Cycling Brasstown Bald
Ride 3 miles gaining 1,730’ at 10.9% average grade.
Photo: Brasstown Bald Observation Tower center right
Brasstown Bald is a popular cycling climb to the highest point in Georgia. This mountain is located in the Blueridge Mountain subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. On a clear day, you can see Atlanta 75 miles to the south west from the observation tower at the top of the mountain.
“Bald” is an Appalachian term for a mountaintop with 360 degree unobstructed views.
This is a brutally steep bike climb with the steepest ¼ mile at 16.6% and the steepest ½ mile at 14.1%.
Start of climb - this route is on a Georgia Scenic Byway.
We are surrounded by forest on the climb, but there are fleeting distant views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at times.
Our 3 mile route includes the closed last ½ mile at 13.6% to the top. The route to the “no bike” sign (photo below) is 2.5 miles at 10.5%. We arrived at the sign and gate around noon on a weekday and were told by officials we could not ride up the road. However (caveat - we are not “recommending” this) you may (at your own risk 😈) arrive at the gate very early in the morning before anti-bike enforcement is present and go for it (just sayin, not recommended . . . ).
Brasstown Bald Observation Tower and Complex
As a testament to the popularity of this great bike climb, it was included in all but 1 of the 6 Tours of Georgia held between 2003 and 2008. Notable stage winners include Chris Horner, Levi Leipheimer (2007) and Tom Danielson (2005-2007)
Levi Leipheimer on his way to victory on Brasstown Bald, Stage 5 2007 Tour of Georgia.