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Blood Mountain Wilderness Extensions

Blood Mountain Wilderness Extensions

Approximate size: 2,955 acres
Old-growth known: 461 acres

Congress designated the Blood Mountain Wilderness Area in 1991 to protect the area around Georgia’s sixth highest peak and the highest peak on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. The 7,800-acre Wilderness borders the Raven Cliff Wilderness to the east and the Coosa Bald National\ Scenic Area to the north. Several northern plant species like mountain ash and three-toothed cinquefoil have their southernmost populations on Blood Mountain.

The extension to the northwest would strengthen the connection with the Coosa Bald Scenic Area and help ensure that animal and plant populations on the main Blue Ridge are connected with populations on Duncan Ridge, one of the primary spur ridges in Georgia. The southern extension would help protect water quality in Waters Creek, an excellent trout stream. Each year, thousands of visitors and tourists see the northern and eastern extensions as they travel US 129 and GA 180 through the mountains. The eastern extension is one of the least disturbed and most natural areas in north Georgia. A series of waterfalls, including DeSoto Falls, blocked access and allowed an extensive old-growth oak stand to survive. Even the areas that were logged lack old road beds or other clear signs of human use.

Most of the southern and eastern extensions are inventoried roadless areas. Scenic area designations currently offer some protection to most of the area in these extensions, and part of the eastern extension is protected as a Wilderness Study Area.

Help us protect this 16,000-acre oasis of waterfalls, old-growth, rare species, panoramic views, and world-class trails.

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