betty’s Country Store), there are tourist attractions such as the Georgia Mountain Coaster and Nora Mill Granary, and loads of outdoor recreation options all around town.
READ MORE: The Best Things to Do in Blue Ridge GA
Located in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest, with two state parks, several historic sites, and countless North Georgia mountains nearby, the town of Helen is a haven for hikers.
Unicoi State Park offers several family-friendly trails, including the Unicoi Lake Trail and a 3-mile trail to downtown Helen, as well as the 8.4-mile Smith Creek Trail.
Smithgall Woods State Park features 28 miles of trails, including the 1.6-mile Laurel Ridge Trail, the 3-mile Ash Creek Trail, and the 0.9-mile Martin’s Mine Trail (which offers a look at the area’s gem mining history).
Those seeking a more strenuous hiking challenge may wish to tackle the 5-mile Unicoi Gap & Indian Grave Gap Loop, or the Appalachian Trail sections from Unicoi Gap to Dick’s Creek Gap (15.8 miles) or from Tray Gap to Dick’s Creek Gap (11.8 miles).
Arguably the area’s most popular hike is the 4.2-mile Mount Yonah trail, which takes trekkers from the base of the iconic mountain to its ridiculously picturesque summit. If you go, note that the summit can be VERY slippery, and numerous hikers have died there. So be very careful of your footing and avoid cliff edges!
Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway
If hiking isn’t your thing, but you love seeing the sights, this 23-mile scenic route from Helen to Blairsville is one of North Georgia’s most photogenic road trips.
Also known as Highway 348, the road begins heading north about 3 miles from downtown Helen. You’ll pass some of the most beloved North Georgia waterfalls along the way (more on those below).
Make sure to stop at each of the three roadside overlooks along the way, with Hogpen Gap (which is located on the Appalachian Trail) being our favorite place to catch the sunrise/sunset and have a picnic.
Taking a right leads you towards Hiawassee and North Georgia highlights such as Brasstown Bald (the tallest mountain in GA), Bell Mountain, and Moccasin Creek State Park.
Forget what TLC said: Chasing North Georgia waterfalls is easily is our #1 favorite thing to do in Helen GA.
You’ll find three of the area’s best along the Richard B. Russell Scenic Hwy: It’s possible to hike Dukes Creek Falls, Raven Cliffs Falls, and Helton Creek Falls all in one day (around 8 miles total)!
Then there’s the always-popular Anna Ruby Falls at Unicoi State Park, Trahlyta Falls at Vogel State Park, and Chunanee Falls off the Cathy Ellis Trail at Smithgall Woods.
But our favorite Helen waterfalls are a little further off the beaten tourist path.
The breathtaking Horsetrough Falls is located at the end of a 5-mile Forest Service Road, with the trailhead in the Upper Chattahoochee River Campground. The equally beautiful Water’s Creek Falls (a.k.a. Dick’s Creek Falls) is part of the Chestateee WMA.
Both are well worth the bumpy, pothole-riddled drive, and make great places for an afternoon picnic. –by Bret Love; all photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett unless otherwise noted