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Welcome to my corner of North Georgia. I document my adventures and outdoor activities in hopes of inspiring others to make the most of each day. It is my goal to make hiking accessible and non-intimidating, while promoting responsible enjoyment of the environment. No trail is too short!

Brasstown Bald and the Arkaqua trail 11-15-15

We figured we’d better get a jump on our 4000+ goal, so we hit up Brasstown Bald this past Sunday to do it up big. I had been to Brasstown before and honestly am not a huge fan of it because it is such a tourist attraction (more on that later). It does have beautiful views, though.

To balance out the crowds at Brasstown Bald, we decided to also hike along the Arkaqua Trail, which juts off of the parking lot at Brasstown. This was a lot of fun and very serene and secluded. We passed a handful of hikers but for the most part were alone.

The Arkaqua Trail follows a ridgeline between Brasstown Bald and Track Rock Gap. It is about 5.5 miles one way and we got too late of a start to do the whole thing. It would be a fairly difficult hike to do in one day and there is not really anywhere adequate to camp along the trail (at least not the part we saw).

Leaving from Brasstown, the trail is mostly downhill so if you start at Brasstown, you will have your work cut out for you. There is also a parking area at the opposite end of the trail.

We did about 2.5 miles of the trail and crossed over Chimneytop Mountain, which is another 4000 footer. It was a very enjoyable, scenic hike and quite different from other places we've been. Since it is a ridgeline much of the way, the views are pretty spectacular on both sides. 
There is a nice view of Brasstown Bald from the distance, as well as Young Harris down in the valley.                                                                            
The flora and fauna of the mountains is also very interesting. The trail is covered with mountain laurel and rhododendron and the branches form lovely little tunnels over the trail in several spots. I would love to return when the plants are blooming. 

We also saw lots of differently colored mosses and lichens. On the north side of the mountain, there were some icicles, which was surprising since it was about 60 degrees out. It seems the northside of the rocks is very sheltered and does not get much sunlight. 

We stopped at a point that was very steep and rocky and turned back to Brasstown. I made James trek up Brasstown Bald just so he could say that he did. I took some pics and we headed back down. We saw some of the strangest people on the observation platform (such as a woman taking maternity pictures while scantily clad and in extremely windy, cold weather), so we didn't stay long!! We were able to catch a beautiful sunset on the way down and the drive home.

We have plans to return to the Dahlonega area today to meet up with James' brother and sister at a vineyard, so we'll most likely get some more hiking in. I am also very much looking forward to the Thanksgiving break and hope we will be able to backpack overnight if the weather is nice. 


Sawnee Mountain and a side trip 11-22-15

Raven Cliffs Wilderness 11-11-15