Soaring high above the Peach State at almost 5,000 feet is Brasstown Bald, a staggering spectacle located in the Chattahoochee National Forest. This peak straddles the Georgia-North Carolina state line and is the highest point in Georgia, sitting a half-mile above the surrounding area. On a clear day, the peak offers panoramic views that span from the lush forests of the Appalachian Mountains all the way to downtown Atlanta. Just an hour drive from Glen-Ella Springs Inn, a visit to Brasstown Bald, GA, is a perfect day trip in the North Georgia mountains.
From the parking lot, guests can reach the summit by hiking the Brasstown Bald Summit Trail, which is a steep half-mile trek on a paved footpath. There are many stopping points along the 500-foot vertical path, so you can take a break at any time. There is also a shuttle bus that will take you to the top if you don’t think you can handle the climb. For ambitious visitors looking for a longer hike, there are three trails that also lead to the peak that range from 4 to 6 miles in length.
The climb up to the top of Brasstown Bald is a scenic experience in itself. Many of the overlooks along the way offer some of the most beautiful vistas in the state, and you can even see the silhouette of the lookout tower at the top of the mountain from some points. Once you reach the peak’s observation deck, you’ll have stunning views of much of the Southeast, from the Carolinas to Tennessee. Slip a quarter into a telescope for a closer look at the sweeping scenery, or take your family’s next Christmas card photo with a breathtaking backdrop.
The 8,000 square foot visitor’s center at Brasstown Bald is open on weekends and features all kinds of interpretive exhibits that will teach you about the natural history of the area, from ecology and geology to history and culture. History buffs will be able to imagine what the mountain was like when it was settled by the Cherokee tribe, and nature lovers will have the chance to learn more about the Appalachian’s habitats that are home to unique plant and animal species.
At the base of Brasstown, blooming Rosebay rhododendron flowers abound, but are replaced by purple rhododendron as the trail climbs. The trees at the base of the peak are a mix of large oak and a variety of hardwoods. At the top, the shrub bald is covered by an unusual dwarf forest where twisted branches of red and white oak create a mysterious sight. Brasstown Bald, GA, also offers a breath of fresh air during any season, with changing leaves in the fall, mild temperatures in the summer, and even some snow in the winter months.
Our guests always enjoy exploring the mountains, and coming home to our Clarkesville bed and breakfast is a much-needed treat after a fun day. In the summer months, feel free to cool off from your hike with a refreshing dip in our pool, or cozy up in front of the fireplace in the winter time. You’ll experience total comfort and pampering and can reminisce about the incredible memories you made on your trip to Brasstown Bald, GA!
Photo Credit: SeanPavonePhoto, Thinkstock