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Hiked this past weekend, super crowded day on the AT. Lots of people at all the overlooks. Looped back on the Freeman Trail which was far less populated.

Fantastic trail with varying terrain and scenery. I love taking landscape photographs and my only “complaint” would be every expansive vantage point was inhibited by fauna (I wasn’t even going that wide at 24mm).

From our campsite in Vogel we tracked this as 8 miles. After the first mile it is all uphill to Blood Mountain. If you are used to hiking elevation it is not bad, if not it will be a challenge. The view at the top is beautiful. You hike a combination of the Bear Hare, Coosa, Duncan Ridge and AT trails. Favor left on the way up and right on the way down but it is marked well.

I have hiked about 100 trails with waterfalls and this trail is by far the most beautiful! Very easy hike in and out. Well marked and maintained.
There are actually two falls at the end with a smaller one along the way.
I would give it 10 stars if I could!!

hiking
10 days ago

Great trail for all ages!

Intense is the only word i can use to describe this hike. The AT part of the hike is a cake walk. The Blood Mountain side is hell on earth. It was cool to see the views and say ive reached the summit but i would never do it again. Accidentally made a left instead of a right off byron reece and ended up descending down that whole part of the trail and ascended back up once i got to the road& saw my mistake. Tough climb but i did see children and small dogs doing it.

horseback riding
15 days ago

beware of bicyclists most have no clue of how to behave around horses . the trail design is constantly crossing horses and bikes . like most things in alachua county , it looks good on paper , but the function sucks

hiking
16 days ago

This loop is actually Jarrard Gap trail to AT to Slaughter Creek trail. The Jarrard section was poorly marked in some places. At one point, after losing the trail near an old campsite and wandering for 20 minutes, I ended up just sitting on a log and waiting until someone came down the mountain from the other direction - never would have found the trail otherwise. The AT section doesn't really have any views even though it follows the ridgeline, thanks to the tree cover. Recommend doing a spur up the AT to Blood Mountain, which has a great view and is worth the extra mile or so. The Slaughter Creek section was the prettiest, with lovely foliage and lots of picturesque creek crossings. Next time, I would choose to do Slaughter Creek out and back. My dog liked this hike and had no problems with the terrain.

trail running
16 days ago

Wonderful place to run
Easy trails, can do with kids
No single track
Dog friendly

I'm rating this 1 star because you can't actually park here. Look for the Neels Gap to Blood Mountain trail for more accurate parking. It's just 1/2 mile further up the road.

I must say this was a beautiful yet challenging hike. I started on BR trail to Freeman then AT and back in 7.33 miles and right under 4 hours. I was all alone until the rest shelter on Blood Mountain. It was very rocky yet breathtaking. I would do it again but go AT to Freeman. Give it a whirl!

hiking
21 days ago

Nice walk to the observation deck. Deck is damaged from a fallen tree so part of the viewing area is inaccessible. Still beautiful views of the falls.

Beautiful day for a “Hump Day Hike” today! We decided to take the Freeman Loop when we reached the AT from the Byron Reece Parking Lot! Unfortunately we saw the sign and went straight down the big rocks that looked like a trail! Wasted some time when we couldn’t find the trail & had to double back to look for the Trailhead which we eventually found to the right! There is a sign but the trailhead isn’t obvious! Once we got started, we had a quiet hike on the Freeman Trail then met some great hikers the rest of our trip! Beautiful views at the top! Lots of folks, dogs, & 1 infant but didn’t seem crowded! I also wore an orange vest because I heard it was deer season but took it off when several hikers told me it was only needed on some trails to the South! A fun day!

