Appalachian Trail Access Points in Union County

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The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, (white blazed) also known as the AT, is over 2,100-miles long, mostly following the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains’ backbone from Springer Mountain in North Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. North Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest portion of the trail extends over 75-miles, traversing some of the most exceptional regions and mountain vistas in its entire 2,100-miles. Along the southern regions of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range in Union County, the trail traverses three high mountain gaps. These gap locations are direct access points to the AT and are reached by paved roadways. Other access trails that intersect the Appalachian Trail are also listed below and are GPS’d at large recreation areas or notable points of interest. The entire Appalachian Trail should be regarded as moderate to strenuous in difficulty.

Byron Herbert Reece Memorial Trail to the Appalachian Trail

Located along US 19/129 just north of Neel’s Gap and the Walasi-Yi Interpretive Center. A spacious parking area at the memorial site provides access to the trail. Blue blazes mark the memorial trail as it ascends to the top of Blood Mountain at Flat Rock Gap, about 2-miles in distance. The trail intersects the Appalachian Trail (white blazed) at the top of Blood Mountain.

Trail Rating: moderate to strenuous in difficulty

Hog Pen Gap and the Appalachian Trail

Hog Pen Gap is located along Richard Russell Road (GA 348) in the southeast region of Union County. A large boulder marker inscribed with the words Hog Pen Gap Appalachian Trail (white blazed) sets along the eastern side of the roadway next to the trail, plus there’s an information kiosk with displayed maps. The trail can be accessed along either side of the roadway. This access point works well for either day hikes or backpackers. Backpackers should always register with the local Blue Ridge Forestry office in nearby Blairsville before setting out on any overnight or several day hike.

Trail Rating: strenuous in difficulty

Jack’s Knob Trail to the Appalachian Trail

This trail will access both Brasstown Bald to the north, or intersects the Appalachian Trail to the south. Jack’s Knob Trail is 4.5-mile trail stretches from Brasstown Bald parking area at the top of the mountain, and to the Appalachian Trail to the south. The trip up to the top from the lower entrance along GA 180 is only half the 4.5-mile distance of the trail’s full length. The trail to the south is 2 to 2 1/2-miles to the AT.

Jack’s Knob Trail was originally constructed in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and then reconstructed by the Chattahoochee Forest Service in the 1980’s. The trail is rated moderate to strenuous as it follows southward along a ridgeline dividing the boundary between Union and Towns Counties. The trail continues along the ridge just west of and parallel to the ascending paved roadway to the summit of Brasstown Bald. The trail crosses GA 180 at Jack’s Gap then continues on to the Chattahoochee Gap where it accesses the Appalachian Trail.

Trail Rating: moderate to strenuous in difficulty

Jarrard Gap Trail to the Appalachian Trail

This moderate in difficulty 1-mile hiking trail (blue blazed) begins at the Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area and climbs gradually to the Appalachian Trail (white blazed) at Jarrard Gap.

Trail Rating: moderate in difficulty

Logan Turnpike Trail and the Appalachian Trail

Located to the north, just below Hog Pen Gap along Richard Russell Road (GA 348), is the old Logan Turnpike, an abandoned toll road that was operated prior to motorized vehicle days.

This steep mountain terrain turnpike passes through the Tesnatee Gap. The old historic turnpike began at the lower southern side of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range, and acted as a corridor into the upper southern reaches of Union County. Tesnatee Gap offers a sizable parking area for Logan Turnpike Trail (blue blazed). The trailhead leads to the south for approximately 2-miles and is considered moderate to difficult hiking down the mountain slope, and strenuous in difficulty climbing back up the trail. Considering the difficulty the steep trail is to hike, just imagine how difficult it was for horse drawn wagons, whether fully loaded or empty.

Also passing through the Tesnatee Gap is the Appalachian Trail (white blazed) making its way up to Hog Pen Gap. The trail from Tesnatee Gap to Hogpen Gap is a 1/2-mile plus hike.

