Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blood Mountain

Blood Mountain is 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 (1,359 m). It is located on the border of Lumpkin County with Union County and is within the boundaries of the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Blood Mountain Wilderness. There are several waterfalls, hiking trails and other recreational areas in the vicinity.

Two Indian tribes resided in North Georgia in the 1500s. By the late 1600s the Cherokee and Creek began to compete for resources and fought a battle on the mountain near Slaughter Gap. The Creek lost, ceding Blood Mountain to the Cherokee, who considered it a holy place. Archaeological evidence has been discovered that tends to back the story of the battle, but the date of the battle and its participants are still hotly disputed.

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. Others believe that the name is based on the color of the lichen and Catawba rhododendron growing near the rocky summit.

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