We promise — you won’t be disappointed!
The colors peak at Brasstown Bald well before other parts of North Georgia due to its extraordinary height. At 4,784 feet above sea level, this is the highest point in Georgia, and it basically has its own micro-climate — similar to Massachusetts.
Located near Blairsville, Young Harris, and Hiawassee — partly in both Towns and Union counties — it’s the perfect place to stop for great views.
Kids under 16 are free, but adults are $5 each (NOT per carload). The fee includes the entrance and shuttle fee.
If you’re not into hiking and just want to see the spectacular views from the observation tower at the top of the bald, you can take the shuttle up and back.
(Note for 2020: Due to COVID-19, Brasstown Bald Visitor Center is currently open Wednesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a maximum capacity of 90 cars in the parking lot. The Mountain Top Theater and shuttle service remain CLOSED.)
You can also hike up — which is what we did. It wasn’t easy — it’s sometimes steep! — but it was so rewarding. The Brasstown Bald Trail is 0.6 mile paved trail that takes you to the tower, where you can enjoy 360-degree views from the top. There are no vista views as you climb — you are merely enjoying the trees along the way. I would still do it again! It’s really a fun hike, and the reward is so great, so it’s fun for the kids.
We found that the fog hangs thick here in the mornings. When we visited about 10:30 a.m., we could barely see the other cars in the parking lot because the fog was so thick.
This was despite being a gorgeous day with hardly a cloud in the sky as we drove to Blairsville. Even the road up the mountain was clear as day, but you can feel the immediate change once you reach the top. We double-backed for fun at another location, and returned about 1:30 p.m. for fantastic views.
The views! From the observation deck, located underneath an old fire lookout tower, you can see Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina on a clear day. Brasstown Bald is surrounded by the beautiful colors of the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests. You can even see the summit of Blood Mountain from here — the highest summit of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia.
The Visitor Center is also located here — where you will find a great little museum, a short movie, and restrooms.
The museum, just underneath the observation deck, is where you can learn all about how truly unique Brasstown Bald is. My kids loved doing the scavenger hunt here, and getting a cute little prize at the end. It was a great way to sneak some learning in there.
Restrooms and a gift shop are located back down at the base near the parking lot. Picnic tables are also located on the edges of the parking lot, so you can pack a lunch and enjoy the great views.
Looking to hike here…the long way? Consider hiking the 13.1-mile Wagon Train Trail, which takes you from Brasstown Bald to Young Harris. We haven’t done this one, but we hear it’s popular with Young Harris College students.
And if you don’t want even want to leave your house at all?! These webcams show you the views from Georgia’s tallest mountain. (But we highly recommend making the trip!)
Lake Chatuge in the valley:
At the summit: