Having never hiked a step on the Appalachian Trail before, I bow to the knowledge of others. Several authors that I have read shared that the first real mountain challenge of the A.T. is Blood Mountain in Georgia, It is indeed the highest peak on the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail and the sixth tallest mountain in the state of Georgia, with an elevation of 4,458 feet. The thru-hiker encounters this summit 30 miles from the southern terminus of the A.T. (Springer Mountain). The A.T. starts the climb up Blood Mountain from Lance Creek (elevation 2,880 and mile marker 24.3). So in a little under 6 miles the elevation increases over 1,500 feet. Blood Mountain is nestled within the boundaries of the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Blood Mountain Wilderness. The tourist info shares that there are several waterfalls and other recreational areas in the vicinity.
What kind of a name is Blood Mountain? There are a couple of theories on the origin of the mountain’s name. Some historians believe that the name comes from epic bloody battles fought between the Cherokee and Creek Indians over 400 years ago. Today, it is a pinnacle of peace and a safe harbor for day-hikers and thru-hikers alike. Others believe that it got its name from the reddish color of the lichen and catawba rhododendron that grow near the summit.
The hike up Blood Mountain is perhaps the most hiked segment of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. There is a famous stone shelter on top of Blood Mountain that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1934. Many thru-hikers stay at the Blood Mountain Shelter, a two-room structure that is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Picnic Rock is also a famous landmark on top of Blood Mountain.
Want so more info? Check out http://www.secretfalls.com/hiking/blood-mountain-trail