Mountain Biking Trails:
• Ridgeway Mountain Bike Trails
The Ridgeway Trails at Ridgeway Recreation Area, Carters Lake
At this location you will find a great variety of trails from beginner/intermediate to advanced/expert. A great location to develop your trail descending skills and become a "Smooth Operator". Start off with a super fun flow trail loop with whoop-tee-do's and berms and a nice smooth climb back to the top to do it again. If you are in need of more technical terrain then hit the black diamond trails. There is a Single Black(Ledges) and a Double Black(Roots & Chutes) giving you the perfect opportunity to take your skill level higher and further.
Ridgeway Recreation Area - Map
• Pinhoti - Cohutta Sections I, II, III
Think of it as a "Super Epic." The Pinhoti Trail covers about 140 miles of prime terrain in northern Georgia -- nearly 100 miles of this is off-road, the other 40 are blazed road routes. The Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association (GPTA), in conjunction with the Conservation Fund, is continually acquiring land and easements to move as much of the trail to off-road status as possible.
The Pinhoti crosses the Blue Ridge fault line south of Chatsworth. East of that you will find the big mountain climbs of the Cohutta. Head west for the Ridge and Valley sections, with numerous ridge climbs and long stretches of ridge-top riding. On the west side there is a current project to build 20 miles of multi-use trail on the Pinhoti at Dry Creek. There's an 8-mile loop in the Pocket area between Horn and John’s Mountain; on the east side the MTB community recognizes 4 major loop rides between Fort Mountain and Bear Creek. In short, the Pinhoti is a unique, long and extremely varied trail that could keep any mountain biker entertained for several riding seasons.
- Long distance trail
- Point to point
- Out and back
- Varying terrain
- Various skill levels
- SORBA/IMBA involvement
- Various user groups
- Various governments
- Easy access
- Sustainable trail bed
Length: 140 miles. About 100 miles of this is off road the other 40 are blazed road routes.
Cohutta Pinhoti - Map
• River Loop, Red & White Loop & Boy Scout Loop
RED & WHITE: Skill level – Intermediate Beginner and above. Distance – approximately 2.7 miles. Blaze markings – red and white diamonds. Highlights – 0.50 miles of twisty single track. Wildlife sightings. Rolling hills after point #13.
RIVER LOOP: Skill Level – Intermediate and above. Distance – approximately 3.75 miles. Blaze markings – blue diamonds. Highlights – Single track trail with some double track. Great views of mountains past point # 2. Short technical downhill beginning at point 4. If you do not have the skill to ride the downhill to the river please dismount and walk. If you skid your rear tire or go around obstacles you are damaging the trail! Great views of Cartecay River between points 5 and 8. Clear Creek falls is located at point 6. Technical climbing at point 8, again if you can’t ride it don’t make the trail wider by taking the easy line!!
BOY SCOUT LOOP: Skill Level – Intermediate and above. Distance – 3.36 miles. Blaze markings – green diamond. Nice views of Cartecay River. White Oak Ridge at point 15.
River Loop, Red & White Loop and Boy Scout Loop - Map and Details
• Amadahy Trail / Woodring Trail
Skill level is Intermediate Beginner and above. This is a fun 3.7 mile loop that is mostly rolling the contour of a peninsula on Carters Lake. This trail is fun in both directions.
Amadahy trail - Map and Directions
• Bear Creek – 14 miles (as we suggest); Skill level – Intermediate
This trail has technical single track, a few stream crossings, the Gennett Poplar tree (400 years old) and a spectacular view from the overlook. The ride is 7 miles uphill (not too steep) to the overlook, and a killer 7 mile descent back to the car!
Directions to trail: From the shop, take Hwy 52 west to mile marker 8 (on left side of the road); turn right onto Gates Chapel; go 5.4 miles to small bridge; park on the side of the road. (Please do not use the side of the road as an outhouse or changing facility! Our local neighbors don’t appreciate the sights!)
