Follow these fantastic hikes to four historic fire lookout towers in Georgia, catching some outstanding summit views from lofty mountaintops.

Incredible. That feeling, standing on a towering mountaintop, soaking up stunning views in all directions and catching that sweet summit breeze. Fire lookout towers are historic structures that were once important tools in fighting forest fires throughout the South. Their locations were often selected for their broad, sweeping views from some of Georgia’s tallest mountaintops, including the summits at Brasstown Bald and Rabun Bald, our state’s two tallest peaks.

Though they were once a fairly common sight along our tallest ridgelines and summits, fire lookout towers are pretty much a rarity today in our Southern states. With the invent of new technologies for detecting and fighting wildfires, many of the historic towers became obsolete and abandoned over the years. Luckily, a few still survive today, offering exceptional views and a little slice of mountain history.

Follow these four favorite trails to explore some classic North Georgia forests and score some of the best far-flung vistas in our state. They’re all pretty much guaranteed to provide a fantastic view on a clear, fair-weather day… and they’re some of our favorite sunrise and sunset locations, too.

Follow these fantastic hikes to four historic fire lookout towers in Georgia, catching some outstanding summit views from lofty mountaintops. #hiking #trailrunning #camping #backpacking #northgeorgia #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Our favorite fire lookout towers hikes in Georgia

Before heading out, remember to check the weather forecast. Never approach a bald mountain summit or any tower if electrical storms are in the area. And remember to pack the essentials like water, a first aid kit, and extra layers: check out our hiking gear list, featuring our trail-tested favorites and packing inspiration.

Fire tower adventures in North Carolina

Checked all our favorite Georgia lookout tower trails off your bucket list? Take your adventures across the state line to Western North Carolina, where the mountains near Asheville offer some great hikes to several of NC’s remaining towers. Check out our favorite fire tower hikes near Asheville to score more of the most stunning views in the South.

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Eric Champlin

Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails, and Trailful, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures and top Southern-worthy outdoor gear. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.