The Best Mountain Biking Trails in Georgia

The Peach State offers some great mountain biking experiences, if one knows where to look. Here’s one Southern expert’s top picks.

From the rolling mountains in the north to the banks of the Savannah River system, Georgia offers a few of the best hidden gems for mountain biking in the country. The Peach State may be best known for its fuzzy fruit, but you’ll also find some of the sweetest trails in the South there.  
If you’re interested in improving your skills or biking with a group, make sure you check out a local REI class or excursion. Whether you’re planning a trip or are a local wanting to expand your horizons, here are a few of Georgia’s best mountain biking trails. You’ll have your choice of parks, and Georgia offers great riding weather most of the year, so be sure to check out as many trails as you can or add them to your plan for the next ride!

Mulberry Gap

  • Location: Ellijay
  • Length: Loops from 10 to 60 miles
  • Difficulty: Beginner to advanced trail options
  • Best For: Overnight, group trips and clinics

Mulberry Gap basecamp was one of the first of its kind in the Southeast. Nestled in the mountains of north Georgia in Ellijay, this destination is the ideal weekend getaway. You can make this spot your home away from home with its bunkhouse and several camping options. There’s a cafeteria on the property, so you don’t have to bring your own food. Mulberry Gap offers a range of options for the solo rider, groups and families.

You can stack all the miles of singletrack you want with several trails branching off through the forest. Create several different routes with the 60 miles of trail available to ride through the beautiful forest. If you don’t want to spend all your energy peddling 13.5 miles back to the top, Mulberry Gap offers shuttle services that take you back to basecamp. If you want to take a break from all the downhill shredding, there are several gravel road options to get out on an adventure in the beautiful north Georgia mountains. Mulberry Gap offers a range for all levels and abilities; they also offer workshops to increase your skills and confidence on the bike.

Whether you want to sign up for a workshop, schedule a weekend getaway with a group of friends or bring the whole family for a weekend in the woods, Mulberry Gap has something for you. Gather your trail friends and plan your next outdoor stay here.

Southside Park

    • Location: Atlanta
    • Length: 7 miles when completed
    • Difficulty: Multiple trail difficulties
    • Best For: Convenience from downtown and the surrounding area

    This trail system has had an arduous journey to existence; a collaboration between many volunteer groups and government agencies has created one of the best mountain biking experiences you can have in the metro area. The Southside Park project was the first of its kind as the Atlanta Park System installed and maintains mountain bike trails around the city. It took four years to design the master plan and break ground on the park, and is estimated to take another 7–13 years to fully accomplish the dream. They have already opened one single-direction gravity trail.

    The Southside trail system caters to a wide range of skill levels, from beginner to expert. There are several different trails that you can link together to have a “choose your own adventure.” It caters to all ability levels and is a great place to go with your family. You can find workday times and trail conditions on the Atlanta Area SORBA (Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association) website and Twitter feed. You can also find volunteer information there, as the local SORBA maintains the attraction. 

    One last great highlight from Southside Park is the location: It’s an easy drive from downtown. Whether you’re looking to have a great ride after work or take multiple loops on the weekend, this is a great place to let loose and have fun on the bike.

    Jake and Bull Mountain Trails

    • Location: Dahlonega
    • Length: 25.2 miles
    • Difficulty: Intermediate
    • Best For: Long distance on an IMBA Epic trail

    Jake and Bull Mountain Trail System is home to Georgia’s only IMBA-certified Epic trail system. The International Mountain Biking Association designates Epic rides for true backcountry singletracks, allowing you to ride over 20 miles into the backcountry. These routes are selected by popular vote from a list that has stringent requirements, making an Epic designation rarefied air for any trail to reach. One of the great things about this certification is it almost guarantees a good time and a wonderful ride.

    You can park at either trailhead, which allows you to take a 100-mile continuous ride on singletrack with some of the best descents and technical climbs in the Southeast. It’s a great trail for testing your skills and building confidence or reaching the limits of your bike’s capabilities. Bring a group of friends and bikepack from one mountain to the next. You can camp in the park for free as well, just plan to register for your spot at the trailhead.

    Take your time and enjoy the incredible scenic views, because this is a must-do on the Georgia bucket list. Whether you’re stopping for a water break or simply to take in the nature around you, you won’t regret the decision to ride here. The trails are multiuse and are open to hikers and equestrians—however, they’re often lightly used, so you’ll usually be on your own.

