Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway

Mulberry Gap is a rustic haven located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Northwest Georgia with IMBA Epic mountain bike trails outside our front door! 

Mountain Biking around Mulberry Gap



When I arrived at Mulberry Gap, I was tired and grumpy. When I left Mulberry Gap, I was refreshed, full and wanted to stay and keep playing. This family has done something pretty spectacular; they took a risk on a beautiful and rugged property in the mountains of northwest Georgia and when the mountain bike community extended its metaphorical hand for a shake, Ginni, Diane, Andrew and Kate went in for a big bear hug instead. Mountain bikers have loved this place from the beginning and as a result, Mulberry Gap has been working tirelessly to make it better for us on a daily basis.
— Brice Shirbach, Pinkbike 2015

An IMBA Epic Ride

The Georgia Pinhoti Trail (Pin-hoe-tee) trail is one of the many crown jewels of our northwest Georgia region and sections of it are the closest and most popular ride in/ride out trails from Mulberry Gap.

The GPT trail contains several ecosystems and includes canopied hardwood forests, endangered eastern hemlock, brooks, lakes, rocky trails, country roads and segments of highways.

Plans are in the works to provide an assisted ride for the entire Georgia Pinhoti Trail. Please let us know if you are interested in that adventure.

 
  • Some of the sweetest single track in the southeast
  • 140+ miles in length from the Benton Mackaye trail in north Georgia to the Alabama line, southwest of Rome, Georgia
  • Ride in ride out to 25 miles of the Pinhoti trail
  • Elevation gain 4729, elevation loss 7302
  • Point to point, loops, and varying terrain/skill levels
  • Sustainable trail beds
  • Open all year

Pinhoti / Mountaintown Creek

Distance from MGap: 0 - 30 minutes out

Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced      

Length: 5.5 mi. solo / 21.2 mi. when connected with Bear Creek, P1 & P2.

Direction / Usage: Two way / multi-use

Average Ride Time: 6 hours

Elevation Gain: 3,707 ft

Elevation Loss: 3,695 ft

  • 5.5 miles of double and single track downhill surrounded by deep mountain vegetation

  • Technical creek crossings -- your feet will get wet

  • Great photo opportunities with many cascades and small waterfalls

  • Wildlife sightings possible

  • Some technical skill required, as some sections are steep and loose

  • The trail can be treacherous in wet weather and after periods of heavy rain due to the number of creek crossings. 


 

Pinhoti/Mountaintown Creek Trail is one of the most pristine, scenic, and remote backcountry rides around. It contains 5.5+ miles of pure downhill bliss through some of the most beautiful singletrack around. It is rife with creek crossings, thick rhododendron and new growth hemlocks, waterfalls, and of course, adrenaline pumping singletrack. If you're looking for the ultimate adventure, look no further than Mountaintown connected to Bear Creek, P1, and P2. If you're really hardcore, you can make the stout 13 mile climb over Potato Patch Mountain to Mountaintown Creek Trail right out of Mulberry Gap's gate or even add P3 to the end of the ride for a few extra miles and more climbing. A shuttle to the trailhead is also available.

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Right out of the gate Mountaintown throws some massive water bars your way, so be ready for lift off or be prepared to absorb the lip in order to keep rubber on the dirt. Follow up the down with some scenic ride and appreciate the diverse fauna. There are 17+ creek crossing on Mountaintown, be prepared to get wet. We highly recommend bringing an extra pair of socks to toss on after finishing up and before setting off on the hike-a-bike section (more on that to come). The creek crossings are challenging, but fun, and they’re all passable depending on the recent rainfall, and your tolerance for squeaky bottom brackets.

About mid way through the trail is the most technical section which runs parallel to a waterfall on the right. We recommend blasting down this technical loose rock decent then walking back up to enjoy the waterfall.

At the first intersection to your right, you’ll have about ¾ mile of hiking only (no bikes allowed through here!). You’ll “T” into doubltrack on the backside of Bear Creek Loop. From here, you’ll make a left, go approximately ½ mile until you see a “Pinhoti” sign on the right. You’ll take that right turn and then “T” into the other side of Bear Creek Loop where you’ll take a left to continue down the trail, almost immediately crossing a creek. From here, you’ll follow Bear Creek trail down, past the poplar and either continue onto Pinhoti 1 or you have the option to take FS 241 at the bottom of the Bear Creek Parking Lot and follow gravel roads back to Mulberry Gap.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Bear Creek

  • Beautiful overlook of Fort Mountain and surrounding mountains

  • Barnes Creek Waterfall

  • Old growth Gennett Poplar tree

  • Typically ridden as a loop with P1 & P2

  • There's a Bear Creek Loop within the Bear Creek Trail which is also open to mountain bikes

