Appalachian Trail: The Immortals of Blood Mountain


Blood Mountain Through The Trees.  Photo courtesy nshivar at Flickr

Blood Mountain Through The Trees. Photo courtesy nshivar at Flickr.

There are a number of peaks hikers and backpackers cross along the Appalachian Trail which have a connection to some colorful lore or myth.  Blood Mountain, along the trail in Georgia, is one such crest.

At 4458 feet, Blood Mountain is the highest summit along the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, and it may one of the toughest.  I still recall my slow, hot, dusty trudge to the top.  It was the day I finessed the trick of using my bandana under my ball cap to parrot a French Legionnaire to stay cool.

Long ago it wasn’t unusual for someone to become lost in this region of Georgia wilderness.  That’s where the Nunnehi of Cherokee legend appear.    The “Immortals” as they were also known, dwelt on the peak of Blood Mountain and became legend.

As the story goes, they lived in abodes on the slopes of Blood Mountain and other bald peaks of the Appalachian range.  They were “spirit people” but benign.  They were also invisible, being seen only whenever they wished to be, and when visible they appeared just like any other native person.

It might have been the music of the Immortals which accounted for hunters or other travelers getting lost.  The Nunnehi reveled in song and dance, and reports said drums could be heard deep in the woods.  Those who went in search of the source of the mysterious rhythm would become confused as to which direction the sound came from.  This inevitably led to their becoming lost.  And perhaps the Immortals expected this, because they would keep an eye out for the lost rovers and help those they discovered.  It is said they would provide rest and accommodation for a time, then shepherd the bewildered back home.

Blood Mountain View

Blood Mountain View (Photo credit: Seuss.)

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3 Comments

Filed under Backpacking, Hiking, Timothy J. Hodges

3 responses to “Appalachian Trail: The Immortals of Blood Mountain

  1. Pingback: Did you miss this along the journey? | creativetidalwave

  2. I love legends. Thanks for retelling this one!

  3. Pingback: Spring Flowers in the Northeast Mountains | Finer Lifestyle Magazine

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