From the parking area, ride up the gravel road, bearing left at the sign for the Bear Creek trail approx. 1 1/2 miles to the trailhead (there is a small parking area at the trailhead, but we always ride the gravel road as a warm-up). Follow the sign at the trailhead onto the singletrack. After crossing a small, rocky creek, stay left at the sign for the Bear Creek Loop trail. After climbing two short whoops right beside the creek, follow the hard left switchback uphill (do NOT cross the logs and continue straight). Continue up the singletrack to the forest service gate. At the grassy clearing, continue to the LEFT, uphill on the doubletrack. After crossing through a wide but shallow creek, go left downhill to the gate and onto the gravel road. Turn right on the gravel road and continue up approx. 1/2 mile to the overlook. Enjoy the view! Continue to ride up the gravel road another couple hundred yards to the sign for the upper parking lot. Turn into the lot and follow the singletrack trail downhill. There are several hard switchbacks and the trail will dump you out back at the wide shallow creek. Continue the ride back downhill the same way you climbed up! Woohoo!
Bear Creek - Map
• Fort Mountain State Park – 4 trails; All skill levels (very beginner to expert) – Pick the one for you!
Directions to trail: Take Hwy 52 west out of Ellijay approx. 12 miles to top of Fort Mountain; the park is on the right. Pay $2 parking and $2 riding fee at Park Office (trail map included).
East-West Loop – 14 miles, Skill level – Advanced. This is a very challenging trail. The main highlights are a STEEP powerline downhill that drops off the side of the mountain, and a LONG technical climb that starts at mile 11. There is some spectacular scenery and super-fast rolling sections. Bring plenty of water and extra food. There is no shortcut out. Our friends from Florida HATE this trail
Cool Springs Loop – 7 miles, Skill level – Advanced. This trail starts out as the same trail as the East-West loop then turns left and goes downhill around eleven switchbacks to the base of the mountain. Some great scenery, a boulder field and then the same LONG climb back to the parking lot.
Gold Mine Loop – 6 miles, Skill lever – Intermediate. This trail is almost entirely doubletrack with some technical sections, some scenic viewing areas, good curves and plenty of speed. There is a somewhat steep, short rocky climb back to the parking lot, but all in all, a fun trail.
Lake Loop – 2 miles, Skill level – Beginner. Want to take your kids or a true beginner someplace relatively flat, but woodsy to learn to ride? This is it! This is a great little trail that goes around the lake. Some pretty scenery, a few roots and a couple of rocks for practice, but the whole trail is covered in mulch to make it soft.
Fort Mountain - Map
• Stanley Gap – 16 miles (our way); Skill level – Intermediate/Advanced
We like to ride this trail from the Stanley Gap (not Aska Road) side and add Flat Creek for some more miles. This trail has steep ridge lines, narrow tree openings, more spectacular scenery, narrow, off-camber technical downhills and did I forget to mention the extremely difficult climbing? What a great trail!
Directions to trail: Take Hwy 515 north from Ellijay to Rock Creek Road; turn right and follow road approx. 3 miles (past the game check station) to the Stanley Gap parking lot.
Aska Trail System - Map
• Jake and Bull mountain Trail System
The Jake and Bull Mountain Trail System provides approximately 36 miles of recreational trails for equestrians, bicyclists and hikers. The Jake Mountain Trail System and Bull Mountain Trail System connect to form a complex system of scenic trails within a four square mile area of the Chattahoochee National Forest's Blue Ridge Ranger District. This area is located in western Lumpkin County, less than ten minutes from downtown Dahlonega. The system is made up of interconnecting dirt trails and gravel roads which are accessed by two trailheads.
Jake/Bull Mountain - Map
In addition to all of the great mountain bike trails in the area, Ellijay has some of the very best road-riding around. You can ride for miles and miles without seeing a car and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery. The views are astonishing but keep in mind that this is mountain country! Here are some of our favorite road rides leaving right from the shop.
• 2014 Italian Road Bike Festival Ride Maps
• Tour of the Ardennes – 65 Mile Loop
In Ellijay, GA, starting from the hwy 515 overpass on hwy 52 drive 5 miles east on hwy 52, left on Big Creek Rd. continue for 9 more miles passing the Big Creek fire station on the way at 5 miles and arriving at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church at 9 miles on the left. Big Creek Rd. changes names to Doublehead Gap Rd. just past the fire station, so don’t worry, just keep driving.