  • Multiple creek crossings

  • Canopy coverage, lush vegetation

  • Wildlife sightings are common

Distance from MGap: 0 - 30 minutes out

Difficulty: Beginner / Intermediate     

Length: 2.4 mi downhill solo / 18.5 mi. with P1 & P2 / 25.66 mi
with P1, P2 & P3

Direction / Usage: Two way / multi-use

Average Ride Time: 3 hours

Elevation Gain: 293 ft / 4575 ft / 6467 ft

Elevation Loss: 926 ft / 4575 ft / 6467


Bear Creek trail includes gnarly singletrack, wide open doubletrack with sweet dips/jumps, and a smile-inducing, flowy creek-bed that was pure bliss.
— Karl Rosengarth, DirtRag Magazine, 2010

 

Sweeping double track with plenty of easy air opportunities take you to a flowing and fun singletrack through the lush forestry of Bear Creek. As you fire it up on the downhill, cool off across one of the many creek crossings!

Bear Creek Trail is one of Georgia’s favorite and oldest mountain bike trails. This intermediate trail offers 9.6 miles of double/single track, a scenic overlook with a view of Fort Mountain in the distance, moderate to steep climbing, sweet descent, technical creek crossings and wildlife openings.

Bear Creek is beautiful in any season. The lower section of trail runs along Bear Creek, crossing back and forth several times. The creek is picturesque and the surrounding forest is lush and dense. Bear sightings are common. The immense 400 year old Gennett Poplar, near the upper parking lot of the trail head off Gates Chapel, offers a glimpse of the pre-existing forest before the area was logged earlier in the century.

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Bear Creek Trail Description:

Bear Creek - Pinhoti 1 - Pinhoti 2 Loop: After a steady 4 mile gravel warm up, bomb into the fun, fast, and flowy Bear Creek Trail. Turn back uphill on P1 to gain elevation and dive back down the rooty and steep P2. Finish it all up with a mile long gravel road cool down.

The road up to the beginning of Bear Creek is a great way to warm up those legs with a gradual climb on a gravel road. The 4 mile gravel grind has some great scenery to enjoy along the way, and is mostly shaded. Take a stop at Barnes Creek picnic area and cool off in the beautiful waterfall there. Amazing photos await on clear days at the Bear Creek overlook just before arriving at the trail head parking lot.

Bear Creek starts out with a bang! Right out of the gate there is opportunity for air followed by three of the most technical switchbacks of the trail. The final switchback spits out at a creek crossing to the left, which you follow to a fun downhill double track run. Here is a great opportunity to let off the brakes and get used to carrying some speed down the wide and mostly smooth track. Along the way are plenty of rolling water bars to keep things interesting and get the rubber off the ground (if you so please). At the next intersection, pass around the gate to the right that dissuades four wheeled vehicles from passing, and get ready for some premium singletrack! Cruise down the smooth, flowing, and beautiful trail, but keep those eyes forward and ready for some switchbacks and creek crossings that sneak up on you! The creek crossings can be done on foot or pedals; the water is shallow enough to ride if you want to challenge your balance across the rocks. Don’t forget to slow down and check out the old growth Gennett Poplar tree which will be on your right behind a wooden rail donated by the Ellijay Mountain Bike Association (EMBA).

The end of Bear Creek Trail will come out into a parking area which you can follow to Shakerag road and back to Mulberry Gap. You can also jump on the Pinhoti 1 (P1) connector off to the left of the Bear Creek Trail if you turn around and bike back up the trail just a little ways.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Pinhoti 1

  • You can also skip the tough climb of P1 by connecting Bear Creek and P2 via Wilderness Trail

  • Best looped with Bear Creek & Pinhoti 2

  • Steep climb, fast descent

  • Canopied with lush trees, very scenic

  • A few small creek crossings

  • Wildlife openings, sightings are possible

Distance from MGap: 0 - 30 minutes out

Difficulty: Intermediate 

Length: 3.7 mi

Direction / Usage: Two way / multi-use

Average Ride Time: 1 hours

Elevation Gain: 1386 ft

Elevation Loss: 1334 ft


After a little more than a mile you get to the top, and start an incredible singletrack downhill that goes for over a mile, with just a small uphill section in the middle. Switchbacks keep you on your toes, while nothing can wipe the smile off your face.
— Singletracks.com

 

What goes up must come down! This trail starts with a punchy climb and ends with one of the steepest descents around. 

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Pinhoti 1 Description:

Pinhoti 1 trail begins at the bottom of Bear Creek and much like a new puppy, it asks a lot of you, maybe even more than you are willing to give, but if you stick with it, you will be greatly rewarded with its loyalty, or in our case, a killer steep downhill.

