OverviewBrasstown 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 ThereBrasstown 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 summitJACK'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.
11 miles round trip
3,600' of elevation gain (includes 550' descent on the way up and ascent on the return to the trailhead)
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 TapeIt 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 ClimbThe 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.
CampingThere 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 ConditionsCheck the local area weather
Blairsville Ranger Office at (706) 745-6928
Brasstown Bald Visitors Information Center at
Miscellaneous InfoThere 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.
- University of Georgia
- Trails to and from the summit
A guide to the trails in the Brasstown Bald Wilderness.
- Map of the trails to and from Brasstown Bald
Corresponding map to the previous link, which documents the trails to and from the Brasstown Bald Parking area.
- Hiking trail and area info
Hiking info, trail info, and links from Roadside Georgia website.
- USFS Information site
The USFS site for Brasstown Bald provides information for visiting the high point.
- David Courtney's photo gallery
Photo Gallery of Brasstown Bald. Photos by David Courtney.
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