Trail Rating: strenuous in difficulty

Neel’s Gap and the Appalachian Trail

This access location to the Appalachian Trail (white blazed) is located along US 19/129 in south central Union County. A special feature is found here at Neel’s Gap, the Walasi-Yi Interpretive Center. The Center’s stone structure was constructed between the years 1934 to 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Center operates as a store offering books for outdoor enthusiasts, clothing, maps, camping equipment, and includes mountain crafts and gifts for their many visitors and hikers.

The Appalachian Trail literally passes through the breezeway of this historic center near its restrooms. This covered breezeway is the only covered structure the Appalachian Trail passes thru in its entire 2,100-mile length. The parking at the Center is available to ‘visitors only’ due to the lack of space along the steep gap. Day hikers and backpackers will need to park at the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial parking area just north of the center, and take the Byron Herbert Reece Trail (blue blazed) up to the Appalachian Trail on top of Blood Mountain. This access point works well for either day hikes or backpackers.

Trail Rating: moderate to strenuous in difficulty

Slaughter Creek Trail to the Appalachian Trail

A moderate in difficulty 2.7-mile (blue blazed) trailhead begins at the Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area and climbs gradually to the Appalachian Trail (white blazed) south of Blood Mountain. A portion of this trail is within the Blood Mountain Wilderness.

Trail Rating: moderate in difficulty

Whitley Gap Trail just off the Appalachian Trail at Hog Pen Gap

The southern bound Appalachian Trail (white blazed) access at Hog Pen Gap, is located just across the roadway (Richard Russell Road). This southbound Appalachian Trail access connects to the Whitley Gap Trail a short distance from the roadway. This side trail off the AT, leads up to Wildcat Mountain about 1-mile, and an additional 1/2-mile leads you up to Adams Bald.

Trail Rating: moderate to strenuous in difficulty

Woody Gap and the Appalachian Trail

In the upper southwestern reaches of Union County, located along GA 60 just above the township community of Suches, is Woody Gap. The gap is an excellent location to head out onto the Appalachian Trail (white blazed) when visiting Union County. The AT can be accessed on either side of the roadway. At the gap there’s an informative kiosk with displayed maps, several picnic tables and restrooms, plus plenty of parking. This access point works well for either day hikes or overnight backpackers.

Appalachian Trail Rating: moderate to strenuous in difficulty

Welcome Center

Blairsville Union County

Each Season Something New Each season there’s something new in Blairsville-Union County! Spring and summer outdoor lovers will hike endless trails, see breathtaking views atop Brasstown Bald, visit rushing waterfalls, and relax on serene Lake Nottely. Delight in the explosion of autumn leaf color or cuddle up in a cozy winter cabin.

Vacation Cabin Rental Property Management


Whether you purchased your mountain home as an occasional getaway, an investment, or the destination of your future retirement, we realize the importance that it be respected as your home first and foremost.

It is our objective to provide you with both quality property management as well as a rental program to help offset some of the expense of owning a 2nd home. Through the combined knowledge of all of us at Great Mountain Cabin Rentals, we have the expertise to help you understand and create a Great Mountain Cabin Rental.


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My Cozy Cabin Rental

Pet Friendly - My Cozy Cabin is a wonderful 2-bedroom, 1-bath cabin located in Blairsville Georgia. This cabin has easy access from Hwy 515, yet has privacy with a great yard to play in. Bring your fishing gear and see what you can find in the pond. This cabin has plenty of decks great for outdoor entertaining. A fire pit beside the house offers the opportunity for great campfire stories and smore roasting. Wake up in the Master Bedroom, open the balcony doors to the fresh mountain air. What a great way to wake up to the mountains. This cabin is equipped with tons of family friendly movies to keep the kids entertained.

Enchanted Mountain Retreats

We pride ourselves with excellent customer service. We treat each guest as an individual and address your needs specifically so that we can tailor a perfect vacation package just for you and your family. We take care to choose the best cabins available to insure that your stay with Enchanted Mountain Retreats is a great mountain experience. Rest assured that you will find your cabin clean and in good repair, we also empty, sanitize and refill our hot tubs between each rental. Our standards are high and that benefits you, we check your cabin before you check in the make sure it is ready for your arrival.