Start off with a few steep pitches upward to gain elevation out of the creek bed. Up and up we go. There are areas that level out in between where you can catch your breath, but then right back at it ya go. The good news is that after the 1.25 miles up, you have consistent 1.7 mile downhill with a tiny climb in the middle.

The trail finishes up with a 3/4 mile climb out on old double track. If continuing to P2, take a left once you get to the gravel road and continue on until you reach 90B.


Pinhoti 2

  • Rolling doubletrack at the start

  • Smile inducing speeds

  • Fast, flowy ridgeline descent 

  • Rooty & rocky towards the bottom

Distance from MGap: 0 - 30 minutes out

Difficulty: Beginner / Intermediate     

Length: 3.5 mi solo / 10 mi. when ridden as a loop

Direction / Usage: Two way / multi-use

Average Ride Time:  30 mins / 1.5 hours

Elevation Gain: 615 ft / 1320 ft loop

Elevation Loss: 987 ft / 1256 ft loop


An awesome mixed singletrack/doubletrack section of the long distance Pinhoti Trail.
— Jon Sundquist, 2014

 

This is one of the best single track downhills in Georgia – a fast, flowy, rollercoaster ride! This 4.5 mile trail has a little something for everyone; double track climbs, rocky and rooty descents and flowy, ridgeline riding. This trail is great when ridden by itself or connected with Bear Creek & Pinhoti 1.  

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Begin with a 1.3 mile gentle climb on double track with some rolling dips that leads to single track to get those legs warm and gain some elevation. Next get ready for the fun stuff as you pass a Pinhoti blaze assuring that bike travel is indeed allowed.

The first downhill is very fast! Make sure to stay light and loose on your bike and be on the lookout for some intermittent root sections as you weave in and out of trees. This descent will definitely get your adrenaline pumping! There are a couple turns that, although are not very tight, can be tricky due to the obstacles found in them. Next up is a brief uphill (about 1/3 mile) to let those forearms relax a bit, so sit back, raise that dropper post, and get into a good gear.

The final descent begins with a super fun section of bench cut trail on the side of the ridge. This is a favorite section that will require some good bike handling to maneuver as you make your way down the narrow and steep trail. The final downhill is a bit wider, again with mixed root sections, and a couple tight turns. One left turn in particular has a few larger rocks in the middle that can catch the unsuspecting rider off guard, so keep those eyes ahead! For those of you looking to carry a little more speed, look for good opportunities to gap the roots on the trail with a well timed bunny hop to continue a nice, fast flow.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Pinhoti 3

  • Best looped with Pinhoti 4 & 5 as an out and back

  • Challenging switchbacks 

  • Steep climbs

  • Fast descents

  • Keep your distance from other riders to avoid the "domino effect" around switchbacks

  • Ridgeline riding

  • Panoramic view of Pinhoti 3 and Potato Patch Mountain from the Cohutta Overlook 

Distance from MGap: 0 - 30 minutes out

Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced      

Length: 3.7 mi. solo / 40 mi. when connected with P4, P5 & Dennis Mill

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use

Average Ride Time: 1.5 hours / 7.5 hours

Elevation Gain: 1,971 ft

Elevation Loss: 1,243 ft   


Out and back trail with some serious switchbacks, steep climbs, and fast down hills.
— John Picklesimer

 

This is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, single track trails in our area. It is a diverse trail offering challenging uphills, fast downhills and many tight switchbacks. Pinhoti 3 is a great add on after finishing your descent on Pinhoti 2, a quick 8+ mile out and back directly from Mulberry Gap or the start of a 40 miler if connected with Pinhoti 4, 5 and Dennis Mill. 

An amazing downhill that you gotta earn first! The climb is tough, but well worth the flowing downhill that follows. In addition to some really fun natural berms built in the side of the mountain, this trail contains some abrupt switchbacks, so be alert!

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Directions to Pinhoti 3:

  1. Take a right out of Mulberry Gap on gravel, FS 18/Mulberry Gap Road
  2. Ride up the first short climb and start decending
  3. At 0.4 mile, you'll see the Pinhoti Trail marker on the right hand side
  4. The singletrack begins there
  5. Once you make it to the top, if you want to head over to the Cohutta Overlook (highly recommended), turn to the left on pavement (Hwy 52) for about a 1/4 mile
  6. You'll come to a semi cirle drive, turn into the first left and ride up the old logging road past the "Road Closed" sign. As you reach the top, you'll see a circular stone platform and a gorgeous view.

