Brasstown Bald Recreation Area & Visitor Center
Owned by the US Forest Service, and located within the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, the Brasstown Bald Recreation Area & Visitor Center is the highest point in Georgia, rising 4,784 feet above sea level. Just a short drive from Blairsville, Hiawassee, and Helen, Brasstown Bald is a perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon. On the Bald you will find picnic areas with great views; a general store with locally made products; three trailheads just off of our parking lot (Jack’s Knob, Arkaquah, and the Wagon Train trails;) a mountaintop natural science & history museum; theater which plays a short video every half-hour; and observation deck which offers a spectacular 360° view of the surrounding area, including four states (GA, TN, NC, & SC) and if you’re lucky, the skyline of Atlanta!
Have you been here before?
To purchase maps and guide books to this area, please visit us online at The Forest Store.
Things to Do
- Beautiful Anna Ruby Falls is close by and Atlanta is only a few short hours away
- Hike some of the great trails at Lake Russell Recreation Area
- Visit the Bavarian village of Helen, GA
- Take a peek at this article in Southern Living Magazine by Annette Thompson called “Take the Georgia High Road” which mentions Brasstown Bald and will encourage you to “fall for autumn views” in northern Georgia!
Food & Facilities
- Viewing platform on the highest peak in GA!
- Shuttle service to summit
- Gift shop & general store
- Exhibit hall
- Hiking trails
- Picnic areas
- Mountain Top Theater
- Dogs are permitted on the site, but must be kept on a leash at all times. Dogs are allowed on the shuttle, but are NOT allowed in the store, museum, elevator, or theater. Only Service Animals are permitted inside these facilities
- Drones -Because we are surrounded by designated Wilderness Areas where drones are prohibited, we do NOT allow drones to be flown at Brasstown Bald.
- Smoking & Vaping are only allowed in the parking area. It is prohibited in all other areas of the site.
Programs & Events
- July 13 – Tap Into Your Forest
- July 27 – Rattlesnakes of Appalachia with the Orianne Society
- Aug. 10 – Lessons from a Black Bear: Myths and Relationships
- Sept. 21 – Natural Heritage of Brasstown Bald
- Oct. 12 – Raptor Rendezvous with Georgia Mountain Falconry
At Brasstown Bald, education is one of our top priorities! Our program offerings range from environmental science to local history and culture. You can find a full list of programs for the 2019 season here. You must register for some of these events, but others will be all-day affairs during open hours. Along with those programs, we also have daily opportunities for education. At our visitor center children will have the opportunity to participate in a free Scavenger Hunt around the museum. For $4, older children (10 & up recommended) will have the opportunity to participate in the Brasstown Bald Junior Ranger program, where upon completion they will be sworn in as a Junior Ranger of Brasstown Bald. The movie that plays at our mountain top theater provides insight into the seasonal changes that occur on the mountain; our observation deck includes informational panels that will help you identify what you can see; and our staff is always ready to help with educational interpretation. These opportunities are waiting for you at Brasstown Bald, with more to come!
Hours & Fees
Hours of Operation
Brasstown Bald is open daily from 10am – 5pm, mid-March through December (weather permitting). The observation deck and hiking trails are accessible 24/7, but keep in mind that all facilities including store, elevator, visitor center, shuttle service and restrooms closed at 5pm. A single pit toilet located in the center of the parking lot will be available for use by the public after hours.
During open hours the Admission fee is $5 per adult (16 & up.) Children 15 & under get in free. This is a day-use fee and includes parking and shuttle service. The after-hours fee is $3 per adult, paid through the yellow envelopes found at the fee tube next to the ticket booth.
National Lands Pass
Since we are a Federal facility, we do honor the America the Beautiful National Park & Federal Recreation Land Passes. The pass holder and pass must be physically present and in the same vehicle as the people you wish the pass to cover. In a non-commercial vehicle, the pass will cover the pass holder and three other people. In a commercial vehicle, the pass will only cover the pass holder. At Brasstown Bald, this pass will cover your parking and day-use fee, but if you would like to use the shuttle service, there will be a charge of $2 per adult. Brasstown Bald does NOT accept any other passes except the National Lands Pass, and the Brasstown Bald Friends & Family pass (available at the general store.) For further reading about the National Lands Pass, please read this FAQ.
Location & Contact Info
Gift Shop: 706-896-4137
Visitor Center: 706-896-2556
Blue Ridge Ranger District: 706-745-6928