I WOULD CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN...Map
On those incredibly hot summer days, like we have experienced the past week or so, the outdoor life, sometimes, just doesn’t seem as appealing as sitting in your air conditioned front room. That’s understandable, but, dead wrong. The best things I know if you are looking to “beat the heat” is get in the water or head to the mountains.
One of the best places to go and a place that anyone can enjoy, from the most athletic hiker to the least athletic human being, is the very highest peak in the state of Georgia, Brasstown Bald . It’s located about 2.5 hours outside of Atlanta (and a scant twenty minutes outside of the popular city of Helen), and I wonder why more folks don’t find their way there.
If athletic activity scares you, you can drive to the parking lot (pay $3.00 8/2007 for parking) and then have a bus take up to the top and back down (bus fare an additional $2 8/2007). If you a midrange enthusiast, just do the 1.1 mile climb from the parking lot to the summit, known as the Brasstown Bald Trail . If you are ready for a real challenge you can hike the 4.5 mile Jack’s Knob Trail or, for my money the most challenging trail I know, the Arkaquah Trail at 5.5 miles (But remember that’s distance one way, and bring lots of water).
And you can beat the heat here, because, at an altitude of 4786 feet, the climate, according to the folks at the visitor’s center resembles more closely to San Diego than Atlanta. It the dead of winter, I was told, that even though the center never closes, the roads to get to into often ice over and close.
At the top of the mountain, there is a very nice visitor center, which charges no additional admission. They have a free movie detailing the climate of the area, some interactive features, including a animatronic of Arthur Woody, Georgia Pioneer, some insight as to the history of the area, and a brilliant observation deck. The views are incredible.
It’s a nice place to go and the weather is much better up there. I’m shocked as to how many people have been to Helen and how few have touched the top of Georgia. Maybe, this will help.