Pinhoti 3 Trail Description:

The Pinhoti 3 section is a great choice to add on at the end of a day if you have a little reserves left in the tank, if you have only a short bit of time to ride, or even to join with Pinhoti 4, Pinhoti 5 & Dennis Mill if you are looking for a 40 miler day as an out and back from Mulberry Gap. One of the best things about these options is that, because it’s an out and back, you ride out as far as you wish, then turn back and ride the same route down.

P3 begins with a 3.8 mile climb (yes, its all uphill save for about a quick ¾ mile downhill in the middle), however, you are amply rewarded with a spectacular view at the Cohutta Overlook of the surrounding panoramic view at the top. You will know you have arrived once you come to Chatsworth highway (Hwy 52), a paved road on the top. If you are interested in getting a fantastic view of Potato Patch Mountain, take a left on the paved road and go about ¼ mile to the overlook. If not, turn back around and get ready to bomb, cruise, saunter, or whatever it is you wish to do on a downhill.

The top of P3 is one of our absolute favorite sections and starts with a really fast straight away along the side of the mountain. There is more than one opportunity for airtime, but quickly spot that landing because the turns come at you quickly right after. Another thing I love about this section are the natural berms built into the side of the mountain. They aren’t perfectly shaped and can have pretty steep angles, but they are still loads of fun. There are also a couple pretty tight and technical switchbacks up here, so get light and nimble on those pedals and give your riding buddies some space!

Next up is a quick bit of a climbing, yes, that’s right, you do have to climb just a little more! The good news is that it will keep you interested on the up with some challenging uphill switchbacks that will demand your concentration for line choice and balance. Skip ahead about a mile and you are back to a screaming, consistent, almost 2 mile downhill chalked full of something for everyone; tight berms out of nowhere, chunky rock sections, flat out open straight-aways through lush fern vegetaion and even one particularly sweet little natural hip jump step up spot.

Check it out early one morning after a rain when it’s still foggy for a real treat.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Pinhoti 4

  • Most enjoyed when ridden with Pinhoti 3, Pinhoti 5 & Dennis Mill or Rock Creek

  • Short section accessed by Hwy 52

  • Fast & flowy

  • All singletrack

Distance from MGap: 0 - 30 minutes out

Difficulty: Intermediate     

Length: 0.7 mi. solo 

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use 

Average Ride Time: 30 mins 

Elevation Gain: 286.3 ft 

Elevation Loss: 214.5 ft 


 

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Pinhoti 5

  • Most enjoyed when ridden with Pinhoti 3, Pinhoti 4 & Dennis Mill or Rock Creek

  • Creek crossings

  • Wildlife openings, sightings possible

  • Steep, loose descent

  • Lush canopy coverage

Distance from MGap: 30 - 60 minutes out

Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced      

Length: 2.1 mi. solo 

Direction: Two way / Multi-use 

Average Ride Time: 30 mins 

Elevation Gain: 286 ft 

Elevation Loss: 71 ft 


Pinhoti 5 begins with a screaming doubletrack descent down Tatum Lead Rd.  Turn right down a four wheeler width trail and pray that you still have some brake pads left because it gets step and loose for the next mile. As things start to level out some you'll cross several creeks and wildlife openings. Many people get to see some of our native wildlife here.

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Directions

From P4 turn left onto Tatum Lead Rd. and ascend a steep gravel rd. for about .5 miles. Once reaching the top you will have a nice long double track descent that is fast and technical with lots of rocks and erosion. After you have descended for about 2 miles you will be watching out for a set of three large rollers to your right, Pinhoti 5 starts here. This begins a steep and loose descent until it levels out and puts you through a few creek crossings. Continue on until you hit a creek crossing that opens up into a large wildlife opening. The trail continues diagonally across the field (which can be overgrown at times) and picks up on the tail end of Peoples Lake Rd. Continue on Peoples Lake Rd. until you hit your first intersection, this is the end of Pinhoti 5.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Pinhoti 3, 4, 5 & Dennis Mill

  • Sweet downhills

  • Creek crossings

  • Steep climbs

  • Cohutta Overlook off Pinhoti 3

  • Wildlife clearing - sightings possible

  • Ridden as an out & back from Mulberry Gap, one way will put you 20 miles out. Unless you're looking for a 40 mile day, we recommend a shuttle pick up.

