In the mountain ranges straddling Georgia and North Carolina sits a vista that at one time in its history took a good heart, plus either strong legs or a horse, or a four-wheel drive to get to the top. Bell Mountain has quite a past and today it serves as one of the most beautiful scenic vistas in Georgia, with 360-degree views across the stunning Lake Chatuge and the rolling hills and highest elevations.
For years locals hiked to the top and spray painted their initials. It's jarring at first to see the abnormally colored rocks -- some say the mountaintop is even more scarred than when it was first mined decades ago. But both of those things are like the creases on a senior's face -- traces of who and what they've lived and can make what's not perfect even more beautiful. I like seeing the initials and wondering who is M + P, what is/was their story? Our place www.bit.ly/hiawassee is just a mile from the turn off to Bell Mountain, so we always send guests to the top because we know they will be as awed as we are even though our first visit was more than 30 years ago.
It no longer requires horse- or willpower to get to the top, it's completely driveable and a must-see.
The Hal Herrin Estate graciously donated the 18 acre Bell Mountain Summit to Towns County and on February 18, 2016 was formally named Bell Mountain Park and Historical Site and the observation deck erected was named and dedicated as the Hal Herrin Scenic Overlook.