A true jewel of the South, Georgia offers a number of different terrains for mountain bikers to enjoy. From the Blue Ridge Mountains in the north of the state to the valleys of the central Piedmont, Georgia features a number of fun and challenging trails for mountain bikers to enjoy. To help better acquaint you with the Georgia mountain biking experience, below we have highlighted five of the most popular trails, as voted on by the state’s many riders.
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1. Blankets Creek
Located just outside of the Atlanta Metro Area in the town of Woodstock, Blankets Creek is one of the finest mountain bike trail systems in the state, and its proximity to Georgia’s capital city ensures a flood of riders, especially on weekends and holidays.
The seven trails at Blankets Creek form an exceptional example of a stacked loop system. For beginner mtb riders, short, flat and fairly easy trails are accessible from the parking lot. Intermediate and advanced riders will want to head a bit further into the woods where they’ll experience some of Georgia’s finest single track riding and a variety of challenging obstacles, including jumps, rocks, roots, berms, and some serious exposure.
Two of the most popular highlights of the Blankets Creek loop trail are “the Gravity Cavity,” a fast rolling section of single track that whips riders through rollers and bermed turns; and “Kevorkian Pass,” a steep, armored section of the trail with a spectacular view of Allatoona Lake below.
Although Blankets Creek can seem very congested at times, directional travel helps keep things moving smoothly once riders exit the parking lot area.
2. Chicopee Woods
The Chicopee Woods Mountain Bike Park, located in Gainesville, Georgia, is a well groomed and expertly maintained group of trails. Here riders will find over 20 miles of dedicated Mountain Bike trails made up of several challenging and scenic loops for riders of all ability levels.
The Tortoise Loop, a 2.6 mile course of fairly even and mellow terrain is perfect for the beginner riders in your group, who may also want to challenge themselves on the four intermediate level trails, totaling 14 miles in length, including the Red Tail loop, White Tail loop and Coyote trail. The Copperhead Gap trail is 4.5 miles long and the most technical trail in the system, recommended for intermediate to advanced riders only. Trail maps are posted at the main trailhead kiosk in the parking lot as well as at major intersections along the trail system.
3. Bear Creek
Located in the beautiful town of Ellijay, Georgia, the Bear Creek trail system offers some of the best single track riding through the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. This out-n-back trail weaves its way upwards through shaded valleys and semi-steep hills, forming an equal combination of narrow single track and old fire road double track.
The climb to the apex of the Bear Creek course is as beautiful as it is challenging, and once riders reach the overlook they are rewarded with a wicked downhill spin that weaves them through a series of technical challenges until finally reaching the starting point. There are several creek crossings and switchbacks to make things extra enjoyable on this trail, and riders may want to pause for a picture at the Gannet Poplar, a very old and extremely massive tree alongside the road.
The lower sections of the Bear Creek trail are nearly always a bit damp and tacky, but the trail is definitely manageable throughout the year, thanks to the excellent drainage into the creek.
4. Flying Squirrel
The trail known as the Flying Squirrel, situated in Oakwood, Georgia, is a fairly short downhill track with plenty of twists, turns and obstacles to make the ride both fun and challenging.
This Flying Squirrel trail begins and ends at an intersection with another downhill track known as White Tail Trail—a junction known endearingly as “Confusion Point.” Flying Squirrel can be ridden in either direction but it is typically mapped counter-clockwise as to not interfere with riders on adjoining trails.
On the Flying Squirrel Trail, intermediate to advanced riders will enjoy a flowing, yet taxing descent that will take them through some of the most pristine hardwood forestland in the country. The trail surface is mostly smooth, hard-packed red clay with a few roots and rocks thrown in to keep things interesting. Sweeping turns and switchbacks also add to the fun as the trail continuously doubles back on itself, contouring towards the south and into and out of multiple ravines on the west side of Walnut Creek. The trail then crosses the creek on a well-built bridge and heads back to the north in similar fashion. Riders complete this loop with a demanding climb back to “Confusion Point.”
5. Selma Erwin Nature Trail
Located in the town of Milledgeville, Georgia, the Selma Erwin Nature Trail promises riders a stunning and fairly technical ride that will leave them both challenged and satisfied. Known as a ride that will keep mountain bikers on the edge of their seat throughout the track, Selma features fast-flowing downhill sections, a couple of steep uphill climbs, and a few scattered riverbed crossings. There is a rocky switchback towards the end of the trail, as well as a couple of superb tree root sections.
Recently, the trail crew that maintains the Selma Erwin Nature Trail added a bridge to the course as well as a brand new trail section (not yet mapped) in the northwest corner. The length of the trail now stands at about 5 miles and is guaranteed to give riders one of the best possible workouts Middle Georgia has to offer.