Distance from MGap: 30 - 60 minutes out

Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced      

Length: 24.7 mi loop from Mulberry Gap

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use 

Average Ride Time: 6 hours

Elevation Gain: 5752 ft 

Elevation Loss: 5752  ft 


 

20 miles of thigh burning, sweat producing bliss is perhaps how you might describe this section of the Pinhoti trail. Make your way up P3 and P4 to the top of the ridge and bomb down the backside of Ft. Mt. on P5. The following section (Dennis Mill) was just finished up in 2014 and has got some sweet downhills, creek crossings and some nice steep climbs to keep you honest.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Windy Gap Downhill

  • Technical rock sections

  • Lots of opportunity for air + high speeds

  • Big bank turns

  • Wildlife sightings possible

  • Medium - thick canopy

  • ORV trail width

  • Lightly used trail, backcountry

Distance from MGap: 30 - 60 minutes out

Difficulty: Advanced      

Length: 4 mi. solo / 24 mi loop from Mulberry Gap

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use 

Average Ride Time: 30 mins / 4 hours

Elevation Gain: 539 ft / 4968 ft

Elevation Loss: 2,429 ft / 4968 ft


 

Windy Gap Downhill can be ridden alone or combined as a loop with Tibbs and Milma. These trails offer the most technical riding in our immediate ride in/ride out area. If combined, the total distance is 10.9 miles of which 8.7 are single track. Wooded with views, these trails offer steep climbs, very technical, rocky and challenging downhills and banked turns. They are shared use with ORV so conditions are unpredictable particularly after heavy rains.

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Directions to Windy Gap:

  1. Take a left of our Mulberry Gap onto FS 18
  2. After about 1/2 mile, turn right onto FS 68
  3. Continue for about 2 miles, at this point you'll start your climb as you pass the Forest Service Station and Cohutta Wilderness sign, the road veers to the right and you begin a punchy, steep climb.
  4. At the next intersection, you'll continue to the left up FS 68. Do not take FS 90.
  5. After a few miles, you'll pass Barnes Creek Falls and the Bear Creek Overlook about 0.8 mi later. Passing the entrance to Bear Creek, continue climbing until you reach the fork in the road. This is the Potato Patch intersection and you're about half way there at mile 6.
  6. Take the left fork and enjoy the rolling climb until the road dead ends at about mile 13. You'll pass the entrance to Tibbs along the way. You'll come to a gate that says Road Closed and the trail will start on the left hand side.
  7. Enjoy the downhill and you'll spit out onto an old Forest Service road which will take you out to pavement about 2.5 miles later. This is C.C.C. Camp Road. Turn left and begin the 7 mile ride back to Mulberry Gap.
  8. The pavement will turn into gravel and you'll continue a steady climb until you reach Mulberry Gap on the right.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Windy Gap, Milma & Tibbs

  • Thick canopy, scenic creek crossings

  • Wildlife sightings possible

  • Lightly used trail, backcountry

  • Rock pile, full suspension recommended

  • Best ridden as a downhill unless you hate yourself

  • Opportunities for jumps + air if you're a straight up baller

Distance from MGap: 30 - 60 minutes out

Difficulty: Advanced      

Length: 28.6 mi loop from Mulberry Gap

Direction: Two way / Multi-use 

Average Ride Time: 7 hours

Elevation Gain: 6510 ft

Elevation Loss: 6510 ft


Compared to Tibbs and the upper portions of Windy Gap, Milma is easy from both the technical and aerobic standpoints. It really was an enjoyable ride that let me get my breath back after slogging up Windy Gap. Unfortunately, the soul crushing climb up Tibbs comes all too soon and I was sorely missing the smooth grades of Milma. While the trail itself is probably a low intermediate level of difficulty, the difficult access to the trail keeps most people without a motor away.
— GoldenGoose, Singletracks.com, 2011

 

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DIRECTIONS:

From Mulberry Gap, the lower trailhead can be accessed by riding FS 18 4.5 miles plus 2 miles on the paved CCC Camp Road. Turn R on FS 218 and ride 2 miles to the trailhead Recommended route is to head up Windy Gap, turning R after 1.3 miles at the Milma junction. Ride 3.8 miles until you reach the Tibbs Trail junction. Tibbs is a steep 1.4 mile climb to FS 68 near Lake Conesauga. Take a R on FS 68 and ride past the Lake until the road ends at the upper Windy Gap trail head. Windy Gap is 2.3 miles to the Milma junction and another 1.3 back to the lower trailhead.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Amadahy Trail / Woodring Branch Recreation Area

  • Flowy singletrack

  • Wildlife openings, sightings possible

  • Medium canopy

  • Great trail for beginners

  • Swimming, picnic opportunities 

  • Lake views border most of the trail

Distance from MGap: 30 - 60 minutes out

Difficulty: Beginner       

Length: 3.6 mi

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use

Average Ride Time: 1 hour

Elevation Gain: 293 ft

Elevation Loss: 286

The trail, which was built by local mountain bikers, is just a few yards from the shoreline, and it’s an absolute beauty. There are 2 miles of beautifully sculpted, fun and flowing singletrack, and then 2 more miles of wider trail that finish the ride. Even that part is good, with spectacular views of the lake and surrounding hills. There are no buildings anywhere in sight.
— Mountain Bike Action Magazine, 2014

 

The Amadahy trail is mostly singletrack, some places wider than others. Whether you ride the trail clockwise or counter-clockwise, you'll be descending towards Carters Lake. Flow through some easy uphill/downhill sections that keep your pace fairly even throughout the ride.

