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Mountain Biking in Georgia - Bear Creek

Updated on August 2, 2016

Mountain Biking Goodness

Bear Creek Loop is a mountain biking trail in the north Georgia mountains. It is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest just south of the gorgeous Cohutta Wilderness Area. My time is spent mountain biking on it but it can be used for hiking as well. For the last 10-12 years it has been one of my favorite places to go mountain biking.

Bear Creek trail is a loop. You can tie together some Forest Service roads to make longer mountain bike routes but the main one is about 7 miles in length. The backside of the loop is a nice downhill run. Nice and smooth for mountain biking. There are a few whoop-de-dos to entertain yourself over. The whole trail is not exactly mountain bike beginner friendly but that shouldn't stop anyone from trying. There are quite a few rocky sections and numerous stream crossings. If you can navigate your mountain bike over those rough sections you'll find it is fairly smooth. But mostly the loop is well groomed single and double track terrain.

I typically start my mountain bike ride on the main road: Gates Chapel Road. I ride my mountain bike in on the Forest Service Road 241 that takes you up to the start of the trail. If you want to drive to start of the trail you can as there is a small parking area right at the trail head. I stay on Bear Creek Trail all the way until the loop. At the loop, where the trail starts going back down the backside of the trail, I continue up to the right. This takes you to Forest Service road 68. Ride your mountain bike up this gravel road up to the lookout for spectacular views of the Chatahoochee Forest. If you really want some pain continue mountain biking the 2 mile brutal, washboard gravel climb up to the top. You'll end up at a "T".

Straight ahead will be the Cohutta Wilderness. Go left left and you can ride your mountain bike out to Conasauga Lake. There are other trails along the way, Milma for example, that you can connect to for a seriously epic mountain bike ride. I typically catch my breathe at the top and get ready for a brutal mountain bike ride down.

If you have a full-suspension mountain bike you will be loving life (no doubt hating life dragging the extra weight up Potatopatch Mtn- choose your poison). Hard tail mountain bikers will get beat to death riding down. You will go past the overlook and get back on the trail you used off Bear Creek Loop. Just keep going down until you come to the fork that you took to go up...and simply go right down the back side of Bear Creek loop. It's all downhill.

Sadly I don't live that close to Bear Creek anymore. And that sucks. But anytime I feel like spending $40 in gasoline I drive down to Bear Creek and ride my mountain bike.

The Climb Begins

This is where the ride begins if you choose to ride in on the first Forest Service Road. It's all uphill from here. Literally. Stay on this until you come to the Bear Creek Trailhead shown below.
This is where the ride begins if you choose to ride in on the first Forest Service Road. It's all uphill from here. Literally. Stay on this until you come to the Bear Creek Trailhead shown below.

Start of Bear Creek Trail

This is where the Forest Service road ends and Bear Creek Trail begins.
This is where the Forest Service road ends and Bear Creek Trail begins.
Bear Creek to your right. You'll have to cross it once along with some of it's tributaries. Keep climbing
Bear Creek to your right. You'll have to cross it once along with some of it's tributaries. Keep climbing

The Gennett Poplar

Damn big poplar tree. People hike up to this and hike back for a quick trip. This is just a pit stop on the way to higher things for mtn bikers.
Damn big poplar tree. People hike up to this and hike back for a quick trip. This is just a pit stop on the way to higher things for mtn bikers.
Typical stream crossing.
Typical stream crossing.
This is what you see as you make your way up the trail.
This is what you see as you make your way up the trail.
Typical switchback on the way up.
Typical switchback on the way up.
Just more pain on the way to the top.
Just more pain on the way to the top.
Did I mention the rhododendrons?
Did I mention the rhododendrons?
This is looking back at the end of the trail before you get on FS Road 68 for your climb to the overlook and  beyond.
This is looking back at the end of the trail before you get on FS Road 68 for your climb to the overlook and beyond.

Chatahoochee Forest Overlook

This is the view you climbed for. The hard part has just begun.
This is the view you climbed for. The hard part has just begun.

The Road Up Potatopatch Mountain

Almost two miles of washboard gravel misery to the top.
Almost two miles of washboard gravel misery to the top.

Top of Potatopatch Mountain

So glad to see this T in the road. This is the top of Potatopatch Mountain. Straight ahead past the sign is the Cohutta Wilderness. Left is Lake Conasauga.
So glad to see this T in the road. This is the top of Potatopatch Mountain. Straight ahead past the sign is the Cohutta Wilderness. Left is Lake Conasauga.

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    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      This looks like a fun place. I don't live too far away from there. I'll have to try it out sometime.

    • profile image

      shimano m520 pedals 

      7 years ago

      the trails look beautiful and very well maintained, however very mellow. Are there any trails that branch from these that are for the thrill seeking jumpers and droppers?

      Quality article, thanks!

    • profile image

      David 

      8 years ago

      Dear all,

      I'm happy to announce the availability of a mountain bike guiding service in Georgia.

      Please visit the website http://www.mountainbiking.ge for more information

      or call

      Telephone: + 995(8)32235215

      Cell: + 995(8)98944555

      Thanks

      Andy Welch

      David Chokheli

      Http://www.mountainbiking.ge

      --------------------------------------------

      Mountain bike guiding and riding in Georgia

    • profile image

      David 

      8 years ago

      Mountain bike guiding service in Georgia

      --

      Http://www.mountainbiking.ge

      --------------------------------------------

      Mountain bike guiding and riding in Georgia

    • splork profile imageAUTHOR

      splork 

      10 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Thanks for reading jonixk. Glad you liked it. It is a great trail, as are many up in the GA mtns.

    • jonixk profile image

      jonixk 

      10 years ago from Lisbon

      splork, great article this one! thanks for sharing this beautiful trail it with us.

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