Preachers Rock Blood Mountain Wilderness, GA
DURATION 1-2 hours
There And
Back Again
Preachers Rock

One of the shortest day hikes along the Appalachian Trail, hike 2-miles roundtrip to Preachers Rock from Woody Gap for an amazing view from a large rock outcrop. A Georgia classic just an hour and a half north of Atlanta, this hike is perfect for beginners young and old, kids, and dogs. The last section is steep but the view rewards your sweat.

For this hike, you'll be heading north along the Appalachian Trail. Parking is available on both sides of the highway at Woody Gap, but the trail begins on the north side with the larger parking lot and the restrooms. On the opposite side of the road is a good view and the AT heading southbound. For another option or a great addition to this hike, you can head south to Ramrock Mountain. This is a popular destination so get there early on nice weekends.

The hike begins next to the restrooms. Immediately side trails to the left and right branch off, but stay straight on the wider path. The first half mile heads uphill at a leasurly rate of 280 ft/mi before dropping down through Lunsford Gap. A side trail on the right heads to a campsite but it's obvious which path to stay on.

This is where the fun begins. The last third of a mile heads up a series of steep switchbacks, climbing just under 300 feet. Along the way you'll pass around large rock formations and stone steps. There's a minor view at the end of one switchback on the way up but nothing compared to the expansive view you get once you reach the large open rock outcropping of Preachers Rock at 1 mile. With beautiful views to the southeast, hang out and soak up some sun on the exposed rock before heading back the way you came.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.5 mi
58 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.2 mi
82 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.2 mi
116 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
158 ft
24 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.1 mi
195 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
length2 miles
difficulty4.1 Easy
duration1 - 2 hours
features Dog Friendly  Views 
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeWhite (AT)
elevation gain460 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestBlood Mountain Wilderness
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ranger districtBlue Ridge Ranger District
2042 Highway 515 West
Blairsville, GA 30512
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 34.677916, -83.999606 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°40.67, W 83°59.98 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°40'40'', N 34°40'40'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.677916, -83.999606 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°40.67, W 83°59.98 most GPS units use this one
N 34°40'40'', N 34°40'40'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
There is parking on both sides of the highway but this hike begins northbound on the AT on the north side of the road with the larger parking area.
Parking Capacity
31 parking spots.
Rocky and rooty throughout.
Steep drop offs at Preachers Rock. Keep an eye on children and pets.
Nearby Hikes
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (3)
hikethesouth-3 years ago
Updated Review
This was my second time along this section of the AT and this is still a fantastic short hike from Woody Gap to Preachers Rock. One of the best short hikes in Georgia. A good bit rocky and rooty but nothing too bad. A few side trails but the main trail is the larger one and easy to follow. Just look for the white AT blazes on the trees. The view is amazing on a beautiful day!
Easy | Hiked Summer 2020
Smokey12-4 years ago
Awe inspiring!
The short steep distance almost made me give this an easy-medium rating but your description made me persevere and, oh, am I glad I did! The view from the rock was awe inspiring especially if you have a few minutes alone to just sit and reflect. And, if it’s crowded with other hikers, you can just oh and awe together.
Easy | Hiked Summer 2019
hikethesouth-6 years ago
A North GA Must Hike
This is a great short hike along the AT in Georgia. Great for families and those just looking for a quick view off the highway. Get there early as it's a popular parking area.
Easy | Hiked Spring 2018
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