outdoor ellijay

Bike trails in the Cohuttas

Cartecay River Loops

Difficulty level: intermediate: 3 to 7 miles: 5 miles from downtown Ellijay.

Conveniently located just outside of town the Cartecay River Loops is an excellent place to start riding in the North Georgia Mountains. You have two options here one being the red and white trail and the other is the river trail. The red and white trail is a bit of an easier trail to get warmed but you should certainly make your way to the river trail to enjoy beautiful views and scenery of the Cartecay River.

BE ADVISED: As of 1 July 2017 no Georgia outdoor recreational passes are needed to bike on state lands.

Carters Lake Trails

Difficulty level: Beginner/Advanced: 3.5 – 20 miles: 20 miles from downtown Ellijay.

Boasting nearly 20 miles total of trail space that can be enjoyed from beginner level to advanced carters lake just south-west of downtown Ellijay is a must-see destination. If you’re a beginner on the trails sticking to the Woodring Branch Recreation Area is advised. You will have plenty of time along the lake and since the trail doesn’t have any major direction changes it’s really difficult to get lost. On a clear blue day, the color of the water is mighty tempting after working up a sweat! For the more advanced riders head over to the Ridgeway trail. It’s been closed for a while due to power line construction but its groomed and ready for the biking enthusiast!

Bear Creek Trails

Difficulty level: Intermediate/Advanced: 5-11.5 miles: 12 miles from downtown Ellijay.

Bear Creek is another iconic North Georgia location because it can offer a rider many different experiences in one package. You can go and ride the standard Bear Creek loop and experience streams and bountiful old growth, or you can hook your ride into different sections of what’s called the Pinhoti Trail to make more loops for yourself. You can also use this location as a base to experience some real stunning rides that include waterfalls, lovely views and even more of the old growth of the Cohutta mountains. Bear Creek itself is broken into sections the upper and the lower trail. It’s a bit arduous getting to the upper trail but was specifically designed for the mountain bike enthusiast but the lower trail gets most of the action. Either way, you are sure to have an incredible ride and because of the versatility in this location you can come back and have a wide variety of experiences.

Fort Mountain State Park

Difficulty level: Beginner/Advanced: 1.5 – 14 miles: 20 miles from downtown Ellijay.

Fort Mountain is a staple in the North Georgia mountains. Hosting an array of pleasantries from horseback riding, camping, glamping, to mountain bike riding there is something here for everyone. Whether you are here to camp for a weekend riding trails or using it as a base camp, considering its proximity to bear creek and Pinhoti, Fort Mountain is a must.

BE ADVISED: Once you enter the park head to the office and pick up a biking permit or face the consequences of a hefty fee if found without one. Also, the rangers can give you current conditions or a heads up on hazards.

Here is a break down on some of the trails at Fort Mountain.

  1. Lake Trail: Distance 1.2 miles: Difficulty level Beginner
  2. Gold Mine Loop: Distance 5.5 Miles: Difficulty level Beginner
  3. Cool Springs Loop: Distance 6.3 miles: Difficulty level Intermediate
  4. East-West Loop: Distance 14.6 miles: Difficulty level Advanced
  5. Aska Trails system: Difficulty Beginner-Intermediate: 2.5-9.5 miles: 22 miles from downtown Ellijay.

Just northeast of Ellijay outside of Blueridge, the Aska Trail system is a hidden gem that only those in the know venture to. Being that it has many different trails this is a place anyone can ride on. The Stanley Gap and Green Mountain trails are a bit more challenging and will certainly test your endurance and skill whereas the Flat Creek loop and Long Branch loop can be used as introductory courses and offer a far easier ride. If you are a beginner certainly start on the Long Branch loop. Due to its short distance and low technicality, it is a perfect place to learn single track bike trails.

Below you can find the basics of the trails.

  1. Long Branch Loop: Difficulty level Beginner: Distance 2.2 miles
  2. Flat Creek Loop: Difficulty level Beginner/Intermediate: Distance 5.6 Miles
  3. Green Mountain: Difficulty level Intermediate/Advanced: Distance 9.4 Miles
  4. Stanley Gap: Difficulty level Intermediate/Advanced: Distance 9.6 Miles

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