Atlanta TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Top Georgia trails & how-to

Fire Lookout Towers in Georgia

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.

Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.

Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.

Eric Champlin is a creative director and photographer who loves to explore southeast. He's the co-owner of Trailful Outdoor Co, a locally-owned hiking outfitter shop in Hiawassee in the Georgia mountains near the Appalachian Trail. He’s also the co-founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.