Bell Knob (W4G/NG-035): Drive to Trailhead & Trail Guide

New in 2016 - Road is paved to the top. This is now a drive-up summit, with an observation deck at the apex.

Drive Guide - Bell Knob from Atlanta

  • Duration: 2:05, 98 miles
  • Google Maps URL from Ashford Dunwoody Rd and I-285 at 33.91998, -84.33898:
    • http://goo.gl/maps/LQJzq
  • Seasonal/Limited Access:
  • Directions:
    • Take the iPad and pre-load the maps. You’ll want it for your final approach, where Google Maps and reality diverge.
    • N on GA-400 and go 47 miles.
    • At end of 400 (@ GA-60) go straight onto GA-115. Go 4.8
    • GA-115 turns R. (About 60 minute drive to this turn.) Go 11.4.
    • L on Tesnatee Gap Valley Rd. There’s a left turn lane. Go 2.8.
    • Go straight onto McAfee Rd. (Tesnatee turns left.) Go 0.2
    • L on US-129 N at T. (About 1:15 total drive time to this turn.) Go 0.8.
    • R on GA-75A. Go 8.2.
    • L on GA-75. Go 16.6
    • L on GA-75 N/US-76 W. Go 1.4
    • R on Shake Rag Rd at convenience store and power substation.
    • Continue directions at “Drive Guide - Bell Knob from Shake Rag Rd”

Drive Guide - Bell Knob from Shake Rag Rd

  • Directions:
    • After turning onto Shake Rag Rd…
    • STOP: Turn on GPS devices and get a fix. (Good cell signal on AT&T in 2014.)
    • Set GPS destination to: 34.9556, -83.7297
    • At 0.7 miles, follow Shake Rag as it turns left and passes “Bright Apartments”.
    • There is a gate near 34.95285, -83.73409 marked “Closed due to Inclement Weather”
      • A local source said this gate is closed from about 8 PM to a little after 8 AM, even when weather is nice. Time varies according to convenience of local police department.
      • If the gate is closed, it is a steep 0.5 mile walk at 0:35 up and 0:20 down.
    • There is a second gate near the top. It was open even when the lower gate was closed, and this gate is marked “Park Closed 8 PM - 8 AM”.
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: GA-400 at GA-53 (38 miles north of I-285)
      • There is a McDonalds in Hiawasee that opens at 6 AM 7 days a week, but it is out of your way.

Drive Guide - Bell Knob from Blackrock Mtn

  • Google Maps URL: https://goo.gl/maps/SF2uNBkL2B62
  • Duration: 0:50
  • Directions:
    • Head downhill on Blackrock Mtn Pky and go 0.2
    • L on Blackrock Mtn Pky and go 2.3
    • R on US-441 and go 2.9
    • R on US-76 and go 25.2
    • R on Shake Rag Rd. Continue directions at “Drive Guide - Bell Knob from Shake Rag Rd”

Drive Guide - Bell Knob from Brasstown Bald

  • Google Maps URL: http://goo.gl/maps/QQcyb
  • Duration: 0:40 in 2014
  • Directions:
    • Head down GA-180 spur
    • L onto GA-180 and go 5.3
    • L on GA-17 N / GA-75 N and go 6.3
    • L on GA-2 W / US-76 W and go 1.4
    • R on Shake Rag Rd. Continue directions at “Drive Guide - Bell Knob from Shake Rag Rd”

Drive Guide - Bell Knob from Eagle Mountain

  • Google Maps URL: http://goo.gl/maps/uW7m9
  • Directions:
    • Take the iPad and pre-load the maps. You’ll want it for your final approach, where Google Maps and reality diverge.
    • Head back out to Upper Bell Creek Rd (straight out to the main, paved road).
    • L on Upper Bell Creek Rd and go 1.1
    • L on GA-75 S and go 1.9
    • L on US-76 E and go 1.8
    • L on Shake Rag Rd. Continue with “Drive Guide - Bell Knob from Shake Rag Rd” directions.

Drive Guide - Bell Knob TO Atlanta

  • Head downhill
  • R on Shake Rag Rd after passing Bright Apartments and go 0.7
  • L on US-76 E and go 1.4
  • R on GA-75 S and go 16.6
  • R on GA-75 Alt N and go 8.1
  • L on US-129 S and go 0.8
  • R on McAfee Rd (across from school) and go 3
  • R on GA-115 S and go 11.5
  • L on GA-115 S and go 4.8
  • S on US-19 S / GA-400

Trail Guide

  • Duration: 0:35 up, 0:20 down, 0.5 miles if you park at the first gate. 5 minutes to climb the stairs if you drive to the top.
  • Navigation: Follow the paved road to the parking lot at the end.
  • Summit altitude: 3420’
  • Grid Square: EM84dx
  • GPS tracks/waypoints: Benchmark: 34.95986, 83.72896

Summit Guide

  • Expect big crowds on a pleasant afternoon. Parking for about 50 cars. At 8 AM on a chilly morning, I had the place to myself.
  • Note: Visit a restroom before you turn onto Shake Rag Rd. With the paved road to the top, there’s no privacy for a bio break.
  • Cell coverage: Yes, with cell data too.
  • Unique features: Great views.