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Blood Mt. Sunset Dine /FULL SUPER MoonRise Extravaganza!

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Byron Herbert Reece Trailhead   Hike: Blood Mt. Sunset Dine /FULL SUPER MoonRise Extravaganza!  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Sep 29 2023  4:15 pm >> Fri, Sep 29 2023 10:30 pm  (Carpool Departure: 4:15 pm   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Sep 21 2023 6:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Sep 29 2023 4:15 pm
Event Duration:6 Hours 15 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Distance:5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Memphis Russ
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:5
Number Registered So Far: 9 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No



The carpool at  Mansell's Park & Ride  on GA. 400, will leave promptly at 4 :15pm.  Please arrive 15 mins. early for introductions & finalizing travel plans.  The hike at Byron Herbert Reece Trailhead will  begin at approx. 5:40pm , for those signed up members indicating they will be meeting us at the trailhead.  We should be back at the Trailhead Parking Lot by 9:15pm.  The Marta lot at 10:30pm .

This hike is NOT for beginners !

There are NO vault toilets at the trailhead.  There is a rough outhouse at the top of Blood Mtn.  A toilet is at the AT store 1/4 mile before the trailhead parking lot (Mountain Crossings Store).


There is no parking fee40 parking spaces.

Ok, outdoor lovers looking for a real incredible extravaganza early < /strong>winter hike ! The Blood Mountain trail is part of the totally awesome (AT) Appalachian Trail (AT's Tallest Point, in Georgia)! This StairMaster mountain trail is not for beginners.  We will pace ourselves & take several water breaks during the ascent to the top.  Partly cloudiness will add texture and color brilliance to our already  Incredible  observation!!!

1st up is the vivid & briliant Early Fall Color along our mountainous stairmaster trail.  2nd we will perch atop Blood Mtn. (4459 feet) on a large boulder to DINE with our own prepacked backpacked choice of dinner (I usually  pack a turkey wrap with veggies), while GASPING at a beautiful T extured SunSet in the west at 7:21pm3rd, 20  minutes later, we will move 100 ft. east to witness a Breathtaking Large Super FULL MoonRise at 7:43 pm (above the mountains at 7:46pm).  Any cloudiness will add much desireable texture & extra reflection!  This will be a Bonanza hike packed with old and new hiking buddies captured in many MEMORABLE PHOTO MOMENTS!

Friends, this experience will be unforgettable, forevermore!!  

Then, with our lightning bugs (LED flashlights) in hand or on head, we’ll return back down the mountain in the shadowy moonlight. Picture lightning bugs winding back and forth, in formation. It is simply unimaginable. Believe me, this is a photographic Nikon evening you don’t want to miss with your fellow AOC hikers! Not to mention, an evening of awe- inspiring scenery, good exercise, and fun as we explore God’s incredible creation.

SunSet: 7:21 p.m. in the West

MoonRise 7:43 p.m. in the East, approximately 100 feet away (Moonrise above the mountain tops at 7:46 pm)

(Hike up is 1.5 hours - 2 1/2 miles) (Down 1.25 hours - 2 1/2 miles)




This is a rocky steep trail, so if you lack agility especially in the dark, this may not be for you. The trail starts off easy then begins to climb steeply by use of multiple switchbacks and then traverses through a boulder field.  There is only 1 intersection, with a sign directing us to take a right turn up to the top of the mountain.  Nearing the summit, the trail climbs over open rocky outcrops with jaw- dropping distant views. On the summit, there is an old stone shelter that campers use to overnight in. Keep in mind, the downhill hike back will be in the dark. A flashlight or headlamp (LED type) per person is an absolute must!!! Strong suggestion: wear your over the ankle protection hiking boots!


You will be at 4,458 feet: It will be a Chilly night!  The top of Blood Mtn. is usually, 10- 15 degrees colder than Helen, GA., with an added wind chill factor.  Remember, we are in viewing mode, on top, for appprox. 30
 to 45 minutes. 

Required Items to Bring:

( For dark, chilly and windy):

MUST have ample water

Lightweight flashlight or headlamp (LED type)

Light Weight jacket

Dinner (We do wraps)

Shoes with good tread

Day sack to carry your dinner & stuff (lightweight as possible, loaded).


Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

  Hiking poles


light coverup


Additional shoes & shirt and a towel for the ride home

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

From Mansell Rd. at GA-400.  Head North (North) Continue 37 Min. to the, end of GA-400.  Continue Straight onto GA- 115.  Continue Across Hwy 52 onto Long Branch Rd., which continues Straight onto Copper Mines Rd.  Continue to a Dead End at Cavender Creek Rd., Turn Left.  Then, Turn Right on Town Creek Church Rd.  Continue, until Frogtown Rd., Turn Left.  At Y intersection of Frogtown Rd., Continue Left on Frogtown Rd.  Continue to a Dead End at Damascus Church Rd., Turn Left.  Continue to Hwy.19 & 9, Turn Right.  Continue to a Dead End at Hwy. 129, Turn Left.  Continue Past Mountain Crossings Store, on your right.  Continue 1 mile, Turn Left (one way) into the parking lot.  (Carpool riders pay to Driver - Approximate Total of $40/ total # of carpoolers -Driver)

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):140Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 4:15 pm
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $56.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.