“North Georgia Mountains are great because it’s a super condensed area of the Appalachian mountain chain. You really finish with a bang. You can bike backcountry and find big ridges and push your limits and that keeps me coming back.” said Gordon Wadsworth, BRO athlete and avid mountain biker, as I spoke with him about trails, “There’s so much condensed riding in North Georgia that it’s kind of impossible to ever want to leave.”
Northern Georgia has been a big draw for mountain bikers for years, and we at BRO want to make sure you know the top 7 trails not to miss while traveling through the area.
Jackrabbit Mountain is a beginner to intermediate trail located near Hiawassee. It is a total of 11.3 miles with 693’ of ascent. It is a singletrack with a maximum of 12% gradient. The trail is well maintained and open year-round, with beautiful views of the Chatuge Lake.
A three-mile intermediate trail, Moss Creek is home to some great singletrack. Smooth and flowy, this trail features more than 400 feet of elevation gain. Moss Creek continuously mixes things up, as there are climbs and descents, tight turns and switchbacks, and varied scenery.
This intermediate trail is a 10-mile singletrack loop, with a 4,700’ elevation gain. This loop is part of the Pinhoti trail and is primarily ridden downhill. There are a few creek crossings and the trail overall is fast and flowy. The highlight of this loop is the Gannet Poplar, a giant poplar with a girth as wide as 6 adult wingspans.
Jake Mountain has improved greatly over the years. Formerly washed out, it has recently been revamped and is now a favorite among bikers of all skill levels. This 7-mile singletrack network that gains 600’. While much of the trail is flowy, it is considered intermediate because it enters a deep creek crossing, Jones Creek, and the climb back out is famously steep.
The Pinhoti trail is one of Georgia’s epics. Starting around Ellijay and finishing in Alabama, the trail is fast and flowy, but the actual technicality depends on the section you’re riding. This section is 15 miles long and rated an intermediate ride. The singletrack gains 2,800’ and is an out and back trail.
This advanced trail includes 10-miles of out and back singletrack with 2,100’ of gain. It is extremely difficult and and includes some bombing descents. Be prepared for some chunky downhill, and tricky ascents that require a significant amount of lung power.
Pinhoti Trail: Mountaintown Creek
Transformed from an old logging road, this advanced singletrack trail is 5 miles long with 3,000’ gain. An out and back trail, Mountaintown Creek features a lot of backcountry riding. Bikers should be prepared to get wet and and a tad torn up. But one of the best descents in North Georgia makes it all worth while. Note: The trail has several great views of waterfalls along the way, so be sure to keep an eye out as you zoom along.
Special thanks to Gordon Wadsworth, Cartecay Bikes in Ellijay, and Mulberry Gap in Ellijay for contributing beta to this piece.