Rabun Bald via Beegum Gap Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, GA
miles
LENGTH 3.1 MILES
DIFFICULTY 6.1 Easy
Medium
DURATION 1-2 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
960
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Rabun Bald via Beegum Gap

Bask in the warm sun and stiff breezes enjoyed at the top of Georgia's second highest mountain as you take in unobstructed 360° views. At almost 4,700 feet, Rabun Bald offers hikers one of the best views in the state atop an observation tower that takes you above the surrounding trees. This hike should be on your short list.

Two gravel roads mark the end of Kelsey Mountain Road. The trail is marked with a bright green blaze and sign a few feet down the gravel road to the right. Because there is no official parking, make sure not to block any roads, driveways, or mailboxes. There is space for about 10 cars to squeeze in.

The hike's elevation gain begins and stays at a constant 600 feet/mile rate making it an excellent hike to build up your trail legs. At .2 miles you'll t-bone the yellow-blazed Bartram Trail. Turn right, continuing uphill. The trail alternates between dense rhododendron tunnels that provide cooler air in the hot summer months and fern laced hillsides.

Just before the mile mark the trail passes a campsite on the right. Stay to the left following the sign. From here you'll hike through a series of short switchbacks before the final straight shot to the summit. At the summit, the trail splits in several directions. However, look to the left and you'll see the stone observation tower.

Climb the steep staircase for unobstructed 360° views of up to 100 miles in all directions. Even if the sun is out you'll likely be experiencing strong winds keeping you comfortable. As the second highest mountain in the state, Rabun Bald feels like it towers over the surrounding hills, making it one of the best views in Georgia. Plan to chill for a while and soak it all in, but eventually you do have to leave. So sad. If you want something more difficult, try the Rabun Bald Trail that summits the mountain from the east.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length3.1 miles
difficulty6.1 Easy-Medium
duration1 - 2 hours
features Dog Friendly  Summit  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeGreen (Trailhead), Yellow (Bartram Trail)
elevation gain960 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestChattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ranger districtChattooga River District
9975 Highway 441 S
Lakemont, GA 30552
706-754-6221
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 34.979269, -83.303061 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°58.76, W 83°18.18 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°58'45'', N 34°58'45'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.979269, -83.303061 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°58.76, W 83°18.18 most GPS units use this one
N 34°58'45'', N 34°58'45'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Park at the end of Kelsey Mountain Road before it splits off into several gravel roads. There is no parking lot, so make sure not to block any roads, driveways, or mailboxes.
Notes
Make sure to turn right at the yellow blazed Bartram Trail. If you start going downhill, you're going the wrong way.
There are a few slippery wet rocky sections, so just take your time.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-5 months ago
Georgia Must Hike
This is one hike not to miss. One of the best views in Georgia from a short steady 1.5 mile climb. The trail is well maintained with a couple campsites on the way up.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Summer 2018
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