Explore the most popular forest trails near Blairsville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trail is tough. Not super crowded. No views, but beautiful area. Summer growth is over taking trail in places.

This was such a fun trail with multiple beautiful overlooks at the top. Most people turn left onto the AT when they make it to the intersection and are met with a steep incline and tons of rocks, but if you curve to the right and continue onto Byron Reese, you will have a slow and much more doable incline. We did this and thought the trail was fairly easy because of it. Wear good shoes and socks! The trail is so rocky.

I’ll give it middle of the road, if you like hiking or what to see what it’s like on parts of the AT this is a good place. There’s not any overlooks past the Bear trail and no waterfalls but for pure hiking this is still fun. Our family enjoyed it.

We did the full loop, clockwise, in just under 5 hours. I’ll give it three stars because no matter what, it’s still in beautiful north Georgia. Downsides include lots of road noise, major overgrowth (at times I couldn’t see my feet and the growth was above my waist), pretty much zero scenic lookouts in the summer, and bears. There was one loose at the camp site when I started the hike and I’ve noticed a common theme in these reviews.

The Blood Mountain portion was moderate and challenging. Great to see the lodge and the mountains all around. We came down Freeman’s loop - that part was brutal. So many rocks and roots to navigate, but we made it and will do it again. Be sure to bring more water than you think you’ll drink!

We tried to take Freeman trail but some guys said we were off trail so we turned around and took the AT trail. Lots of rocks to walk over and climb. Difficult trail but doable. It’s so worth the view at the top. I’ll be doing this again.

The trail is actually 8.5 miles (Website), and challenging beginners. We missed the right turn on Duncan Ridge trail and made a right on a blue trail walking a mile in a half off trail to Bird Gap. We had to turnaround to get back on course. Loved the hike, I would do it again, but taking my time not to missed the right turn.

hiking
24 days ago

Easy short hike. The 1.5 mile dirt road to the trail head wasn’t too be but I could see this being a challenge on a rainy day. The waterfall and pool were awesome. Easy to get to and enjoy. Water was a little cold but you adjust on a warm day.

Very short little hike. the trail is very welll kept and the views are sensational

Did in November and was a challenge then counter clockwise and was even more challenging in the summer clockwise!

We did run into a few bear cubs, but nothing major and was safe hanging in a plastic bag unexpectedly spending the night on trail!

I love this track. It’s a great challenge and wonderful workout! I have been able to complete counter clockwise in one day, but clockwise always catches me a few miles short for a one day completion. I’ll get there!

My main reason for setting camp was the downpour and being out of water after the Duncan ridge split. Clockwise, it was straight up!

Heard the thunder threatening, and booked it to a camp site I’ve stayed beforehand re and knew water is close. Hunkered down for the rain in the hammock. Once it moved on, came out for a nice fire since we covered the firewood and a warm mountain house meal!

Tried to catch some rest, but after the storm and out location in hammocks, the breeze was a bit chill. May have slept 3 hours. Got up, warmed by a nice fire, mountain house meal for breakfast and come coffee. A few miles and we were off the trail.

We parked in an intersecting road and tapped the tail from there. Much recommend if you want the “free feeling.” Not as in not paying out park fees, but able to do what you like. We entered a great spot to start our trip.

Great track! Get out and hit it! It’s a great conditioning run!

The AT portion is fairly open but Freeman portion somewhat overgrown. Lots of rocks and fallen trees to climb over on Freeman.

hiking
28 days ago

A friend and I came to the area to hike Neels Gap to Blood Mountain but the weather was horrible and she wasn't too comfortable doing that much elevation in the pouring rain.
We opted for this trail instead. It was October so there was still enough leaves to canopy us some from the pouring rain. It was quite lovely. The trail is really interesting but it was quite slippery in places due to all the rocks.
We intend on revisiting this entire area in the near future and revisiting this trail and the ones we missed.

backpacking
29 days ago

Just finished an overnight on this loop. Last nights highlights:

-torrential rain, has a rain forest jungly feel
-trails are clear but lots of growth hanging over and slapping my bare legs, i recommend long pants unless you like thousands of plants slapping your ankles. i was astounded i had no poison ivy rash or any issues though so the plants on this trail are not mean
-i rounded a corner and surprised a black bear on the trail..fortunately he panicked first and sprinted down hill so fast he started tumbling
-lots of climbing and elevation(for georgia) 4200 ft. that means cooler air and a nice sleep if you camp above 3500
-not stunningly scenic but a great workout loop. you should be in decent shape or the climbing might get old
-personal pet peeve with this trail is hearing highway noise while in my tent. i like hearing owls, crickets, and running water when im in my tent. maybe it was where i camped.

