Georgia is perhaps most well known for some of its historical sites and its many State Forests and Parks, all of which beg you to get out and explore the outdoors. It is no wonder then that there are a number of great mountain biking trails in the state of Georgia.
1. Blankets Creek Trail – 15 miles – Intermediate
This singletrack trail is actually located near the Atlanta Metro area and it is really convenient to get to. It can be a bit crowded for this reason and because of the fact that it is such a popular trail. There are other, shorter trails in this spot which are laid out in a stacked loop design.
The design was well thought out, with the easier trails being fairly flat and closer to the parking lot and the more advanced trails being further out and having berms, rocks, and jumps. There are also restrooms and drinking water, with night riding and winter fat biking being encouraged and a skills area to practice on.
One thing that you should know is that the direction of some of the trails changes to be clockwise one day and counterclockwise the next. Hikers will most often be traveling in the opposite direction as the mountain bikers.
2. Bear Creek – 10 miles – Intermediate
This is a singletrack trail that also has some doubletrack to it and it goes near Bear Creek, even crossing over it more than once. Also along the trail there is a huge tree that is a popular place to stop and take a picture at.
Asher H. has this to say about this trail: “My brother and I rode Bear Creek Loop yesterday. This was both our first time riding in North Georgia. I chose this trail because it is near (1.75 hrs away) Helen, Ga, where I am staying for the week… When trying to locate the trail, PLEASE IGNORE the location shared on the trail profile and simply search “Bear Creek Trailhead” in Google maps. This will take you to the trailhead.
“Some park along the “main” road and ride the gravel road for a warmup while others drive the last 1.5 miles to the true trailhead…There are several creek crossings so be prepared to get a little wet. There are many opportunities to get some air as well if that’s what you are in to. The bottom of the descent spits out right where it all started at the trail head parking lot. All in all it took us about 2 hours to complete the loop and we are not in great shape either. So I hope that helps!”
3. Bull/Jake Mountain Loop – 30 miles – Intermediate
This trail has some great scenery and plenty of fast downhill sections which are part singletrack, part doubletrack, and part dirt road. There are also some creek crossings with waterfalls and you should be aware that this trail is popular with horseback riders.
A mountain biker with the username of CaribMtb says: “Bull/Jake Mtn fast becoming my favorite place to ride in North Georgia. Apart from great variety of trails, with a good mix of uphill & downhill, the fact that you can create loops ranging from 10miles, 15miles, 20 miles & 30miles or even switch it up mid ride if you are running low on energy, makes this area unique.
“Cell phone reception is not good, also carry basic tools & spare parts, since you can be as far as 15 miles away from your car… Anti clockwise is certainly more fun. Guessing 65% down 35% uphill when done in this direction. Parked in Bull Mtn carpark as trail ends closer than Jake Mtn carpark, but either carpark is ok as the trail passes behind Jake carpark. Highly recommend this 30 mile loop.”
4. Allatoona Creek Park Trail – 32 miles – Intermediate
This singletrack trail is located in Allatoona Creek Park, which has over 1,000 acres and tons of wildlife. There are jump lines, a pump track, and a skills section near here, as well as other trails that range from beginner to advanced.
The riding direction changes daily and the trails are closed during the hunting season, however there are restrooms, drinking water, and night riding here. One mountain biker with the username of belzey says: “This is an amazing trail system. You can tell is was designed and built by professional trail builders. Everything about this system is top notch. Great facilities, great signage, and incredible singletrack. The downhill and bike parks are some of the best I have seen. I would say this is the number 1 complete bike destination in Georgia and probably in the top 5 in the southeast.”
5. Turner Creek Trail – 6 miles – Intermediate
This trail is part of the Bull Mountain Trail system and, being on a mountain, has great downhill spots. A mountain biker with the username of MTB Crackfox says about this trail: “The uphill will kill your thighs but the bombing downhill will make up for it in every way. Take this trail if you are in the area.”
Night riding is allowed here, and there are creeks, and a picnic area to relax at too. Though there are some horses in the area, this trail mostly avoids them.
6. Hickory Nut Trail – 19 miles – Difficult
This is one of the most difficult trails in Georgia near Hellen, with a step descent that does have a lift to help you to the top of it. You can choose to climb up a fire road if you prefer, however there is no way that the descent can be climbed.
Matthew B. says: “This was my first real MTB trail. The sweet, sweet descent was majorly deserved after the huge ascent that I was in no way prepared for. Expect rocks, VERY close edges, and Baby heads. Summer is beautiful with the flower tunnels.” While Greg H. says: “Epic ride, definitely a black diamond descent in spots.”
7. Selma Erwin Nature Trail – 7.5 miles – Intermediate
This singletrack trail is technical with both climbs and descents and stream crossing. Night riding is allowed here and both maps and changing rooms are available. Grant B. calls this trail: “Still the most technically rewarding trail in this part of Georgia. Makes your heart ‘splode. Some of the old straight up climbs have been re-routed into more sustainable switchbacks to the larger benefit of the trail.”
Meanwhile another mountain biker with the username of GeorgiaBoy goes into more detail: “I would rate this trail as a Difficult Intermediate owing to the challenge of balancing on the abundance of roots and rocks on it. Challenging climbs, lots of turns, fun downhills, and a good workout await you at Selma Erwin. I usually ride the trail counterclockwise first, then turn around…a real workout! Have only seen a couple of other bikers there, mostly hikers.”
8. Big Creek Trail – 6 miles – Intermediate
This singletrack trail system is very well marked. The trails in this system are marked with different colors based on their difficulty, which not only helps you to stay on the right one but also helps you pick the trail that is best suited to you.
Most of the trails are directional according to what day of the week it is, so you will want to pay attention. There are some of the trails that are solely downhill with rock drops and other features. There are also man-made dirt jumps of various sizes up to around a whopping 6’ and there is even a great Slalom course and a pump track. There is night riding winter fat biking, and restrooms too.
9. Taylor Randahl Memorial Mountain Trail – 14.1 miles – Intermediate
There are 3 loops that form together to make this trail, allowing you to make it smaller or to ride the whole thing and get a taste of each of the loops. Night riding is allowed, trails are directional, and both water and restrooms are available.
One mountain biker with the username of Slee Slack says: “The Mill set of trails provide FASSST fun flow and berms and tables and a few techy alt lines…provides a workout with all its ups and downs as well as plenty of roots and technical sections. Yes, it requires effort to maintain momentum on Avalanche and there are lots of roots, rocks or turns that will sap momentum. All in all… one of my personal top 5 trail system around Atlanta.”
10. Brutal Loop 2 – 34.7 miles – Extremely Difficult
Located in Chattahoochee National Forest, this loop is mostly singletrack with some doubletrack. Nearby Mulberry Gap has lodging, food, showers, and repair equipment. However there is also a good place on the trail to camp at if you want to do so.
This long and difficult trail has plenty of climbing, some downhill, and some rock gardens, all with great scenery that you simply have to see. The Mulberry Gap barn is a great place to both start and end this trail.