The United States Congress designated the Blood Mountain Wilderness (map
) in 1991 and it now has a total of 7,800 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Georgia
and is managed by the Forest Service.
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.