Lot's of fun for an experienced hiker, made the mistake of taking my girlfriend on this trail as her first hike. Needless to say she was in over her head.

Straight up climb. Great exercise! Even better views! :)

Hikes this aith mt wife last October. We loved it!

Very easy hike but one of the families favorites. My 3 yr old and 6 yr old have no trouble with this hike and love climbing the rocks and playing in the water. The swimming hole at the upper falls is a great place to cool off.

Fun hike up and down to the last waterfall (don't stop halfway). Beautiful fall and swimming hole. Great place to cool off and take photos. Brief climb down from viewing platform to get in the water.

There are lots of rocks and boulders and roots to keep your feet and ankles and senses engaged. Coming down Freeman is good practice for moving your whole body and not just your legs to keep the momentum going. Lots of shade, lots of moisture, lots of bugs and critters and birds. Families and small groups and couples fairly common on the AT portion, solitude on the Freeman.

I love hiking in Georgia! I know that there are great places in NC and TN too, but that ain't Georgia. That being said, I did teh Coosa trail counter-clockwise startng from the Vogle visitors center at 7:30 this morning and was back at my car at 2:15. I felt like I was hiking at an average pace. I was alone, so I didn't have a reference...so I didn't have to make any unnecessary stops. But, I did take plenty of time to enjoy the limited views (jungle like in summer) and take plenty of selfies! BTW...I had cell service (att) for most of the hike. Anyway, to keep this short.....Awesome trail, good challange, no bears (for me!), It's in GA, and it can be done in a day despite what the sign says.

I was not quite ready for this trail. It took us almost 9 hours and we started a little too late. It started getting dark! The trail itself was great! I would love to do it again now that I’ve been hiking for a while. I would not recommend it for a beginner.

Great if you just wanna cut right to it and see a gorgeous waterfall and enjoy a swim!

This is def a great hike and work out. When you get to the first 4 way sign there's two trails towards the right. One trail going straight towards the right of the sign (it's a dirt trail) don't go down the rocky part, we made that mistake and had to come back up and then the other trail is directly to the right of the sign. These trails loop around. Either way you go, it's a workout. Worth it! Also I found it helpful recording my hike with the app, it def came in handy when I needed direction.

Helton Creek Falls has been a favorite of ours for over twenty years! We love the easy hike to a delightful and scenic swimming hole for an easy trip. We've taken kids and adults there, and it's always a hit.

Keep in mind there are no facilities of any sort. If you're swimming, be prepared to change in your car or put down a towel so you don't get your seats wet, unless you are confident you can find a secluded spot to change in the woods!

Great trail omg I love it

hiking
1 month ago

Very difficult hike no matter what skill level you are at. I still enjoyed the hike.

We are in north GA from West Virginia. We are staying at Vogel. This trail is excellent. My wife and I completed it in 2.5 hours, but we hiked at a steady pace. The hike is challenging but the summit is definitely worth the effort. You won’t be sorry!

backpacking
2 months ago

I made this trip an overnighter, getting on trail at about 5:30pm on a Friday, hike a couple miles, and finishing the loop the next day. Challenging but enjoyable hike, dense undergrowth in the summer so there weren’t many “payoff” views at the end of climbs, but still a solid trail.

Excellent hike with very strong to moderate climbs. If you do the freeman trail also, be prepared for some strong hiking. This is not a 1.5 - 2 hour hike. Plan for 3-4 hours of string hiking. There is a small waterfall to the-fill once you get about 1/3 way through the trail.

2 months ago

This hike is incredible to say the least. The first 1.7 miles are absolutely brutal, but once you get on the first ridge it's completely worth every minute of your pain and suffering. This is one of those hikes that reminds you of all the good and bad. If your young and in top notch shape, there is no bad. If you're not up to one heck of a challenge then don't even attempt this trail. Blood Mountain and Yonah Mountain are a walk in the park compared to this but well worth it if you have it in you. To say it's tough is a understatement, but the terrain along the way and the views cancel out everything else.

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