Road Marked – CB 73 – In Orange
Record observed time: 4:29:25
L-from the church
L- Newport Rd.
STORE- Vanzandt’s on RIGHT
R- Jct Dial Rd
R- Jct Hwy 60
L- Skeenah Gap Rd
R- Jct Hwy 76
R- Hicks Gap Rd
L- Jct unsigned Rd (Mulkey Gap Rd.)
R- Owltown Rd
Stay on main road all the way to hwy 19-129, Owltown Rd makes a sharp left
Stay right on main road. You come out on Owltown spur.
R- Jct Hwy 19-129
SUNRISE COUNTRY STORE on RIGHT at 35 miles
R- Wolfpen Gap rd — Ga. Hwy 180
STORE- Suches on RIGHT
R- Jct Hwy 60
STORE- Cooper Creek Grocery on LEFT
STORE- Martin’s Dixie Depot on LEFT approx. 60 mi
L- Dial rd
L- Newport rd
STORE- Vanzandt’s on LEFT
R- Jct DOUBLEHEAD GAP Rd back to church
• Medieval Torture Chamber Road Ride – 96 Miles
Below is the cue sheet for the Medieval Torture Chamber road ride from Ellijay over Burnt Mountain to Fort Mountain and back to Ellijay.
in Ellijay from the Bike Shop
Go Old 5 or North Main Street north to GA Hwy 515, be careful crossing the 4-lane
Turn left onto 515
First road to your right is Ray Mt
Turn right and this is your first climb
Ray Mt Rd will dead end into Turniptown Rd, turn right
Turniptown Road will dead-end into GA Hwy 52
Turn left onto GA Hwy 52 and climb up to Lower Cartecay Road, you will see a Gray Apple House on your right
As soon as you pass the apple house look, for Lower Cartecay Road that forks off to your right
Lower Cartecay Road will bring you back to GA Hwy 52
Turn right onto 52, go less than a half a mile
Turn right onto Burnt Mountain Road. This road is hard. Be prepared for a small Brasstown Bald climb
Burnt Mt. Road will dead-end into GA Hwy 136
Turn right and go down Burnt Mt.
At the bottom of Burnt Mt., you will look for GA Hwy 136
Turn right onto 136 and follow 136 to Talking Rock, GA
When you turn right onto 136 off of Burnt Mt., you go a few miles and 136 will turn left taking you to Talking Rock
After you turn left onto 136, you come to a stop sign and a Church on your right
At the stop sign, go left into Talking Rock
Cross over the railroad tracks in Talking Rock
The road dead-ends; turn right onto GA 136 and follow GA 136 all the way to Old Hwy 411
Turn right onto Old Hwy 411 and this is the same route that takes you past Carters Lake Dam
Follow the arrows back to the Fort Mt. climb
I did this ride by myself, and it took me seven hours. This ride can be as tough as Six Gap. Two store stops, one at GA Hwy 136 in Blaine GA, and the Stallion Gas Station at the bottom of Fort Mt. I would bring a few bucks just in case.
• Mt. Pleasant Church – Springer Mtn. Long Ride
Starting at Big Creek Fire Station adds 8.4 miles roundtrip.
FS 42 across from the church
Past FS 665 on right
Past FS 188 on left
Past FS 58A on left
Past Springer Mtn. parking lot on left
Straight on FS 42 at FS 42-58-77 junction
Left on FS 69 (unmarked) goes downhill at
Appalachian Trail Crossing
Past Frank Gross on left
Past fish hatchery on left
Cross new large bridge
Left ? mile cross bridge, through gate
Right on FS 333, Cross Creek
1? miles through gate
Keep left on muddy section
Past old buildings and private homes
Left on paved road
Turns to dirt
Past True Grit Acres on left
Past FS 58 on left
Past Fellowship Church on right
Past Newport Rd. on right
Finish at Mt. Pleasant Church
• Noontoola Forest Gravel Road Ride – 20.1 miles
Mt. Pleasant Church / Springer Mtn. 20.1
Straight across from the church on FS 42
past FS 665 on right
past FS 188 on left
past FS 58A on left
Left on FS 58 at FS 42-58-77 junction
past FS 251 on right
past Three Forks
past FS 58B right and 58D on left
past FS 58E on right
Left at Doublehead Gap Rd junction
past small white church on right
past Newport rd on right, 1.2 miles to finish
Finish at Mt. Pleasant Church
to start and finish at Big Creek Fire station add
8.4 miles roundtrip
Mountain or cyclocross bicycles will work.
