|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|
|About these ratings|
Hiking trails in Union County, GA
Hiking trails in Lumpkin County, GA
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
South: AT Springer Mountain to Woody Gap
North: AT Neels Gap to Hogpen Gap
Your guide to hiking and walking trails in the state of Georgia
AT Neels Gap to Hogpen Gap
AT Springer Mountain to Woody Gap
Chattahoochee National Forest
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