Legends tell of the gory battles waged between Creek and Cherokee Indians atop 4,458-foot Blood Mountain, but today the site is famous for being the highest point in this Wilderness. Scenically rugged mountain peaks, rocky outcroppings, waterfalls, and numerous streams, most of which lie within the Chestatee Wildlife Management Area, surround the mountain. The vegetation is primarily second-growth upland and cove hardwoods. Deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, and squirrels live here, and there are also black bears and raccoons. The Desoto Falls Scenic Area, with its waterfalls, marks the eastern boundary. Just across U.S. 129 lies Raven Cliffs Wilderness. Small and big game bring in quite a few hunters. Hikers usually travel the Appalachian Trail (AT), which crosses the area along the crest of the Blue Ridge for 10.75 miles and eventually reaches a rock shelter on Blood Mountain. This trail, according to the USFS, is "the most heavily used portion of the AT in Georgia." Many old logging roads crisscross the area. The Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail crosses part of the area. Hikers should be aware that encounters with black bears are common in the area. The use of bear proof food storage containers is highly recommended.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Blood Mountain Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.