You might be surprised to find that your humble home state has uncanny replicas of tropical Hawaiian adventures. If you don't have the funds to head 4,000+ miles away from the continental U.S., you can venture to paradise right in the Peach State. This beautiful hike in Georgia is a much less strenuous version of the notorious "Stairway to Heaven" hike in Oahu — but the views are just as immaculate.

Bell Mountain is a rugged summit at the very tip of The Peach State in Hiawassee. Ironically enough, the city's name even resembles "Hawaii," which is home to the Haiku Stairs, commonly referred to as the Stairway to Heaven.

The only difference is that Georgia's mini version is heavenly not only for its views but for also being a much shorter trek. You'll only have to climb about 115 stairs to reach the top, versus the Oahu's version with 3,922 steps.

It might be hard to believe that such marvelous views can be had with such minimal effort.

When you look down from your destination at the Hal Herrin Scenic Overlook, you'll be struck by sweeping views of the unmatched North Georgia mountains, trees, and Lake Chatuge glistening in the sunlight.

To reach the absolute highest point of the mountain at 3,424 feet, you can even dare to climb beyond the stairs along a footpath that leads to a second overlooking platform. 

With 18 acres of terrain, this massive mountain holds an influx of adventure. In addition to the 360-degree aerial views of the calming waters and treetops, Bell Mountain is also famous for its graffiti-covered rocks.

Although vandalism is frowned upon, county officials are embracing the art as part of the mountain’s “colorful history.” These vibrant murals make an ideal backdrop for an eye-catching Instagram shot.

Now that fall is here, you can expect the treetops to transition to a canvas of bright, autumn bliss perfect for viewing from the top of Bell Mountain.

Bell Mountain

Price: Free parking and admission

Address: 220 Shake Rag Rd, Hiawassee, GA 

Why You Need To Go: Get a taste of Hawaii right here in Georgia with this mini "Stairway to Heaven" adventure with pretty rocks and even prettier views.


Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.


 

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