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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Visiting from Florida. I'll be in Ball Ground, GA. Heard Elijay has some good stuff and it's close to Ball Ground. Looked up shops and Cartecay bike shop rents bikes. So with that said can anybody point me towards a fun day of riding? I'm pretty experienced and in good shape. Kind of a chicken for large drops and never done huge jumps. If there are group rides I can join that would be great. The bikes posted for rent are Rocky Mountain - Pipeline and Yeti - SB5/SB130. Not sure which to go for. Thanks for any advice in advance.
 

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Ellijay does have some very good trails to ride so you can't go wrong there at all. From Ball Ground it's still a little bit of a drive to be honest. With that being said, you're going to be within just a few miles of one of the top ranked trails in Georgia - Blankets Creek. And just one exit down on 575 is another fun trail called Ropes Mill. There are two nearby bike shops as well that you can contact about rentals: Outspoken Bike Shop and Sixes Pit Bike Shop. Another trail thats approx 20 minutes West from these trails is Allatoona Creek. You could literally spend all day there and ride different trails that are insanely awesome. From beginner to Double black diamond.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ellijay does have some very good trails to ride so you can't go wrong there at all. From Ball Ground it's still a little bit of a drive to be honest. With that being said, you're going to be within just a few miles of one of the top ranked trails in Georgia - Blankets Creek. And just one exit down on 575 is another fun trail called Ropes Mill. There are two nearby bike shops as well that you can contact about rentals: Outspoken Bike Shop and Sixes Pit Bike Shop. Another trail thats approx 20 minutes West from these trails is Allatoona Creek. You could literally spend all day there and ride different trails that are insanely awesome. From beginner to Double black diamond.
Wow! Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. Looked up all 3. Now I have to plan it. I see what you mean about Allatoona. I would probably spend the whole day there or spend the day at Blankets Creek and Ropes Mill.
 

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I can join you on a weekend day and show you around any of the trail systems OldManBiker mentioned.
 

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I would recommend Blankets Creek, Rope Mill, and Lake Allatoona over the trails in North Georgia. None of these trail systems have any crazy long descents, but they are great trails, well groomed, have easy parking, and are easy to find. Some of them have some really great jump lines that can be repeated. Plus there are local bike shops around.
 

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Just my 2 pennies.....Don't get me wrong, blankets/rope/allatoona are great trails and definitely worth a visit (I love the old school feel/technical nature of allatoona) but if you want North GA, go to the mountains. You can spend all day there also. Pinhoti 1,2,3 and Bear Creek (there is more but these probably the most popular) in Ellijay and Bull/Jake mountain in Dahlonega just to name a few popular NGA rides. Not sure what RTB is unless its the ranger training base at Camp Merrill but if so, good trails there too and rideable to hit Bull and Jake. If your in shape, hit the mountains. The scenery is worth it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just my 2 pennies.....Don't get me wrong, blankets/rope/allatoona are great trails and definitely worth a visit (I love the old school feel/technical nature of allatoona) but if you want North GA, go to the mountains. You can spend all day there also. Pinhoti 1,2,3 and Bear Creek (there is more but these probably the most popular) in Ellijay and Bull/Jake mountain in Dahlonega just to name a few popular NGA rides. Not sure what RTB is unless its the ranger training base at Camp Merrill but if so, good trails there too and rideable to hit Bull and Jake. If your in shape, hit the mountains. The scenery is worth it alone.
That place looks like fun. I am curious about riding in the mountains. I've visited but never ridden up there. Looks like you can catch a shuttle from Mulberry Gap if you want to save your legs. Choices choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone. I'm researching all your suggestions. I might just need to ride a couple days in a row. I'll be there August 17th - 19th.

Need to find some hills to ride here in Florida for training...haha...hills...Florida.
 

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That place looks like fun. I am curious about riding in the mountains. I've visited but never ridden up there. Looks like you can catch a shuttle from Mulberry Gap if you want to save your legs. Choices choices.
True, they offer shuttles and it's a great place to stay (if not all booked up) and is a good place to "base camp" and base your rides out of but for shuttling, I would think the only thing worth getting a shuttle for would be windy gap downhill or mountaintown creek which both have a lot of gravel climbing to get to the start of the trails. I wouldn't get a shuttle for pinhoti and the climb to top of bear creek on gravel from mulberry gets steep in places and is somewhat lengthy, but its not that bad to just chill and grind.

If I am available I could possibly meet up and guide but you may be waiting a little for me if you are in good shape. I used to race expert/Cat1 XC but that was years ago and wife/kid have shifted priorities along with a slight IPA belly so not as fast anymore. I still ride, just 2 days a week versus 6 ha ha.
 

