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Georgia, nicknamed “the Peach State,” is home to manicured gardens, scenic roads, picturesque streets, and antebellum homes.
Atlanta, the state’s capital, is a gateway to the Deep South, giving access to an array of places from the Jimmy Carter Presidential Center to the World of Coca-Cola to historic Savannah. From its pivotal role in leadership in active civil rights and Civil war, the state is also famous for its music festivals, golf courses, rich heritage, and gardens.
Besides, it’s a cultural and adventurous hotspot, thanks to the wide array of mountains and an excellent climate.
Let’s dive and explore Georgia’s topography and its historic landmarks. We will also discover fun activities and reasons to visit the highest point in this mountainous state.
Highest Point in Georgia
Undoubtedly, Georgia boasts stunning mountains that will make you soar high above sea level.
At 4,784 ft above sea level, Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia, providing breathtaking views. This most accessible, highest mountain summit is located in North Georgia, considered by many as a virtual heavens’ stairway.
Brasstown was derived from a misinterpretation of Itse’yi, a Cherokee name meaning “a place of fresh green.” The white settlers mistook it for Unstaiyi, which means brass, naming it Brasstown. The name bald comes from the clear mountaintops that give unbarred views of the surrounding states: Tennessee, Georgia, South, and North Carolina.
The tall Atlanta buildings are seen on a clear day, 85 miles away from the mountain. The public can use the Georgia state route to access the parking lot and then hike or use a shuttle to get to the summit.
If you’re into more exploration, you can try the Appalachian Trail to the Wagon Train Road.
Accessing Brasstown Bald
Getting to the highest point in Georgia is enthralling for locals and visitors. The summit is accessible through various trails to the observation tower. But always be on the lookout; there are bears in the mountains.
Some of the trails include Arkaqua, Brasstown Bald Summit, and Jack’s Knob.
It is an 11.5-mile trail starting at Trackrock Gap Road. The trail is known for steep inclines, with switchbacks stretching about 1.5 miles. The route takes about seven hours to complete, depending on the speed.
Brasstown Bald Summit Trail
It is a back paved and steep-out trail of about 0.6 miles, accessible via the Bald parking lot. You will cross the beautiful Wagon Train Trail after 0.1 miles and the shuttle road after 0.4 miles.
Mostly, visitors bring headlamps for easy and hands-free lighting. It’s also helpful, especially if you have photography gadgets.
Jack’s Knob Trail
For those looking for a challenging trail to get to the summit, Jack’s Knob is a good choice. The 4.6-mile track in the Appalachian region starts from the lower side of the Brasstown Bald parking lot, meandering towards the Knob Trail.
The steep grade and switchbacks will keep you cautious as you enjoy nature. Therefore, it is advisable to carry snacks and water.
Top Sights Near Brasstown Bald
Brasstown Bald offers scenic views and plenty of attractions. The Appalachian destination is part of the great Blue Ridge Mountains. Once at the top, visitors view the mountains and valleys below through telescopes.
Here are top sights to enjoy breathtaking views near Brasstown Bald.
Brasstown Bald Visitors Center
The highest point in Georgia offers visitors panoramic views of Chattahoochee National Forests. It is a gem for anyone looking for great educational opportunities and fantastic views. Besides, the center provides interactive exhibits about various hiking trails and the area’s history.
The views from the highest peak in Georgia overlook beautiful states. Telescopes are available for close-up views of Georgia, Tennessee, South, and North Carolina. You can take advantage of the signs along the trails as you plan to spend time on the observation deck.
The interactive site has climate, history, weather, ecology, and geology exhibits. Its video presentations of the mountain top are fantastic. Picnic tables around the parking lot provide scenic outdoor views with family and friends.
Georgia Mountain Coaster
The mountain coaster of its kind offers an enthralling experience for kids and adults. It has been operational since 2019, servicing over 100,000 clients to date. The meandering Georgia Mountain Coaster is about a mile in length. Cruising at approximately 28 miles per hour, the exhilarating ride—with twists, turns, and loops—lasts about four minutes.
Coasters are fixed with manual brakes to help visitors control their speed. These gears are gravity-powered and use the natural contours of Georgia’s mountains for a thrilling downhill ride. But there are some height and age restrictions, given the nature of these Alpine coasters.
You can leave the breaks untouched for the daredevils to attain maximum speed. But if the speed is too much for your liking, applying the manual brake will give you a decent descending speed. Finally, to keep memories, you can film your experience.
Entry prices differ based on age. Children must be three years and above, and the maximum weight per car in wet conditions is 330 lbs and 375 lbs in dry conditions. The height restriction is 54 inches for adults and 38 inches for children.
If the weather permits, the coasters are open seven days a week and operate at night during the weekends.
Anna Ruby Falls
The waterfall is located in White County near Unicoi State Park. It is easily accessible through a half-mile paved trail. Anna Ruby Falls is a twin waterfall between two streams—York Creek and Curtis Creek—joining at the base to form Smith Creek.
