Blood Mountain via Lake Winfield Scott Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area, GA
miles
LENGTH 7.7 MILES
DIFFICULTY 12.7 Medium
DURATION 3-4 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
1890
feet
TRAIL TYPE
Lollipop
Loop
Blood Mountain via Lake Winfield Scott

Hike from a beautiful mountain lake to the mountain summit on this lollipop loop combination of trail up Blood Mountain. Starting at Lake Winfield Scott, you'll enjoy less crowded trail on the way up to one of the most popular hiking destinations in Georgia.

The Jarrard Gap and Slaughter Creek trails combine with the Appalachian Trail to form a loop to the base of Blood Mountain, with the AT heading over the summit. This page describes heading up the Jarrard Gap Trail to the AT up to Blood, then backtracking back to the Slaughter Creek Trail. The Slaughter Creek Trail is easier on the way up so take it first if you're so inclined. And if you want something longer, make this a double loop by adding the Freeman Trail.

Jarrard Gap Trail. Begin this hike following signs for both Jarrard Gap and Slaughter Creek trails. Turn left at the sign at .1 miles, then turn right onto the gravel road at .25 miles. The gravel road turns left then splits at just under .5 miles. Look for the trail sign just to the right of the road split. After .2 miles, stay right to continue uphill. After a couple short steep sections, you'll come to a wider unmarked path at 1.15 miles. Turn right and just a few steps uphill is Jarrard Gap and the Appalachian Trail.

Appalachian Trail to Blood Mountain. Turn left on the AT from Jarrard Gap. Along the ridge, you'll get occasional winter views. Continuing uphill you'll arrive at Bird Gap at 2.6 miles and the Freeman Trail on the right. Continue straight. At 3 miles you'll hit the Slaughter Creek Trail split.

Blood Mountain. Head up the stone steps to continue on the AT over Blood Mountain by way of several switchbacks. You'll pass the Duncan Ridge Trail on the left at 3.4 miles and reach the summit at 3.9 miles. At the shelter, you can climb up the rock for the summit view. Heading down through dense rhododendron tunnels arrive at Blood Mountain Overlook another .1 miles further.

Slaughter Creek Trail. Retrace your steps along the AT back down to the base of Blood Mountain and the Slaughter Creek Trail split. All the difficult bits are behind you as the Slaughter Creek Trail heads downhill at a gentle pace. Much of the trail stays close to Slaughter Creek and although you can catch glimpses in winter, you'll be hearing it more than seeing it. After another half mile, a trail heads off to the right, stay left. Pass a couple side trails to a campsite on the right a bit further. Arrive back at the gravel road crossing split with the Jarrard Gap Trail and shortly afterward finishing the hike back at Lake Winfield Scott.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Length
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
1.3 mi
129 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.8 mi
295 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.9 mi
555 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.7 mi
598 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.3 mi
343 ft
Elevation Loss
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Length
Elevation Loss
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.9 mi
116 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
1 mi
400 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
1.2 mi
755 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.5 mi
443 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.2 mi
219 ft
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length7.7 miles
difficulty12.7 Medium
duration3 - 4 hours
trail typeLollipop Loop
blazeBlue (Jarrard Gap / Slaughter Creek), White (AT)
elevation gain1890 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestLake Winfield Scott Recreation Area
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ranger districtBlue Ridge Ranger District
2042 Highway 515 West
Blairsville, GA 30512
706-745-6928
parking fee$5/vehicle
trailhead coordinates 34.737485, -83.972837 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°44.25, W 83°58.37 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°44'15'', N 34°44'15'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.737485, -83.972837 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°44.25, W 83°58.37 most GPS units use this one
N 34°44'15'', N 34°44'15'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Just before the lake there's a gravel parking lot on the left. Along the rest of the road there are several other parking areas and marked parking spots. The trailhead is just after the first lot on the right across from the lake.
Parking Capacity
10-12 vehicles at the first gravel lot. 10-12 vehicles along the gravel parking along the road. 30+ other designated spots along the road.
Notes
Minor creek crossings, some muddy sections, and a few rocky sections.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-2 months ago
Another Great Day Hike to Blood Mountain
There are so many ways up Blood Mountain, each with their own merits, and this is no exception. If you want to enjoy the lake and find a bit of solitude on the way up then this hike is the way to do it.
Medium | Hiked Winter 2019
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