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Beat holiday stress with a family hike in the park
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Fall hike at Smithgall Woods

When: 2 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Smithgall Woods-Dukes Creek Conservation Area, 61 Tsalaki Trail, Helen

How much: $3 for parking

More info: Register by calling 706-878-3087 or e-mailing

If you are expecting family coming in to town early next week, get them out of the house - and onto the trails of the beautiful North Georgia mountains.

Ranger Johnna Tuttle of the Smithgall Woods-Dukes Creek Conservation Area in Helen will be leading a hike on Tuesday through the park, starting on the paved driveway and leading to a moderate hike through a hardwood forest and past the park's apiary.

"I like to get (a hike) during the holiday week if I can so people with families can bring them out to the park," Tuttle said. "It's a chance to get some exercise and stress relief if you're real busy. It's a real moderate hike."

The hike is between 2« and 3 miles, she said, and follows the pace of the hikers - some march along quickly, she said, while other groups she leads will take their time and meander.

"I kind of play it by ear with the groups," she said. "There's always a few things I stop and talk about. For example, we'll be passing the apiary that's on the park, so we'll talk about that a little bit."

A December hike hasn't yet been scheduled, but Tuttle said anyone who is interested can sign up for her e-mail list and she will send out information. E-mail Tuttle at

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