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Directions to Amadahy: 18 miles / 35-45 minutes by car

  1. Turn left out of Mulberry Gap, 2 miles on gravel, stay straight when gravel turns to pavement and continue for 1 mile on Conasauga Road.
  2. When you reach the intersection, turn right onto Hwy 52 for 0.7 miles and then turn left onto Pleasant Hill Road and continue 2.1 miles.
  3. Take a slight right onto Seth Hyatt Road at 1.2 miles which will turn back into Pleasant Hill Road after a slight right in 175 ft.
  4. Turn left on Rodgers Creek Road 0.8 miles and then turn right to stay on Rodgers Creek Road 1.6 miles later.
  5. Continue on Co Rd 57.Tails Creek Church Rd for 1.4 miles
  6. Turn right onto GA-282 W / US-76 W for 3.7 miles
  7. Turn left onto Woodring Branch Rd and the trail will be on your right about 3.4 miles down the road.

Description: As described on MTBProject.com


At the trailhead, you’ll see the trail blaze direct you to travel clockwise. Traveling in that direction, you’ll hit some nice, narrow singletrack, mostly downhill, then cross over a 5 foot wide bridge and turn right. After the right turn the trail continues downhill, alongside a small creek, on a rutty and rooted sections. You’ll have to cross a short section of the shallow creek and depending on the time of ear and rainfall it will determine how wide your crossing will be.

Just a short distance farther you reach Carters Lake which remains on your left during the gradual flowing ups and downs during this course of the ride. The views along the lake are amazing and at one point you’ll see the Carters Lake dam (at 445 feet tall it is the tallest eastern dam east of the Mississippi river). The trail in some places is 12-24” wide and in some other sections approximately 36-48” wide.

The trail flows well and is great for beginners. It’s only on the final .4-.5 miles that you’ll be gradually climbing back up to the trailhead, but it’s not too difficult of a climb. You may travel in either direction, but please yield the trail to hikers, trail runners and dog-walkers.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Red & White Loop / River Loop / Cartecay Loop

  • The Cartecay Loop combines the Red & White Loop with most of the River Loop

  • Wildlife openings

  • Winds through sections of the Cartecay River

  • From dense forest to creek crossings and open fields of wildflowers

  • Primarily singletrack

  • Some technical downhill & challenging climbs

Distance from MGap: 30 - 60 minutes out

Difficulty:  Intermediate / Advance

Length: 2.1 (Red & White) / 3.4 mi (River Loop) / 6.1 (Cartecay) 

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use

Average Ride Time: 45 mins / 1 hour / 1 hour

Elevation Gain: 202 ft (17 mi) / 395 ft (RL) / 624 ft (CL)

Elevation Loss: 214 ft (17 mi) / 374 ft (RL) / 624 ft (CL)


6 miles of hardcore fun! Right out of the parking lot, ride downhill through a field of bright yellow wildflowers. Then come to a fun, soft, steep and rooty singletrack that snakes around the trees. Roll alongside the river, jumping off roots and small rocks. The trail twists through the trees and crosses a series of small streams. The trail throws everything at you, with super-tight singletrack, old-school style.
— Mountain Bike Action Magazine, 2014

River Loop || Photo Credit: John Kerr of Mountain Bike Action Magazine

River Loop || Photo Credit: John Kerr of Mountain Bike Action Magazine

 

This is one of the first mountain bike trails ever built in GA and is everything you could ever want in a trail ride. The Cartecay Loop takes you through wildlife openings, dense forests, some doubletrack forest service road, but primarily singletrack. 

There is one very technical downhill, challenging climbs, lots of twists and turns, roots and rocks, the way mountain biking should be. Despite the challenge of the trail, it is worth whatever pain you may endure as you ride down by the river, cross creeks, through fields, get a glimpse of the mountains, hear and see the rushing Cartecay River, and work your way around the loop.

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Directions to trailheads: 19.5 miles, 35 minutes by car.

  1. Turn right of out Mulberry Gap / FS 18, continue on gravel for 2 miles until it turns to pavement (Conasauga Road) for 1 mile.
  2. At the stop sign, turn left onto Hwy 52 and continue 9 miles into the downtown Ellijay square.
  3. Go halfway around the round-a-bout and continue on Hwy 52 for an additional 5 miles.
  4. Turn right ontil Mulkey Road
  5. Go 1/8 mile and there will be a gravel road to the right that will take you to the DNR parking area and trailhead.

