This is one of the coolest places I've hiked. The observation deck allows a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains, and we had it mostly to ourselves for an hour. The hike seemed very short, and wasn't too difficult. Definitely worth it to get to the top.
Great hike. Nat Geo terrain map calls it moderate, but it gains 1000ft/mile for 2 separate mile long stretches. I see a couple of people downgrade it and call it moderate, but it averages 15% and the middle mile is pretty flat. Rate it for yourself, but just know that there are folks that think calling down a difficulty level is some kind of brag.
I would make sure you go early, stay away from wet times as the grade at the top will be slick and there are stretches through erosion cuts. I went late spring and the undergrowth wasn't too bad, nor were the bugs, but I'm sure late June through September would be another story.
There really isn't anything to speak of other than the view at the top, which is a 360 degree platform. The wind is nice and helps cool you down, dry you off from the hump up. Also a connector to the Bertram
Sam H. on Rabun Bald via Bartram Trail
This hike is definitely no joke-- from its steep trail (pretty much incline the whole time) to its rocky underfoot, you'd best come hydrated. Personally, though, this trail felt lacking to me. I enjoyed the 360-degree view at the top of the tower at the mountain's summit, but for the most part the trail is very enclosed with the brush on either side and the canopy above. This was initially a win for me-- I mean, who doesn't like canopies? But at some point I had wished the air felt more open and inviting. To me it was like walking through the same uphill tunnel for 45 minutes.
The trail is lightly-used, so you won't see too many people crowding the path. One note though: you'll see a ton of flies and bees. I never care about bugs on a trail (this IS nature we're talking about), but it was a bit noticeable on this one. Had to be careful not to leave my gatorade open for to long.
Honestly, I enjoyed the view, but it's not worth the drive if you live in Atlanta.
Loved this trail. Starts off with a slow incline and gradually gets more steep the further you go. Once you make it to the top all the work it takes to get up there certainly pays off with the amazing 360 degree view of the Appalachian mountains. Highly recommend this hike!
Great hike with a great view. Rated as "Difficult", but I would classify it as more of "Moderate" hike. All uphill. Hiking poles/sticks recommended. There are usually some left by previous hikers at the trail head. Definitely recommend! The work is worth the view!
I wouldn't describe this as 'difficult'. Park at beegum gap and your 2 or 3 miles to the summit. Yes it's steep but not as steep as other trails Ive been on. Beautiful 360 degree views from observatory, usually very windy. Dont look up the Native American legend of " fire breathing demon people on rabun bald" before camping or you wont sleep much ! haha
Sheila M. on Rabun Bald via Bartram Trail
This hike was ranked as difficult in my hiking book and thus far its the most difficult we've been on. The trail was in good shape, but it's pretty much uphill the entire track,,with the last .75 mile very steep uphill. We highly recommend hiking poles. We had forgotten ours but picked up some at the base of the trail that was left from previous hikers. They came in very handy both on the climb up and while descending. But,, beautiful view from the top. You really got the feeling you were on top of the world!