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As you've probably figured out by now, you basically have two choices:

1. Head north and ride in the mountains - Pinhoti, Jake, Bull
2. Head south and ride Blankets, Rope, Allatoona.

Just my opinion, but if you're coming up from Florida and don't do a lot of climbing or enjoy that kind of challenge, I wouldn't go north. I've ridden several times up there and I just don't like the climb vs descend ratio - seems like 10:1 climb over descend if you're talking elapsed time. I get it, some folks are into that, just not me!

Blankets and Rope are good for a couple hours. Allatoona is more suited for an all day ride. Another fun place that hasn't been mentioned is Talking Rock, which would be about 25 minutes north of you.

You know this coming from Florida but August can be hot, humid, and brutal mountain biking weather. Stay hydrated and rest as often as needed!
 

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As you've probably figured out by now, you basically have two choices:

1. Head north and ride in the mountains - Pinhoti, Jake, Bull
2. Head south and ride Blankets, Rope, Allatoona.

Just my opinion, but if you're coming up from Florida and don't do a lot of climbing or enjoy that kind of challenge, I wouldn't go north. I've ridden several times up there and I just don't like the climb vs descend ratio - seems like 10:1 climb over descend if you're talking elapsed time. I get it, some folks are into that, just not me!

Blankets and Rope are good for a couple hours. Allatoona is more suited for an all day ride. Another fun place that hasn't been mentioned is Talking Rock, which would be about 25 minutes north of you.

You know this coming from Florida but August can be hot, humid, and brutal mountain biking weather. Stay hydrated and rest as often as needed!
I rode Talking Rock for the first time last month. Fun trails but it didn't appear there was very much mileage there. I didn't ride all of it as I had just ridden up the road at Cartecay, but I rode the newer trails and looking at a map, didn't look like there was a lot more.

The weather has been too brutal for me to ride other than in the morning. I've been finishing up around noon or a little later and feeling really done it. Need to get out earlier.

OP, if you are looking for more jump lines, Blanket's may be your best bet (Dwelling's newer jump lines); also some tech on more natural trail (South Loop) and flowy trail (Van Michaels). Allatoona also has some jumping but I haven't ridden it, along with some great technical natural trails. Blanket's and Rope will be easier for you to get to.
 

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I rode Talking Rock for the first time last month. Fun trails but it didn't appear there was very much mileage there. I didn't ride all of it as I had just ridden up the road at Cartecay, but I rode the newer trails and looking at a map, didn't look like there was a lot more.
You are correct. I calculate 6.1 miles total if you do Nitro Nix North as an out and back to give you a 2.2 mile loop. The 2.6 mile loop across from the parking lot is fun and very beginner friendly. No jumps or drops at all. Some bridges and small rock crossings and one rock garden that was a challenge for me. Can't remember any roots at all.
 

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dude do not go to blankets and think you've experienced what north Georgia has to offer.. blankets is fun but those flat trails are more reminiscent of something in Kansas than what's really offered. big climbs (or shuttles) with gnarly long flowing descents is what north Georgia is really about..
 

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dude do not go to blankets and think you've experienced what north Georgia has to offer.. blankets is fun but those flat trails are more reminiscent of something in Kansas than what's really offered. big climbs (or shuttles) with gnarly long flowing descents is what north Georgia is really about..
This thread is certainly proving that there's something for everyone in the world of mountain biking.

Some people enjoy suffering through a climb for the adrenaline rush of the downhill. Others like a more balanced trail with ups, downs, and some technical stuff.

Yes, the two Mosquito trails at Blankets are flat and intended for beginners. South and VMT have some challenging climbs - just not for miles on end like further north in the actual mountains. Dwelling is right in the middle as far as climbing and technical challenges.

The beauty of this area is that no matter what you're looking for, it can generally be found within an hour or two's drive.
 

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Personally, I'd go to Jake and Bull. Bull Mountain side, you have the climbing and descending. Steer Mountain side is flatter and not as much climbing and descending. You can easily get 30+ miles of single-track right from the parking lot. Ellijay/Mulberry Gap requires long hauls on gravel, or shuttling. You won't get as much riding in the same amount of time. Jake and Bull has plenty of gravel, too.
 

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I'd vote for Bear Creek. It is a classic, great scenery, primeval feel in the woods, great downhill with some creek crossings thrown in. Yes, it is work (and the Mulberry Shuttle is a reasonable option if you don't have the legs), but it is something you just can't get in Florida, whereas Blankets, Rope, Allatoona aren't that much different than Santos other than a little more elevation thrown in. I'll just say my first trip to Bear Creek hooked me on mountain biking...even though I was really tired after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So many choices. I have ridden in Colorado, but didn't get to ride off road. Got altitude sickness the second day of riding up mountains. 3rd day was going to be MTB day with my brother but I felt like crap.

I'm going to try the mountains. Don't mind some suffering. Hopefully I don't experience the same thing I did in Colorado.
 
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