On our trip to Helen, Georgia we explored Brasstown Bald. If you are ever in the area, make it a destination for exploration!
The road was winding and steep to get to the visitor center. I made sure Hubby kept his eyes on the road! There is a gate keeper at the top entrance to collect a $5 per person 16 and over fee. 15 and under are admitted free. The admission price includes the shuttle fee to the top of the bald.
Parking was ample for the park. We arrived at 10:45am and there were several cars in the lot. When we left a bit after noon, the lot was about half full. Keep in mind that this was on a Sunday, so I am sure that Saturdays see many more tourists to the park.
The shuttle trip up to the bald was pleasant. A ranger told us about the floral life on the bald and paused at an opening in the tree line to see how far up we were on the mountain. He explained how spring on the bald is usually three to four weeks behind spring in Helen. The bald experiences weather similar to areas in Massachusetts and not Georgia!
We departed the shuttle at the base of the overlook. The temperature was much cooler at 4,784 ft compared to Helen's elevation of 1,447 ft and even the 4,284 ft elevation of the parking area. Perfect for a hot day. The ranger said the temperatures atop the bald have never reached above 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
We climbed the steps to the observation deck and were in awe of the views. The sky was a beautiful hue of blue and wispy cirrus clouds dotted the sky. A haze from the fauna in the Appalachian mountains gave the smoky appearance for which they are known. It was absolutely breath taking! On a clear day, like we had, four states can be observed. I will bring the binoculars next time!
Once we finished taking in the views atop the observation deck, we descended the stairs and entered the movie room to see a short film about Brasstown Bald. I am amazed that the park service has not updated their films. This one was definitely shot in the early 80s. It was still informative, but the younger audience was more distracted by the attire of the visitors in the film.
We looked around the historical center after the film. Learned about how the Appalachian mountains formed. We read about the Native people that called the area home. We also learned about the settlers to the area and logging industry.
Brasstown Bald was definitely worth the trip and we hope to return when the leaves are changing colors in the fall.