I’m sitting here in the middle of the beautiful north Georgia mountains. I live right here in Blairsville. I started wondering about how tall is Brasstown Bald and what were the other tallest mountains in Georgia. The top 5 are Brasstown Bald, Rabun Bald, Dick’s Knob, Hightower Bald, and Wolfpen Ridge. As I suspected all of these are in the northeastern part of the state in Union, Rabun, and Towns counties.
Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia at 4784′. Brasstown Bald is technically in both Union and Towns counties with the peak of the mountain acting as the dividing line between the two counties. On a clear day you can see the buildings in Atlanta – about 100 miles away! Brasstown Bald is surrounded by the Chattahoochee National Forest. There is a really cool circular building / observation deck at the top of the mountain that gives a spectacular 360 degree view of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. There is ample parking, a general store, and if you don’t want to make the 1/2 mile hike up to the observation deck you can take the shuttle. The drive itself to Brasstown Bald is stunning. You will take Hwy 180 either from the Blairsville side or Hiawassee side – either way – a beautiful drive in any season. The 180 spur to the summit is marked very well so don’t worry about missing it. You gotta see this place on your next trip to the mountains.
Rabun Bald stands at 4696′ – not too far behind Brasstown Bald. Rabun Bald is the tallest mountain in Rabun County and is located just southeast of Sky Valley.
According to Native American legend, Rabun Bald is inhabited by fire-breathing demon people: some campers still report hearing strange sounds throughout the night.
According to WikiPedia Rabun Bald was the site of the first fire tower in the area, which was constructed by Nick Nicholson, the first forest ranger in Georgia. The fire tower was operated by the United States Forest Service until the early 1970s. After the fire tower was taken out of service, a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew dismantled the tower’s uppermost component, a metal-framed enclosure with glass windows that sat atop a stone base. Leaving the stone base intact, the YCC crew replaced the metal “cabin” with a railed wooden observation platform.
Dick’s Knob comes in as the third tallest mountain in Georgia. Dick’s Knob is also the closet to the North Carolina Border (about half a mile). Get some great information about Dick’s Knob at this link. Dick’s Knob is part of the Southern Nantahala Wilderness in the Chattahoochee National Forest. It is also part of the Pot Gap Ridge sub-range of the Tennessee Valley Divide mountain range. The exact elevation of Dick’s Knob is 4620′.
Hightower Bald comes in fourth at 4568′. Hightower Bald is located in Towns County about 8 miles east of Hiawassee. Like Dick’s Knob Hightower Bald is very close to the North Carolina Border.
As for hiking this is a bushwhack, starting from a spot on the Appalachian Trail just south of the Georgia and North Carolina state line near Bly Gap. The terrain is very steep and the area is pretty remote for the Southern Appalachians. There is no water on the mountain so if you wanted to explore you need to be prepared. Some say this is the most difficult hike in Georgia!
Brasstown Bald is located at the northern end of Wolfpen Ridge – so you know it’s high! At 4561′ Wolfpen Ridge comes in at number five – just a few feet taller than Blood Mountain. Wolfpen Ridge runs south to north along the Union and Towns county boundary.
We have other mountains that almost fit into the top 5 – missing my only a few feet. Wolfpen Ridge is only about 4 feet taller than Blood Mountain! Double Spring Knob and Coosa Bald are exactly the same elevation! How crazy is that? So when you are cruising the north Georgia mountains, make sure you check out these 5 tall peaks.
In a future blog post we will explore some of the trails and roads in and around these gorgeous mountains.
North Georgia Mountains Online