• Tour of the Ardennes Secondary Loop – 73 miles
This is a road from northeast Gilmer County outside of Ellijay. Bring your camera on this one, folks. Take GA Hwy 52 East outside of Ellijay to Big Creek Road. Turn left onto Big Creek Road and go about fourteen miles; the road will turn into Doublehead Gap Road. At the top, Doublehead Gap is Mt. Pleasant Church. That is the start. Follow the cue sheet below.
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church 73 miler
L from the church
L on Newport Road
R on Dial Rd at junction
R on Ga Hwy 60 at junction
L on Skeenah Gap Rd
R on Old Hwy 76 at junction
R on Hicks Gap Rd
L on Mulkey Gap Rd at junction (not signed)
R on Owltown Gap Rd
R on Hwy 19-129 at junction
33 miles (food & water at 35 miles)
R Hwy 180, Wolfpen Gap
R Hwy 60 in Suches at junction
48 miles (food & water)
L on Dial Rd
L on Newport Rd (food & water)
R on Doublehead Gap Rd
Finish at the Church
Starting at Big Creek Fire Station adds 8.4 miles roundtrip.
• Tour Day France Callenge Loop
Check out the map for details
• The Roundtop/Whitestone Ride – 40 miles
This ride has everything! Some flat roads (as flat as it gets in Ellijay), a few hills, one or two longish climbs, and a few sprints courtesy of the local dogs.
Leaving the shop, go south on Main Street through town (as it leaves town it becomes Old Highway 5). Stay on old Hwy 5 for approximately 4 miles until you see the sign for Roundtop Road (on right). Turn right onto Roundtop Road (gradual uphill climb, so be ready!) Follow Roundtop Road until it dead-ends into Highway 136. Turn left and follow 136 into Talking Rock (Highway 136 will turn left into Talking Rock and cross the railroad tracks). At the fork in the road (church in the middle), Highway 136 bears to the right. Go LEFT onto Whitestone Road at this fork. Follow Whitestone Road. About 1/2 mile after you pass the GA Marble rockcrusher on your right, Whitestone makes an UNMARKED left turn. If you miss this turn, the road will soon turn to gravel and you will know you have gone too far. Continue on Whitestone (steep climb up to 515/575). Cross over 515/575 (VERY DANGEROUS TRAFFIC – BE CAREFUL), and continue on Whitestone until it ends at old Hwy 5. Turn right onto old Hwy 5 and follow it back into town and the shop.
• The “Real” Burnt Mountain Ride – 50 miles
You might want to check your gearing before heading off on this ride. There is one killer climb and one equally killer descent!
Leaving the bike shop, go north on Main St. until it dead-ends into Hwy 515. Turn left on Hwy 515 (You will be on this VERY BUSY ROAD for 1/4 mile). Turn right on Ray Mountain Rd. Follow Ray Mountain Rd. until it dead-ends into Turniptown Rd. Turn right and follow Turniptown Rd. until it ends at Hwy 52. Turn left on Hwy 52 and follow to 101 Lower Cartecay Rd. Take Lower Cartecay Rd. to Old Clear Creek Rd. Turn right on Old Clear Creek Rd. At the next intersection turn left on Parker Rd. Follow Parker Rd. until it ends at Clear Creek Rd. Turn left. At the next intersection (SR 52), turn right. Go 1/4 mile and turn right on Old Burnt Mountain Rd. (VERY STEEP CLIMB!!) Old Burnt Mountain Rd. ends at SR 136(Burnt Mountain Rd.) Turn right on 136 and follow it down the mountain (KILLER DESCENT!!). Follow 136 through Talking Rock. After you pass under Hwy 515 look for the Old Hwy 5 intersection. Turn right on Old Hwy 5 and follow it back to town and the shop. GREAT RIDING!