Mountain Biking in Georgia - Bear Creek
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
Start of Bear Creek Trail
The Gennett Poplar
Chatahoochee Forest Overlook
The Road Up Potatopatch Mountain
Top of Potatopatch Mountain
- MTBR - Bear Creek Trail Review
This site has mountain bike rider reviews of the trail. The comments go back to around 2003. Lots of good information about Bear Creek Trail.