The Blood Mountain Story

Rising above Lake Trahlyta & Vogel State Park, is Blood Mountain, the highest peak on the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail and the sixth-tallest mountain in Georgia, with an elevation of 4,458 feet. There are various theories on the origin of the mountain’s name. Some believe that the name of the mountain comes from a bloody battle between the Cherokee and Creek Indians. Some people believe that it got its name from the reddish color of the lichen and Catawba growing near the summit.

Blood Mountain, shrouded in mists and fogs so dense that the mountain seems to have disappeared completely from sight. When fall’s splendor of color climbs the hills, Blood Mountain stands as a mural of Nature, like a carpet of gold, red and russet, spread as a feast of beauty for the eyes. In winter, with snow and ice on its summit, sunlight reflected on its frozen crest, it becomes a giant protruding diamond of glistening glory.

You’ll find Blood Mountain near the small towns of Blairsville and Cleveland, GA. This area is accessible for hiking all year long; however, fall is one of the best times to go. The Blood Mountain weather in fall is fantastic, while the sights of the colorful fall foliage are truly breathtaking.

The sign on the trail says… “In Cherokee mythology the mountain was one of the homes of the Nunnehi or Immortals, the “People Who Live Anywhere,” a race of Spirit People who lived in great townhouses in the highlands of Old Cherokee County. One of these mythical townhouses stood near Lake Trahlyta.  As a friendly people, they often brought lost hunters and wanderers to their townhouses for rest and care before guiding them back to their homes. Before the coming of white settlers, the Creeks and Cherokees fought a disastrous and bloody battle in Slaughter Gap between Slaughter and Blood Mountain.”

When the Cherokee came south, they discovered the Creek Nation already living in the mountains. Desiring the land, the Cherokee waged a great battle against the Creeks at Slaughter Gap. It is said that the streams ran red with blood from those killed as these two Native American tribes fought for the land. Blood Mountain stands as a reminder to this battle that even the kind mystical folk could not stop.

There are many other well spoken of races that lives along and on Blood Mountain also, Yûñwï Tsunsdi’, or “Little People”, Atsil’-dihye’gï, “The Fire-carrier”, De’tsätä. De’tsätä “once human, a boy who fled and became invisible”, Tsäwa’sï and Tsäga’sï “two small handsome mischievous fairies who sometimes help hunters”, Yûñwï Amai’yïnë’hï “Water Dwellers”. We will look into those in future blogs.

The Cherokee built villages throughout Union County. One was in the shadow of Blood Mountain.  Hiking: Vogel State Park to Blood Mountain

As always, we thank you for spending just a few moments of your day with us and again we say Welcome to the Mountains