Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
1.20 mi (1.93 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The top of Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia at 4,783 feet above sea level. This summit is part of the Blue Ridge, a sub-range of the Appalachians that runs from Virginia to Georgia.

You would expect great views from atop the highest mountain around, and the viewing platform on Brasstown makes them even better. By walking around the open-air deck you get a 360-degree vantage over the treetops (Brasstown Bald is not actually a bald) to mountains in parts of four states on a clear day. Plaques on the railing label nearby summits, rivers, and towns, and viewing scopes are available for taking a closer look. Also on top is a visitor center with educational displays and a movie. The visitor center is open from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. April through November.

Earning these mountaintop rewards takes a little work, however. First is the steep and windy drive up to the parking area. RVs and trailers are not recommended on this road, and it can be treacherous in bad weather. Second is the final ascent to the visitor center and viewing deck. When the visitor center is open, a shuttle can take you there for no additional charge. Otherwise you must hike 0.6 miles up a paved and rather steep path to the top. Once there, a final set of stairs or an elevator gets you to the upper deck.

The hike is well worth taking over the shuttle, however. It travels through a unique forest of hardwoods that grow smaller than average at this high elevation, and among tangles of rhododendron and laurel that bloom brilliantly in spring. Signs along the way explain the ecology of this forest type and its animals that live only on the tallest mountaintops of Georgia.

For a more full-value hike, you can take one of three trails from further down the mountain that begin in different places but all link up with the paved trail near its beginning at the visitor parking lot.

  • Jacks Knob Trail: 4.5 miles one way, begins from GA-180 at the bottom of the summit road.
  • Arkaquah Trail: 5.5 miles one way, begins near Track Rock Gap Petroglyph Site on Track Rock Gap Road.
  • Wagon Train Trail: 6 miles one way, begins in Young Harris near Young Harris College.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Georgia state highpoint. 360-degree views.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

4,320.00 ft (1,316.74 m)

Net Elevation Gain

460.00 ft (140.21 m)

Features

Big vistas
Wildflowers
ADA accessible
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide

Comments

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