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standing on platform at bell mountain. MountainModernLife.com

Exploring North Georgia: Bell Mountain

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Plan to visit North Georgia this Summer or Fall? If so, you may want to stop by Bell Mountain in Hiawassee near Lake Chatuge. It may not be much of a hike, but the views are spectacular!

Exploring North Georgia: Bell Mountain

When we first pulled into Hiawassee it was hard to miss the mountain in the background that seemed to have a big chunk blown out of the very top. For quite some time I’d found myself looking up at it as I drove by thinking “I wonder what happened up there”.

As it turns out that mountain missing a big chunk is actually Bell Mountain.

Check out the video of our trip to Bell Mountain:

Back in the 1960s a group of three men from Murphy, NC decided to mine the top of the mountain. They soon found the environmental and economic impact wasn’t what they expected. They were actually the ones responsible for blowing the big hole out of the top of the mountain.

It was then that an individual stepped in and purchased the mountain with preservation on the mind.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

He ended up making sure no one would destroy the mountain again. Since that time he has handed the mountain over to Towns County where they continue on with the preservation of Bell Mountain.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

Back in the day, it was used as a place for people to hike up for sunset views, though they had no roads.  They’ve since added a road though it’s important to note that it gets really steep toward the top.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

Once you get to the top you’ll quickly notice the graffiti on the rocks, it’s literally everywhere. I’d say at this point there are only a few spaces that haven’t been painted.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

A long time ago a tradition began where people would spray paint on the rocks on top of Bell Mountain.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

In my opinion, the graffiti takes away from the beauty of the area. You’re able to walk up a rock formation that doesn’t have a deck but to be honest, I had no desire to do so because of all the graffiti. While I can understand how the tradition of leaving your mark was started and continued, I personally see no value in marking up the rocks.

Even while we were visiting the sound of shaking cans and spraying paint could easily be heard. In the back of my mind, it tore me up knowing that this tradition would continue on with no signs of stopping.

Now there are signs in place that say the area is being recorded, along with warnings to not paint on the decks or signage.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

The graffiti is a hot topic concern, whereas some people love the tradition and ability to leave their mark while others consider it destroying nature. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the views make it a place worth visiting.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

From what we’ve read the graffiti isn’t the only hot button topic atop Bell Mountain. A lot of people are also disappointed with the addition of the road and the viewing decks.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

I can understand both sides on the viewing decks, but they were well constructed and did help facilitate good 360-degree views. Without seeing Bell Mountain before the decks it’s hard for me to know what people miss now that they’re here.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

The views are spectacular and helped to take the attention off of the painted rocks.

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. | Mountainmodernlife.com

Have you been up to Bell Mountain? What did you think of the painted rocks and the views? We’d love to know in the comments below.
Are you in or around Hiawassee, GA? You should take a quick trip up to Bell Mountain, you can drive all the way up and see amazing views of Lake Chatuge. Mountainmodernlife.com

Looking for additional places to explore in North Georgia? Check out the links below:

Comments

  • I have to completely agree, the graffiti takes away from the beauty of the land and to me is as vile as litter on the ground. If you can get beyond the childish painting, that is one amazing view. Thank you for sharing! #wanderlust

    June 22, 2017
  • Janett Buffington

    It looks so trashy. It is a real shame that this is allowed to continue. Maybe they could pee like a dog to leave their mark.How can this be ok if you love nature?

    November 12, 2019
  • Jim Hartwig

    Jim
    I remember when I was a student at Young Harris, summer of ’65, being invited by some local students to spend the day at Bell Knob, as it was called back then. This was before the graffitti,…….and man was it beautiful! There are different shades of colors of the mountain outcrop,…..gold, coral, oxblood, vermilion, apricot, carnelian, scarlet red, pure gleeming white. On very sunny days, the white, which is the predominant color would hurt your eyes, as it was so bright & gleeming. This was also before the development in the valleys,…..back then it was rolling pasture land. It reminded me of the valleys of Switzerland. It was such a spiritual moving place. I went back in the early ninties with my brother & nephew. I was totally astounded at the desacration of what was one beautiful & inspiring site. I was mad as hell! I even ran off a few punks, who were up to no good. I didn’t do it physically though. One of my Buddies worked at Ga State Patrol, & gave me one ot ther official baseball caps. I pulled it out from my backpack. And put it on & headed back their way. Boy! Did they flee like rats! lol At least I got some satisfaction of getting rid of some of the bad element. I hope that the local community will step up to the plate & try to curb this destruction.

    December 15, 2019

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