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Appalachian Trail: Woody Gap to Neel's Gap

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Blood Mountain Wilderness

Appalachian Trail: Woody Gap to Neel's Gap is a 10.4 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Dahlonega, Georgia that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,522 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

This was a beautiful portion of the AT. We caught a bit of rain and it’s got some moderately rocky steep parts.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Awesome point to point trail. Just hiked it on May, 21st, 2020. The parking for Woody Gap and Byron Reece is officially open. We parked at Byron Reece, hiked the blue marker until reaching the cross of AT, about .7 miles. From there it is a steep climb to the top of Blood Mountain. There is a nice shelter at the top, and the views are beautiful. The elevation down is pretty moderate and smooth, and the rest of the journey to Woody gap is relatively flat (until you reach Preacher’s Rock). The views there were the best I’ve seen on the AT, but when we got there, we saw a lot of folks coming from Woody Gap, so we left as soon as we were ready. Got a shuttle from Ron Brown back to our vehicle at Bryon Reece. Hike total was around 10.7 miles.

hiking
blowdown
closed
fee
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This was such an amazing hike! Started at woody gap thanks to our shuttle driver and hiked up to preachers rock. We hiked to the shelter (before blood mountain) and had lunch and s’mores. Then we hiked to the top of blood mountain and relaxed there. We took the Coosa backcountry trail back to Vogel State Park where our cars were. We hiked a total of 14.2 miles today!! It’s amazing and I so enjoyed my epsom salt soak afterwards.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. Was able to get this in just before the AT was officially closed due to COVID. I parked at Neel's Gap and hired a shuttle to drop me at Woody Gap. I caught an unbelievable view of the sunrise at Preacher's Rock. The trail is really nice the whole way, and of course, the views from Blood Mountain are wonderful. This is a great little taste of the Georgia AT.

hiking
4 months ago

It’s actually 11.3 miles. We parked at the parking lot for Blood Mountain. Had a pre arranged shuttle pick us up at 7:30am. Time change last night made for a really early wake up call!! Our shuttle dropped us at Woody around 8am. It was a tad bit cold once we hit the top of Preachers Rock. 28 degrees and a very strong wind. Ran into many thru hikers. This is a tough section to get through and we only had our day packs. Went down the AT trail and walked the road back to the parking lot. Kudos to all the thru hikers! Press on!!

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome, well marked trail with challenging parts and great views. Only downfall is what everyone else said, it can be crowded... I will definitely hit this trail again but I will try to avoid weekends.

hiking
7 months ago

Started from Woody walked to Neel's and back again. Twenty plus miles. Left at 7:30AM and returned to car at 5:00PM to give you an idea on time needed. Great great trail. Minus the burn on Blood Mountain, it is relatively flat as you are walking along the side of the mountain ranges. 4 out of 5. The only reason it is not 5 stars, is Preachers rock and blood get too crowded and the folks who visit these vistas tend to be loud and take away from the experience. Length: Long. Next time, I will stop at the Shelter on Blood. The only reason I carried on to Neels is to say I did the whole out and back. Blood is just too crowded for my taste. Condition: Excellent. It is the AT and the folks who care for the trail in GA, do a really fantastic job. Views: Doing this hike you get two of the best overlooks in GA. Preachers Rock and Blood Mountain. 2 for the price of 1! Water: There are 3, maybe 4 spots for water. I almost missed the one. There is a source at the bottom of blood, so pay attention to the sound and you will find it.

hiking
8 months ago

Yoyo’d this trail on a beautiful late Oct day for a total of 20.7 miles. Busy trail, especially considering it was a weekday. A couple nice overlooks and neat stone cabin at Blood Mountain. Took a break for lunch at the store on Hwy 129 at Neels Gap. I’d rate this as moderate instead of hard.

Great day of hiking! Blood mtn was hard down towards Neels creek! Great rewards at the store!

hiking
rocky
Thu May 23 2019

Short section hike for me. Started around 10:30 on a really hot day (90+ degrees). It's an easy hike for the first half and then from Slaughter Creek to the top of Blood Mountain it is much harder under full pack. The hike east to Neels Gap isn't any easier just because it's downhill. It's nearly all rock hopping until the last mile and then it smooths out to the road crossing. Be sure to time your hike to reach the Mountain Crossing store BEFORE 5pm because that's when it closes. You can still get into the hostel after the store closes but you won't have access the the store (food and water) itself.

Sun May 19 2019

Nice trailrunning in lush environment. About 80% of the trail is runnable. West of Jarrard camp site a fountain to refill the camel. 3hrs altogether from Woody and back with a lunch break. 88 F a bit warm for a run. No bears nor snakes.

camping
muddy
Mon Feb 18 2019

Due to great weather the parking lot was full and the trail was a little crowded with day hikers, but it late up as soo as we got to about 6 miles in. Spent the night at Slaughter Creek tent sight. Met several thru hikers that were getting an early start. Water was plentiful and the trail was clear of any blowdowns.

Sat Dec 15 2018

Did this section as part of a longer one in September of 2018. Really enjoyed the trail. Plenty of water at Lance Creek. Climb wasn’t too bad. Going down the backside of Blood Mtn to Neels Gap did take a while. Pretty rocky with a lot of switchbacks.

Tue Nov 06 2018

A hard hike, very challenging and technical at times. But a hike worth the views. Water is scarce, so plan according. 1.5 L bladder and 32 oz bottle was pushing it, but was sufficient. This is also my first backpacking trip. Started at Horse Gap and ended at Neel Gap, 23 miles in two days.

hiking
Sat Oct 13 2018

We reversed this, starting at Neels Gap and ending at Woody Gap. It ended up being a total of 11.3 miles either way you do it. Usually all trails is a little heavy on the milage, but not on this one. I wouldn't recommend doing this on the weekend, just because Blood Mountain has become really popular. other than fighting the crowds, it was a awesome trip. Don't skip out on the first blue trail, it goes to preacher's rock. you won't be disappointed.

backpacking
Tue Oct 09 2018

I have done this section numerous times and it has been a great hike every time. The water sources were scarce so make sure you fill up when you can.

running
Sun Sep 02 2018

This is a toughie. Some fantastic views, so it’s worth it, but it ain’t for the faint of heart. Sold almost 10 miler, all sorts of trail terrain, climbing, smooth running, scrambling, could use poles but not necessary, bare rock in spots, and did I mention it’s beautiful and tough?

backpacking
Wed Jul 06 2016

One of the best stretches of the AT in GA in my opinion after completing a full section hike of the GA AT as it has the rare combination of relatively easy trail and payoff views. Running north from Woody gap you first come to Preacher's rock which has one of the best views on the GA AT stretch. From there you have several great campsites over the next 5 miles or so the first of which coming at Lance Creek and then again at Jarrad gap and yet again when the trail intersects we the side trail for the AT shelter. Blood mountain is the highlight on the north end of the trail with more spectacular views at the top. The only really tough part of this stretch is the decent from Blood mountain into Neels gap which is steep and punishing on the knees. The only water along this stretch is is at Lance creek and a small spring along the side trail to the shelter just before Blood mountain so be sure to plan accordingly.

hiking
3 months ago

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