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Duluth Massage

AT Woody Gap to Neels Gap
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 10.6 miles Type of trail: Point to Point
County: Union County, GA, Lumpkin County, GA Our rating: D
Features: scenic, camping, bathrooms, AT Your rating:
Usage: Medium Added on: January 01, 1995
Last hiked: May 22, 2014 Updated on: October 08, 2015
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Hiking trails in Union County, GA
Hiking trails in Lumpkin County, GA

Directions to AT Woody Gap to Neels Gap

America's First Trail, the Appalachian Trail traverses the eastern Appalachian Mountains from north to south along the eastern ridge.

In this section of the Appalachian Trail you descend about 50 feet overall. Woody Gap checks in at 3,160 feet and Neels Gap is 3,109 feet in elevation. In between the two are some of the most scenic views along the trail, and one the trail's busiest intersections.

Leaving Woody Gap going east the AT climbs through a hardwood forest to Steel Trap Knob and Jacobs Knob. Leaving Jacobs Knob the path drops easily into Lunsford Gap. then begins a switch-back climb to the top of Big Cedar Mountain that is moderate to difficult. At 1.1 miles hikers are treated to a spectacular view of the Chattahoochee National Forest from Preacher's Rock near the peak. This is a frequent day hike from Woody Gap and is sometimes known as "Preaching Rock."

From here the trail makes an easy descent eventually coming to Miller Gap at 2.6 miles where the Dockery Lake Trail joins the AT. This area has an excellent view of the Blood Mountain Scenic Area. After Miller Gap the trail swings around to the east, with a moderate switched-back climb to the top of Baker Mountain. An easy climb up Burnett Field Mountain is followed by an easy descent into Jarrard Gap, where the Jarrard Gap Trail intersects with the Appalachian Trail, coming in from the left.

The 1.8 miles continue the mountain to gap pattern, but at the next intersection the Slaughter Creek Trail joins the AT, coming up from Lake Winfield Scott. Many hikers will remember that the trails use to meet in Slaughter Gap, but the treadway was so overused that the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club rerouted and renamed the old Slaughter Gap Trail to avoid further impact.

The Slaughter Creek/AT/Jarrard Gap hike is a popular day hike, so expect a lot of use in this area, especially on the weekends. When the Cherokee Indians first began to migrate to Georgia a tremendous battle took place here, hence the name Slaughter Gap. Other geographical names (Blood and Slaughter Mountain) in the area were related to this battle. A 1951 archaeological expedition found evidence of both Creek and Cherokee Indians in the gap, however, they could not determine the extent of the conflict or even estimate a date.

At Slaughter Gap the Appalachian Trail turns right (watch for a red wooden sign on the right), and traveling almost due east, the trail ascends Blood Mountain, the highest point (4,461 ft.) on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, beginning on a set of rock steps. The steps quickly end but the trail continues as a combination of switched-backs and straight-line ascents. This section of the trail is heavily traveled, with many people on day hikes from Lake Winfield Scott. On the right is a loop with seven campsites, then the Duncan Ridge Trail joins from the left and will share the pathway with the AT until its terminus at Neel's Gap. The Duncan Ridge Trail can be used to connect to the Coosa Backcountry Trail, which follows ridge lines to Vogel State Park

Blood Mountain Shelter
As you near the top of Blood Mountain tree height decreases and many trees become gnarled and wind-swept. At the summit of the mountain, after a relatively new toilet on the left, a two room stone cottage that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's is almost directly on the trail. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. From Blood Mountain the trail makes one of it's steepest descents in Georgia into Neels Gap. About a mile and half down the trail it intersects with the Blood Mountain Spur Trail, now known as the Byron Herbert Reese Memorial Trail. From this point it is about a mile to Highway 19/129, where the hike ends across the street from Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi in Neels Gap (Frogtown Gap until 1946)

South: AT Springer Mountain to Woody Gap
North: AT Neels Gap to Hogpen Gap


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AT Woody Gap to Neels Gap
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Georgia Hikes
Your guide to hiking and walking trails in the state of Georgia

Article Links
AT Neels Gap to Hogpen Gap
AT Springer Mountain to Woody Gap
Appalachian Trail
Chattahoochee National Forest
Cherokee Indians
Civilian Conservation Corps
Coosa Backcountry Trail
Dockery Lake Trail
Duncan Ridge Trail
Jarrard Gap Trail
Lake Winfield Scott
Mountain Crossings at Walasi-yi
Slaughter Creek Trail
Vogel State Park

Georgia Trails
Georgia Trails Index
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