6 days ago

Definitely worth a hike, but I would rate this as a moderate trail...the incline is very gradual. Trail well defined.

I grew up in this area and this is called The Picklesimer Rock House, not pickle Rock. Please don't go trying to change the names of our falls. This is the second one in my area that is listed wrong. Nice trail and neat little waterfall.

Awesome hike, it's about 8.2 miles and 1850' elevation gain. The trailhead is down the Dillard Road Hwy 106 from Highlands and you take a left on Hale Ridge Road which makes a few turns - the AllTrails app gets you right to the trailhead. From the dirt part of the road you will find the signage for the Bartram Trail. Make sure you head south into Georgia (downhill from the road). The trail starts out with some gradual rolling ups and downs across several small creeks, one with a nice waterfall. Then you gradually start climbing - stay on the yellow blazed Bartram Trail. After several switchbacks along a steeper grade, you'll come to the top. This is a fantastic workout and you can trail run it - very easy to do on the way down. I gave it four stars because the top is not a true bald as it is covered with scrub oaks. The best view is atop the fire tower with the true 360 degree view. Definitely worth a trip from Highlands if you are looking for a moderate to difficult hike or overnight camping at the top. Enjoy!

Hiked this in late July with my husband & my two 68 year old aunt and uncle. It was beautiful at the top 360 degrees of beauty. God is great.

A very fun, but difficult hike. That being said, my wife and I hiked it with our three daughters (6, 9, 11) so we took our time and made sure they were okay. They made it! We were a little disappointed in the view on our particular day because of how rainy/cloudy it was, but my daughters thought it was cool that we were above the clouds :). It was also very well marked with plenty of yellow rectangles nailed in easy to see places. Fun time!

Not many big rocks but the trail never levels out. Great view at the top. Probably will not hike again.

The description of the trail is correct but it is not the Bartram Trail. The Bartram Trail continues from Beegam Gap to Wilson Gap and on to Warwoman Dell and beyond. It does cross over Rabun Bald. The trail you describe is the old Three Forks Trail now know generally as the Rabun Bald trail. Although not maintained beyond Hale Ridge, the trail continues on the other side of Hale Ridge Road and heads down toward the West Fork of the Chattooga River. After crossing over FS 86 it is once again fairly easy to follow as it makes its way down to the river. and the three forks. I went up the Rabun Bald trail yesterday. It is generally in pretty good condition but there are a few blowdowns that need to be cleared. One major blowdown over the trail requires that you crawl under it. Another is slowing developing a new trail around it. The middle section of the trail is occupied by many feral hogs. We saw a couple and heard a number of others.


This trail will keep your blood pumping as you climb the entire way and the view from the observation deck is nothing short of spectacular. I definitely plan to return and utilize one of the other routes next time.

To me there is lack of clarity regarding starting points to get to Rabun Bald. There are 3 trails that lead to it - I would call them easy moderate and strenuous. The easy is entering from the Kelsy Mtn road. This is a 0.7 mile hike and most folks I saw on a Saturday had come up this way starting on the short forest service road that then meets up with a trail to the top. Then there is the Bartrum trail that comes in from the North - appears to be about a 4.2 mile hike. In my opinion THIS IS NOT THE TRAIL DESCRIBED IN THIS WRITE UP. Bartrum trail does cross Hale Bridge Rd but it crosses it a few miles north aka much more than 5.6 miles from WarWoman Rd. The trail described here is Rabun Bald trail per the topo map on this site it is NOT the one in red. (One in red is the Bartrum trail coming in from the NORTH). Rabun Bald described here is the trail coming in from the East from Chestnut Ridge. This trail starts at around 2700 feet and climbs consistently till you top out at around 4800 feet. So climbing for 3+ miles. For that reason I would rate it as difficult - short but difficult. There two or three primitive campsites along the way but no water at them. One stream crossing about 1/3 of the way in. I hope this clarifies for others when choosing a starting point.

From Kelsey Mtn rd. Approximately 3.2 miles. Incline pretty much the whole way. Moderate hike. Very rewarding 360 degree view at top from observation tower. Good hike!!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Great climb to amazing views of GA,NC Vistas on the peak. Parking is very limited at the trailhead.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Not that hard of a hike. The hike has alot of pretty scenery and the summit view is a stunning 360 degree platform. Definitely worth the view

trail running
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Great run from Osage Overlook to Rabun Bald and back. A little bit of everything for sure and if a summer run guaranteed cooler weather than anywhere else around on the NC side.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Very fun hike I'd suggest waiting till after a big rain to make the multiple streams you pass full

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Amazing hike and trail

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The hike was very difficult but it was definitely worth it. The observation tower was plenty of space for my troop to sleep on and had a great view.

Been countless times and have taken tons of ppl too!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

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


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