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Wildlife Viewing > Northeast Georgia Mountains > Dukes Creek

Dukes Creek - Smithgall Woods Conservation Area

Description: This 4,500-acre Conservation Area is a peaceful sanctuary for both people and wildlife. Once a privately-owned retreat from the hustle of modern living, this area is now owned and managed by the State with the same conservation objectives in mind. Access is limited to foot-traffic only and scheduled shuttle-bus tours. Easy hiking is available on the road system and several short interpretive trails. A mosaic of diverse habitats offers many wildlife viewing opportunities. Hardwood forests, open fields, wildlife food plots, beaver ponds, and narrow stream valleys are all managed to provide a diversity of wildlife and recreation opportunities. Picturesque Dukes Creek winds and falls through the area and provides some of the best trophy trout fishing in the State. Picnic shelters throughout the site provide a place to relax with a lunch or escape a spring shower.

Viewing Information: Wildlife is abundant throughout the area. White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, hawks and mountain songbirds are common sights. Beavers, herons, red-winged blackbirds and eastern bluebirds can also be seen. Observation blinds overlooking wildlife food plots are excellent spots for viewing and photographing wildlife. The keen eye has a chance of spotting trout resting in the calm waters behind creek boulders.

Directions: From Helen travel GA Hwy. 75 north for 1.5 miles. Turn left on GA Hwy. 356/Alternate 75 and travel 2.2 miles to entrance on left.

Management: Georgia DNR, Parks and Historic Sites Division, 706-878-3087

Closest Town: Helen, GA

Additional Information: This site is open to the public on Wed., Sat., and Sun. only. Trout fishing and tour bus by reservation only (706-878-3087). Nearby sites to visit include Unicoi State Park, Raven Cliffs Wilderness Area, and Dukes Creek Falls.

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