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Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
4,029.00 ft (1,228.04 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
9.50 mi (15.29 km)
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Brasstown Bald is rated one of Georgia's best scenic viewpoints. Located at the state highpoint, this Forest Service location hosts an observation deck and tower at the summit with stunning 360-degree views. A road cuts to the top with a short half-mile hike from the parking lot, but the network of Georgia's trails allow starting further away for a more challenging and rewarding climb. This route is best enjoyed with a shuttle setup and timed to hit the 9.5-mile summit at sunset, but it could be hiked as a very long (~20 miles!) out-and-back.

Before hiking, drop one car at the parking lot of Brasstown Bald; the Forest Service charges a small parking fee for the day. With the return ride setup, head to Unicoi Gap on Georgia State Route 75. Leaving the second car here, take the Appalachian Trail in it's southern direction (west side of the gap). The trail climbs immediately up Blue Mountain, rolling off to the summit and a shelter. Two water sources are on trail on the backside of Blue Mountain, and it continues on over several small rolling hills. The turnoff for Jack's Knob Trail is marked at Chattahoochee Gap with trail signs (not to be confused with the blue-blazed trail at a small tent site that leads to a private resort). Jack's Knob is an uphill-both-ways trail, heading up from the AT and then down to Georgia State Route 180 to enter the Brasstown Bald area.

Upon crossing State Route 180, the remaining leg is a 2-mile climb up Brasstown with nearly 1,600 feet of elevation gain along some 40 switchbacks, and the trail emerges from the forest at the far side of the parking lot. The visitor center has restrooms and potable water to refresh after the long climb. Then it is one final push up the half-mile paved trail to the summit. At the top, enjoy panoramic views of Georgia's beautiful mountains as a reward for the effort to climb this mountain, and treat your group by staying until sunset for a stunning solar display. At the end, descend the short paved trail back to the parking lot to your shuttle vehicle, and enjoy the feeling of having conquered Georgia's tallest mountain via a uniquely challenging route.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Day Use Parking

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

State highpoint. 360-degree view. Shelter. Social.

Cons

Long. Green Tunnel. Not much water.

Trailhead Elevation

2,976.00 ft (907.08 m)

Highest point

4,029.00 ft (1,228.04 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Shelters

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

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