The 1,600-acre fall is part of the scenic Chattahoochee National Forest. Other nearby falls in the forest include Raven Cliff Falls and Dukes Creek Falls. The recreational area consists of a center with educational items, picnic spots, local crafts, and fishing. Spectacular Visitor Center is a hub of activities like viewing the Foxfire and stargazing.
Other enjoyable activities include:
- Wildlife viewing
- Picnic opportunities
- Gift shop with souvenirs and local crafts
- Private and the school group programs
Willi Lindhorst retired in the 1990s and had to find a place to raise the family. So, together Charlemagne’s Kingdom with his wife, a two-story that fits perfectly with gingerbread and windmills.
You pay at a gift shop to gain access to the set of double doors. The Alpine museum features German Model Railroads that depict various architecture and terrain. It is a true masterpiece that resulted from Willi’s love for a serene home, industry, culture, trains, and customs. It is a combination of craftsmanship and imagination.
Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge
The tucked-away, stunning botanical garden hides in Georgia’s mountains. The giant gem always brims with unique and fun activities worth the trek.
There is a paradise of native azaleas, trillium, dogwoods, and even rhododendron. More so, the garden is free for public access, allowing guests to stroll through peaceful foliage and vibrant pine bark trails.
Over 30 acres of woodland is endowed with trail hoops and breathtaking countryside.
Visitors can drink in the views of Lake Chatuge as they enjoy the majestic rise of Georgia’s highest peak. The garden offers an exceptional venue to inform, display, and enjoy the natural beauty.
Other Highest Places in Georgia
Georgia is a mountainous state offering scenic views worth the trek. Despite its small coverage area, the scenery is awe-inspiring.
Apart from Brasstown Bald, there are other highest peaks within the state to explore. They include the following.
After hiking to the summit of Brasstown Bald, you may consider hiking to the second-highest point in the state. With an elevation of 4,696 feet, Rabun Bald is another great peak in Georgia State.
An observation tower at the peak gives hikers panoramic views extending more than 100 miles away. The Rabun Bald Trail, stretching about 5.8 miles, will get you to the summit. The trail also connects with Bartram Trail.
The Native American legends claimed that a fire-breathing tribe populated Rabun Bald. Although it might sound strange, some campers have reported hearing strange sounds, especially at night.
The Appalachian Mountains surround the peak, offering a generous dose of serenity. You can climb the mountain any time of the year, but winter is always cold up there. The leaf change is breathtaking during the fall, while summer comes with tons of flies.
Stretching about 4,620 feet above sea level, Dick’s Knob is the third-highest peak in the State of Georgia. Locals and visitors love it due to its magnificent views of the nearby landscape. Its name comes from the reference to its unique geography.
It is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest near the North Carolina border. A dwarfed oak forest generously covers the peak, making it more adventurous for mountain enthusiasts.
Although no trails pass over the summit, the peak can be reached off-trail from the Branch Campground on the east or Appalachian Trail near Beech Gap.
The Hightower Bald
The summit is the fourth-highest mountain in Georgia, with an elevation of 4,568 feet above sea level. It majestically lies in Towns County within the boundaries of Chattahoochee National Forest. It is also four miles west of Tate City and eight miles east of Hiawassee.
The summit’s northern slopes are 30 Mile Post and Montgomery’s Corner borders. Hightower Bald is dominated by dwarfed red oak forest with hawthorn trees. The cliffs are home to wild hydrangea and rock spikemoss.
You can hike off-trail from the Appalachian Trail to get to the peak.
At an elevation of 4,561 ft, Wolfpen Ridge is a stunning ridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The beautiful, small town in Towns County started as a gold mining spot in the late 1800s. Visitors are drawn to the luxurious homes on the lakeside, crystal clear lakes, forests, and mountains. There are also fishing spots, golf courses, and hiking trails.
It’s surrounded by beautiful sites like Horsetrough Falls, Young Harris, High Shoals Falls, and Brasstown Bald Visitors.
Summiting one of the highest peaks in Georgia will give you an adrenaline rush. In this case, Blood Mountain, at 4,458 feet, is an epic mountain to the summit in Georgia, bordering Lumpkin County.
There are several hiking trails, recreational centers, and waterfalls in the vicinity. One of the theories claims that the mountain’s name comes from a bloody battle between Muscogee and Cherokee.
Others believe that it was named from the reddish color of Catawba and lichen growing near the peak.
Georgia is noted to be the center of civil rights movements. This small state is strongly associated with mountains, which are its hallmark. With its well-known highest peak, Brasstown Bald, and others, Georgia has become an enthralling destination for all, especially mountain aficionados.
No matter the time of the year, the mountains in Georgia overflow with outdoor adventure, beauty, and serenity. Besides, history lovers will enjoy visiting various peaks, hunting for waterfalls, flora, and fauna, and discovering multiple hiking trails.