Short but the falls are worth it

truly spectacular! streams and rhododendron tunnels, followed by gorgeous ridgeline views, then back down into the valley

This was a tremendously enjoyable hike that was rocky at times but provided a wonderful scenic overlook. The hike was not overly strenuous but would up your cardio in places. Although the trail is dog friendly, it could be tough for small dogs. They would need to be lifted over some of the larger rocks. As others have noted, the Freeman trail was sparsely traveled, but the Appalachian Trail on a Saturday afternoon was a steady stream of hikers. We hiked the Freeman Trail first and then looped back on the Appalachian Trail. Unfortunately, we were hiking against the steady flow of AT hikers.

We love Blood Mountain! It’s a challenging hike, but the views are beautiful and well worth the effort!

Loved this hike! I went up Byron Reece and got a little turned around at the intersection of AT and Freeman’s- I ended up going around Freeman’s Loop and hiking back down the AT. About 7 miles in all today.... the view at the top of the rocks by Blood Mountain Shelter are great! I would rate the hike as moderate- maybe moderately difficult for a new hiker- didn’t expect it to be so rocky! Glad I had my trail shoes on! Took about 3 hours with about a 25 minute rest at the shelter. I’d do again and come up the AT and back down freeman

Very nice trail. We ll definitely do it again

Beautiful hike and amazing day. Me and my wife completed in 3.5 hours. It starts with Byron Reece trailhead and there is 0.7 miles of rocky stairs meeting at intersection for Freeman and Appalachian Trail. We took AT to climb and loop back to freeman trail. AT its bit heavily trafficked and freeman trail path is low trafficked. Freeman Trail is rocky and it rained today, so was very slippery. But overall the view from top calls for another visit to this beauty.

Its out first hike on Appalachian Trail

easy and great short hike!

Beautiful. There are several places to view the canyons from the top if you dont want to hike down. Some things to note that I haven't seen mentioned- there is a $5/car parking fee AND there is a bit of water at the bottom of the canyons. Nothing deep, maybe an inch or less, but if you aren't wearing the right shoes you will end up soggy! Still, a great hike. We will be going back to do the longer loop.

Arrived 9am on a Sunday morning in early October. Parking lot was almost full but still a few spots. Seems to be a popular spot for overnight camping so weekend mornings are probably the worst in terms of parking, along with holidays.

Went up the AT and down Freeman - found this hike pretty easy, got up in just over an hour. Couple of good spots for views but not too many tbh.

Freeman descent was very easy, it was very wet but still not a single area where I was concerned.

Overall not much of a challenge for anyone used to hiking.

Keep in mind all reviews are relative - I hike a lot.

Pretty nice views from the top of Blood Mountain Trail. Overall it’s a bit of a rocky hike and when I went it had just rained so it is a bit slippery. There is one part after the freeman trail meets the Byron Reese And Appalachian trails that it is difficult to see where the AT goes next. The freeman trail is a bit narrow on the way back.

The hike was absolutely amazing. We stayed and watched the sunset at the top and hiked down via the AT with headlamps. It was by far the best sunset I’ve seen in GA! It took us about an hour and a half to get up and maybe 45 minutes to get down but we hiked at a pretty quick pace. Not the easiest hike but definitely not horribly challenging.

This trial offers the same beautiful views of the canyon floor as the backcountry loop trail but with a lot less mileage

if you follow the map, you'll park at the Byron Reece trail head off of US 19. the Byron Reece trail connects the parking lot to the Appalachian trail. read this next part twice. the Byron Reece trail is stairs. 0.7 miles of stairs. the Appalachian trail part is medium difficulty uphill hike. there are some difficult spots here and there, but that Byron Reece trail tries to kill you.

I take new people on that trail. I go from the parking lot to the top and spend the night, then walk out the way I came in most of the time. Its 2.15 miles from the parking lot to the shelter on top. you can do 2.15 miles in 8 hours or less. the trail is difficult, it will require a lot of work, but you can do it if you try hard enough and take your time. the views and camping up top is great with a sense of accomplishment.

Went in from the parking lot for Raven Cliff Falls. Had to ford the creek a couple times which made it more fun.Would suggest doing it from proper trailhead if you're not very adventurous.

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