Natural Heritage of Brasstown Bald

September 21
11:30 am – 2:00 pm

Isolated by elevation, Brasstown Bald is an island in the sky. Sitting 3,000 ft. higher than the valley below, here you’ll find unique combinations of plants and animals, all influenced by the rocks underneath them. Differences in air, water, and food create a one-of-a-kind ecosystem in Georgia. A truly unique place and program!

Join in for a geology and natural communities walk n’ talk with Geologist Dr. Bill Witherspoon, co-author of Roadside Geology of Georgia and bio-geographer Dr. Leslie Edwards, co-author of Natural Communities of Georgia.

The authors will tag team a specially crafted presentation, “A Window through Time: Geology and Nature at Georgia’s Highest Summit,” in the Mountain Top Theater. Followed by a book signing and a walk along the mountain. There will also be a table full of hands-on information and activities for all not attending the program.

Program cost is $5 per adult, 12 & under are $3 per.

Pre-registration highly recommended! Day of the program registration will take place if space is available. Park entry fees are NOT included and will be collected at the gate for $5 per adult. Ages 15 & under are free. America the Beautiful passes are accepted.

Comfortable walking shoes for mostly paved surfaces and a willingness to discover recommended.

The star attraction is Roadside Geology of Georgia by Pamela Gore and Bill Witherspoon, a full-color, 360-page volume for the public on Georgia’s wonders, from the coast to the mountains: landscapes, rocks, minerals, fossils, and the human stories geology has shaped.

This guide provides plant lists for the natural communities (ecosystems) of North Georgia, based on the book The Natural Communities of Georgia.  It’s purpose is to help naturalists, conservationists, and native plant gardeners in identifying natural communities and the plants within them.

Take a Peek at Roadside Geology of Georgia’s Facebook Page

Book online now!

Raptor Rendezvous
with Georgia Mountain Falconry

October 12
11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Raptors are nature’s way of helping keep many small animal populations in check. Keen eyesight, strong beaks, powerful talons, and a carnivorous diet makes them incredible hunters and pest managers. They account for 8% of Georgia’s birds and have been partners with humans for over 4,000 years in the ancient art of falconry.

Georgia Mountain Falconry and its bird of prey handlers will bring a variety of native and non-native raptors to the Brasstown Bald Visitors Center for you to meet and greet throughout the day. Want to dive deeper? Two special presentations on raptors and the art of falconry will take place at Noon and Three O’clock in the mountain top theater. Program seating is limited and will be on a first come first serve basis.

Guests will be allowed to take photos. Kids are welcome!

Free program with park entry of $5 per adult, kids 15 & under are free. America the Beautiful passes are accepted.

Georgia Mountain Falconry – Buster Brown
After four decades as a successful teacher/coach at both the high school and college level, Buster has turned his love for raptors and falconry into a business. Now, as a Master Class falconer he is training hawks and falcons instead of athletes. Georgia Mountain Falconry not only hunts with birds of prey, but provides falconry & raptor education, and working with homeowners and businesses to chase off feathered pests through the use of trained birds of prey.


We’re Sorry You Missed These Programs!  Watch for program dates in 2020.

Hungry Birds of Northeast Georgia
with the Atlanta Audubon Society

The search for food is a common survival trait of all living beings. Without human conveniences of long haul transports and grocery stores, bird populations spread their wings traveling far distances to stay within a seasons food abundance. Brasstown Bald, the first high point along the migration route up the Appalachian chain, stands tall as a beacon for hungry bids. Join Atlanta Audubon’s, Melanie Furr, for a special Saturday morning program about identifying bird characteristics, habitats, and migration patterns happening right before us!

This program will meet at the pavilion next to the general store at 8:00 am as birds are getting their worms early. Be ready to walk slowly and listen closely for resident and visiting bird species.

For your enjoyment, please bring comfortable shoes, sun protection, hydration, binoculars if you have them, and a willingness to discover!

