Blood Mountain Wilderness is located in North Georgia, roughly following the Appalachian Trail approximately 10 miles from Woody Gap at Georgia Highway 19 north to Neel Gap at US-19. This wilderness area contains several mountains, the most notable being Blood Mountain (elevation 4,458 ft), the highest point on the AT in Georgia with southern views that are truly worth the climb.
Trails in and around the Blood Mountain Wilderness include 9.8 miles of the Appalachian trail running along the north edge of the wilderness area, Freeman trail in the north skirting the south face of the Blood Mountain AT summit, and a section of Dockery Lake trail at the southern end of the wilderness. Because of its southerly residence, the trails in the Blood Mountain Wilderness are accessible year round (other than very rare inclement weather.)
As are all US Wilderness areas, the Blood Mountain Wilderness is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System meaning it is "an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain" and "an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions." As such, the Blood Mountain Wilderness area has a special natural beauty that is becoming increasingly rare.
The Blood Mountain Wilderness area is accessible from the south via parking on Georgia Highway 60 at Woody Gap in the southwest, via Dockery Lake Trail starting at Dockery Lake parking in the southeast, via Slaughter Creek access trail starting at Lake Winfield Scott ($5 fee) in the northwest, and via parking at Neel Gap on US-19 in the northeast.
On peak weekends in the spring and fall, parking at Woody Gap and Neel Gap can be a little over-crowded.
When to Go
The section of the Appalachian Trail in this area can be popular on weekends in the fall and spring, but rarely is it crowded.
Permits are not required for the trails in this wilderness area.
Off-leash dogs are allowed, if under voice control. While the trails are mostly dog-friendly, parts of the Appalachian trail around Blood Mountain can be too strenuous for some dogs.