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Byron-Reece to Freeman and then up the backside of Blood Mountain via the AT is the easier direction of travel. As other reviewers say, this is a challenge and took a solid 5 hours with stops for pics and lunch, but it’s a great hike in the fall/winter. Trekking poles will make life easier. Be sure to head east on the AT for about 100 yards at the intersection of Byron-Reece and Freeman to see the balancing boulder.

This is one of my N Ga favorites. Great views at the top, rugged trails, and always a few other happy hikers! All the trails are well marked and easy to follow, but it’s not just a nature walk so be prepared.

Awesome trail! I highly recommend it!

We did the full loop on an early November day after a few days of torrential rains here in the Dalton area. As a result, all of the streams, springs and creeks were swollen. In the part of the trail that goes through the valley floor, there are many streams that are easy to step across in normal conditions, however, on this day, the width of the streams varied from 3 feet to 15 feet in width that we had to cross. We actually had to ford one stream, but were able to leap across with a running start, or make steppingstones for the other ones. We crossed at least 20 streams as we hiked along the valley floor. While these many water challenges added additional challenges to the trek, it also made the completion that much more satisfactory to us. Great trek! We started at the trailhead at 11 AM, and finished the loop at 2:30 PM. We stopped frequently for pictures and to formulate strategies for crossing the many streams. We did not see a single other hiker, and did not hear any traffic or other noise, which gave this loop a refreshing, backcountry feel. Enjoy!

I loved it! It was wet and slippery in places since it had just rained yesterday and, yes, it is a little challenging (that's good) but those views are worth it!! I was hiking at a decent pace and the round trip took me about 2.5 hours .

Everything about this hike was perfect. The drive to get there is a little longer but beautiful. We had no trouble approaching from Doublehead Gap, then the dirt service road to the trail, which we found to be well maintained. Beautiful hike with ample stream crossings and change of scenery as you cross over the ridge. We had enough energy to also hike to Long Creek Falls afterwards which added another two miles to our adventure. The falls are beautiful and worth the effort. A full and satisfying day.

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 love this trail. I have sprained my ankle on it 3 times so it's definitely rocky and a tad difficult without appropriate shoes.

We have hiked it in and out, but usually we bring 2 cars and leave one at the lot past Preachers Rock and camp. Lots of fun either way!

Awesome trail with beautiful views. Pretty rocky at points, but manageable.

I'd avoid it on beautiful days after it's rained. It rained 2 days ago and is 70 in late October so there were a lot of families of leafers. What little mud there was turned into mud pits got tracked onto rocks creating some slippery spots.

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!

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!

Awesome trail with plenty to see and ample water sources.

A very strenuous but great hike. Spectacular views at Blood Mtn. Definitely print out the map from Alltrails because it's very detailed.

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.

it is a tough hike out of vogel up to slaughter gap. gets easier on duncan ridge up to the AT and then blood mountain. I missed the right turn on the way down too. this route is a great way to avoid the insanity of the Byron Reece trailhead.

We use this trail as an intro backpacking trail. We camp in the back next to the creek. This essentially gives us two different hikes. A valley hike with lots of pretty creek crossings and a ridge hike with some views. Little to no traffic every time I’ve hiked it. Great trail.

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

Georgia state parks never cease to amaze me. This trail was absolutely beautiful and a wonderful hike right on the creeks edge

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

This was an amazing yet strenuous hike. Springer Mountain was a little treacherous due to the rocks being wet but still it was an incredible hike. We loved every moment of it and this was the beginning of our AT adventure so we are loving it so far!

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.

Beautiful trail to hike but like others have said I would consider this more moderate. I did the red trail and took the white trail connection back to the welcome center so was about 5 miles total. It’s pretty rocky and tons of tree roots so make sure you have good shoes. I did see a copperhead snake and a sign saying rattlesnakes are prevalent in the area so keep your eyes peeled and be cautious if you leave the trail. Parking fee was $5.

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 was mine and my dogs first trail to hike in Georgia, go big or go home. That being said, totally worth it. It’s rating is accurate and it is challenging, but not something that can’t be done. If you need to, stop and take breaks along the way. Super rocky trail, I felt bad for my pup but he was a champ. You live and you learn!

Tip: once you reach the top of the devils stairway, you will find out what I’m talking about soon enough, take a right and follow the AT white markers. Fool proof up to the summit.

I tried to make a mental map based on previous comments. But I wasn't able to discern what the best way to the summit was. Personally, I parked at the Byron Reece Trailhead parking lot (found an spot at 3pm on a Sunday) walked in using the trail connector. This is .7 miles of straight elevation gain. Not terrible, but definitely indicative of the terrain the rest of the way up. There was a split in the trail I wasn't expecting about .4 miles in. I ran into a couple and they directed me to the right (uphill), and that led to the intersection. which is actually a 3-way trail intersection Three trails converge (AT, Freeman and Byron Reece). If you're coming from my direction Byron Reece(and want the most direct route) then you bear right following the white AT blazes uphill... if you're taking the long way and following the Freeman trail you go straight which is downhill. I've heard the Freeman is a more gradual approach to the summit, but I was pressed for time, so I opted for the more difficult AT summit route.

There are at least a collective quarter mile of rock scrambles. These are fun during the ascent, but a complete pain on the descent. Once on the AT, the trail is pretty clear, with guiding blazes that mark the right path on most questionable areas. I took my time and sat at the top for a good hour. This hike took a collective 5 hours. I would recommend treking poles and more water than you would normally carry. The view is worth any pain and suffering in the approach. 10/10 will hike again.

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