Atlanta Audubon Society is a member-supported, non-profit organization dedicated to building places where birds and people thrive. We are a thriving, bird-focused organization that combines serious conservation, education, and advocacy with activities that build community and foster the joy of birding.

Junior Explorers Day
with the Natural Inquirer and Smokey Bear

Where kids can have fun and discover!

Kids and their families are welcome to participate together in experimenting with real scientist equipment and conducting nature investigations….or, perhaps help preserve the park as a Junior Ranger. We’re ready for exploration and discovery! Presentations and guided experiences are available. If you prefer to participate at your own leisure, activities will be going on all day!

Ages 8+
Natural Inquirer will present scientist equipment demonstrations followed by a nature science investigator activity. Eleven Forest Service scientists are highlighted in the Nature Science Investigator activity booklet where students are introduced to 2-3 hands-on activities for each scientist.
1:00PM & 2:00PM – presentation and scientist equipment demonstration followed by activity
FREE – Investigator booklet included

Age 8+
Kids have the opportunity to play a part in preserving our park. They will each take the oath to protect our forests, complete games, identify native animals, and learn about Brasstown Bald’s cultural and natural history.
1:30PM & 2:30PM – Guided Ranger programs
$3 cash fee per child – booklet, Brasstown Bald Jr. Ranger badge, and personalized certificate included.

SCAVENGER HUNT is available for kids of ALL AGES!

The Natural Inquirer program produces a variety of science education materials for PreK through grade 12. Natural Inquirer products are produced by the USDA Forest Service, the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association (CFAIA), and other cooperators and partners.


Gazers of the Galaxy
with Georgia astronomer, Alex Langoussis, FRAS

photo by Carlos A. Ortega

Have you ever gazed up at the night sky and wondered what was “out there”? Now’s your chance to view Brasstown Bald’s scenic vista in a whole new light – or dark! We’ll be meeting up with our astronomy friends at the highest point in Georgia to discover the hidden mysteries of Georgia’s darkest sky. Astronomer, Alex Langoussis, will guide you though the night, interpreting the wonders of the universe through his galactic stories and expertise, with the opportunity to use a high powered telescope. You’ll help be “Guardian of the Galaxy” after spending an evening learning about the magic of deep space and northern Georgia’s incredible nightscape!

$20 per person, 13+
$10 children 6-12

To Register for Gazers of the Galaxy and for more details


Appalachian Trail Day
with Georgia Appalachian Trail Club 

A Day in the Life…..of the Appalachian Trail

As morning rises with the sun, the 2,190 mile long Appalachian Trail community wakes up to crisp mountain air and fog rising from the valleys like a hot cup of coffee. The Appalachian Trail, wandering through the mountains from Georgia to Maine, is more than just a trail, it’s a connector of ecosystems and cultures that unites us all.

Adventure on up to Brasstown Bald Visitor Center & Recreation Area for a day of AT fun and discovery! Mountain lovers, never-been-hiking-hikers, day hikers, and long haul trekkers, we come together to support getting outside and discovering. All ages, and walks of life welcome for a day of community celebration! Bring your pic-nic!

Activities Include:

10:00 a.m. Walk or ride up to the Observation Deck.  In 0.6 mile, visit the mini-AT. Whether you walk up the paved trail or walk down from the top, you will see banners from each of the 14 states that the AT passes thru on its 2190 mile journey from Georgia to Maine.

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Visit the Mountain Top Theater and see the film Trail Magic:  Grandma Gatewood Story. Gripping and inspirational, this Emmy nominated “Best Historical Documentary” will have two special showings in our Mountain Top Theater. With no real equipment and no real experience, the spirit of the first woman to hike the AT back in the 1950’s lives on! Arrive early for a seat. Produced by arrangement with

On the hour from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  See traditional crosscut saw demonstrations at AT Village.

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Listen to Old Time Music at the AT Village

On the half hour 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.  Hear AT hiker tales and learn Leave No Trace Principles in the Mountain Top Theater.

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  See events along the mini-AT including a children’s scavenger hunt, demonstration of trail maintenance, hanging a bear bag, and visit a typical AT campsite.