    Cochran Shoals Park

    • Location: Marietta
    • Length: 3.2 miles
    • Difficulty: Beginner-friendly
    • Best For: A flat path, flow trail beside a river

    Cochran Shoals Park is the perfect place for beginners and conveniently located in the Atlanta metro area. This system offers a few different options, depending on the ride you’re looking for. The trails include a flat path of over 3 miles, flowing along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Cochran Shoals is a great place to take the family, especially young kids who are still learning and gaining confidence on the bike. They can take breaks and enjoy the river, while parents don’t have to worry about difficult features.

    This trail is a local favorite for that lunchtime ride or getting in some miles after work. Thanks to beautiful scenic views, you’re sure to enjoy the landscapes while getting some fresh air. Since this is a popular multiuse spot, be sure to watch out for hikers and runners.

    Five Points Trail System

    • Location: Near Trenton, next door to popular Cloudland Canyon State Park
    • Length: 20 miles of singletrack
    • Difficulty: Intermediate
    • Best For: Solitude during quiet parts of the day

    One of the great things about the Five Points Trail System is the opportunity to ride the connector from Cloudland Canyon Straight to Five Points for some of the most fun beginner- and intermediate-friendly trails in the state. Because it offers variety, this trail system is great for both the family and someone wanting to try to add miles to their ride. The Five Points trails present the chance to reach your Strava personal records on mileage, views and more.

    Since the trail system is right next door to the state park, you can also camp and enjoy other outdoor activities. Cloudland Canyon State Park offers many amenities, from fishing to disc golf and a fun vacation for the whole family. On the list of trails to explore, Five Points is not to be missed.

    Olde Rope Mill

    • Location: Woodstock
    • Length: Approximately 12 miles
    • Difficulty: Multiple trail difficulties
    • Best For: Directional traffic, purpose-built for mountain bikes

    Olde Rope Mill is a great choice for any Atlanta-area rider. These trails were built for mountain bikes, and there are 10 different loops to choose from. With the river running through the middle of the park, you’re never far from a beautiful view—that is, if you can focus on anything else as you blast through the turns.

    Since the trails at Olde Rope Mill are directional (the direction of the trail changes depending on the day), riders should be sure to check the map at the trailhead before getting started, in order to catch which direction the trail is running on each visit. Then make sure to come back another time to try to master the trail in the opposite direction. This is a great opportunity to achieve new Strava records and compare your times on the different trail directions with other riders.

    Olde Rope Mill is another busy trail system, so always make sure you’re watching the trail ahead of you for other users. It’s fun to build your speed and confidence, but safety while having fun is the top priority.

    Blankets Creek Park

    • Location: Canton
    • Length: 15 miles of flow
    • Difficulty: Beginner to intermediate
    • Best For: The well-maintained, directional gravity trail

    Blankets Creek truly offers a unique experience for every rider, regardless of skill or ability. Most of its trails are directional, meaning you follow a single direction and don’t run the risk of taking a turn into another rider. But Blankets Creek also has a gravity trail, which allows you to test your downhill skills. The park is located only 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta, and this trail system lets you get everything from your after-hours vibes out to your weekend epic trail ride. You’ll be grinning from ear to ear as you rip through the bermed turns and jump from roller to roller.

    Blankets Creek has one main trail that is 4.6-miles long and several smaller loops that make for endless options. One of the best features of this park is how well-maintained the trails are: You won’t miss the ruts as the bike tires roll seamlessly along the ground. Blankets Creek is a great choice for beginner riders or families getting children into cycling. However, if you love the option of jumps and smooth rides, you’ll love these trails!

    Forks Area Trail System (FATS)

    • Location: Near Augusta
    • Length: 37 miles
    • Difficulty: Beginner- to expert-friendly
    • Best For: Routinely voted as one of the top 10 trails in the country

    While this trail isn’t entirely in Georgia, since it is right outside of Augusta, riders in the state shouldn’t skip it. One of the best trail systems in the nation, it’s been described as an endless pump track punctuated by rock gardens and other expert-level features. Forks Area Trail System (FATS) is regularly voted as a top 10 system in the country by popular cycling websites, publications and users alike.

    FATS is made up of eight different trails and two distinct loops with multiple levels of difficulty. The trails are a “choose your adventure game” no matter your skill level. You can ride 37 miles of trail without seeing the same stretch twice—a rare feature in the Southeast. While many of the trails we’ve mentioned offer several loops and trails, Forks Area is a one-of-a-kind experience.

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