|Parking lot at Brasstown Bald...where is everybody?|
Brasstown Bald is Georgia's highest mountain with an elevation of 4,784 feet. On a clear day, you can see four states...on a cloudy day, you MIGHT see four feet in front of you!
The name is really from a Cherokee word that means "place of fresh green' but since it sounded similar to the word used for "brass", it was called Brasstown Bald.
There is a fee of $5.00 per person. This includes a shuttle from the parking lot which takes you to Brasstown Bald. Now, if you don't want the shuttle but prefer to walk the trail instead, does this mean you don't have to pay? Fat chance, you pay anyway! Oh well, we need our exercise and if it helps to keep it as a park, it's worth it. Here is how it is described on the Georgia Trails website...
It would probably be better to call this footpath up and down instead of in and out. Although difficult, this is an excellent hike for most people. Frequent stopping places along the path make it achievable for most hikers. As you climb from the parking lot to the summit the change in flora is the equivalent of walking a thousand miles further north.
There is a large observation tower on the top of the bald and it is so big that it feels as if you are on a ship at sea. On this day, like a ship at sea in a heavy fog. It felt very nice to us though, it had been in the 90's but look at this....
We enjoyed the cooler weather! There is a museum at the top telling you about the history of Brasstown Bald and it is well worth a visit. Remember my post about the trout and I mentioned Arthur Woody? Turns out, HE is the man who is also responsible for the Brasstown Bald observation tower. You may read more about this one man who made such a difference to this area just here.
We were there for two hours hoping that the clouds would blow away. When we decided it was time to go, we left, watching some people arrive dressed in bright Hawaiian shirts wearing leis (they were there for a wedding) and we started back down the very steep path.
We had walked for about 200 yards and the sun came out! You know what we did. We promptly turned around and raced back up!
(I say we raced, we walked back up as quickly as we could. We did not want to miss seeing the views!)
It went from this...
You can see that it was still quite hazy with cloud but at least we could see the valley below and a bit of blue sky! We want to go back and hopefully see it on a clear day. That Georgia Trails website said that in the autumn, "it is a wonder to behold". I believe it!
We couldn't stay much longer, we had to get back to our hotel and get gussied up for the wedding that night. Great day on a mountain and that evening, a lovely wedding beside a mountain stream!
In March, 1997, the Hale- Bopp Comet was photographed from the top of Brasstown Bald. We were in England at the time and we saw it there, but not as clearly as this!