Bell Mountain offers stunning 360 degree views of Hiawassee and Lake Chatuge. It is located at 220 Shake Rag Rd in Hiawassee, GA.
In 1963, three men from Murphy, North Carolina decided to try and mine the top of Bell Mountain for minerals. They miserably failed and left a huge gaping hole on the top of the 3,400 foot knob that you can now see from miles away. The mountain has maintained this physical scar for over 50 years while the lake below has felt it's effects from the erosion that pours into Lake Chatuge from the west bound slope, affecting the water quality.
After this mining disaster, local resident Hal Herrin bought the mountain to try and preserve it from further abuse. The Hal Herrin Estate graciously donated the 18 acre Bell Mountain Summit to Towns County. In 2016 it was formally named Bell Mountain Park and Historical Site and the observation deck was named and dedicated as the Hal Herrin Scenic Overlook.
Townes County paved the road, created a parking area, and in addition to the Hal Herrin Scenic Overlook erected a 2nd platform rising to 3424 foot of elevation offering 360 degree views of the surrounding lake and mountains.
A tradition started long ago of spray painting the rocks on top of Bell Mountain. There are now signs prohibiting the use of paint on the rocks. The graffiti has caused great controversy and debate. Some people think it has ruined the natural beauty of the landmark. Others claim it makes it unique and is a beautiful work of art. What do YOU think??