The hike to the summit of Blood Mountain is of northern Georgia's most popular day hikes. While the views from the summit of Blood Mountain are memorable any time of year, if you are able to time your visit in the autumn when the leaves change, you'll enjoy an added bonus.
Need to Know
Parking is limited at the trailhead and will fill early on weekends. Be sure to get there early if you want to snag a spot!
It is recommended to do the loop portion of the hike counterclockwise to get the steep climbing on the AT done on the way up and then you can enjoy a more mellow cruise back down the Freeman Trail #1A
Starting from the Neels Gap parking lot, cross the highway and pick up the AT on the other side. The trail starts climbing almost immediately, but the first mile is fairly gradual, giving you a nice warm-up. At just under a mile, you'll come to a four-way junction with the Freeman Trail #1A
and Byron Herbert Reece Trail #112
. Continue straight on the AT.
The going gets more difficult in the next mile as the trail starts to climb more steeply up several switchbacks. You'll get a brief reprieve before a final push to the summit, where you can enjoy a well-earned break to soak in the views. There is also a small shelter near the summit.
Once you are done enjoying the view, continue on the AT. you'll pass several trail junctions. Stay left on the AT at all three of these until you come to the junction with the Freeman Trail #1A
. Turn onto this trail for the steady and gradual descent back to the four-way junction with the AT and Byron Herbert Reece Trail #112
that you passed earlier. Note that the Freeman Trail is narrow and quite rocky in some places. Turn right here to head back to the trailhead and complete the hike.
Flora & Fauna
Shared By: Kristen Arendt