The Roundhouse Rental Cabin in Helen GA (Little Andy Mountain Cabins)

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As a tiny mountain town (just 2.11 square miles) that receives some 3 million annual visitors, there are plenty of Helen GA cabin rentals to choose from. 
 
Whether you want an Alpine inn or B&B in the heart of downtown or a cozy cottage in the surrounding mountains, there’s a Helen vacation rental for just about every taste and budget. 
 
But when we searched for Helen cabin rentals, our first priority was being located away from the hustle and bustle of the busy tourist town, yet close enough to all the area’s outdoor attractions. 
 
For us, the 3-bedroom Roundhouse rental cabin in Helen proved a perfect fit. We loved its unique design, its prime location between Helen and Cleveland, and the gorgeous Blue Ridge mountain view it offered.
 
Read on for our full review of the property from the family-owned Little Andy Mountain Cabins, including some history of the area and an overview of the cabin’s accommodations and amenities. 
 
 

Roundhouse Rental Cabin Info

ADDRESS: 50 Snowdrift Place, Cleveland, GA 30528

RENTAL COMPANY: Little Andy Mountain Cabins

PHONE: 770-540-7022

OFFICE HOURS: Available via phone 24 hours a day

WEBSITE: littleandymountaincabins.com

EMAIL: [email protected]com

ACCOMMODATIONS

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. 

Make a left onto Appalachian Pkwy/Cleveland Bypass and take that for 1.6 miles, then turn left onto US-129 N. Go 0.3 miles and turn right onto Albert Reid Rd, which you’ll follow for 2 miles. 
 
Turn left onto John Head Rd, which will turn right in 0.3 miles and become GA-75Alt S. Follow that for 2.1 miles, than make a right onto Farmette Dr.  
 
Snowdrift Place will be on your right in 0.2 miles, and the Roundhouse is the first driveway on your right. 
 
View of the Horse Range Mountains from the Roundhouse Cabin
View of the Horse Range Mountains from the Roundhouse Cabin

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 area surrounding Little Andy Mountain once belonged to the Cherokee people, as did most of the North Georgia mountains and southern Appalachia as a whole.

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: The 15 Best Rental Cabins in Helen GA

Helen GA Roundhouse Cabin Kitchen
The Roundhouse Cabin Kitchen

ACCOMMODATIONS

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.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Helen GA

AMENITIES

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. 

READ MORE: The 10 Best Restaurants in Helen GA for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Alpine-style buildings in Downtown Helen GA
Alpine-style buildings in Downtown Helen GA

Downtown Helen

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

The summit of Yonah Mountain in Helen GA
The summit of Yonah Mountain

Hiking Trails

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!

READ MORE: The 15 Best North Georgia Mountains for Hiking

Sunset at Hogpen Gap Near Helen GA
Sunset at Hogpen Gap

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. 

It’s also easy to continue your road trip once you reach Blairsville. Taking a left on Hwy 180 will lead you to landmarks like Blood Mountain, DeSoto Falls and Vogel State Park

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.  

READ MORE: The 20 Best Places to Live in the Georgia Mountains

Horsetrough Falls Near Helen GA
Horsetrough Falls

Waterfalls

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

Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

The BRMTG was created by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, the award-winning team behind the world-renowned responsible travel website Green Global Travel. Bret grew up camping and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia and North Carolina with his parents, and the couple both spent childhood summers on the water with their grandparents. After becoming empty nesters, they yearned for a pristine place where they could escape the hustle and bustle of the city, commune with nature and family, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle that leaves time to appreciate the simpler things in life. Join them and their team as they explore the region, offering expert insights on Blue Ridge travel as they search for the perfect mountain home.