Rolling mountains as far as the eye can see and breathtaking views are the best reasons to visit Brasstown Bald. Located in Blairsville, Georgia, it’s the highest point in the state and attracts thousands of tourists every year. The views at the mountaintop are worth it, but if you’re visiting with young kids, I’m breaking down everything you need to know for a smooth visit.
From things people told me before our visit to how I would’ve done our day differently, these Brasstown Bald tips will help you experience one of North Georgia’s best attractions.
Located within the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, the Brasstown Bald visitor center towers above sea level at 4,784 feet. Drive half way up the mountain, to the parking lot, and then continue to the top of the mountain – for the views and visitor center.
Brasstown Bald is a short drive from downtown Blairsville, and on my list of 9 Thrilling Things To Do With Kids In Blairsville Georgia. If you plan properly, kids of all ages can enjoy the mountain views. It’s the perfect opportunity for some great family photos, too.
Brasstown Bald Tips For Visiting With Young Kids
The observation deck, located at the top of Brasstown Bald, provides views of 4 states on a clear day (Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina), plus the Atlanta skyline. The 360º panorama views are fun to see and the photo opportunities are amazing. You can even see the summit of Blood Mountain from here — the highest summit of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia.
Two Ways To Get To The Top Of Brasstown Bald
Visitors can either park and take a .6-mile hike to the top of the mountain, or use a shuttle service. There are many kids who hike to the top, but expect the path to be very steep. At times, the path uses stairs. I do NOT recommend taking a jogging stroller on the path. It’s best for kids to walk it or be carried in a carrier.
The other option is the shuttle service. The shuttles rotate from the parking lot area to the top of the mountain, continuously, throughout the day. Visit the gift shop while waiting for the shuttle bus. Dogs are allowed on the shuttle and strollers can stay parked near the gift shop, if you choose to use the shuttle service.
Your entrance fee includes a shuttle fee — whether you decide to take it or not.
Know What Months Are Best To Visit
Brasstown Bald is busiest during the peak foliage season. Expect shoulder-to-shoulder crowds during the month of October and the wait times for the shuttle service. In the spring, rhododendron and azaleas pop from the top views. Honestly, though, any time of the year has beautiful views.
The park closes for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. Plus, the park will close in January for the winter season. Check the Chattahoochee-Oconee Forest Service page for park updates before visiting.
The Visitors Center Is A Cool Museum
Don’t miss the opportunity to step inside the Visitors Center, at the top of the mountain. It’s surprisingly large and includes many hands-on exhibits that kids will love. They can learn about the history of the area, animals that call Brasstown Bald home and the role that steam engines played in the development of North Georgia.
Plus, kids can complete a small scavenger hunt when they visit the Visitors Museum. Once completed, kids can turn in the scavenger hunt for a small prize. The hunt is geared towards kids over the age of 5, but we completed ours as a family.
Come Prepared and Dress Apropriatrely
It’s very apparent that there are some serious hikers who enjoy Brasstown Bald, who are decked out in the right hiking gear. That’s not us. However, if you want to dress appropriately for the month that you’re visiting. The temperature at the top of mountain drops almost 10 degrees from the parking lot area.
Dress in layers and expect to be cold, at the top, during the winter months. Hats, gloves and sunglasses (for the glare) are necessary.
Bathrooms are located at the gift shop, near the parking lot, and at the top visitors center. Baby changing stations are not available.
I also recommend packing snacks. There’s a few vending machines, but nothing else. Picnic tables are located at the parking lot area, but there’s not tables at the top of Brasstown Bald – just benches for resting.
Where To Stay Near Brasstown Bald
There aren’t any campsites at Brasstown Bald, but nearby Vogel State Park offers camping and cabins for rental. There’s many great Blairsville lodging options. Nearby cabins, hotel rooms and vacation homes will fill quickly during the peak fall months, so I highly recommend booking ahead of time. We love Twin Creeks – a beautiful pet-friendly Blairsville vacation home.
FAQ About Brasstown Bald:
- Are dogs allowed at Brasstown Bald?
Yes! Dogs are allowed at Brasstown Bald, in the shuttles and and on the walking paths. There are dog water bowls at the top of the mountain. Dogs are not permitted inside the Visitors Center.
- How much does it cost to visit Brasstown Bald?
The cost of admission at Brasstown Bald is $7 per person and children under the age of 16 are free. After hours, the cost is $5 per person for over the age of 16. American the Beautiful Interagency Pass or Golden Pass Holders get in free.
- How long is walk up Brasstown Bald?
The Brasstown Bald Summit Trail, which connects the parking area to the Visitor Center and Viewing Platform, is a 0.6 mile paved foot trail. It is very steep.
- How many hiking trails are at Brasstown Bald?
- Brasstown Bald Trail: This steep, paved 1/2 mile trail leads from the parking lot to the Visitor Information Center on the Bald. For those who don’t want to walk, a concessionaire operates a shuttle bus from the parking area to the Visitor Information Center for a fee.
- Arkaquah Foot Trail: 5.5 miles, ends at Track Rock Gap.
- Jacks Knob Foot Trail: 4.5 miles leads to the Appalachian Trail.
- Wagon Train Foot Trail: 5.8 miles, leads to Wagon Train Road which ends at Young Harris College.