Blood Mountain Loop
Blood Mountain Wilderness, Georgia
Difficulty
hike difficulty
12.8
Length
hike difficulty
5.9
Duration 3 - 5 hours
Elevation Gain 1650 ft.
State Georgia
Park/Forest Blood Mountain Wilderness
Parking Fee None
Blaze White (AT)
Nearby City Blairesville, GA
Trailhead Coord. 34.741687, -83.922683

The Blood Mountain trail consists of a lollipop loop along the most hiked section of the AT in Georgia with a great view from the top. Hikers also have the option to ascend directly up Blood Mountain in a shorter, but more difficult, out and back trail. Both ways make for a moderately challenging hike worth the 1.5 hour drive from Atlanta.



The trailhead is located half a mile north of the Walasi-Yi center at Neal’s Gap along US 19. The first .7 miles are along the Byron Herbert Reece trail. The path starts off level along a small creek, but quickly picks up the pace along several steep switchbacks and stone staircases. This trail end at Freeman Gap and the junction of the AT and the Freeman trail. From here, turning right on the AT is the shortest and most direct route to the top of Blood Mountain; however, it is also the steepest. Turning left along the AT will take you back to Neal’s Gap and US 19.



To make the loop, turn right on the Freeman trail (to the left of the AT). The Freeman trail follows the contour of the mountain side along the south until reaching Bird Gap and the AT again. This trail is very rocky, with several large boulders along the way. This trail is much less frequented that the other portions of this hike and it is likely that you won’t see anyone at all along its 1.8 miles.



At Bird Gap, the trail rejoins the AT. Turning right, the trail continues to Slaughter Gap and the start of the climb to the top of the mountain. The first half of the 1 mile ascent is slightly steeper than second half, but no part of this trail is too difficult for anyone moderately in shape.



Once at the top, the hike will be worth it with excellent views on both sides of the mountain. The Blood Mountain shelter, an open stone building with a fireplace sits predominantly on top. Climb the rocks next to the shelter for more views. Continue along the trail, watching the ground for the white blazes painted on the stone. Several more open stone faces allow for great views. Although it’s likely that the trail so far has afforded plenty of solitude, the summit of Blood Mountain and rest of the hike will almost definitely have some volume.



Head down steep switchbacks as the trail descends the east side of the mountain, rejoining the Freeman and Byron Herbert Reece trails at Freeman Gap. Continue back down the BHR trail to the parking area.

IMAGES & VIDEO
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TERRAIN MAP
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ELEVATION PROFILE
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2500
GETTING THERE
Trailhead Coordinates
34.741687, -83.922683 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°44.5, W 83°55.36 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°44'30'', W 83°55'22'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)

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Further Directions
Driving north, continue .6 miles past the Walasi-Yi center at Neal's Gap. On the left, you will pass the exit for the parking lot first.

ADDITIONAL INFO

Ranger District Information
Blue Ridge Ranger District
2042 Highway 515 West, Blairsville, GA 30512
706-745-6928



Cautions & Warnings
The Freeman trail is very rocky, so watch your step.
Use caution at the top, there are several rock outlooks with steep drops.



Other Information
Most people turn right on the AT at Freeman Gap, going directly up the mountain. For some solitude, a slightly longer hike, and not to mention an less strenuous route to the summit, head down the Freeman trail to form a loop, as described here.