Blood Mountain Approach Trail is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Blairsville, GA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Directions from Blairsville: Take US 19 and 129 south for 12 miles. Turn right into the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial and continue to the parking lot on the left.
There is parking at the trail head but not many spaces and it fills up early. From the parking lot, you take the BH Reece trail up the mountain and you come to an intersection of the AT (white) and the Freeman (blue). I chose to go up to the summit first. This is a great hike, the approach to Blood Mountain will get your heart rate up quickly. The vegetation in this area in summer time is totally effing radical. On the way up I saw a little snake scurrying along the trail, which was the first of a few interesting sightings that day. The views going up to the top just get better and better.
Once at the top, I stopped for a break and to take in an amazing view. As I was sitting there I saw a couple in front of me get engaged, that was pretty cool. Then it was time to head off and I continued along the AT. At some point along here I came across a black bear. I heard a bunch of movement in the bush and thought a person was going to pop out, but nope....bear. It wanted nothing to do with me and quickly ran off down hill. It was really really cool to experience something like that and was the highlight of my day.
I continued on and took the Freeman trail to loop back around. I did this same hike in January of last year and it's amazing how different a trail can look between two seasons. The Freeman trail is alright, not really much to it but a ton of rocks so get ready for lots of step up/down. Ohh, and like someone else mentioned, this particular loop is not 11 miles, it's more like 6.
A really great hike and not that difficult for anyone within reasonable shape. We did the Freeman Trail loop after hiking up to the top of Blood. Would definitely do the hike again, but would probably just do an up and back to the Picnic Rock just beyond the shelter. There just wasn't much to the Freeman Trail loop part of the hike after the spectacular views along the AT.
Not sure why the hike is listed as 11 miles. Doing what is highlighted only gets you to about 6 miles total which took us about 3 hours to complete.
First time doing anything reasonably outdoorsy since like 2009, pack a day smoker, heavy drinker, decided to start with Blood Mountain. Not sure why the difficulty is rated so high...super easy trail despite a few killer switchbacks on the ascent. Absolutely gorgeous trail though, nice rocky outcroppings to treat you to some incredible sweeping vistas of the surrounding wilderness as an apology for the switchbacks. Strongly recommended for anyone with functional legs and a couple hours to kill.
Challenging and fun
Beautiful views from the top. Can barely make out the Atlanta skyline on a clear day.
Wife and I hiked 2.2 m up 2.2 m back. Rock climbing steep and strenuous most of the way up. Great 360 degree views at top, so worth the extra effort. Bring extra water and a meal for this hike.
Fantastic view. Great place to hang out after you make it to the top.
It was a very nice trail and you have a few challenges but over all it was a very peaceful trail,I would definitely go on the AT trail after
Very challenging but worth the view at the top!
Beautiful trail and awesome views at the top.
Watch my trip to blood mountain here
Great trail. Not as hard as I had heard and my dog loves it. Went this weekend (mid January) and weather was unseasonably warm and super very sunny. Parts of the trail can get a bit slippery when wet and definitely very muddy.