10 Incredible Blue Blazes of the Appalachian Trail

Check out this collection of my favorite 10 blue blaze trails along the Appalachian Trail during my 2021 thru hike!

Blue Blaze Appalachian Trail, Best Blue Blazes, AT
 

Long Creek Falls

State: Georgia

Mile Marker: 5

Distance Off Trail: .1 Miles


I’ve listed this here because to my memory it’s the first true blue blaze not counting the Approach Trail. This is a good warm-up blue blaze, it’s unfortunate the amount of thru-hikers that miss this simply not knowing how good these falls can be and then regret it shortly after. If you’re someone who’s up to spend a little time bagging blue blaze trails on your Appalachian Trail journey then don’t miss this one! These falls are incredible after periods of heavy rain so keep that in mind when checking out.

Long Creek Falls, Georgia, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze



Pickens Nose

State: North Carolina

Mile Marker: 98

Distance Off Trail: 1.25 Miles


This was my favorite blue blaze along the Appalachian Trail and a big reason was that almost nobody hiking the Appalachian Trail knows the close proximity of this location to the trail. It’s a very short and popular day hike for people but it stays relatively crowd free during the week and sunset/sunrise time. To access from the AT, take a right on the gravel road at Mooney Gap before the climb up to Albert Mountain. Take the gravel road for about .8 miles before coming uphill to a parking lot. From here it’s about .6 to the top which reaches a ridge and has a few different cliffs and overhanging rocks to be explored. Before visiting check online to see that the cliffs are open, they had been closed in the past for Peregrine Falcon nesting.

Pickens Nose, North Carolina, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze

Charlies Bunion

State: Tennessee

Mile Marker: 212

Distance Off Trail: .1 Miles


This is probably the most popular blue blaze on trail due to it’s proximity and incredible views. A couple miles north of Newfound Gap is a short trail that shoots out to this rock outcropping and then connects back to the trail using a spur trail that hugs the mountain. For an extra adventure here check out the trail that goes up the rock scramble as you come towards the bunion for an amazing overhead view of the bunion and the people on the trail below.

Charlies Bunion, Tennessee, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze, The Smokey Mountains

Mount Cammerer Lookout Tower

State: Tennessee

Mile Marker: 234

Distance Off Trail: .6 Miles



This is no ordinary looking fire tower which makes it definitely worth the visit. Many hikers pass this up as fatigue sets in towards the end of the Smokey’s but the .6 side trail has minimal elevation and rivals all other views during your time hiking through the Smokey’s. The tower itself is beautifully designed and can get you out of bad weather if needed too. Be careful of broken glass and rusty nails scattered around the tower if it happens to be unlocked when visiting!

Mount Cammerer Lookout Tower, Tennessee, Smokey Mountains, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze

Jones Falls

State: North Carolina

Mile Marker: 400

Distance Off Trail: .2 Miles


Jones falls was a waterfall favorite when hiking the Appalachian Trail because of it’s unique design allowing hikers to go under and get a good shower out of it. The blue blaze trail has a sign that points to the falls which you’ll hear by that point making it an easy turn off. The blue blaze will get you to the base of falls but make sure to hike up hill on the spur trail along the rocks to get to where the falls plunge down.

Jones Falls, North Carolina, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze

Humpback Rocks

State: Virginia

Mile Marker: 854

Distance Off Trail: .2 Miles



There are so many blue blaze trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway section of the Appalachian Trail that it is easy to pass them off and keep moving forward on the white blazes. Of all the blue blazes along the Parkway this is one of the most beautiful and iconic. The short .2 trail heads down hill before leveling out at a giant slab rock that protrudes into the sky and along 50 yards of the side of the mountain. The size and different rocks and views to explore is what made this place so incredible and worth a 30 minute break for.

Humpback Rocks, Virginia, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze

Weverton Cliffs

State: Maryland

Mile Marker: 1030

Distance Off Trail: .2 Miles


Weverton Cliffs is a short trail after climbing out of Harper’s Ferry with rock ledges that have great views down to the Potomac River. If you have more time and want to check out a better view point in the area take a look at Maryland Heights. This longer side trail from the AT puts you at the top of the cliffs you see from Harper’s Ferry and gives you a great view of the town and converging rivers.

Weverton Cliffs, Maryland, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze



Anthony’s Nose

State: New York

Mile Marker: 1408

Distance Off Trail: .6 Miles


Although this is .6 miles off trail it’s an easy ATV road without much elevation that gets you to the best view in the Mid-Atlantic states. Anthony’s Nose is a popular hike for people in the Hudson Valley and New York City area, expect some crowds if arriving during prime hours. From the summit you get a great birds eye view of the Bear Mountain Bridge and a view of Bear Mountain State Park in the distance.

Anthony's Nose, New York, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze

Mount Monroe

State: New Hampshire

Mile Marker: 1858

Distance Off Trail: .3 Miles


The Presidential Traverse in The White Mountains is the best day of scenic views that you get as a hiker on the Appalachian Trail. Even without summiting the blue blaze summits, the above tree line trail constantly gives surrounding views of New Hampshire. I’m giving Mount Monroe the best blue blaze summit of the three Presidential’s which the AT does not cross-over because of it’s view of Mount Washington, Lake of the Clouds hut, and the view of hikers on the AT below. Similar to all of the Presidential’s this summit is exposed and should only be done during good conditions.

Mount Monroe, New Hampshire, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze, The Whites, White Mountains, Lake of the Clouds hut

Crystal Cascades

State: New Hampshire

Mile Marker: 1874

Distance Off Trail: .5 Miles



This isn’t a popular blue blaze for the Appalachian Trail and I actually didn’t hike this while thru hiking either, however it’s proximity to the trail is close enough that it should be more known. This waterfall is a top 5 along the entire trail and can be reached from the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. From the visitor center follow signs towards the Tuckerman’s Ravine trail and about .5 miles up a gently sloping hill you’ll get to a stonewall and platform that has this waterfall below. The trail is grated and graveled making it an ideal trail to be spending extra mileage on.

Crystal Cascades, Appalachian Trail Blue Blaze, The Whites, White Mountains

Read more posts on the Appalachian Trail here:

Appalachian Trail Shakedown Hike

7 Common Mistakes Thru Hikers Make on The Appalachian Trail

Photography From The White Mountains, New Hampshire

10 Favorite Sections of The Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail: Full Thru-Hike Gear List

6 Tips for Success on The Appalachian Trail

12 Most Unique Shelters of The Appalachian Trail

 

©Copyright 2020 Dan Oliver

Photography exclusively by Dan Oliver unless otherwise stated and cited. Embedded maps are provided by Embed Google Map (embedgooglemap.net) and map images shown are provided as stated and cited.

DISCLAIMER:

This website is provided for entertainment purposes only, and is not meant to serve as an instructional guide, or present itself as an authority for any of the locations written about. The locations mentioned, written, and photographed herein are nothing more than my personal adventure archive. If you are interested in visiting any locations you should not depend on the information in this website to plan any excursions. You should research a wide variety of informational sources, websites, hiking guide books and maps found elsewhere. Many locations are dangerous and potentially illegal to access which can lead to fines, injury or death even when prepared. I do not encourage anyone to trespass or put themselves or others in way of harm. This website, and therefore its’ owner/author, cannot assume any responsibility for anything you may incur while hiking or exploring any of these locations or anywhere on planet earth. Thank you for viewing!