There's not much more to ask for than a decently strenuous hike that rewards you with a sweeping view at its peak. Blood Mountain and Freeman Loop is a moderate-to-difficult circuit hike located in Vogel State Park in Northern Georgia.
The trailhead is located a bit under two hours outside of Atlanta, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. When it's all said and done, you're in it for around 6 miles with a bit over 1,500 feet in elevation gain.
We completed this hike in the peak of the Georgia summer and managed with plenty of tree-cover and hydration.
At the very onset of this hike, you are shown just how challenging the journey will be. Most of the elevation gain is in the first couple of miles as you make your way up to the summit of Blood Mountain--which has an elevation of 4,446 feet. The trail is fairly rocky. You will be trekking through very rough terrain as you make your way through the hike.
With that being said, people of various physical abilities was able to complete the hike successfully in an over 90 degree heat-index day. Frequent water and regrouping breaks is the recipe to for success!
Pay close attention to blazes and signage as you complete the hike. It's fairly easy to get off of the trail, as our group did for a brief period.
As you near Blood Mountain summit, you get previews of the expansive views that awaits ahead. When you finally make it to the top, you know that everything that you have worked so hard for was well worth it!
On a clear day, you can see for miles over the horizon of surrounding rolling tree-covered mountains. You are rewarded with a 360 degree view that you will want to soak up for hours.
Continuing from the summit, you go a bit further to a really cool shelter tucked away in the wilderness. Since the trail contains parts of the Appalachian Trail, you will encounter shelters, a restroom, and campsites along the way.
From there, you have the choice of turning around and doing an out-and-back, or completing the loop by connecting to the Freeman Trail. The Freeman Trail is a bit on the narrow side and is equally as rocky as the rest of the trail. Whichever direction you choose, the distance is nearly the same.
We would recommend this hike to anyone looking for suggestions in the North Georgia area. While it is not the easiest, it is certainly a fun and rewarding trek.