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Brasstown Bald

 
Brasstown Bald

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Georgia, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 34.87410°N / 83.8108°W

Object Title: Brasstown Bald

County: Towns

Elevation: 4786 ft / 1459 m

 

Page By: hgrapid

Created/Edited: Aug 24, 2004 / Feb 20, 2014

Object ID: 152987

Hits: 67300 

Page Score: 88.6%  - 27 Votes 

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Overview

Brasstown Bald, (also known as Enotah) is the highest mountain in the state of Georgia. The Southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail is little more than 30 miles southwest of Brasstown Bald at Springer Mountain. For armchair hikers, the mountain is accessible via a 1/2 mile paved trail to the summit, but longer trails are available (see "Trails to the summit" section). Brasstown Bald is not far from the North Carolina border, and lies in the heart of the Southern Appalachian Mountain chain. It is about an hour and a half north of Atlanta, but on a good night, you will find some of the clearest, and greatest viewpoints of the stars in the entire country. The area is most beautiful in late fall and early winter. In January of 2002, I found the summit to rival Glacier National Park in Montana in the majesty of its night sky!

No matter how you hike it, this is one of the most enjoyable Eastern U.S. highpoints. A large summit tower provides 360 degree panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, which are quite impressive, rising upwards of 2,500 feet from the surrounding valley and towns. Because of its proximity to the Appalachian trail, it makes an excellent side trip for a multi-day hike in the area.

Getting There

Brasstown Bald and its trail entrances can be reached easily from the cities of Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Greenville. The parking area is reached via the 180 spur off of GA 180.

From Atlanta, take rt. 19 North to GA 180 eastward, and take it to the 180 spur, or continue on rt. 19 North until you hit rt. 76, which you can take East until Track Rock Road to get to the arkaquah trail.

From Chattanooga, take I-75 South into Georgia, and then take rt. 76 East to 19/129 South, to GA 180 eastward, and take it to the 180 spur. To get to the arkaquah trail, continue on rt. 76 East, until you reach Track Rock Road.

From Greenville, take rt. 123 to rt. 76 West, to 17/75 South to GA 180 westward, and take it to the 180 spur. To get to the arkaquah trail, continue on rt. 76 West, until you reach Track Rock Road.

Trails to the summit

JACK'S KNOB TRAIL
6 miles round trip
1780' elevation gain

The trail crosses GA 180 at Jack's Gap, near the 180 spur. It runs parallel to the road to the top of Brasstown Bald, and there are 40 switchbacks. It comes in at the parking area, with a 1/2 mile and 500' left to go.

ARKAQUAH TRAIL
11 miles round trip
2,500' of elevation gain

The trail starts at the Track Rock archeological area, off rt. 76. Northeast of Blairsville and 4 miles southwest of Young Harris is Track Rock Road, which you take for three miles to where the trail begins. You ascend a ridge line, descend the trail, and then ascend back to the Brasstown Bald Parking area with a 1/2 mile and 500' left to go.

BRASSTOWN BALD TRAIL
1.2 miles round trip
500' of elevation gain.

This is the shortest, easiest trail to the summit. It cost $5 per person (children under 13 are free) if visiting from the Brasstown Bald parking area. Take the paved trail and turn onto a dirt road, that leads up to the summit tower.  There is a free shuttle to the top from the parking area for those who wish not to hike. 

There are also several trails that lead from the parking area, and you can get information here.

Red Tape

It cost $5 per person (free for children under age 13) for visitors at the Brasstown Bald parking area, to hike the short Brasstown Bald trail. However, other trailheads do not have such a fee. To truly experience Brasstown Bald, it is recommended to hike via these longer routes.  There is a visitor center at the top and 14 minute video about the mountain.

Winter road closures may occur. To check on the road status, you can contact the Brasstown Ranger District for more information at (706) 745-6928.


When To Climb

The mountain can be climbed all year. Winter snowstorms may close the road, but the summit is still accessible via longer hikes. Beware of Jan/Feb snowstorms in this part of Georgia if you want to do a winter climb. The best time to climb in late fall to take in the beautiful autumn colors.

Camping

There is plenty of camping in the surrounding forests, but Brasstown Bald does not have any campsites on the mountain itself. However, you may camp on the Appalachian Trail, which can be accessed if you take the Jack Knob's trail for 1.5 miles in the opposite direction from the trail to Brasstown Bald.

Mountain Conditions

Check the local area weather


Contacts:

Blairsville Ranger Office at (706) 745-6928

Brasstown Bald Visitors Information Center at
(706) 896-2556


Miscellaneous Info

There is now a world class cycling event that takes places in the north Georgia mountains every April. The event has featured a mountain top finish on Brasstown Bald. Quickly becoming the "Alpe d'huez" of North America, this is a great way to see Georgia's highest peak.

External Links

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-6 of 6    
monealParking fee

moneal

Hasn't voted

The parking fee has been raised to $3
Posted Jul 10, 2006 10:41 pm
AlpinistRoad closure (GA-348)

Alpinist

Voted 10/10

A 7-mile stretch of Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway (Ga. 348) is closed due to road damage and may not reopen for months.



Source.
Posted Apr 28, 2010 1:11 pm
hgrapidThat doesn't block access

hgrapid

Hasn't voted

Thanks for the update. My directions don't indicate use of that highway though. So, should I just instruct people to avoid it?
Posted Apr 28, 2010 2:15 pm
Bark EaterParking fee now $4

Bark Eater

Hasn't voted

The parking fee is now $4 for cars.
Posted May 14, 2010 12:33 pm
zimzimhpParking fee update

zimzimhp

Hasn't voted

We went earlier this week and the fee is now $5.00 PER PERSON. Children under 13 are free. I think it should also be mentioned that from the parking lot there is also a free shuttle to the top. Both the parking lot and top have restrooms. There is a great visitor center at the top and 14 minute video on the bald.
Posted Sep 19, 2013 1:46 pm
hgrapidRe: Parking fee update

hgrapid

Hasn't voted

Thanks. When I went there was a visitors center, but pretty rustic as I remember. I also went late at night in January 2002.
Posted Sep 19, 2013 6:00 pm

Viewing: 1-6 of 6    

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