Real Estate

Tim Noland, Realtor - Buyer's Agent

When looking to buy mountain property, you need someone that not only understands the mountains, you need someone that specifically represents you, the buyer. When you choose to work with a Buyer's Agent you are assured that you have an agent that is truly looking for your best interests, someone that will not only find what you are looking for, but someone that will negotiate the best price possible.

ERA Carolina Mountain Homes in Murphy North Carolina

Based in Murphy NC and serving highly satisfied customers since 1978, ERA Carolina Mountain Homes is a full service real estate office ready to serve YOUR needs. We cover five mountain region counties in NC and GA - the Murphy, Andrews, Brasstown and Hayesville NC areas; and the Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Young Harris/Hiawassee areas. Go directly to our Web Site to view available properties.

Residential and Commercial Builder

Tighe White Construction, Residential and Commercial Builder

Over the years, Tighe White Construction has developed an excellent reputation in the North Georgia and Western North Carolina mountains, for their attention to details, caring customer service and high level of workmanship. Tighe uses cutting-edge CAD software to quickly and efficiently design your new construction. This allows our clients to preview realistic 3-D views of the exterior and interior of their new construction, so that you can visualize the finished look and feel, long before we break ground.

Outdoor Adventure

Whitewater Rafting

The Ocoee River is often described as the roller coaster of the southeast. Come experience what has been called the greatest whitewater center in the world.


Professional river outfitter with over 30 years experience. Our safety record is unsurpassed in the industry. We believe our staff is simply the best in the business. Guides are chosen for their character and enthusiasm for sharing the outdoors with you.

Whitewater Express Adventure

Adventure Camp on the Ocoee & Nantahala Rivers


White Water Rafting on the Ocoee and Nantahala Rivers • Horseback Riding • High and Low Ropes Course • Giant Swing • Caving • Paint ball • Mountain Biking • Camping & Cabin Rentals

Catch the surge and ride the rapids on the exciting Ocoee River in Tennessee or North Carolina's Nantahala River for an experience you won't forget. Challenge your skills on the high ropes just for the thrill. Sit tall in the saddle for a leisure ride through the beautiful scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Camp out or stay in log cabins while letting the kids sleep in groups in one of several bunkhouse's. We will help you create a custom retreat for you or your group.

Canopy Tours on the Nantahala Gorge, Chattooga Ridge and Pigeon River

Zip Line Canopy Tours
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Nantahala Gorge • Chattooga Ridge • Pigeon River

Whichever course you choose you are sure to enjoy the newest outdoor adventure to hit the US. All our courses offer a soaring and gliding experience naturally fueled by a gradual drop in elevation. All trips offer fully guided tours with 2 or more Rangers on at least 10 zips, 4 bridges beginning with a training course at each location.

Guided Fishing Trips on the Nottley River and Lake Nottley

Fishing Trips in the Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Great mountain adventures is offering the "Best Fishing" available in the Mountains. We create a fishing trip, designed specifically towards your needs with a professional fishing guide to guide you to make the most of your fishing adventure on the Finest Lakes, Rivers and Streams in the Southern Appalachians! Trout Treks • Bass Fishing • Wade Trips • Pan Fishing • Fly Fishing Instruction • Private Trophy Trout Waters • Drift Boat Trips. So much water to choose from and an adventure you'll never for more information.

Blue Ridge Community Theater

Blue Ridge Community Theater

There is nothing like the energy you feel when attending a live performance and we are here to help you experience that feeling. Blue Ridge Community Theater's mission is to enrich the cultural life of residents and visitors through performances, productions and education of all aspects of contemporary and classic theater.

Farmer's Market

Union County Farmer's Market in Blairsville GA

The Union County Farmer's Market has over 60 covered vendor spaces in our outdoor setting. The facility located at 148 Old Smokey Road off of Weaver Road is home to a variety of events and festivals outside of the seasonal market. Those events include a ramp festival, strawberry jubilee, trash to treasures sale, relay for life event, and an outdoor business expo.