Free Day-Long Event with park entry of $5 per adult, 15 & under are free.  America the Beautiful pass is accepted.

Brasstown Bald Recreation Area & Visitors Center is a proud AT Communities member. The Appalachian Trail is one of 11 National Scenic Trails and Chattahoochee National Forest is home to all 79 miles of the AT in Georgia.

Georgia Appalachian Trail Club manages, maintains, and protects the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Georgia with volunteers from its membership and the interested public. It also promotes the appreciation of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and natural outdoor places through education and recreational activities, with an emphasis on conservation ethics and protection of the forests, their natural resources and wilderness areas.

Tap into Your Forest
with Director, Callie Moore, of the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition
and Krista Robb, of the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association

Healthy forests make the best lemonade!

National Forests are managed for many reasons including outdoor recreation, clean air, and wildlife habitat. One of the initial purposes was to protect our nation’s water resources. An ecologically turbulent history over the past 100+ years in North Georgia has demonstrated a greater need to protect our forest watersheds now and for generations to come.

Join in for an engaging walk & talk with Director, Callie Moore, of the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition and Krista Robb, of the Cradle of Forestry. Your water journey starts with scenic views atop Brasstown Bald where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the Hiwassee watershed. You’ll learn about modern day water conservation efforts, as well as the science and history of the National Forest surrounding Georgia’s highest point. As we walk like water trickling down the mountain side, the program will end with a visit to the sites spring fed water system and a refreshing glass of mountain top lemonade. Come along and Tap into Your Forest!

Local non-profit, Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition, works collaboratively with landowners, governments, schools, and businesses to understand and address threats to our water resources. They maintain extensive water quality sampling of our local waterways and conduct educational programs for all ages.

Free program with park entry of $5 per adult, 15 & under are free.  America the Beautiful passes are accepted.

Local non-profit, Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition, works collaboratively with landowners, governments, schools, and businesses to understand and address threats to our water resources. They maintain extensive water quality sampling of our local waterways and conduct educational programs for all ages.

Rattlesnakes of Appalachia
with the Orianne Society

Rattlesnakes are some of the last predators left in the Blue Ridge Mountains and they are local residents to Brasstown Bald Mountain. On July 27, Dr. Chris Jenkins, snake researcher and CEO of the Georgia based Orianne Society, will present a slide talk “Rattlesnakes of Appalachia” along with a meet-n-greet with one of our native slithery friends. This is not to be missed!

Join us at the Mountain Top Theater, under the tower, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to hike or ride the shuttle to the top. Registration is not required although we suggest arriving early. Limited space is available.

Program is free with park entry of $5 per adult, 15 & under are free.  America the Beautiful passes are accepted.

The Orianne Society is one of the leading organizations for the conservation of reptiles and amphibians. We are focused on science and the conservation of critical habitats. Though we think globally, we work strategically in specific landscapes through well-designed initiatives. Within each of these initiatives, we define places and species as conservation priorities. We work with a diverse group of partners in each initiative to achieve conservation success.

Lessons from a Black Bear: Myths and Relationships
with Tom Hennigan of the North American Bear Center

Black bears are an iconic and magical creature of the north Georgia mountains. As far as the eye can see, hundreds of black bears comb the forest for berries, grubs, moths, and animal matter. While they are indicators of a healthy forest, their presence can often be feared by humans. How does our understanding of a black bear’s habits and habitat effect our relationship with them? Come find out!

Join in for a special presentation in the Mountain Top Theater with, Tom Hennigan, organism biology professor and ambassador for the North American Bear Center where he explores the use of trust not tranquilizers in bear research.

Touch and feel displays will be available to enhance your sensory experience!

Program is free with park entry of $5 per adult, 15 & under are free.  America the Beautiful passes are accepted. Plan to come early and allow yourself time to hike or shuttle to the summit. Space is limited.

The North American Bear Center is the only black bear and wildlife educational facility of its kind. Dedicated to replacing old myths with facts, people learn from the bears themselves about bear behavior, ecology, and their relations with humans.