We are so glad we made Georgia a part of our two week road trip! Our family had never spent time in Georgia before this road trip and we didn’t know what to expect. Several of our friends had moved to Georgia over the past two decades in search of a better, more relaxing lifestyle. I have to be honest, for a “northerner” that only knew the horrifying late-night news version of Georgia, I always thought my friends were crazy. (Mostly due to the tornadoes! Partially, the HEAT.) However, wanting to reconnect with my childhood best friend motivated us to drive into the state and spend some quality time there. We’re really glad we did and we can’t wait to go back and see more!
Black Rock Mountain State Park
This is a state park that you can chose to spend the day in or just take a quick peek. Either way, it’s worth the effort. The sheer cliffs of biotite-colored gneissic rock create some of the most amazing park lands in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. On a clear day you can see four states- Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee!
- Located along the Eastern Continental Divide at an altitude of 3,640 feet
- Highest State Park in Georgia
- Many scenic overlooks providing 80-mile vistas of the Southern Appalachians
- Hiking Trails ranging from .10 miles to 7.2 miles
- Wildflowers, streams, small waterfalls, lush forests
- 1,473 acres
- Four additional peaks over 3000’
If you have the time to venture further into the park than just the drive-up overlooks, then come prepared for some awesome hiking discoveries. These trails are rated from easy to strenuous for day hiking and back country camping.
I could not say this better (excerpts taken from the Trail Map)… “Hikers wanting to learn more about the special forest ecology of the Southern Appalachians may wish to purchase a copy of “An Interpretive Guide to the Tennessee Rock Trail,” available for a small fee at the visitor center and campground trading post. The text in this 32-page illustrated booklet corresponds to 25 numbered posts located along the trail. In addition to information about the park’s natural history, the trail guide features interesting facts about early pioneer and North American life, as well as facinating information about Appalachian geology, geography and climate. The guide serves as an excellent introduction to Black Rock Mountain State Park and the surrounding mountain region.
Hikers using the guide will quickly learn that there’s a lot more to be found along the trail than just trees. For instance, hikers will discover an Appalachian boulderfield, an actual remnant of the great ice age which ended more than 10,000 years ago. Hikers will also walk a quarter-mile area along the Blue Ridge Mountain backbone, following the Eastern Continental Divide. This great ridge separates rainfall flowing eastward toward the Savannah River and the Atlantic Ocean from rainfall trending westward toward the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. And when the weather is clear, hikers on the Tennessee Rock Trail can see Georgia’s Brasstown Bald and Clingman’s Dome in Tennessee.”
Georgia has the best visitor centers we have seen. They include picnic tables, rest rooms, a gift shop and information center. The staff is always courteous, knowledgeable and helpful. You can find a variety of fun nature themed gifts, park and conservation brand clothing, educational materials, camping accessories and, of course, fun stickers to tag your car with. Black Rock Mountain has a visitor center right at the summit with spectacular views. This is a great access spot for everyone in the family to view—young children, elderly, disabled, etc. There is a parking lot right at the summit. No need to “hike in” for this gorgeous landscape view!
Things To Do
Visit gastateparks.org for specific info.
- Camping- Mountain Top Cottages, Campsite, & Backcountry (Note: RVers should be comfortable driving on steep, winding roads.)
- Fishing- Black Rock Lake
- Hiking- 11 miles of trails
Black Rock Mountain is open from about March 16 to December 17. From December to March the park closes for seasonal weather. They experience icy weather too so call ahead if your visit is close to winter.
The high altitude makes this park cooler than other parks in Georgia. We found this to be very true on our visit. This was the only one of our destinations in which we weren’t melting from the heat. It was a nice reprieve.
- Park- 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
- Office- 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Fees & Passes
$5 parking. Annual passes available.
3085 Black Rock Mountain Parkway
Mountain City, GA 30562
Family Adventure Rating ♥♥
Cost– State Parks are typically inexpensive adventures. Your cost factor for this one is the travel and stay based on where you are in relation to the park. This park does offer camping of many varieties to help keep your trip affordable. There are also picnic areas and an enclosed picnic pavilion if you want to bring food.
Parking & Transportation– They have their own main parking lot and roadside parking areas are available near trails and overlooks. The park is located off a main highway so it’s easy to access. Be advised, you will drive through some rural residential areas as you near the park entrance. Drive slow and keep moving, they are not all friendly (but maybe it was our NY plates?). Coming from New York, this seems like a pretty rural area. I did not find any public transit options here.
Location– This park offers one-of-a-kind views because of its location not only in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but also along the Eastern Continental Divide.
Day Trip or Overnight– You could easily make this an overnight trip by taking advantage of their camping accommodations. We were only able to visit for a day and we barely scratched the surface of what this park has to offer. We’d love to spend a weekend here and check out all of the trails and history!
Experience– Terrific, wholesome experience for everyone. Getting outdoors, appreciating nature, exercising, and interacting with your family or group is what this experience is all about. The natural wonders of this park will give you a new respect for nature and beautiful Georgia!
Combination– This park offers easy access to the highest summit which enables you to choose your length of stay. Drive in and see one of the best views or stay longer and check out all of the views. We had limited time during our stay in Georgia and had to pick from the highlights. We visited Black Rock Mountain, Tallulah Gorge, Goats On the Roof, and Minnehaha Falls in one long and physically demanding day. There’s so much beauty in Georgia, you could plan multiple destinations in any given area.
Other Nearby Attractions
- Appalachian Trail
- Blue Ridge Mountains
- Clayton, GA
- Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Moccasin Creek State Park
- Southern Highroads Trail
- Tallulah Gorge State Park
- Warwoman WMA
- Burton Trout Hatchery