Blood Mountain via Byron Herbert Reece Trailhead Blood Mountain Wilderness, GA
miles
LENGTH 4.1 MILES
DIFFICULTY 12.1 Medium
DURATION 2-4 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
1440
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Blood Mountain via Byron Herbert Reece Trailhead

Journey along the Appalachian Trail to the summit of Blood Mountain, one of Georgia's most popular hiking destinations, along this short but steep trail. Climbing over 700 feet/mile, this route to Blood Mountain is the shortest but made more difficult with the rocky terrain. Your effort will be well placed with several views at the top.

The trailhead is located half a mile north of the Mountain Crossings center at Neal’s Gap along US 19. With only 38 designated parking spots, you'll want to get here early on weekends. 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. Arrive at Freeman Gap and the junction of the AT and the Freeman trail. Turn right along the AT, following the white blaze and continuing upward.

Most of this trail is quite rocky with a few larger boulders you'll have to navigate around and over. This makes the incline all the more challenging. About halfway the trail looks like it splits but head up the rock steps with the white blazes. It looks like this was a minor re-route as you can see where it looks like it re-joins the trail later.

At mile 1.8 you'll come to a steep bare rock face that gives you your first real view. Be extremely careful here if wet. From this point on you'll pass a series of views connected by dense, tight rhododendron tunnels. With many bare rock areas and side trails, it can seem like a small maze of paths. Most just provide slightly better views or immediately reconnect. Just look out for the white blazes.

Continue to the Blood Mountain Shelter to finish this hike. Make sure to climb up on the rock ledge to get a view at the summit. Blood Mountain is the highest point along the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and the sixth highest mountain in Georgia. Remember on your way down to take it easy. Steep rocky descents can be just as challenging as ascending. If you want a longer hike, try the Blood Mountain Loop.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length4.1 miles
difficulty12.1 Medium
duration2 - 4 hours
features Dog Friendly  Summit  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeWhite (AT)
elevation gain1440 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestBlood Mountain Wilderness
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ranger districtBlue Ridge Ranger District
2042 Highway 515 West
Blairsville, GA 30512
706-745-6928
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 34.741687, -83.922683 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°44.5, W 83°55.36 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°44'30'', N 34°44'30'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.741687, -83.922683 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°44.5, W 83°55.36 most GPS units use this one
N 34°44'30'', N 34°44'30'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Driving north, continue .6 miles past the Mountain Crossings center at Neal's Gap. On the left, you will pass the exit for the parking lot first.
Notes
Get there early on weekends. The Byron Herbert Reece Trailhead can accommodate 38 vehicles. Vehicles parked outside designated spaces will be ticketed.
Take your time on wet rocks and steep bare rock sections. At the top there are several rock outlooks with steep drop offs.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-2 months ago
A Challenge Worth Taking
This is definitely a tough hike. Very rocky. Steep. And definitely worth it. Great views, but the sense of accomplishment is the real prize. The parking lot will fill fast on weekends so get here on a weekday if possible. Even if crowded, the difficulty and other trail options will spread people out.
Medium | Hiked Summer 2018
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