Descriptions by MTBProject.com

Red & White Loop Description: From the parking area, pass by the closed gate and follow the service road a short distance until you reach the fork in the road.

Stay to the left and proceed up the first hill where you'll come to a second fork where you'll go to your right down the singletrack another short distance and you'll fork to the right again.

This will lead you into an awesome section of twisty singletrack that is probably the most enjoyable section of the trail and your speed will be dictated by your skill level. Once you reach the service road, take a left down the hill and find your top speed, but avoid the big roots and the holes.

This will bring you through the woods and into the second wildlife opening (big, long field) that may or may not be mowed, just follow the trail to the other end. You'll exit the wildlife opening to a service road which has a steady supply of uphill, but will take you all the way back to the parking area if you just keep riding straight ahead on the dirt road.

River Loop Description: From the parking area, pass by the closed gate and follow the service road a short distance until you reach the fork in the road. Stay to the left and proceed up the hill.

After the first small incline, the road will have a singletrack fork off to the right, don't go there, stay to the left on the service road and continue up the hill. At the top of the hill you'll have a really nice view of the mountains and be able to get some speed through the wildlife opening (big, long, open field).

Continue straight ahead and you'll enter the woods for about a mile on some rooty and twisty singletrack before coming to the very technical downhill. The downhill is steep, extremely technical, and consists of lots of roots and rocks. For the expert rider, this downhill is the best part of the loop. For the intermediate rider, this is where you come to be an expert. For all others, you may want to walk your bike down this hill, you'll know when you get there.

Once at the bottom, take a step off the trail and you are at one of the most beautiful spots on the Cartecay River, great photo area. The trail continues along the river with no real contour in mind and just kinda goes wherever they felt like putting it 40 something years ago, and it is awesome.

After the 3rd creek crossing, you'll have to climb your way back up from the river, and don't feel bad if you have to walk parts of it or most of it, it is a beast. When you are almost at the top of the climb, you'll enter a very dense, young pine forest for a short distance and then the trail will open back up to a singletrack on old forest service road.

Continue straight ahead and you'll pass a turn to the left which would take you on a nice twisty and fast singletrack on the Cartecay Loop, Red and White, and Boy Scout Loop, but don't turn and you'll merge back onto the service road that you started on and it will take you back to the parking area.

Cartecay River Loop Description: This is one of the first mountain bike trails ever built in Georgia and is everything you could ever want in a trail ride. The Cartecay Loop takes your through wildlife openings, dense forests, some doubletrack forest service road, but primarily singletrack.

There is one very technical downhill, challenging climbs, lots of twists and turns, roots & rocks, the way mountain biking should be. Despite the challenging of the trail, it is worth whatever pain you may endure as you ride down by the river, cross creeks, through fields, get a glimpse of the mountains, hear and see the rushing Cartecay River and work your way around the loop.

From the parking area, pass by the closed gate and follow the service road a short distance until you reach the fork in the road. Stay to the left and proceed up the hill. After the first small incline, the road will have a singletrack fork off to the right, don't go there, stay to the left on the service road and continue up the hill.

At the top of the hill you'll have a real nice view of the mountains and be able to get some speed through the wildlife opening (big, long, open field). Continue straight ahead and you'll enter the woods for about a mile on some rooty and twisty singletrack before coming to the very technical downhill.

The downhill is steep, extremely technical, and consists of lots of roots and rocks. For the expert rider, this downhill is the best part of the loop. For the intermediate rider, this is where you come to be an expert. For all others, you may want to walk your bike down this hill, you'll know when you get there.

Once at the bottom, take a step off the trail and you are at one of the most beautiful spots on the Cartecay River, great photo area. The trail continues along the river with no real contour in mind and just kinda goes wherever they felt like putting it 40 something years ago, and it is awesome. After the 3rd creek crossing, you'll have to climb your way back up from the river, and don't feel bad if you have to walk parts of it or most of it, it is a beast.

When you are almost at the top of the climb, you'll enter a very dense, young pine forest for a short distance and then the trail will open back up to a singletrack on old forest service road. About 1/4 mile after coming out of the dense pine forest on what used to be a service road, the Cartecay Loop takes a sharp hairpin turn to the left. If you go straight, you go back to the parking lot to complete the River Loop, don't do that.

Once you make the hairpin turn to the left, there is an awesome section of twisty singletrack that is probably the most enjoyable section and your speed will be dictated by your skill level. Once you reach the service road, take a left down the hill and find your top speed, but avoid the big roots and the holes.

This will bring you through the woods and into the second wildlife opening (big, long field) that may or may not be mowed, just follow the trail to the other end and look for deer. You'll exit the wildlife opening on a service road and go about 1/8 of a mile and the road will turn to the right.

To your left (or actually straight ahead) the Cartecay Loop continues down the steep singeltrack hill with all the little humps and takes you down by the river. Travel alongside the river for a short distance with some fairly sharp ups and downs, and then it is time to climb back out. The climb is long and goes on forever, but once at the top it is a relaxing ride with another small climb before you merge back on the service road which takes you all the way back to the parking area.


Snake Creek Gap (17 & 32 mile Time Trial route)

  • Rocks, technical

  • Steep descents

  • Ridgeline views of the Cumberland Plateau 

  • Creek crossings

  • Medium - thick canopy

  • Wildlife sightings possible

  • Facilities (pit toilets)

Distance from MGap: 30 - 60 minutes out

Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced      

Length: 16.8 mi (17 mi) / 31.6 (32 mi) 

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use 

Average Ride Time: 3 hours / 5 hours

Elevation Gain: 3120 ft (17 mi) / 5867 ft (32 mi)

Elevation Loss: 3205 ft (17 mi) / 5638 ft (32 mi)



The next morning we creaked out of our bunks early, devoured another lumberjack-worthy breakfast, then shuttled to Dalton, GA to ride the infamous Snake Creek Gap Six Mountain Time Trial Series race course. Much of The 31 mile long Snake course is hand-built singletrack that runs along the spine of bony ridges that offer spectacular views, when you aren’t target fixated on the rock gardens in front of your wheel.
— DirtRag Magazine, 2010
David Neiles on The Snake || Photo Credit: Jeff Bartlett

David Neiles on The Snake || Photo Credit: Jeff Bartlett

Pinhoti- East Armuchee to Snake Creek Gap (1st half of the SCG Time Trial)

This is the first section of Pinhoti utilized by the Snake Creek Gap time trials. Generally known as the easier of the two there are still sections with steep climbs and technical trail features. With all but a mile of steep doubletrack descent this trail is almost all single track and has plenty of the infamous Snake Creek roots and rocks.

Pinhoti- Snake Creek Gap to Dug Gap (2nd half of the SCG Time Trial)

This section of the 160 mile Pinhoti Trail begins about fifteen miles out of Dalton, GA at the Snake Creek Gap parking area. Within this 15 mile section you will tackle 4 mountains, plenty of ridgeline and almost exclusively single track. Rocks, roots, stunning views and more rocks await you if your tackling this section of the Snake.

+ Read More About This Trail

Directions to Snake Creek Gap 33 miles, 60 minutes by car

  1. From Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way (400 Mulberry Gap Road, Ellijay, GA 30540) follow GPS directions to Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center (2211 Dug Gap Battle Road, Dalton, GA 30720).
  2. From that parking lot, you can ride your bike up the main road, turning to the left as you exit the trade center, and climb until you see the "Pinhoti Trail" marker to your left.

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Jake & Bull Mountain 

  • Steep climbs

  • Fast descents

  • Mostly singletrack, back country feel

  • Beautiful views

  • Creek crossings

  • Medium - thick canopy

  • Wildlife sightings possible

Distance from MGap: 30 - 60 minutes out

Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced      

Length: 25 mi

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use 

Average Ride Time: 5 hours

Elevation Gain: 3062 ft

Elevation Loss: 3062 ft

This trail system has it all, from the flow of Jake Mountain to the more technical singletrack of Bull Mountain. The pay off of Bull Mountain’s downhill is huge and will leave you smiling as you wrap up a day in the saddle. This is an epic ride you will not forget.


GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


Stanley Gap / Aska Trail System

Distance from MGap: 30 - 60 minutes out

Difficulty: Intermediate  / Advance 

Length: 15 mi

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use

Average Ride Time: 3 hours

Elevation Gain: 2496 ft

Elevation Loss: 2510 ft


Directions coming soon!

GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


The 5-mile singletrack climb was broken up nicely into climbing and recovery sections instead of a steady grind. The trail is on the sunny side of the mountain but semi-shaded by the trees. The climb was worth the work, because we were rewarded with a fast and flowy descent through the trees. This is a good, long, training-ride trail if you’re looking to boost your daily mileage.
— Mountain Bike Action Magazine, 2014

Jackrabbit Mountain

Distance from MGap: 60 - 90 minutes out

Difficulty: Beginner / Intermediate    

Length: 11 mi

Direction / Usage: Two way / Multi-use 

Average Ride Time: 1.5 hours

Elevation Gain: 693 ft

Elevation Loss: 693 ft

Directions coming soon!


GPX map files can be read on cell phone apps such as GPX Master for iPhone and GPX Viewer for Android.


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